Modern Culture and Media

Modern Culture and Media (MCM) is committed to the study of media in the context of the broader examination of modern cultural and social formations. Our curriculum proposes a distinctive subject matter, stresses comparative analysis and theoretical reflection, and highlights the integration of theory and practice, creative thought and critical production. In research and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level, MCM combines the analysis of diverse texts — visual and verbal, literary and historical, theoretical and popular, imaginative and archival — with the study of contemporary theories of representation and cultural production and creative practice in a range of media. Through studying MCM, students will be critically sophisticated and knowledgeable about the theory, history, and analysis of media and cultural forms and who are able to produce innovative work — whether in theory, media practice, or historical scholarship — that interrogates and transforms conventional understandings of these forms.

For additional information, please visit the department's website: http://www.brown.edu/academics/modern-culture-and-media/

Course usage information

MCM 0110. Theory and Analysis of Modern Culture and Media.

An introduction to critical theory, cultural studies, and media analysis that addresses print, photography, film, television, and digital media. We will examine these media in relationship to influential theoretical approaches such as structuralism and post-structuralism, ideological analysis and psychoanalysis, feminist and queer theory, critical race theory and theories of post-colonialism and globality, and media and technology studies. LILE WRIT

Course usage information

MCM 0150. Text/Media/Culture: Theories of Modern Culture and Media.

An introduction to the theoretical foundations of contemporary cultural criticism. We will study theories of representation, signification and culture; image and narrative; ideology and discursive power; and modernity and postmodernity. Such theories are crucial to understanding modern culture and media (including print, photographic, film, television, and digital media texts). Readings from theorists such as Saussure, Benjamin, Levi-Strauss, Derrida, Barthes, Marx, Freud, Fanon, Arendt, Foucualt, Irigary, Appadurai, and Butler. Students must register for both the lecture and one screening; a signup sheet will be available for discussion sections after the first class meeting. Open to undergraduates only. LILE WRIT

Spr MCM0150 S01 25520 MW 1:00-1:50(06) (P. Rosen)
Spr MCM0150 C01 25523 Th 3:00-3:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C02 25524 F 9:00-9:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C03 25525 F 10:00-10:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C04 25526 F 11:00-11:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C05 25527 F 12:00-12:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C06 25528 F 1:00-1:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 C07 25529 F 2:00-2:50 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM0150 F01 25521 M 7:00-11:00PM (P. Rosen)
Spr MCM0150 F02 25522 T 7:00-11:00PM (P. Rosen)
Course usage information

MCM 0220. Print Cultures: Textuality and the History of Books.

Print media are ubiquitous, appearing in myriad forms, material configurations, and genres. This course investigates the concept of print as a mass medium, the first produced by means of mechanical reproduction. We will give particular attention to the theoretical problematics that govern its analysis and to competing concepts of print as a form. The course will trace the emergence of mass literacy and reading habits, print culture and the public sphere, the rise of the novel and history of the book, as well as concepts of literariness and representation, mediation and signification, narrativity and virtuality, the work and the text. LILE

Course usage information

MCM 0230. Digital Media.

This course introduces students to the critical study of digital media: from surveillance to social media, from the digitalization of fashion to online pornography, from technological anxiety to narcissism, from dating to drones. We will analyze the aesthetics, politics, protocols, history, and theory of digital media as it intersects with various fields of knowledge and practices. Special attention will be paid to digital media’s impact on socio-cultural formations, the compromising of the boundaries between the public and private, work and leisure, as well as the interplay between digital technology, race, sexuality, subjectivity and violence.

Fall MCM0230 S01 17225 MW 11:00-11:50(02) (D. Semerene)
Fall MCM0230 C01 17226 F 10:00-10:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 C02 17227 F 11:00-11:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 C03 17228 F 12:00-12:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 C04 17229 F 1:00-1:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 C05 17230 F 2:00-2:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 C06 17231 W 2:00-2:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 L01 17432 T 5:00-5:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 L02 17433 T 6:00-6:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 L03 17434 T 7:00-7:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 L04 17435 T 8:00PM-8:50PM 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 L05 17436 T 9:00PM-9:50PM 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0230 F01 17440 T 7:00-9:30PM 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 0240. Television Studies.

Introduces students to the rigorous study of television, concentrating on televisual formations (texts, industry, audience) in relation to social/cultural formations (gender, generational, and family dynamics; constructions of race, class, and nation; consumerism and global economic flows). That is, this course considers both how television has been defined and how television itself defines the terms of our world. Students MUST register for the lecture section, the screening, and a conference section. Open to undergraduates only. LILE WRIT

Course usage information

MCM 0250. Visuality and Visual Theories.

Theories of visual representation in such traditional media as painting, in photography, and in emergent digital media (VR, robotics, etc.). Connects problems of representation to issues of power, information, subjectivity. These media are read as historically constituted and specific to particular cultures through complex forms of mediation.

Course usage information

MCM 0260. Cinematic Coding and Narrativity.

Introduces students to rigorous study of the structural and ideological attributes of cinema, concentrating on the dominant narrative model developed in the American studio system and alternatives to that model. Attention to film theory in relation to questions of representation, culture, and society. Students become conversant with specific elements and operations of the cinematic apparatus (e. g. camerawork, editing, sound-image relations) and how they produce discursive meanings. Students MUST register for the lecture, section and one screening. A sign-up sheet will be available for conferences after the first class meeting. Open to undergraduates only.

Fall MCM0260 S01 15303 MW 1:00-1:50(06) (J. Copjec)
Fall MCM0260 C01 15305 F 9:00-9:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 C02 15306 F 10:00-10:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 C03 15307 F 11:00-11:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 C04 15308 F 12:00-12:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 C05 15309 F 1:00-1:50 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 F01 15310 M 7:00-11:00PM 'To Be Arranged'
Fall MCM0260 F02 15311 T 7:00-11:00PM 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 0700. Introduction to the Moving Image.

The purpose of this course is to provide a basic introduction to film and video production and to begin to consider the kinds of texts that might be produced using these media. Students are expected to work in an intelligent manner, take risks with the content and form, engage in empirical research of the medium, and in so doing, examine common presumptions about media production. Students will utilize 16mm non-sync film cameras and small format video to produce a series of short projects emphasizing the creative use of these media in various social and visual arts contexts. Classes will consist of screenings and discussion of a wide variety of works, basic technical demonstrations, and critiques of student work. No previous production experience necessary. Prerequisites (two of the following or equivalent): MCM 0100, 0150, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Application required. Enrollment limited to 15. Written permission required. Mandatory S/NC.

Course usage information

MCM 0710. Introduction to Filmic Practice: Time and Form.

A studio-style course on working with time based media, focused specifically on the technology of 16mm film production. With its focus on photographic and montage processes, as well as lighting and sound, the principles established in this course provide a solid foundation for all subsequent work in media, whether cinematic, video or new media, and it is strongly advised as a foundation level, skills oriented media course. Students produce a series of short, non-sync films. No previous experience required. Screenings, demonstrations and studio work.

Fall MCM0710 S01 15317 Th 1:00-3:50(10) (J. Montgomery)
Fall MCM0710 F01 15318 W 7:00-9:00PM (J. Montgomery)
Spr MCM0710 S01 24079 W 2:00-4:50(07) (L. Thornton)
Spr MCM0710 F01 24080 W 5:00-6:50 (L. Thornton)
Course usage information

MCM 0720. Intermediate Filmmaking: Cinematic Space.

Introduces more sophisticated film production techniques, including sync sound and lighting technique. Explores the influence of digital technologies on cinematic practice. Studio work supplemented by screenings, demonstrations, and discussions. Group and individual projects. Prerequisite: MCM 0710. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office or from http://www.brown.edu/Departments/MCM/. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Class list will be posted 2 days after the first class meeting. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.

Course usage information

MCM 0730. Introduction to Video Production: Critical Strategies and Histories.

Provides the basic principles of independent media production through a cooperative, hands-on approach utilizing digital video. Emphasizes video as a critical intervention in social and visual arts contexts. A major project, three shorter works, and in-class presentations of work-in-progress required. Weekly screenings contextualize student work. No previous experience required. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Up to 40 students can apply, but the final class list of 12 will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor.

Fall MCM0730 S01 15313 Th 4:00-6:50(04) (A. Cokes)
Fall MCM0730 F01 15315 T 7:00-9:00PM (A. Cokes)
Spr MCM0730 S01 24081 Th 4:00-6:50(17) (A. Cokes)
Spr MCM0730 F01 24082 W 7:30-9:30PM (A. Cokes)
Course usage information

MCM 0740. Intermediate Video Production: Sound, Image, Duration.

Expanded principles of independent video production utilizing small format video (Mini DV). Emphasizes video as a critical intervention in social and visual arts contexts. A major project (10-20 minutes) and a class presentation concerning your project are required. Prerequisite: MCM 0730. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office or from http://www.brown.edu/Departments/MCM/. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. Class list will be posted 2 days after the first class meeting. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor's permission required. S/NC.

Course usage information

MCM 0750. Art in Digital Culture.

How do we produce, disseminate, and exchange images in a global networked society? How do digital technologies challenge conventions about art making, authorship, and audience? This production course introduces students to the practice, and critical inquiry into art in digital culture. The class will engage in contemporary debates on art and new media and will experiment with digital photography, video, and coding. Throughout the semester, students will work on a series of short projects, and a final individual or collaborative work. Artist case studies include Harun Farocki, Oliver Laric, and anonymous-memes-creators; readings include, Hito Steyerl, David Joselit, and Boris Groys. Enrollment limited to 40. LILE

Fall MCM0750 S01 15319 M 3:00-6:50(15) (M. Armstrong)
Spr MCM0750 S01 24083 M 3:00-6:50(13) 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 0760. Intermediate Digital Media Production.

How do technologies enabling new forms of media and communication reconfigure notions of geography, location, speed, presence, community, autonomy, public, private, and one's ability to participate in culture? This class is an exploration of how artists and other cultural producers use these new technologies and new conditions to activate networks, form communities, create access, self-publish, proliferate, draw attention to context, demand agency, redefine property, and develop spaces for exchange and play.

Course usage information

MCM 0780. Soundtracks: Sound Production and Visual Media.

A production course that examines the role of sound in film, video, and installation forms. The listening assignments and visual media screenings will foreground the usage of audio in the works of selected artists/filmmakers. The course also considers works of sound art. Readings by sonic theorists and producers will examine the possibilities of sound production as a key register of modern social and aesthetic experience. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. S/NC.

Course usage information

MCM 0790. This is a Public Service Announcement.

This course will examine the broad mission of "public service" media in its various iterations, both in commercial broadcast television, state run television, and in numerous forays by artists and collectives into public space. Students will produce a series of short video and/or installation projects that will explore critically the content and form of the Public Service Announcement and its historical precedents. In addition, the class will also collectively design, shoot, and produce, in collaboration with the RI Department of Education, their own Public Service Announcement that will air on local television stations. This will be a rare opportunity for undergraduate students not only to gain hands-on production experience, but also to think about and exhibit work outside of the University classroom context. Prerequisite: MCM 0700, MCM 0710, MCM 0720, MCM 0730, or MCM 0740.

Course usage information

MCM 0800A. Agency and Representation.

Agency is one of the most popular concepts across the disciplines today, but its definitions are often far from satisfactory in relation to representational forms such as literature and film. Using both fictional and theoretical texts, this course will examine some common assumptions about agency and develop a range of possible interpretations that will make the term viable in the study of artistic representation. For first year students only. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800B. Freshman Seminar on Visuality.

An examination of the key texts (from such diverse fields as philosophy, visual arts, cultural studies) which describe the historical transformation of personal and social visual space. We will explore, for example, Renaissance and Cartesian optics, the mechanization of vision in the late nineteenth century and recent hypotheses around machine-centered visuality. For first year students only. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800C. Marx, Nietzsche, Freud: History of Theory.

Many of the most pressing theoretical issues addressed by contemporary cultural analysis were first investigated in the works of these three ground-breaking intellectuals. This course will survey some of their major works, with attention to such concepts as ideology and the commodity; the will to power and truth in language; the unconscious and sexual difference. For first year students only. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800D. Sound for A Moving Image.

A production/seminar. An examination of the role of sound in the works of five exemplary artists/filmmakers while we produce sound works for filmic projects. For first year students only. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800E. Race and Imagined Futures.

Why is race so important to imagining utopian or dystopian futures - to signaling world peace or Malthusian disaster? What do these imaginings tell us about contemporary anxieties over / desire for multiculturalism and globalization? This course responds to these questions by examining speculative, science and utopian fiction and films by African-, Asian- and Euro-American authors/film makers. Readings will be theoretical, as well as literary. Enrollment limited to 20. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening. DPLL FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800F. The Face in Cinema.

Cinema has always been obsessed with the thematics of the human face. The close-up is most frequently associated with a revelation of intense human signification, with a rendering legible of the face as the signifier of the soul, and with the face as the privileged signifier of individuality, truth, beauty, and interiority as well as the most basic support of intersubjectivity. We will examine the face in the cinema in relation to the star system, theories of desire and affect, and a history of representation of the face (Darwin, Galton, Duchenne, etc.). Films by Dreyer, Hitchcock, Warhol, Wiseman, and others. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS.

Course usage information

MCM 0800H. TV/Not TV: Theory and Production.

This freshman seminar examines both commercial television and non-commercial media forms, considering the dialogue and/or tensions between them. What are the critical potentials and political stakes of viewing TV and of making independent media? How can we re-write TV's cultural codes by stimulating alternative readings, fostering new interpretive practices, creating different texts, or developing diverse modes and sites of distribution? Combining theory and practice (media studies, televisual and anti-televisual screenings, and simple production assignments using available technologies), this course encourages students to read and critique commercial television through both analysis and their own creative media practices. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800I. Victim Testimonies.

This seminar will explore primarily first person narratives and historical and other accounts that seek to recreate victim's voices (of the Jewish Holocaust, Stalin's terror, the Algerian War, the Rwandan genocide) in order to understand the cultural contexts and narrative styles that fashion victims, shape readers' views of them, and lead us to take some more seriously than others. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800J. The Revolution is Being Photographed.

The course will examine the following idea: revolution is not an epoch making event but a dialect, a genre and grammar of practices and gestures. Images and moving images will be read as the "written" signs of this dialect, which document more and less known revolutionary moments. The recurrent familiar gestures repeated by the demonstrators will be studied as components of a language rather than planned actions carried out to achieve a given goal. The recurrence of the same idioms and gestures in various parts of the world requires questioning the universal and regional dimension of this language. Enrollment limited to 20 first year student. DPLL FYS LILE

Course usage information

MCM 0800K. Pirates!.

This course examines the figure of the pirate and understandings of piracy from Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean to Pirate Bay and the WTO–that is, from sea-faring pirates and early print culture to the Internet and "pirate modernity." What do pirates do, mean, stand for, teach us? Readings, discussions and screenings will focus on both the history of pirates and piracy as well as the contemporary (media) pirate and issues related to creativity and originality, intellectual property rights and global governance, participatory cultures and democratization, information feudalism and the pirate modernities of the Global South, enclosures and the common. Enrollment limited to 20 first year students. FYS

Course usage information

MCM 0800L. "I Don't Even Know Why They Call It Color TV": Television and Race in America.

Our era has been called both "post-televisual" and "post-racial," yet images that define and are defined by (mis)understandings of race fill our screens (whether on TV sets or other means for disseminating TV). Formations of television and race not only remain pressing concerns but are intertwined, mutually constructing one another. This course thus explores how notions of race have been mediated and how media have figured race. Topics include: stereotype analysis; race in television history; scandal and crisis; intersections of gender and sexuality; consumerism and commodification; racial representation across TV genres (comedy, drama, sports, reality TV), and new media possibilities. DPLL LILE FYS

Spr MCM0800L S01 25518 W 3:00-5:30(14) (L. Joyrich)
Spr MCM0800L F01 25519 M 7:00-11:00PM (L. Joyrich)
Course usage information

MCM 0800M. The Terrible Century (ENGL 0150U).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0150U.

Fall MCM0800M S01 16762 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 0900A. Cinema and Stardom: Image/Industry/Fantasy.

Focuses on the star within the "machinery" of Hollywood cinema: how stars function in the film industry, within cinematic and extra-cinematic texts, and at the level of individual fantasy and desire. Including screenings of films which exploit, foreground, or critique star images, also considers the ideological implications and cultural consequences of stardom.

Course usage information

MCM 0900B. Global Cyberpunk.

Examines how cyberpunk functions both as a global phenomenon and as a way to imagine the global. Texts include American science fiction by authors such as Octavia Butler and Neal Stephenson; anime such as Akira and AD Police Force; feature films such as Blade Runner; as well as theoretical texts on globalization, science fiction, and animation.

Course usage information

MCM 0900F. Real TV.

This course will investigate the construction of reality on U.S. television, considering not only specific reality genres (news and "magazine" programs, crisis coverage, docudrama, talk and game shows) but the discursive and representational modes that define the "reality" of commercial television as a whole. Issues include: "liveness"; social relevancy"; therapeutic discourse; TV personalities; media simulation; independent television; and new technologies/realisms.

Course usage information

MCM 0900G. Representing the Internet.

Investigates popular representations of the Internet (many of which precede the WWW) from cyberpunk to Supreme Court decisions, from mainstream film to Internet map sites. Considers the relationship between representation, ideology, culture, and technology. All written work for the seminar will be digital.

Course usage information

MCM 0901C. Photography/Film/Art: Memory, History and Ruin.

Questions of the nature of the photographic image have come to the fore in some of the most exciting modern art, such as the work of Cindy Sherman and Andy Warhol. In particular, the question of how the photograph relates to film and history has generated important questions about art and media. This course will analyze these questions through the work of such artists as Jeff Wall, Jean-Luc Godard, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. We will examine these in relation to writings that theorize the relationship of photography to film and art after World War Two. Readings include Benjamin, Barthes, and Krauss. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 undergraduates. WRIT

Course usage information

MCM 0901D. Film Comedy.

What makes some films so funny? This course will investigate many different forms of film comedy-- from slapstick physical gags involving hapless men and umbrella-wielding matrons, to eccentric verbal banter, to parodies that subvert state politics using puppet characters. Instead of treating film comedy as "just mindless escapism," we will study how comedy's complex and slippery devices are central to the history of cinema. Readings in critical discourses about comedy, film history and film theory, e.g. Freud, Bergson, Benjamin, Rob King, Miriam Hansen, and Kathleen Rowe. Screenings range from silent slapstick, to communist satire, to romantic comedy, to political mockumentary. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 0901E. The Fantastic in Contemporary Cinema.

This course addresses the idea of the Fantastic from its definition to its articulations in contemporary cinema. Focusing more on form than on content, we will privilege a reading of the Fantastic as an effect rather than a genre or a theme: specific attention will be given to the relationships between filmic texts, spectatorship and the production of meaning. Screenings will include popular Hollywood cinema as well as European and independent films. We will discuss works by directors such as Lynch, Nolan, Fincher, Spielberg, Gondry, Cronenberg and Haneke. Readings will range from literary theory and psychoanalysis to film theory and semiotics. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 undergraduates.

Course usage information

MCM 0901F. "America" in Diaspora Literatures.

How have diasporic and immigrant writers come to see the United States? How do these writers negotiate dominant understandings of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and language that come to define "the nation"? Is all immigrant/minority writing necessarily (auto)biographical? How are notions of history, memory, and futurity taken up by writers of diasporic and hybrid cultures in the US? These are some of the questions that this course will take up through a close reading of canonical and contemporary African-American, South/Asian-American, and Arab-American texts. This course is ideal for students interested in minority literatures, diaspora studies, and Ethnic Studies.

Course usage information

MCM 0901G. Digital Culture and Art after 1989.

How can we contextualize new media art alongside earlier forms of media such as photography and cinema? Is its relation to the "outside world" primarily conceived as representation, or as process? What are the cultural effects of this mediatic shift? Taking as our starting point the fall of the Berlin Wall and the resulting spread of capitalism as a near-global political-economic system, we will "read" a variety of works of art and culture from several contemporary theoretical perspectives. Topics include digital media, the Internet, European cinema, and popular music. Readings from Galloway, Fukuyama, Deleuze, Hardt and Negri, Freud, Jameson, etc. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. LILE

Course usage information

MCM 0901H. Uncomfortable Media.

Why are we often addicted to that which disgusts us? This course analyzes why "uncomfortable media" – media that plays with notions of the perverse, the abject, and the taboo – remain so popular in the American cultural imaginary. Studying a variety of popular television programs and films, this course will approach these viscerally transgressive media texts through analyzing representation (how cultural taboos appear in popular culture) and analyzing spectatorship (how viewers perform discomfort). We will examine how developments in genre and narrative form, affect studies, performance studies, and queer theory have contributed to theorizing the perverse. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. DPLL LILE

Course usage information

MCM 0901I. Body Count: Technologies of Life and Death.

From the War on Terror and the global obesity crisis to self-help reality TV and new biotechnologies, questions of life and death have come to center stage of contemporary politics. This course investigates the theoretical and historical contexts under which "life itself" has emerged as a key arena of social, cultural, and technological importance. We will read critical studies of race, media, embodiment, and the state, tracing how distinctions between life and its others have structured the distribution of death, risk, and freedom in modernity. Topics include biocolonialism, cyborgs and swarms, U.S. prison regime, computer viruses, "bugchasing," suicide bombing. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20. DPLL LILE

Course usage information

MCM 0901J. Adaptation Culture: New Media <---> Traditional Theatres (TAPS 0080).

Interested students must reigster for TAPS 0080.

Course usage information

MCM 0901K. Statelessness and Global Media: Citizens, Foreigners, Aliens.

What is citizenship? What does it mean to be granted or refused state protection within the global system? To better understand how nation-states govern subjects, we will consider the condition of refugees, displaced persons, illegal residents, undocumented aliens, and stateless persons. We will read the representations of non-citizenship in global media texts (humanitarian graphic narrative, migrant diary, atrocity photography, world cinema, war fiction, crowdsourced crisis mapping). This course will place a special emphasis on how perpetual warfare, territorial re-mappings, and nationality legislation continue to generate sliding scales of non-citizenship. Readings include Arendt, Balibar, Chatterjee, Foucault, Lowe, and Said. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 0901L. African American Media Visibility: Image, Culture, Crisis.

This course explores the "problem" of the black image in 20th - 21st century U.S. film and television. What is the role of spectacle and scandal in (re)presenting blackness to the public? Emphasis placed on the tension between invisibility and (hyper)visibility of the black subject in relation to gender and sexuality as well as the political, ethical, social, and psychical implications of such varying degrees of visual exposure. Topics include the aesthetics of black celebrity from Josephine Baker to Beyoncé, cinematic practices from filmmakers Spike Lee to Tyler Perry, and televisual blackness from The Cosby Show to Flavor of Love. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0220, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 0901M. Ishiguro, Amongst Others (ENGL 0710L).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0710L.

Course usage information

MCM 0901N. Body/Gesture/Cinema.

Antonin Artaud once called the body “a language to which it seems we no longer have the key.” This course is an attempt to take up his challenge in light of our experience at the cinema. Two questions will guide our investigation: Do the bodies on film “signify”? If so, how does this signifying practice trigger our own corporeal unconscious? We will explore a wide range of texts across film studies, theatre, anthropology, linguistics, and critical theory. Topics include gesture, ethnography, disability, violence, horror, and phenomenology. Readings include Didi-Huberman, Benjamin, Ricoeur, Merleau-Ponty, Kristeva, Shaviro, Sobchack, Naremore, Clover, Linda Williams, etc.

Course usage information

MCM 0901O. Reinventions of Life: Aesthetics, Biopolitics, and the Avant-Gardes.

The impulse to connect art with life runs through the avant-gardes of the early and mid-twentieth century. Yet recently, the question of what constitutes life itself has emerged with increasing persistence. In this course, we will reconsider the history of the avant-gardes – and avant-garde cinema particularly – in relation to this question. Drawing broadly on theories of how contemporary forms of life have been managed and made productive, we will explore the links between the avant-garde’s aesthetic and political practices and its ongoing efforts to redefine and reinvent social existence. Readings include Benjamin, Foucault, Lacan, Fanon, Debord, Mulvey, and Agamben.

Course usage information

MCM 0901Q. Governing Sex: Citizenship, Violence, Media.

From the photographs of Abu Ghraib, to Tyler Clementi's suicide, and the rise of “revenge porn,” contemporary media have been central to understanding the ways in which sexuality, law, and citizenship are negotiated in our present moment. This course will take these moments of public crisis as instances from which to understand the politics of belonging within the framework of the contemporary nation-state. We will examine the inter-related problematics of sexuality as a site of state governance, and the anxieties about sexual violence as national crises. Assigned readings will include queer of color critique, critical race theory, feminism, and postcolonialism.

Course usage information

MCM 0901R. Altered Cinema: The Cultural Politics of Film Revision.

Repetition and variation define contemporary cinema texts. Media producers create multiple “cuts” of the same picture for domestic/international theater, television and home video markets. Meanwhile, consumers use new technologies to create their own textual variations and share them using informal distribution channels. This is a primary concern of Altered Cinema, which examines the history and culture of film revision from multiple perspectives, including originality, authorship, censorship, globalization, preservation, translation, copyright, fandom, new media and piracy. Screenings compare and contrast different editions, including director and fan cuts, of Metropolis, Star Wars, Dune and Night Watch among others.

Course usage information

MCM 0901S. Mediating Reproduction: Feminism, Art, Activism.

How have feminist artists and activists imagined and transformed the politics of reproduction? This course explores the complex meanings of “reproduction” across media, performance, and public culture, with a focus on questions of sexuality, race, labor, and aesthetic practice. Situating reproduction in an expanded frame, we will consider the relationship between biological reproduction and the gendered labor of reproducing social life (e.g., domestic labor, sex work, care work). Throughout, we will pay special attention to the entanglements of artistic labor with women's reproductive labor. Topics include: eugenics, housework/welfare activism, art workers movements, biotechnologies, queer kinship, and feminist utopias.

Course usage information

MCM 0901T. Shakespeare: The Screenplays (ENGL 0310E).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0310E.

Fall MCM0901T S01 16763 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 0901W. The Space Within: Contemporary Borderland Moving Image Practice.

In this course we will examine post-NAFTA moving images that take as their subject the culture and politics of the Mexico-US Borderlands. We will tackle problems such as globalization, neoliberalism, the drug war, securitization, migration, biopolitics, and femicide. To make our claims we will place importance on film form as we unpack how the films figure and/or represent the bodies and spaces of the Borderlands. More, we will think seriously about how the concepts we adopt—including that of “border” itself—function as epistemological tools. This will be a course for those invested in Borderland issues and political moving image practice.

Fall MCM0901W S01 16725 T 4:00-6:30(09) (F. Monar)
Fall MCM0901W F01 16726 Su 7:00-11:00PM (F. Monar)
Course usage information

MCM 0901X. Digital Cinema and the Inhuman.

From the incursions of biopolitics to the specter of ecological collapse, the problem of how life is organized, sustained, and functionalized strikes at the heart of contemporary society. And yet to whom or what “life” belongs remains an open and evolving question. This course examines contemporary digital cinema as a textual, technological, and political site to rethink the concept of “the human.” Drawing on theoretical traditions that investigate the nature of vitality, automation, and the distinction between human and nonhuman, we will study how bodies, identities, and categories of thought are troubled and transformed by moving images.

Spr MCM0901X S01 25596 T 4:00-6:30(16) (N. Lee)
Spr MCM0901X F01 25598 Su 7:00-11:00PM (N. Lee)
Course usage information

MCM 0901Y. Puzzle Films.

This course explores a group of diverse and increasingly popular films termed “puzzle” or “mind game” films. The first unit of the course focuses on a sample of the debates surrounding post-classical cinema and its stylistic and institutional features. We will then explore these films against the background of the economic and political shift to Post-Fordism and Neoliberalism. Since many of these films explicitly with philosophical issues, we will also examine these. The topics will include skepticism and its relation to a changing and expanding media environment, and the importance of speculation in neoliberal economics and culture.

Spr MCM0901Y S01 25599 F 3:00-5:30(15) (T. Theus)
Spr MCM0901Y F01 25600 W 7:00-11:00PM (T. Theus)
Spr MCM0901Y F02 25601 Th 7:00-11:00PM (T. Theus)
Course usage information

MCM 0901Z. Reading Practices: An Introduction to Literary Theory (ENGL 0700P).

Interested students must register for ENGL 0700P.

Spr MCM0901Z S01 25605 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1110. The Theory of the Sign.

A survey of three late twentieth-century theorists: Louis Althusser, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault. Our analyses will focus on these figures as they emerge from and reorient the broad field of semiotics, with particular attention to the evolution of each oeuvre, the continuities and discontinuities that distinguish their theoretical claims, and their diverging legacies. Readings will include Althusser's Reading Capital and "Contradiction and Over-determination;" Derrida’s Of Grammatology and Spurs; and Foucault's This is Not a Pipe and History of Sexuality. Critical concepts to be examined include signification, reading, discourse, subjectivity, power, historicism, archaeology, the supplement, and difference.

Course usage information

MCM 1200D. African Cinema.

Subsaharan African cinemas 1960-present, primary emphasis on narrative films. We will analyze cultural and aesthetic strategies, (cinematic style, narrative, and subjects). in the context of postcolonial African and international film histories. Themes include: anticolonial resistance/nationalist ideologies; third cinema/international art cinemas; oral aesthetic culture and cinematic style; political critique (e.g., gender, state politics); media globalizationand resistence; the struggle for a mass audience. Enrollment limited to 50. Previous coursework in MCM, Africana Studies, or related areas highly recommended.

Course usage information

MCM 1200G. Cinema and Stardom: Image/Industry/Fantasy.

This course focuses on the role of the star within the "machinery" of Hollywood: how stars function in the film industry, within cinematic and extra-cinematic texts, and at the level of individual fantasy and desire. The paradoxes posed by stars--represented as like yet unlike us, public yet privately known, commodities yet (super)human--suggest complex formations and implications of the star system. We will read film theories and histories and investigate films in which star images are foregrounded to explore these issues.

Course usage information

MCM 1200K. Hollywood as Global Cinema.

Commonly treated as a U.S. national cinema, Hollywood film has long been a global institution dominating worldwide distribution. We reread U.S. narrative filmmaking and its products in relation to its global ambitions. Topics include: internationalizing the history of U.S. cinema; rethinking theories of the classical and anticlassical text; local, national and global spectatorship; concepts of cultural imperialism and cultural globalization; etc. Students interested in the class who have not fulfilled the prerequisite may apply to the instructor for permission to enroll. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening.

Course usage information

MCM 1200Q. Publicity and Surveillance.

Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena such as webcams, face recognition technology and networked art, as well as concepts such as enlightenment, paranoia and exhibitionism. Theoretical, historical and legal readings.

Course usage information

MCM 1201C. Imagined Networks, Glocal Connections.

This course examines emergent "imagined networks" (Arab Spring activists, global anti-globalization networks, global climate and financial systems) impacted by new media technologies and applications. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the changing relationship between the local and the global, and how "glocal" phenomena affect national and personal identities. Readings will be theoretical, historical, political and literary. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1201E. Feminist Theory and the Question of Sexual Subjectivity.

Many contemporary theories of sexual subjectivity have to do not with the body but with gender. Gender is seen to have liberated people from the dictates of biology. But there are other feminist theories that see sexual subjectivity as reducible neither to anatomy (biologically male/female) nor to gender (culturally male/female/other). We'll look at current debates among theorists and will ask what these debates have to do with the canonical work of earlier feminist film theorists on questions of spectatorship. Readings include Butler, Copjec, Freud, Lacan, Irigaray, Kristeva, Mulvey, Doane, and others. Prerequisites: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1201J. Aesthetics and Politics (ENGL 1900E).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900E.

Course usage information

MCM 1201K. Queer Relations: Aesthetics and Sexuality (ENGL 1900R).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900R.

Fall MCM1201K S01 16765 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1201O. Global Media/Global War.

The 20th Century has been called the age of total war. Alongside the globalized military conflicts of the past 100 years is a corresponding globalization of visual media technologies. This course is a study of the links between the technologies, strategies, tactics and technologies of the military and those of various media industries. Topics include "target markets"; flight simulators; Google Earth; "the logistics of military perception;" the bombing of television and radio stations in Serbia and Iraq; the global presence of U.S. military bases and their role in the Americanization of global culture; and Michael Bay's Pentagon contracts. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. First year students require instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 1201P. Freedom in Africana Political Thought (AFRI 1020B).

Interested students must register for AFRI 1020B.

Course usage information

MCM 1201R. Music and Modern Life (MUSC 1920).

Interested students must register for MUSC 1920.

Course usage information

MCM 1201T. Russian Cinema (RUSS 1250).

Interested students must register for RUSS 1250.

Course usage information

MCM 1201W. Modernity, Italian Style (ITAL 1030A).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1030A.

Course usage information

MCM 1201X. Global Media: History, Theory, Production (INTL 1800N).

Interested students must register for INTL 1800N.

Course usage information

MCM 1201Y. Reading Michel Foucault.

This course will explore Foucault's work and impact primarily through his own writings, but also by exploring the transformation his thought has effected on tradtional ways of approaching state and society, the body, social discipline, and a number of other areas of study. In short, this course seeks to put his work in the context of ideas he meant to challenge and how those challenges have been met and incorporated in current thought about politics, society, and culture. We will follow Foucault's trajectory from what he termed "archaeology" to "geneaology." Prerequisites: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260 or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1201Z. On Being Bored (ENGL 1561W).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1561W.

Spr MCM1201Z S01 25606 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1202A. The Poetics of Confession (ENGL 1561J).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1561J.

Course usage information

MCM 1202B. Literature and Politics (ENGL 1900D).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900D.

Fall MCM1202B S01 16766 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1202C. Camera Works: The Theory and Fiction of Photography (ENGL 1900V).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900V.

Course usage information

MCM 1202D. China Through the Lens: History, Cinema, and Critical Discourse (EAST 1270).

Interested students must register for EAST 1270.

Course usage information

MCM 1202E. Extreme Asian Cinema: Contemporary Genre Cinemas in an East Asian Context.

Since the late 1990's, a discourse of "extreme Asian cinema" has gained traction among aficionados of global cinema, transforming our understandings of "national cinema." In this course, we will interrogate the spectacular aesthetics of "extremity," with its violence, polymorphous perversion, and grotesquerie, in relation to social and cultural phenomena in contemporary East Asia. By analyzing the genres of the gangster film, the revival of wuxia (heroic martial arts genre) and samurai films, horror, revenge films, and techno-dystopia and ecological disaster anime, we will explore "extreme Asian cinema," as a response to cultural shifts in global identities and film experience. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1202F. Science Fiction Cinema.

Although it raises compelling philosophical, aesthetic, and socio-historical questions, science fiction cinema has been underrepresented in scholarly literature and the academic curriculum. This course surveys the modern science fiction film from experiments in the silent era through the contemporary science fiction blockbuster (with particular emphasis on the latter). Covers various thematic concerns (disaster, post-apocalypse, the future, simulation, space travel and inhabitation, future cities, alien arrivals/invasions, posthumanity) and is international in scope. Films by Kubrick, Cameron, Scott, Verhoeven, Gilliam, Bigelow, Boyle, Emmerich, and others. Readings in theory, philosophy, cultural studies, film studies, gender studies, and fiction. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50. Not open to first-year students.

Course usage information

MCM 1202H. French Cinema: The First Fifty Years (FREN 1150C).

Interested students must register for FREN 1150C.

Course usage information

MCM 1202I. Warriors, Gangsters, and Misanthropes: Violence and Sociality in Asian Genre Cinemas.

By analyzing films from a variety of popular genres, from war to horror, gangster, action-thriller, and disaster films, we will consider the problem-solving function, visual pleasure, visceral thrills, and ethical stakes of multiple forms of film violence, including state violence, gendered violence, heroic and anti-heroic violence, and spectacular, extreme, or fantasmatic violence. Further, we will ask what forms of sociality or intersubjective relations these differing modes of violence posit or problematize, to gain insight into broader questions concerning the anti-sociality of violence and the prevalence of film violence in the social, cultural, and historical contexts of contemporary East Asia. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1202J. Faking Globalization: Media, Piracy and Urbanism.

This course explores issues related to media, piracy, and development—centering on two entangled processes: faking and globalization. It asks: how do we understand globalization? And what does it mean to fake, forge or fail at it? We will examine theories of globalization and global media as well as challenges to dominant models of neoliberal modernity. Key examples include "pirate modernity," "information feudalism," parasites, terrorists, copycats and other markers of excess or imitation. Rather than dismissing alternative or counter-globalization practices as aberrations, the course examines how faking globalization enables both new forms of control and capacities in political society. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1202K. Garibaldi Panorama: the Invention of a Hero (from pre-cinema to digital) (ITAL 1340).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1340.

Course usage information

MCM 1202L. The Many Faces of Casanova (ITAL 1400J).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1400J.

Course usage information

MCM 1202M. Issues in Contemporary Hollywood Cinema.

How can we begin to think about contemporary Hollywood? This course examines Hollywood filmmaking from the end of the studio era through the present. It interrogates the concept of "classical Hollywood cinema" as it persists, develops, and/or attenuates outside of its natural habitat under the studio monopolies, addressing topics and areas like genre revisionism, New Hollywood, technological development, postmodernity/simulation, digitization, corporatization, merchandising, globalization, Vietnam, counterculture, Reaganism, 9/11, etc. Films by the likes of Sirk, Fuller, Hitchcock, Peckinpah, Kubrick, Scorsese, Coppola, Cassavetes, Polanski, Malick, Spielberg/Lucas, Carpenter, Bigelow, Cameron, Scott, Verhoeven, Lynch, Nolan, Peter Jackson, Jonze, P.T. Anderson, Rian Johnson, Winding Refn. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1202N. Performance Theory and World Theatre History: Paleolithic to Medieval (TAPS 1230).

Interested students must register for TAPS 1230.

Course usage information

MCM 1202P. Fellini (ITAL 1030A).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1030A.

Course usage information

MCM 1202Q. Word, Media, Power in Modern Italy (ITAL 1590).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1590.

Course usage information

MCM 1202R. Rhetorics of New Media.

Digital technologies have shaped culture, but they've also shaped how we talk about culture, and about art, bodies, and communities. Is there political potential in the trend toward computerization? Or might technophilia and technocracy obstruct collective betterment? We’ll study the legitimizing rhetorics of our increasingly digital present, and read electronic literature, print sci-fi, film, games, and art, along with cultural theory spanning the past half century. Historically arrayed, our topics range from globalization to the aesthetics of code, the newness of new media, technics-out-of-control, gamification of war, technologies of race and gender, digital narratology, and the ideology of computationalism. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0220, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 50 sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1202S. Click Here to Continue: Bodies, Identities and Practices in a Digital Age.

Why is the notion of ‘post-racial’ synonymous with this digital age? How are political and social effects visible not only in the practice of digital technology, but in the underlying structure itself?

Crossing the fields of digital humanities, critical theory, feminist theory, race studies, and new media studies, this course considers how technology is a constant reflection of fantasies and fears. We will consider the interplay between users, humans, bodies, avatars, code and systems as we simultaneously practice and critique the prevalent forms of digital technology in our lives today. Readings include work by Nakamura, Gonzalez, Haraway and Coleman.

Course usage information

MCM 1202T. Perverse Cinema (ENGL 1762A).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1762A.

Course usage information

MCM 1202U. Sex and Sexuality in American Film.

What is the connection between “sex” and “sexuality,” and how do these terms intersect in film and theory? In this course, we take a long historical view of both mainstream and experimental American film. We look at how sex and sexuality have been depicted on screen, while exploring cinema’s role in the construction of diverse, often radical, identities and practices. We test a range of critical approaches—deconstruction, feminism, close reading, queer historiography—to the theory of sexuality, and read major figures in film from Greta Garbo, Orson Welles, and Rock Hudson to Lizzie Borden, Divine, and the Brokeback cowboys.

Course usage information

MCM 1202X. Twentieth-Century Western Theatre and Performance (TAPS 1250).

Interested students must register for TAPS 1250.

Course usage information

MCM 1202Y. World Cinema in a Global Context (ITAL 1029).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1029.

Course usage information

MCM 1202Z. Native Americans in the Media: Representation and Self-Representation on Film (ETHN 1890G).

Interested students must register for ETHN 1890G.

Course usage information

MCM 1203A. Gaming of the Oppressed: Theory and Design.

This course gives an overview of various types of “serious games” or “anti-oppressive games” that range from videogames to immersive transmedia storytelling games. We will explore issues of why gaming is so enticing and the potential games have through their history, procedure, and design. We will then examine the role games play in our everyday lives and games’ potential for understanding motivation, education, and labor. Students will also work with complimentary theories of race formation, queer theory, and gender identity. At the end of the semester, students have the opportunity to create their own game.

Course usage information

MCM 1203B. Politics + Aesthetics of Hollywood.

Hollywood is an industry, a cultural bellwether, and a globally distributed artform. This course will consider these functions together, asking how Hollywood’s aesthetics connect to its ideology and commerce. Focusing on the post-studio life of Hollywood, and on Hollywood’s preoccupation with sex and violence, we’ll pay special attention to the genres of melodrama and crime film, 1945-2000. We’ll read film theory, “Hollywood novels,” and documents of film culture, and watch films by filmmakers who were central to the industry (like Hitchcock and Minnelli) as well as by those at its margins (from Lupino and Waters to Burnett and Cronenberg).

Course usage information

MCM 1203C. Tv Time Machine: History, Representation, Politics.

How does television both document and represent historical events? This course examines American history “as seen on TV”: how viewers watch noteworthy events live; how television archives crucial moments and time periods; and how genres such as the news, period drama and sitcom, and reality TV differ in their representations. We consider what makes television a unique medium for which to study history, particularly focusing on questions of gender, class, race, and sexuality. Utilizing approaches including the study of collective memory, historiography, aesthetic and textual analysis, and media theory, we will assess the imbrication of American history and popular culture.

Course usage information

MCM 1203D. Back to the Future: Nostalgia and Futurity in Contemporary Sci-Fi TV and Telefantasy.

How do contemporary science fiction and fantasy television programs not only imagine our future, but also our past? How do visions of the future from the past inform both of these genres today? And what does contemporary TV’s nostalgic longing for futures past suggest about where the medium is headed? This course addresses these and other related questions while providing students with an overview of contemporary English-language sci-fi and fantasy television. The course combines elements of both the lecture and seminar, and will included screenings of such varied programs as Babylon 5, True Blood, and Dr. Who.

Course usage information

MCM 1203E. Intellectual Life and Culture in the Post-Western World.

No one alive today has experience of a world in which the United States is not the leading economic power. This is the world we shall all encounter, however, very soon. Such headlines are small indices of an emerging post-Western future. We will investigate the intellectual, political and aesthetic culture of this future. What will change when Judaeo-Christian societies no longer monopolize global conversation? When societies that have historically rejected Western capitalism come to dominate it? What new ideas will be unleashed in such a world, and what will their consequences be for our thinking about politics, economy and identity? This is a half-credit course.

Course usage information

MCM 1203G. East Asian Internet Cultures.

This course examines the social, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions of internet life in China, Japan, and South Korea. Our focus will be on the formal diversity of internet use (including websites, social media, mobile phones, blogs, gaming, and streaming video); the relationship between the internet and other media (literature, film, animation, documentary); and interdisciplinary methods for studying online life. By considering how the internet has developed in each country and how it has reshaped identity, sociality, politics, public space, and aesthetic form, we will work towards building a conceptual and critical vocabulary for the comparative study of internet cultures.

Course usage information

MCM 1203H. The Visual Culture of Freedom.

Organized around three classics of anticolonial thought by M.K. Gandhi, C.L.R. James, and Frantz Fanon, this course aims to formulate the relationship between visual media and the pursuit of freedom across the globe. We will critically examine various forms of resistance, from insurgency to civil disobedience, from fugitivity to refusal, in the theatre of colonialism. Through visual materials like the monster film, human rights photos, and new wave cinema, we will consider the cultural mechanisms of othering, stereotyping, removal, and exoticization that constitute the history of colonial rule and determine the course of resistance against it.

Course usage information

MCM 1203I. Media, or Affect.

The concept of affect—what we feel, what our bodies do and can do—is now at the center of vibrant theoretical debates. This course selectively surveys the “affective turn,” focusing on four related areas: 1) the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza and its influence today; 2) the work of Deleuzian theorist Brian Massumi, who rejects the very concepts of media and mediation; 3) developments in film theory and new media theory following from Spinoza, Deleuze and Massumi; 4) psychoanalytic accounts of affect that endeavor to reaffirm mediation, representation, and sexuation against affective immediacy. Films by Malick, Cronenberg, Resnais, and others.

Course usage information

MCM 1203J. Anime Studies.

The scholarly study of anime has rapidly matured over the past few years, and now represents a key site for debates over the social status of drawn characters, the role of animation within larger media ecologies, and the transnational reach of Japanese popular culture. Through close engagement with the central books in anime studies and the major works of anime history, this course examines how anime has forced the rethinking of gender, sexuality, labor, intellectual property, narrative form, and the convergence of on and off-screen space.

Course usage information

MCM 1203K. Sharing.

What is sharing? What exactly is shared? Do we "own" what we share or is sharing in conflict with ownership? When something is shared, does it become a "common" or being revealed as such? Is it divided into small “units of ownership,” i.e., "shares"? What authorizes our ownership, and what can be shared? Which rights are presupposed or invoked in the act of sharing? And who are ‘we’ who share? We shall examine practices of “sharing” from the constitution of archives to the web and look at how different practices and technologies imply distinct concepts of sharing.

Course usage information

MCM 1203L. Media and Everyday Life in Japan.

This course examines how media use intersects with the aesthetics of everyday life in modern Japan. We will examine the role of mediation through Japan’s tumultuous modern history, from the early 20th century to the early 21st, drawing on accounts from a range of creative works and critical studies. In the process, we will map out shifts in the circulation of emotion, the border between private and public, the deployment of routine and habit, and the objective design of the ordinary.

Course usage information

MCM 1203M. Recent Experiments in American Fiction (ENGL 1710R).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1710R.

Spr MCM1203M S01 25607 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1203O. Modernity, Italian Style (ITAL 1030B).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1030B.

Spr MCM1203O S01 25910 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1203Q. Potential History Lab: What is Slavery?.

Is Slavery over? Using photographs, films, paintings and objects as records of slavery we will study slavery as a condition that concerns the the enslaved people, people enslaving, and their descendants who continue to share the political space. We will ask what it means to end such a long lasting political and economic condition, while the riches and treasures produced by those who were enslaved have never been restituted or redistributed. Focusing mainly on the US and Congo, students will create visual archives and use them as a critical tool for studying slavery as a lasting political and scopic regimes. DPLL LILE

Spr MCM1203Q S01 25907 TTh 1:00-2:20(10) (A. Azoulay)
Spr MCM1203Q F01 25908 W 7:00-11:00PM (A. Azoulay)
Course usage information

MCM 1203R. Visual Politics in Contemporary Middle East (MES 1200).

Interested students must register for MES 1200.

Fall MCM1203R S01 17490 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1500C. Archaeology of Multimedia.

A historical and theoretical study of "multimedia" from magic lanterns to the Internet. Examines the ways in which media have always been multiple and have always impacted on each other, as well as the ways that various media discourses constitute an "archive" of the knowable and sayable.

Course usage information

MCM 1500D. Contemporary Film Theory.

Major arguments in film theory from the late 1960s to the present, contextualized by contemporaneous intellectual tendencies and selected films. Some key issues: cinematic specificity and signification, the politics of form and style, subjectivity/spectatorship, gender/sexuality, postmodern media, digital theory and cinema. Readings from figures such as Baudry, Bordwell, Deleuze, Doane, Elsaesser, Gunning, M. Hansen, Heath, Jameson, Koch, Manovich, Metz, Mulvey, Pasolini, Rodowick, L. Williams, Willemen, Wollen, etc. Enrollment limited to 15. Prerequisite: one MCM core course.

Course usage information

MCM 1500J. Feminist Theory and the Problem of the Subject.

Readings in contemporary feminist theory and 20th-century theories of subjectivity. Topics include interpellation, modes of address, apostrophe, positionality; texts include Butler, Haraway, Spillers, Spivak. Previous work in feminist theory strongly recommended.

Course usage information

MCM 1500K. Film and the Avant-Garde.

An examination of film's historical relations with various avant-garde movements from surrealism, French Impressionism, German Expressionism, and Dadaism to the theoretically informed independent film of the 1970s and beyond. However, the goal of the course is not a historical survey but the investigation of various conceptualizations of "avant-gardism" and its relation to modernity, mass-culture, and technology.

Course usage information

MCM 1500L. Film Theory.

Major positions in the history of film theory, contextualized by both contemporaneous filmmaking and intellectual approaches (phenomenology, Marxism, structuralism/poststructuralism, feminism, etc.) Key issues include: cinematic specificity, cinematic representation and the real, the politics of form and style, cinema and language, subjectivity and spectatorship, film and postmodern "media." Readings in Munsterberg, Arnheim, Kracauer, Bazin, Balazs, Metz, Heath, Mulvey, Williams.

Course usage information

MCM 1500O. Film Theory: From Classical Film Theory to the Emergence of Semiotics.

Readings from earliest film theory through the emergence of cinema semiotics, with awareness of contemporaneous filmmaking and underlying philosophical and ideological tendencies. Some key issues: cinematic specificity and relations to other media; the politics of cinema; filmic representation and the real; cinema, modernity, and modernism; mass culture debates; cinema, language and signification. Readings drawn from Adorno, Arnheim, Balázs, Bazin, Benjamin, Bergson, Debord, Eco, Eisenstein, Epstein, Kracauer, Lukács, Merleau-Ponty, Metz, Munsterburg, Pasolini, Sartre, Wollen, etc. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students.

Course usage information

MCM 1500S. In the Public's Eye: Publicity and Surveillance.

Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena from the paparazzi to digital surveillance, from the commodification of privacy to reality television, in order to analyze this convergence's impact on theories of public sphere. Theoretical and historical readings. Class hours include viewing time.

Course usage information

MCM 1500X. Middlemarch and the Sopranos.

The world of The Sopranos has been called "a postmodern Middlemarch, whose inhabitants' moral and spiritual development (or devolution) unfolds within a parochial social milieu." This course offers a comparative analysis of Eliot's 1871-72 novel and HBO's (continuing) television drama, juxtaposing these two very popular, very powerful serializations in formal, thematic, ideological and narrative terms.

Course usage information

MCM 1501B. Nation and Identity: The Concept of National Cinema.

Comparative study of constructions of nationhood in films and written texts about cinema. Interrogation of the discursive, political and epistemological power achieved by different version of the concept "national cinema" and the kinds of collective identities they imagine, from early cinema to globalized media. Readings by theorists, historians and filmmakers. Screenings from pertinent contexts (e.g. Weimar Germany, U.S. classical cinema, Japanese 1930s, third cinema, New German Cinema, New Chinese cinema, multinational corporate cinema, etc.)

Course usage information

MCM 1501C. National Cultures/Global Media Spheres.

Contemporary cultural practices and media processes are often described as being implicated in "globalization," but this is a linkage that may well predate the present. This course examines theoretical, historical, and critical texts that conceive of media culture through notions of globalization, with attention to the status of nation and cultural identity in a transnational context.

Course usage information

MCM 1501I. Reading Marx.

What is it to read Marx now? We will begin with a group of key texts written by Marx drawn from different points in his development, including the first volume of Capital and sections from the other volumes. We will study influential later reinterpretations and commentaries on Marx that argue for his contemporary importance (drawn from figures such as Althusser, Balibar, J. Butler, Derrida, Haraway, Hardt, Negri, Virno, Zizek, etc.

Course usage information

MCM 1501K. Seeing Queerly: Queer Theory, Film, Video.

While cinema has typically circumscribed vision along (hetero) sexually normative lines, can film also empower viewers to see "queerly"? How do we, as sexual subjects (gay and straight), "look" in the cinema, in both senses of the word? How have sexual desires been portrayed across film history, and how might audiences wield the look, appropriating or creating imagery with which to (re)formulate subjectivity and sexuality? This course addresses such questions as it considers both "mainstream" and "alternative" productions. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.

Course usage information

MCM 1501N. Television Time and Space.

Explores television's temporal and spatial construction, considering how television demarcates time (regulating it through flow and segmentation, articulating work and leisure times, marking familial and national events, encouraging rhythms of reception) and space (mapping public and private space, defining a "global media culture" through local viewings, representing and enacting travel and exchange, creating imaginary geographies and communities).

Course usage information

MCM 1501O. Television, Gender, and Sexuality.

This course investigates how television produces and reproduces constructions of gender and sexuality through its institutional form (as it maps relations between the public and the private, the domestic and the social, the inside and the outside), narrative patterns (as it circulates family romances, links gender and genre, and mediates sexual and social tensions), and spectatorial relations (as it variously addresses viewers as sexed and gendered subjects, consumers and commodities, familial and defamiliarized viewers). DPLL

Course usage information

MCM 1501Q. The Close-Up: Theory and Practice.

An examination of the use of the close-up in film and theory, from the "primitive" cinema to IMAX and from Münsterberg to Aumont and Deleuze. Special attention to the way in which the close-up has been associated insistently with the face and its heightened cultural significance, with the advent of a "cinematic language," and with questions of cinematic space and scale.

Course usage information

MCM 1501W. The Rhetoric of New Media.

An examination of contemporary theories and practices of "new media," but in particular cyberspace; investigates the ways in which information technologies are challenging our inherited ideas about knowledge and ethics. All written work for the seminar will be digital. Application required. Occasional screenings to be announced during semester.

Course usage information

MCM 1502B. Publicity and Surveillance.

Investigates the converging technologies and practices of publicity and surveillance. Considers phenomena such as webcams, face recognition technology and networked art, as well as concepts such as enlightenment, paranoia and exhibitionism. Theoretical, historical and legal readings.

Course usage information

MCM 1502C. Race And/As Spectacle.

Theoretical and historical examination of race and/as spectacle, from 19th century world fairs and exhibitions to 20th century media events. Focuses on the productive relationship between race and media, from early cinema to the Internet.

Course usage information

MCM 1502E. Theories of the Photographic Image.

Examines the history of attempts to assimilate the photographic image to a theory of representation. Will analyze theories of photography, chronophotography, film with respect to issues of time, subjectivity, historicity, the archive. Will also address the rise of the digital image and its potential threat to photography. Readings in Kracauer, Benjamin, Bourdieu, Barthes, Batchen, Marey, Bazin, Aumont and others.

Course usage information

MCM 1502H. Information, Discourse, Networks.

What is information and how can we understand its relation to narrative, networks and power? this course offers a historical and theoretical examination of the rise of information and networks. Key issues include: the relationships between cybernetics and humanistic theories, information and language, the rise of big data, questions of gender, sexuality and race.

Course usage information

MCM 1502J. Race as Archive.

Examination of the importance of race to the logic and practice of biological, technological and cultural archives. Engaging the similarities and differences between the categorization of race in these fields, the course will focus on race as a justification for archives more broadly, and race as an archival trace "evidence" of a biological or cultural history. Readings will be theoretical, historical and literary. Preferences given to students in Modern Culture and Media, Art-Semiotics, Modern Culture and Media- German, Modern Culture and Media-Italian, Semiotics-French, Ethnic Studies, and Science & Technology Studies. All others seek permission from the instructor.

Course usage information

MCM 1502K. Real TV.

How does television bring "real" events to us? How do we know what's "real"? What kinds of "realities" exist on television, and how do they operate (in relationship to one another, to TV fantasy, and to our everyday lives)? This course will consider not only some specific "reality genres" (news, catastrophe coverage, "surveillance programming," documentary and docudrama, talk and game shows, reality series and "docu-soaps") but the representational modes that define the reality of commercial television as a whole. Issues to be addressed include: TV "liveness," crisis and scandal, therapeutic discourses, "surveillance society," media simulation, realism and anti-realism, civic and commercial discourses, and television's construction of history and knowledge. Preference given to graduate students, seniors, and juniors in Modern Culture & Media and Art-Semiotics. Prerequisites - two of the following: MCM 0100, 0150, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class for an application for admission by instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 1502N. Derrida and Telecommunications.

Derrida famously proclaimed that writing preceded speech¿rendering all communications a form of writing¿but he also argued that the history of psychoanalysis would have been different if Freud had used e- instead of snail-mail. Tracing Derrida's thought re. telecommunications from Grammatology to Writing Machines, as well as engaging his interlocutors (Samuel Weber, Avital Ronell, etc.), this course examines the importance of medium-specificity to post-structuralism. Prerequisite - two of the following: MCM 0100, 0150, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, 1110. Preferences given to juniors and seniors in Modern Culture and Media, Art-Semiotics, Modern Culture and Media-German, Modern Culture and Media-Italian, Semiotics-French, Science Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, English, Gender Studies, and Philosophy. All other seek permission from the instructor.

Course usage information

MCM 1502P. Nation and Identity in Cinema.

Comparative study of constructions of nationhood in films, different cinematic strategies, and written texts about cinema. We will examine the discursive, political and epistemological power achieved by different versions of the concept of "national cinema" and the kinds of collective identities they imagine, from early cinema to current globalized media. Readings by theorists, historians and filmmakers. Screenings from pertinent contexts (for example, Weimar Germany, U.S. classical cinema, Japanese 1930s, third cinema, New German Cinema, New Chinese cinema, multinational corporate cinema, etc). Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.

Course usage information

MCM 1502T. Film Noir: Femmes Fatales, Urban Space, and Paranoia.

An examination of film noir, concentrating on the classic films of the 1940s and 1950s, but also investigating film noir's relation to German Expressionism as well as remakes and reincarnations of the genre such as Blade Runner. We will discuss various methodologies: psychoanalysis, ideological analysis, close textual analysis, the historiography of noir. Films by Lewis, Tourneur, Wilder, Hawks, Lang, Pabst, Welles, Preminger, Hitchcock, Ray. Readings in Copjec, Zizek, Naremore, Dimendberg, Vernet, Jameson. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM senior concentrators and MCM graduate students; other qualified students must obtain permission from the instructor.

Course usage information

MCM 1502U. Media and Memory: Representing the Holocaust.

The Holocaust has been described as unimaginable, at the limits of representation. Yet there have been numerous attempts to imagine and represent it, across media (film, television, graphic novels), genres (documentary, melodrama, comedy, fantasy), and modalities (through history and memory, "high" and "low" culture, fiction and nonfiction, reporting and marketing). Considering such attempts to represent the unrepresentable and "mediate" the immediacy of trauma, this course will explore media texts and theoretical/philosophical reflections on the Holocaust. Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: one of the following: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Preference given to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. All others seek permission from the instructor.

Course usage information

MCM 1502V. Theories of the Body and the Limits of Constructionism.

Scholars currently argue that cultural constructionism went too far, that theories of subjectivity that dominated the academy for over two decades neglected the materiality of the body. We will examine these criticisms as well as what it means to theorize the body. Readings include Merleau-Ponty (phenomenology), Freud and Dolto (psychoanalysis), Damasio (neurology), Fausto-Sterling (biology), Butler, Grosz, Kirby, Moore, Wilson, etc. Enrollment limited to 20. Prerequisite: one related MCM course.

Course usage information

MCM 1502X. Race and/as Technology.

This course asks: to what extent can race be considered a technology? That is, not an identity that is true or false, but rather a technique that one uses, even as one is used by it? Ranging from contemporary cyborgs to early 20th century eugenics, it investigates what race does, regardless of what we think it is. Readings will be theoretical, historical and literary. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. All other seek permission from the instructor. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. DPLL

Course usage information

MCM 1502Y. Simulation Speed Implosion: Theories of Media Technology.

Jean Baudrillard and Paul Virilio are generally regarded as two of media studies most notorious pessimists and hyperbolists. Yet they are also theorists who treat the media as technological systems that transcend the traditionally held boundaries of the cultural, economic, social and political. This course will place Baudrillard and Virilio in a context of media theory and technology studies rooted in the work of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan while demonstrating important differences between these figures. We will engage in close readings of Baudrillard's and Virilio's major works as well as some of the writings of their interlocutors. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.

Course usage information

MCM 1502Z. Art Cinema and Its Legacy.

Art cinema is associated with directors who achieved international prominence after World War II, with unconventional narrative films that were understood as expressions of original artistic subjectivities and film movements like the French New Wave (e.g., Antonioni, Bergman, Fellini, Godard, Resnais, and many others). Art cinema defined how many imagined non-Hollywood cinema in a global context, but was neither avant-garde nor necessarily political. Its legacy persists to the present, for example, in the reception of recent Iranian cinema and New Taiwanese cinema. We will study its aesthetic and textual strategies, its significance in global film history, and its theoretical implications. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.

Course usage information

MCM 1503A. The Ethics of Romanticism (ENGL 1560Y).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1560Y.

Course usage information

MCM 1503B. Jane Austen and George Eliot (ENGL 1560A).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1560A.

Fall MCM1503B S01 16746 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1503C. "Terrible Beauty": Literature and the Terrorist Imaginary (ENGL 1760I).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1760I.

Spr MCM1503C S01 25566 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1503D. W. G. Sebald and Some Interlocutors (ENGL 1761Q).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1761Q.

Course usage information

MCM 1503E. Aesthetic Theory/Cultural Studies.

Aesthetic thought has a long and varied history, but aesthetic categories have recently become a central concern of cultural studies. This course combines readings in the history of aesthetics; twentieth-century work on aesthetics from various philosophical and disciplinary perspectives (from the "anti-aesthetic" to "a return to aesthetics"); and recent scholarship addressing (while not necessarily celebrating) the reemergence of aesthetic questions in cultural and media studies and the evolving relationship of the aesthetic to categories such as ideology, form, and virtuality. Readings from Schiller and Kant to Adorno, Berube, Foster, Ranciere, and Spivak. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503F. Critical Methodologies: Contemporary Literary Theory (ENGL 1900I).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1900I.

Course usage information

MCM 1503G. Representations of Suffering in History and Media.

This course will explore accounts of suffering in works on slavery, genocide, as well as extra-legal violence (lynching, gay bashing) in order to explore debates about the representation of violence and the use of new technologies of representation. Readings include historians, critical and legal theorists, and journalists. We will also explore recent debates around images of suffering and the reemergence of "shame" as a topic in the context of combatting violence and asserting identity in queer theory. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors, seniors and graduate students. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110, or instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 1503H. Literature and the Ideology of the Aesthetic (ENGL 1950B).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1950B.

Course usage information

MCM 1503I. Digital Media and Race: Ethnicity, Technicity, Embodiment.

Are we becoming post-racial in the digital age? This course questions what constitutes "race" through exploration of the ways technology affects identity. Turning to examples from new media art, World of Warcraft, cyborgs and cyberculture, the role of race in the "natural" body, and the formation of identity in online communities, we will explore the relationship between race and digital media. We draw upon critical race theory, critical theories of new media and technology, postcolonial theory and posthumanism to provide a clear and nuanced understanding of race and identity, situating it within the digital culture of our increasingly virtual world. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503J. Film Authors and Authorship.

Who is the "author" of a film? Drawing on readings about authorship from literary theory, semiotics, poststructuralism and film studies, and close attention tofilms by major American and international directors (e.g. Hitchcock, Welles, Mizoguchi, Antonioni, Tarkovsky, Godard, Akerman, Jodorowsky, Deren, Brakhage, Malick, Scorsese, Lynch, Kiarostami, Aronofsky, Nolan, Bigelow), this course examines theories and practices of film authorship and the historical development of the idea of film directors as authors within film criticism and theory. Film authorship will also be considered in relation to other formations such as genre, national cinema, gender, race, coloniality, etc. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503K. Memory and Modern Media: Permanence and Presence in Film and Digital Media.

Film and digital media, often claim to remember or preserve our experiences. But what does it mean to capture, catalogue and archive experiences by such media? How are mediated memories encoded within a larger cultural order? How do these media make fleeting moments permanent, lend an air of truth to the image, compose an archive of experiences? We will study key examples in photography, experimental and mainstream cinema, video art, and new media, which engage with memory and visuality. Readings include key critics and theorists concerned with these issues. Screenings will include Marey, Brakhage, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Frampton, and Marker. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503L. South Korean Cinema: From Golden Age to Korean Wave (EAST 1950U).

Interested students must register for EAST 1950U.

Course usage information

MCM 1503O. Market Economy, Popular Culture, and Mass Media in Contemporary China (EAST 1950G).

Interested students must register for EAST 1950G.

Course usage information

MCM 1503Q. Communication Culture and Literary Politics.

A common concept of "medium" ties communication culture to art and literature. But what's a medium? Is it basic material for a work of art, like a sculptor's clay? Is it a communications device, like a telephone? Or is it a means to share information, like a network? The course explores the social ramifications of these questions, while also considering how politics can mediate art and technology, not just the other way around. Materials include novels by Delany, Yamashita, Mackey, and LeGuin; video art; and media and community theory by Nancy, Terranova, Rancière, Riley, Mattelart, and Liu. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503S. Cinema and Memory.

This course investigates some of the major ways in which cinema has been associated with memory from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Drawing from the history of cinema practice and criticism, as well as from key theories of memory, it provides multiple frameworks for making sense of cinema as a technology of memory. While we will examine popular films, emphasis is also placed on local, minority, non-theatrical, and small-scale cinemas. Topics to be covered include film archives, prosthetic memory, trauma, community and home movies, race, migration, nostalgia, and postmodernism. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1503T. Sensing Time: Affect and the Moving Image (GNSS 1960R).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1960R.

Course usage information

MCM 1503V. Reading Michel Foucault.

A study of Foucault's work from his early texts through his last. We will look at the ways Foucault challenged conventional thinking with his theories of discourse, epistemic rupture, disciplinary formations, power, sexuality, biopolitics, governmentality, and the care of the self. We will examine the questions and tensions that drive Foucault's work internally and will consider the ways his thinking has been both used and perhaps abused. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. Prerequisite: MCM 0110, 0230, 0240, 0250, 0260, or 1110.

Course usage information

MCM 1503W. Getting Emotional: Passionate Theories (ENGL 1560W).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1560W.

Course usage information

MCM 1503X. The Ekphrastic Mode in Contemporary Literature (ENGL 1762B).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1762B.

Fall MCM1503X S01 16764 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1503Z. Dialogues on Feminism and Technology.

This experimental course asks students to reexamine the critical practices and discourses of science and technology through a feminist lens. “Dialogues on Feminism and Technology” is part of a worldwide network of feminist scholars, artists, and activists called femtechnet. We will ask students to consider how feminist thought contributes to computing, hacker culture, new media, nanotechnology, surrogacy, genetic culture, bioart, and a wide range of related topics. Students will be expected to participate in the discussion of the class both online and in person, give short presentations, write a research paper, and complete a creative assignment outlined in the syllabus. Limited to 20 juniors and seniors.

Course usage information

MCM 1504B. Democracy Among the Ruins (POLS 1823M).

Interested students must register for POLS 1823M.

Course usage information

MCM 1504G. Chinese Women, Gender, and Feminism from Historical and Transnational Perspectives (EAST 1950B).

Interested students must register for EAST 1950B.

Course usage information

MCM 1504H. The Panorama and 19th-Century Visual Culture (ITAL 1340).

Interested students must register for ITAL 1340.

Course usage information

MCM 1504L. Radical Poetics + World Cinema.

“Cinema is a language,” so they say. But what kind of language? Is it prose, telling stories about the world? Or is it poetry, with no formal rules but those it imposes upon itself, and with enough creative energy to remake or shatter the world? As we’ll see, “film poetry” has, since cinema was born, been a watchword to filmmakers and theorists for whom cinema might deform the world’s grotesque structures of power. We’ll read manifestoes of radical poetics and “film poetry”—authors range from Glissant and Kristeva to Ruiz and Pasolini—and watch political films from all seven continents.

Course usage information

MCM 1504M. The Politics and Practices of Digital Media.

Crossing the fields of digital humanities, critical theory, feminist theory, race studies, and new media studies, this course considers how technology is a constant negotiation of fantasies and fears, politics and practices. We will consider the negotiation between users, bodies, code and systems as we simultaneously practice and critique the prevalent forms of digital technology. We will address questions such as: how are political and social effects visible not only in the practice of digital technology, but in the underlying structures themselves? How are digital technologies both producing and produced by certain forms of sociality and cultural discourse?

Course usage information

MCM 1504Q. Reading Narrative Theory (ENGL 1950G).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1950G.

Course usage information

MCM 1504S. 1948 Photo Album: From Palestine to Israel (COLT 1440F).

Interested students must register for COLT 1440F.

Course usage information

MCM 1504T. Literature and Judgement (COLT 1813Q).

Interested students must register for COLT 1813Q.

Spr MCM1504T S01 25837 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1504V. Technologies of/and the Body: Mediated Visions (GNSS 1720).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1720.

Course usage information

MCM 1504X. Landscape and Japanese Cinema.

This class explores what a hundred years of Japanese cinema can reveal of the shifting meanings, emotions, and values ascribed to human and non-human landscapes. What role has film played in crafting our collective imagination of landscape and lived space? How does the meaning of “landscape” shift across time and culture? Engaging with a range of interdisciplinary approaches to these questions (including cultural studies, environmental history, philosophy, geography, and film theory), this seminar pairs an introduction to key works of Japanese film with a close look at the shifting landscapes at the base and the “background” of this cinema. WRIT

Course usage information

MCM 1504Y. Spatial Audio: Envelopment & Immersion.

Spatial Audio: Envelopment and Immersion investigates historical and contemporary theories and creative sound practices involving the perception, interpretation, and production of auditory space. Course participants analyze and explore how the sensation of space is activated in the listener through soundscapes, built environments, and audio technologies. Readings from psychology, philosophy, the arts, and sound studies support class discussions and students’ writings and projects that examine the reception and composition of works that exploit acoustic phenomena to create immersive experiences. Spatial audio techniques are introduced including the use of multichannel loudspeaker arrays, binaural and surround sound formats, reverberation effects, and recording strategies.

Course usage information

MCM 1504Z. Civil Disobedience — The Politics of Conscience.

From the Ancient Greeks’ Antigone and Lysistrata to Thoreau, Douglass, W.E.B DuBois. and Snowden, we look at individual and collective practices of objection to state violence, reading some of the great texts of civil disobedience and noting their traffic in religious, political, and ethical reasoning. We also study films, including the Antigone and Lysistrata, Citizen Four, Holding Their Ground, and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, a remake of the Lysistrata. We explore the genres -- tragedy, satire, memoir, documentary — in which conscience is appealed to as an individual or collective politics. One culture lab meeting with the Haffenreffer Museum. WRIT

Fall MCM1504Z S01 16748 F 3:00-5:30(11) (B. Honig)
Fall MCM1504Z F01 16749 W 7:00-11:00PM (B. Honig)
Course usage information

MCM 1505A. Television Realities.

This course investigates the construction of reality on U.S. television, considering not only specific reality genres (news and opinion programming, crisis and catastrophe coverage, surveillance and confessional video, documentary and docudrama, talk and game shows, reality series and "docu-soaps") but the discursive and representational modes that define the reality of commercial television as a whole. Issues include: media "liveness" and simulation, representation and "relevancy," therapeutic and neo-liberal discourses, naturalisms and supernaturalisms, independent video and alternative TV, new technologies and materialities.

Course usage information

MCM 1505B. Hitchcock: The Theory.

The films of Hitchcock bind together compelling narratives and meta-cinematic reflections by means of a single, distinctive shape or form. this method of construction has piqued the attention not only of cinema theorists, who look to Hitchcock to tell us about the nature of cinema and spectatorship, but also philosophers, who look to him to tell us about the nature of thinking, promising, doubting, and obsession.Examining the films themselves, alongside the philosophical speculations they have inspired, we will try to define the complex pleasure -- cinematic and cerebral -- they elicit.

Spr MCM1505B S01 24392 W 3:00-5:30(14) (J. Copjec)
Spr MCM1505B F01 24394 M 7:00-11:00PM (J. Copjec)
Course usage information

MCM 1505C. Cinema's Bodies (GNSS 1721).

Interested students must register for GNSS 1721.

Fall MCM1505C S01 16787 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1505D. The Men's Film, c. 2011 (ENGL 1760X).

Interested students must register for ENGL 1760X.

Fall MCM1505D S01 16777 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1505E. Theory and Practice of the Essay: Word/Image/Remix.

This course will approach the art of the essay in its written and cinematic renditions as we experiment with – and critique – the interactive and remix configurations of essayistic thinking in contemporary digital culture. What is (in) an essay? How do we write essays for the digital era? The goal is to develop essayistic literacy through the crafting of ideas in various platforms (word, image, interaction), highlighting the maker's subjective position while finding new ways of enjoying the pleasures of argumentation. How do we choose the technologies to best support and perform our thinking?

Fall MCM1505E S01 17430 Th 4:00-6:30(04) (D. Semerene)
Fall MCM1505E F01 17431 M 7:00-11:00PM (D. Semerene)
Course usage information

MCM 1505G. Critical Approaches to China (EAST 1950M).

Interested students must register for EAST 1950M.

Spr MCM1505G S01 25962 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1700A. Approaches to Digital Cinema.

An advanced seminar for students of film and video production. Examines the impact of digital technologies on the forms and practices of time-based media. A production seminar in which students undertake a semester-long project. Requires technical competence and completion of an intermediate level production class. Projects may include digital films, video, installations, and other media-based works. Application required.

Course usage information

MCM 1700B. Approaches to Narrative.

A production seminar for intermediate to advanced students in film and/or video production. Students complete a substantial media project in the course of the semester. Class meetings will focus on close readings and critical feedback of students' work during all phases of production. Texts related to narrative theory and production will be discussed. Screenings of exemplary works will supplement the class. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. An application will be completed during the first class session and the final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. S/NC

Course usage information

MCM 1700D. Reframing Documentary Production: Concepts and Questions.

An advanced seminar for students of video and/or film production. Focuses on the critical discussion and production of documentary media. A major project (10-20 minutes), three shorter works, and in-class presentations of work-in-progress required. Readings on the theory and practice of the form and weekly screenings augment the presentation of student work. Class members should have completed at least one time-based media class. Students are expected to be competent technically. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission.

Fall MCM1700D S01 15325 W 10:00-12:50(14) (A. Cokes)
Fall MCM1700D F01 15327 T 7:00-9:00PM 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1700F. Theory for Practice / Practice as Theory.

This advanced seminar explores the tensions between theory and practice in contemporary media and art works. The course examines how recent creative practices use theoretical concepts, and how practices today often include textual production or crucial theoretical implications. Requirements include: a major production project, short papers, presentations of work-in-progress, and weekly readings and screenings. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20. S/NC.

Spr MCM1700F S01 24084 W 10:00-12:50(10) (A. Cokes)
Spr MCM1700F F01 24085 Su 7:00-9:00PM (A. Cokes)
Course usage information

MCM 1700J. Tv/Tv: Commercial and Alternative Television.

Given the centrality of commercial television in our culture, what possibilities exist for independent television viewing and/or independent television production? How might we re-write TV, either by stimulating alternative readings and new interpretive practices or by creating alternative texts and new modes of transmission? Combining theory and practice (television studies and video production), this course will encourage students to critique commercial television through both media analysis and their own video work. Enrollment limited to 20. Preference given to advanced students (graduate students, seniors, juniors) in Modern Culture & Media, Art-Semiotics, MCM German, MCM Italian, Semiotics French and Visual Arts. Prerequisites: any two previous MCM courses. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class to fill out an application for admission by instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 1700M. Techniques of Surveillance.

In the decades since George Orwell wrote 1984, Big Brother has evolved from a menacing specter of government power into a form of entertainment--a reality TV show that makes a game of the camera's watchful eye. Yet from NSA wiretapping to Facebook, our images and words are relentlessly tracked and profiled. This production seminar investigates surveillance as an object of cultural fascination and as a means of production in cinema, television, social software, and media art. Students give presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, and Laura Mulvey. Enrollment limited to 20. S/NC

Course usage information

MCM 1700N. Open Source Culture.

Where do we draw the line between sampling and stealing? What would it mean to call a urinal a work of art? This production seminar explores the tension between artistic appropriation and intellectual property law, considering open source software as a model for cultural production. We will trace a history of open source culture from Cubist collage and the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp through Pop art and found footage film to Hip Hop and movie trailer mashups. Students give presentations and produce media art projects. Readings include Roland Barthes, Nicholas Bourriaud, and Rosalind Krauss. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE

Course usage information

MCM 1700P. Radical Media.

Walter Benjamin wrote that in the age of mechanical reproduction art ceases to be based on ritual and "begins to be based on another practice--politics." What is the relation between art and politics in an age of digital distribution? This course explores the nexus of media production and political action from the films of Sergei Eisenstein to WikiLeaks. Students give research-based presentations produce media art projects. Readings include Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière, and Claire Bishop. The final class list will be determined by the instructor. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE

Course usage information

MCM 1700Q. Approaches to Media Form.

A production seminar for advanced students, organized around the completion of a substantial film or video project. Screenings and discussions will emphasize alternative approaches to media practice. Students will conduct a series of presentations on their own work as it progresses. Intermediate level production class required. Application required. Applications (available at the MCM department) should be completed and returned. Decisions will be posted on the MCM office door at the beginning of pre-registration. Enrollment limited to 20. Instructors permission required. S/NC. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.

Course usage information

MCM 1700R. The Art of Curating.

It is sometimes said in contemporary art circles that curators are the new artists. Curating involves a wide range of activities, including research, selection, commissioning, collaboration with artists, presentation, interpretation, and critical writing. This production seminar considers curatorial practice as a form of cultural production, paying particular attention to questions of audience, ethical responsibility, and institutional context. Students give presentations, develop exhibition proposals, curate online exhibitions, and collaborate on gallery exhibitions, screenings, performance art presentations, or public art programs. Visiting curators present case-studies on recent projects. Readings include Pierre Bordieu, Douglas Crimp, and Boris Groys. Enrollment limited to 40. S/NC LILE

Course usage information

MCM 1700S. Narrative and Immersion.

A production course examining the potentials for engagement in new media installations. The course draws on techniques of narrative to establish engagement in immersive environments. Students will be introduced to cinematic concepts, interactive technologies, multi-channel video and surround sound environments. Classes meetings will consist of viewing and analysis of exemplary work, discussion of readings, and critiques of student projects. An additional 1-hour technical workshop will be devoted to learning Jitter. Class members should have completed advanced work in film/video, digital sound, and/or creative writing. Open to upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students. The final class list will be determined after the first class meeting, by permission of instructor. Lab times to be announced. S/NC

Course usage information

MCM 1700T. Approaches to Narrative.

A media production course concerned with practical and conceptual aspects of narrative in contemporary film and dv cinema. After attention to technique (use of 16mm film and digital cameras, lighting, sound and editing), the second half of the semester will be devoted to individual projects and discussion of them. Screenings and close analysis of contemporary narrative films from the current global renaissance in narrative cinema, involving filmmakers in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina, Greece, Portugal, etc. – partly led by feature filmmakers with backgrounds in the art world. Requirements include a group project and an individual, advanced level project in film/video. Application required. Application is available in the MCM office. Students must bring a completed application to the first class to be considered for admission. The final class list will be determined after this meeting, with permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors. S/NC

Course usage information

MCM 1700U. Experimental Data Representation.

Experimental Data Representation (EDR) focuses on generatively composed, multimedia experiences utilizing the large-scale, video wall within the Digital Scholarship Lab. This interdisciplinary course brings together students from Brown and RISD to explore the creation of screen-based visualizations via programs authored by course participants. EDR provides a platform for students to examine and design ways in which experiential variables (as output) may be algorithmically determined by data sets (as input). Readings and projects will engage areas such statistical graphics, cartography, multimodal interaction, data visualization, sonification, and media art. Instruction will be offered in programming environments: NodeBox, Processing, Max/MSP, and Pure Data. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 1700V. The Place of the Moving Image.

Our experience of moving image-based media is intimately connected to our experience of place. Moving images have a unique ability to record, document, and archive places, and to alter or even produce the experience of place itself. Through readings, screenings, and production work, this hybrid production/theory course confronts place as a dynamic process, as more than the backdrop against which concrete actions and concepts form. Readings in philosophy, critical theory, and media theory. Screenings from popular, art, and experimental film/media. Students will produce three media projects related to questions of place. Previous production experience and technical competence are required.

Course usage information

MCM 1700W. History, Theory and Practice of Storytelling Using Stereoscopic (“3D”) Motion Pictures (HMAN 1971C).

Interested students must register for HMAN 1971C.

Course usage information

MCM 1700X. New Genre: Site and Sound (VISA 1710).

Interested students must register for VISA 1710.

Course usage information

MCM 1700Y. Expanded Storytelling: Capture, Share and Expose.

How can we shoot a documentary inside an online videogame? How can we transform a historical archive into a dynamic narrative platform? How can we tell a story together with hundreds of other people? How can we create portraits with data retrieved from the Internet/mobile companies about ourselves? In this production course we will explore how emerging technologies and new habits of image making/sharing are challenging traditional forms of storytelling. In particular, we will focus on collaborative authorship, citizen journalism, fictional online persona creation, big data, and digital archives editing. Includes screenings, readings, technical-workshops (video/lighting/editing/coding), assignments, and a final project.

Fall MCM1700Y S01 15329 T 3:00-6:50(09) (M. Armstrong)
Course usage information

MCM 1701A. Art/Gender/Technology.

This production course explores and actively engages digital media and art practices that investigate questions of technology, gender, sexuality, and the body. Key topics include: cyberfeminism, gaming and virtual worlds, the social and the deep web, health apps and the datafication of the body, gendered social media bots, and affective digital labor. Technical workshops (on video/editing/coding/live-video-performance), guest speakers, and in-depth analysis of relevant case studies will provide students with the necessary skills and theoretical understanding to develop their own artworks during the course. This class is a Distributed Open Collaborative Course networked with FemTechNet. DPLL

Spr MCM1701A S01 24086 T 3:00-6:50(16) 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1701B. Hearing Image, Seeing Sound.

This course explores how composers, filmmakers, painters, and others have forged connections between sound and image, and how we might learn from them to create our own meaningful creative work. Our readings and screenings will dig deep into the geneologies of film sound, and students will create their own imaginative combinations of sound and image throughout the semester. Final projects will be screened, performed, and/or exhibited publicly at the end of the semester. Note: although there will be a few labs, students should have experience with media production of some kind, be it sonic or visual.

Course usage information

MCM 1701C. Advanced Digital Language Arts.

Interested students must register for LITR 1010D.

Fall MCM1701C S01 17265 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1701D. Writing3D (LITR 1010G).

Interested students must register for LITR 1010G.

Spr MCM1701D S01 25909 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 1701E. Experimental Narrative.

With film well into its 2nd century, a large body of work has emerged that plays with, around, and against conventions of classical cinema. Specifically, what we understand to be traditional narrative structures, such as drama, documentary, and action films. In fact, experimental narrative now has some of its own genres, which are to be found in both mainstream and fringe media. The goal of this class is to investigate some of these forms of experimental narrative. It is predicated on a basic understanding of narrative conventions, and designed to encourage students to make work that challenges those conventions.

Fall MCM1701E S01 17450 W 2:00-4:50 (J. Montgomery)
Fall MCM1701E F01 17451 W 5:00-6:50 (J. Montgomery)
Course usage information

MCM 1970. Directed Research: Modern Culture and Media.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. 
Time dedicated to the project should fall within the recommended range for independent studies (10-20 hours per week).

Course usage information

MCM 1990. Honors Thesis/Project in Modern Culture and Media.

Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course. Eighth semester students only. 
Time dedicated to the project should fall within the recommended range for independent studies (10-20 hours per week).

Course usage information

MCM 2100A. Contemporary Feminist Theory and the Problem of the Subject.

Recent feminist theory represents the persistence of identity politics and the problem of the subject in various forms: through the "intersectionality" of race, class and gender; in the idioms of psychoanalysis; in terms of the "queer" subject. We will examine these often conflicting theories and the subjects of feminism they invoke with particular attention to the modes of address.

Course usage information

MCM 2100B. Culture and Criticism in Marxist Theory.

Major texts and arguments in 20th and 21st century theories, with emphasis on the Western Marxist Western Marxist thought, from Lukács through the present. Focus on problems in the conception and reading of culture and cultural texts, with some emphasis on cinema and other media where possible. Where appropriate, consideration of interaction with other major theoretical frameworks (e.g., aesthetics, phenomenology, semiotics, psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial criticism, globalization theory, etc.) Readings from theorists such as Lukacs, Benjamin, Eisenstein, Bakhtin, Adorno, Sartre, S. Hall, Mouffe, Virno, Spivak, Lazaratto, Jameson, Zizek, etc. Some screenings. Enrollment limited to 12 graduate students. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission.

Spr MCM2100B S01 24820 F 2:00-4:30(07) (P. Rosen)
Spr MCM2100B F01 24821 T 7:00-11:00PM (P. Rosen)
Spr MCM2100B F02 24822 Th 7:00-11:00PM (P. Rosen)
Course usage information

MCM 2100G. Freud and Lacan.

Readings of major texts by Freud and Lacan will stress the relations between language, subjectivity and sexuality and the feminist use and/or critique of psychoanalytic concepts. We will also look at texts by other theorists (e.g. Melanie Klein, Heinz Kohut) and investigate the clinical implications of various approaches. Familiarity with semiotic and poststructuralist theory required. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM graduate students; other qualified graduate students and MCM seniors must obtain permission from the instructor.

Course usage information

MCM 2100J. Space and Time in Media Discourse.

The course asks how space and time are conceptually, socially and aesthetically constructed thru different media. Perspectival constructions of space and time were always in the center of analysis when it came to cultural representations of the subject. Here will be the main focus of the course: Reconstructing the discourses on perspectivism (Nietzsche), pictorial perspective (Renaissance perspective) and temporalities of media like seriality, repetition, duration etc. During the course we will look on concepts of narrative and temporal perspectives in the context of general theories of time as well as in the context of specific media as photography and film.

Course usage information

MCM 2100O. Queer Theories.

This course will engage with possibilities and problems of queer theorizing, from the emergence of queer theory, through its (precarious) institutionalization, to its multiplied interventions. Rather than understanding queer theory as a unified approach, we will consider a range of queer theoretical work as well as challenges within queer analysis itself. Issues to be explored include formations of gender and sexuality, race and nation, epistemology and ethics, politics and communities, subjectivities and socialities, identifications and disidentifications, bodies and pleasures, publics and privates, and the temporalities and locations of our world. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.

Fall MCM2100O S01 16751 W 3:00-5:30(17) (L. Joyrich)
Course usage information

MCM 2100P. Around 1948: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Transformation (ENGL 2901F).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2901F.

Spr MCM2100P S01 25602 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 2100Q. Lacan vs. Foucault.

On a number of issues, Lacan and Foucault seem to be aligned. How, then, to account for The History of Sexuality in which Foucault negatively engages not psychoanalysis per se, but psychoanalytic doxa instead? Why this oblique attack? This seminar will compare Foucault's account of psychoanalysis with the actual arguments of Freud and Lacan. It will also compare the responses of Foucault and Lacan to the events of May '68; examine their opposed readings of Las Meninas; and consider their different relations to and theories of neo-liberalism. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.

Spr MCM2100Q S01 24395 T 1:20-3:50(10) (J. Copjec)
Course usage information

MCM 2110B. Freud and Lacan.

This course will stress the relations between language, subjectivity and sexuality and the feminist use and/or critique of psychoanalytic concepts. Familiarity with semiotic and poststructuralist theory required. Additional readings in Laplanche, Weber, Zizek, Gallop, Butler.

Course usage information

MCM 2110E. The Reading Effect and the Persistence of Form (ENGL 2900M).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2900M.

Course usage information

MCM 2110M. Literary Theory I: Continental Aesthetics and the Questions of Politics (COLT 2650M).

Interested students must register for COLT 2650M.

Course usage information

MCM 2110N. Literary Theory II: Post-Structuralism and the Problem of the Subject (ENGL 2901B).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2901B.

Course usage information

MCM 2110O. Reading Remains.

The question “What is it to read?” animates a wide range of critical discourses, cutting across disciplines and media forms. This course interrogates the tenacity of the question of reading, from the invention of the “New Criticism” in the twentieth century to contemporary polemics for the “critique of critique.” We will examine concepts of “close” and “distant” reading, hermeneutics of suspicion, and the “symptomatic” reader; examine potentially cognate terms for the “reader”: “spectator,” “user,” “gamer”; and consider the ways in which literary models shape subsequent accounts of interpretation and “new” media impact our understanding of what it means to read.

Spr MCM2110O S01 24396 M 3:00-5:30(13) (E. Rooney)
Course usage information

MCM 2120A. Media Archaeology.

Provides an intellectual history of "Media Archaeology," focusing on contributions by the "SophienstraBe" departments of Humboldt University in Berlin and on the importance of Marshall McLuhan and Michel Foucault, amongst others, to its development. Readings by Friedrich Kittler, Wolfgang Erst, Cornelia Vismann.

Course usage information

MCM 2120B. New Media Theory.

An interdisciplinary investigation of "New Media Theory," bringing together historically significant texts from the fields of media, film, literary, music, visual, HCI and cultural studies, with more recent texts in new media studies. As well as exposing students to the canon (from hypertext theory to software studies, HCI to media archaeology), the course will also address the question: what is at stake in the creation of this canon and this discipline? This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.

Course usage information

MCM 2120C. Cinema, State Violence and the Global.

Theoretical and political conceptions of state and global violence posed against the theory and history of cinema, as representational apparatus and as instruction. Special attention to the establishment of film as global medium around World War I; current issues around the global, state, and biopower; "postmodern media culture;" etc. Readings from sociopolitical theorists (e.g. Weber, Schmitt, Arendt, Foucault, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, etc.) and media scholars/theorists (e.g. Virillio, Prince, L. Williams, Miller, etc.) Enrollment limited to 20. Permission required for undergraduates only.

Course usage information

MCM 2120D. Derrida and Telecommunications.

Derrida famously proclaimed that writing preceded speech--rendering all communications a form of writing--but he also argued that the history of psychoanalysis would have been different if Freud had used e-instead of snail-mail. Tracing Derrida's thought re. telecommunications from Grammatology to Writing Machines, as well as engaging his interlocutors (Samuel Weber, Avital Ronell, etc.), this course examines the importance of medium-specificity to post-structuralism. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.

Course usage information

MCM 2120E. Cinema, Media Culture and Political Theory: Rancière and Others.

There is a strand of contemporary thinkers concerned with political theory, in whose writings media and especially film play significant roles. Jacques Rancière has produced a major body of work on political theory, on aesthetics, and on film as well as media culture. This class will focus on a close examination of his political theory, his conceptions of film and media, and relations between the two fields in his writings. For comparison, we will also look at smaller samples of texts on political theory and film drawn from figures such as Agamben, Badiou, Jameson, etc. Enrollment limited to 20. This class is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 2120F. Concepts of Space and Time in Media Discourses (HMAN 2970C).

Interested students must register for HMAN 2970C.

Course usage information

MCM 2120H. Objects of (and in) Animation.

The course focuses on the notion of animation as a general concept. This includes more than just the genre of animation films. It also includes the animation of objects that are neither organic nor alive: The animation of the machine. The technical object plays here an important role The focus will be on the discussion of concepts of film as medium of animation per se and on different procedures of animating. Our debates here will cover: cartoon, the digital, experimental and animated effects in film. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the animated character of film.

Course usage information

MCM 2120I. Why and How We are Looking for the Comical? Theories and Objects.

The course focuses on the notion of the comical as a general concept. This includes more than just different genres and techniques of comedies. We will start with a close reading of old and new theories of the comical in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and poetics. Why and about what are we laughing? This is a general question that concerns the specific cinematic and visual strategies in film. Along film theoretical and analytical texts we will further focus on visibility and vision and on picture/language gaps as media for filmic jokes, wit and humour. Course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergrads require permission.

Fall MCM2120I S01 16806 M 3:00-5:30(15) (G. Koch)
Course usage information

MCM 2300A. Real TV.

This course will investigate the construction of reality on U.S. television, considering not only specific reality genres (news and "magazine" programs, crisis coverage, docudrama, talk and game shows) but the discursive and representational modes that define the "reality" of commercial television as a whole. Issues include: "liveness"; social relevancy"; therapeutic discourse; TV personalities; media simulation; independent television; and new technologies/realisms.

Course usage information

MCM 2300B. Television, Gender and Sexuality.

This course investigates how television produces and reproduces constructions of gender and sexuality through its institutional form (as it maps relations between the public and the private, the domestic and the social, the inside and the outside), narrative patterns (as it circulates family romances, links gender and genre, and mediates sexual and social tensions), and spectatorial relations (as it variously addresses viewers as sexed and gendered subjects, consumers and commodities, familial and defamiliarized viewers). Enrollment limited to 20. Preference given to graduate students, and then to seniors and juniors in Modern Culture & Media, Art- Semiotics, MCM-German, MCM-Italian, Semiotics French and Gender and Sexuality Studies. Instructors permission required for all undergraduate students. Interested students who cannot pre-register should come to the first day of class to fill out an application for admission.

Course usage information

MCM 2300C. After Postmodernism: New Fictional Modes (ENGL 2760X).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2760X.

Course usage information

MCM 2300D. Historicism/Photographic Media: From Kracauer and Benjamin to the DEFA Documentary (GRMN 2660H).

Interested students must register for GRMN 2660H.

Course usage information

MCM 2300E. Things Not Entirely Possessed: Romanticism and History (ENGL 2561B).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2561B.

Course usage information

MCM 2300F. Animation.

The course focuses on the notion of animation as a general concept. This includes more than just the genre of animation films. We will start with an introduction into the tradition of the notion of 'livelihood' and the concept of the soul (e.g. anima): How is the spectator animated by film? Further we will proceed to texts that are discussing anthropological meanings of animation in the sense of animism. The main focus will then be on the discussion of general concepts of film as medium of animation per se and on different procedures of animating of and in film. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 2310C. Eisenstein and Political Modernism.

Eisenstein's theories and films are a formative moment in cinema and media history, bringing together the ambitions of politicized film and modernist aesthetics. From the first, they were invoked by a range of radical theorists and filmmakers all the way from Brecht and Benjamin to Metz and Deleuze, as well as a variety of filmmaking practices such as militant documentary, third cinema and Godard. In this seminar, we will intensively study Eisenstein's theories, filmic practices and shifting historical contexts, from the heady days of the politically and aesthetically avant-garde 1920s, through the transformations of his theories in the 1930s and 1940s (many only available posthumously) and of his later film projects (several unfinished). We will also trace out some filiations and rereadings of Eisenstein within the history of politically conversant modernist film practices and theories. Permission required for undergraduates only; undergraduates seeking permission must attend the first class session.

Course usage information

MCM 2310D. The Idea of a Medium.

What is a "medium" (a term we often seem to take for granted)? An examination of issues of medium specificity, intermediality, convergence, formalism and the idea of a "post-medium era," in relation to the media of print, photography, film, television, and digital media. We will also investigate the role of the museum and alternative screening or exhibition spaces as well as "virtual space" in delineating reception of the media. Enrollment limited to 20. Primarily for MCM graduate students; other qualified graduate students and MCM seniors must obtain permission after the first class. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.

Course usage information

MCM 2310E. TV Space and Time.

Explores television's temporal and spatial construction, considering how television demarcates time (regulating it through flow and segmentation, articulating work and leisure times, marking familial and national events, encouraging rhythms of reception) and space (mapping public and private space, defining a "global media culture" through local viewings, representing and enacting travel and exchange, creating imaginary geographies and communities). Enrollment limited to 20. Preferences given to graduate students. All others seek permission from the instructor. Students MUST register for the lecture section and the screening.

Course usage information

MCM 2310G. Cultural Studies and the Problem of Form.

This course examines the emergence and contemporary practice of "cultural studies" with a focus on concepts of form. We will consider cultural studies critiques of disciplines, canons, and the aesthetic; the politics of form; theories of reading and spectatorship; "popular" and "mass" forms; and competing definitions of culture as form arising in fields from visual and media studies to postcoloniality and queer theory. Readings from Williams, Hall, Mulvey, Althusser, Spivak, Deleuze, Hartman, Agamben, Sedgwick, Galloway. Instructor permission required. All students seeking permission must attend first class.

Course usage information

MCM 2310H. Television Realities.

How does television bring "real" events to us? How do we define or know what's "real"? What kinds of "realities" exist on television, and how do they operate (in relationship to one another, to TV fantasy, to social structures, and to our everyday lives)? This course will consider not only some specific "reality genres" (news, catastrophe coverage, "live" and "historical" programs, "surveillance programming," documentary and docudrama, talk and game shows, reality series and "docu-soaps") but the representational modes that define the reality of commercial television as a whole. Enrollment limited to 15 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.

Course usage information

MCM 2310I. At the Limits: Media Representation of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust has been described as unimaginable, at the limits of representation. Yet there have been numerous attempts to imagine and represent it, across media (film, television, graphic novels), genres (documentary, melodrama, comedy, fantasy), and modalities (through history and memory, "high" and "low" culture, fiction and nonfiction, reporting and marketing). Considering such attempts to represent the unrepresentable and mediate the immediacy of trauma, this course will explore media texts and theoretical/philosophical reflections on the Holocaust. Enrollment limited to 12. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.

Course usage information

MCM 2310L. Romantic Detail (ENGL 2561O).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2561O.

Fall MCM2310L S01 16767 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 2330. Critical Genres.

Introduces graduate students to specific aspects of the history, methods, and arguments of the academic interdiscipline known as "cultural studies." In a workshop forum, we discuss the conventions governing academic genres and consider the evidence, argumentation, rhetoric, and the construction of expertise.

Course usage information

MCM 2450. Exchange Scholar Program.

Fall MCM2450 S01 17544 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Course usage information

MCM 2500A. Film and Modernity.

An examination of films and film movements from 1895 through the 1930s in relation to the rise of modernity, modernization, and modernism. We will analyze the films through the lenses of theories of technology, temporality, the avant-garde, and the emergence of mass culture. Readings in Gunning, Bergson, Simmel, Kracauer, Benjamin, Jameson, Hansen, and others.

Course usage information

MCM 2500C. Media Archaeology.

Provides an intellectual history of "Media Archaeology," focusing on contributions by the "Sophienstraße" departments of Humboldt University in Berlin and on the importance of Marshall McLuhan and Michel Foucault, amongst others, to its development. Readings in Friedrich Kittler, Wolfgang Erst, Cornelia Vismann. Permission required for undergraduates only.

Course usage information

MCM 2500D. Archaeologies of the Projected Image.

Analysis of the history and theory of projected images from the magic lantern to IMAX. We will examine theories of scale, architecture, and perspective in order to consider the changing size of moving images, from the flip book to the cinema screen to the cell phone. We will also consider theories of mass culture, aesthetic technologies, the sublime, and public art. Readings in Jonathan Crary, Siegfried Kracauer, Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Henri Lefebvre, Jean-François Lyotard, Friedrich Kittler, Laurent Mannoni, Erkki Huhtamo, and others. Enrollment limited to 20 graduate students. Permission required for undergraduates only.

Course usage information

MCM 2500E. Temporality in/and the Cinema.

An examination of the cinema's historical and theoretical position as a mode of representing time. Is time recorded or produced by film? How can we analyze duration in the cinema? What is the cinema's relation to the archive and to modernity? We will read work by Bergson, Freud, Marey, Kracauer, Benjamin, Deleuze, and others. Films by Lumière, Griffith, Snow, Tsai Ming-Liang, Hitchcock, and others. Enrollment limited to 20. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission.

Course usage information

MCM 2510A. Art Cinema as Transnational Textual Strategy.

In the 1960s, Antonioni, Bergman, Buñuel, Fassbinder, Fellini, Godard, Resnais, etc. achieved international,global, prominence by bending mainstream narrative cinema conventions in the name of original national and artistic subjectivities. But such "art cinema" has pervaded film history, from the 1920s (e.g. German Expressionism) to the present (e.g. New Iranian Cinema). Investigation of art cinema's textual strategies, conceptual underpinnings, and historical functions. Enrollment limited to 20.

Course usage information

MCM 2510B. Cinema and State Violence.

Theoretical and political conceptions of state and global violence posed against practices and histories of cinema, as representational apparatus, textuality and institution. Attention to the establishment of film as a global medium through World War I, current work on "global media culture," textual configurations of violence, etc. Readings from sociopolitical theorists (e.g. Weber, Benjamin, Schmitt, Arendt, Agabem, Hardt and Negri, Foucault) and cinema/media scholars (e.g. Virillio, Prince, L. Williams, Kaes, etc.). Enrollment limited to 15. This course is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor's permission. Students must register for the primary meeting and one film screening.

Course usage information

MCM 2510C. The Adventures of Dignity.

What is the ideological function of "dignity" as it is invoked in human rights discourses? What concepts of humankind and what fantasies of wholeness are assumed and reiterated? Readings include histories of human rights, treatises on dignity from Kant to Foucault, Elaine Scarry, and other theorists. Enrollment limited to 20. This class is for Graduates only. Upperclass undergraduates require instructor permission.

Course usage information

MCM 2510F. The Racial Lives of Affect (ENGL 2761F).

Interested students must register for ENGL 2761F.

Course usage information

MCM 2980. Independent Reading and Research in Modern Culture and Media.

Individual reading and research for doctoral candidates. Not open to undergraduates. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
Time dedicated to the project should fall within the recommended range for independent studies (13-20 hours per week).

Course usage information

MCM 2990. Thesis Preparation.

No description available.

Fall MCM2990 S01 14760 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'
Spr MCM2990 S01 23851 Arranged 'To Be Arranged'

Chair

Lynne Joyrich

Professor

Ariella Azoulay
Professor of Comparative Literature and Modern Culture and Media

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun
Professor of Modern Culture and Media; Professor of History of Art and Architecture

Anthony G. Cokes
Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Joan K. Copjec
Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Bonnie H. Honig
Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science

Lynne Joyrich
Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Roger Mayer
Professor Emeritus of Modern Culture and Media and Visual Art

Ellen Frances Rooney
Professor of Modern Culture and Media and English

Philip Rosen
Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Robert Scholes
Andrew W. Mellon Professor Emeritus of Humanities

John Michael Silverman
Professor Emeritus of Modern Culture and Media

Leslie Thornton
Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Visiting Professor

Gertrud M. Koch
Visiting Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Khachig Tololyan
Visiting Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Assistant Professor

Kelly Dobson
Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Visiting Assistant Professor

Elisa Giardina Papa
Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media

Modern Culture and Media

Modern Culture and Media (MCM) is an interdisciplinary concentration that explores the ties between media and broader cultural and social formations. We stress creative thinking and critical production: comparative analysis and theoretical reflection, as well as work that integrates practice and theory. We thus bring together aspects of modern culture that are normally separated by departmental structures such as film and media studies, fine art, literature, literary arts and philosophy. This concentration offers the student a range of possible specializations.  A student might decide to focus on the critical study and production of a certain type or combination of media (print, photography, sound recording, cinema, video, television, and digital media); or they might focus on certain cultural, theoretical and/or social formations (for example, gender/sexuality in post-Cold war television, postcolonial theory and film, the changing form of the novel, theories of subjectivity and ideology, video games and theories of representation).  These paths are united by a commitment to critical thinking/practice: rather than reproducing conventions, MCM concentrators learn how conventions emerge, what work they do, and explore ways to change them. 

Track I

Track I concentrators may choose to study a particular historical moment, a medium, or a mode of textual production, in combination with theoretical studies that examine the categories of cultural analysis: for example, the distinction between high and low culture. Examples of areas of interest include but are not limited to film, gender/sexuality, digital media, television, post-coloniality, the novel, modern thought, the modern arts, sound, and theories of ideology and subjectivity. Productive work in some modern medium or textual mode is encouraged for all concentrators. MCM’s approach to production recognizes the inextricable link between theory and practice, and the possibility of a fruitful complicity between them. Production, in the sense defined here, is a theoretically informed sphere or practice, one within which acknowledged forms of cultural creation are tested and extended in close complementarity with the analyses conducted elsewhere in MCM.

Track I consists of 11 courses.

Core courses
MCM 0150Text/Media/Culture: Theories of Modern Culture and Media1
Select two of the following: 12
Print Cultures: Textuality and the History of Books
Digital Media
Television Studies
Visuality and Visual Theories
Cinematic Coding and Narrativity
The Theory of the Sign
Additional courses5
One must be an upper level course from the MCM 1200 series
Two must be senior seminars from the MCM 1500 or MCM 1700 series
Two must be at any level in MCM above MCM 0260
Three additional courses. These courses must be in MCM or in related departments. 23
Total Credits11
1

No more than three courses from this list may count for concentration requirements.

2

 The specific courses must be approved by an MCM concentration advisor as part of a coherent program of study.

Other Requirements:

  1. Focus Area: Of the 11 courses required for the concentration, at least 3 courses must be in a focus area approved by a concentration advisor. These courses may be MCM courses, related courses, or a combination of the two, and they must represent a focus on some aspect of modern literature, theory, media, art or culture. Examples of possible focus areas are: mass/popular culture, gender/sexuality, language/representation/subjectivity, narrative, digital media, film, modern thought, television, the modern arts, the novel, colonialism and post-colonialism. This is not an exhaustive list. Production courses may be in the focus area but must be in addition to the minimum 3 courses.
  2. Production: Work in production is encouraged but not required for Track I concentrators. Of the 11 courses required for concentration, as many as 3 may be in production. These may be production courses offered by MCM (film, video, digital media) or courses in creative writing, painting, photography, journalism, etc., provided they do not bring the total number of concentration courses taken outside MCM to more than 3.

Honors:

The honors program in MCM is designed for students who wish to integrate their skills in a special project.  Students who qualify for Honors in Track I are eligible to apply to do an Honors project or thesis. Students should submit a letter of interest in their 6th semester, and a formal proposal, by the first day of their 7th semester.  Applications will be screened by the MCM Honors Committee. (Application forms are available in the MCM office.) If approved, a student must then register for MCM1970, a one credit course which can count towards their Focus Area requirements, and MCM1990, a one-credit thesis course in which they complete the Honors thesis.

Track II

Track II concentration combines production courses with the critical study of the cultural role of practice. It aims to engage students in the analysis of theories of production elaborated within philosophical, artistic, and technological traditions, while encouraging them to produce works that interrogate these traditions.

Track II consists of 11 courses:

Two core courses:
MCM 0150Text/Media/Culture: Theories of Modern Culture and Media1
Select one of the following Introductory Practice or History of a Medium courses:1
Introduction to Filmic Practice: Time and Form
Introduction to Video Production: Critical Strategies and Histories
Art in Digital Culture
Studio Foundation
Advanced Studio Foundation
Foundation Media: Sound and Image
Computers and Music
Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming and Computer Science
A course from the LITR 0110 series
A course from the LITR 0210 series
A Global History of Art and Architecture
Introduction to Acting and Directing
Music in History, from Hildegard to Hamilton
World Music Cultures (Africa, America, Europe, Oceania)
One additional course from the following:1
Print Cultures: Textuality and the History of Books
Digital Media
Television Studies
Visuality and Visual Theories
Cinematic Coding and Narrativity
The Theory of the Sign
Three additional courses from the MCM 1200 or MCM 1500 series 13
Four practice courses selected in consultation with an advisor. 24
One Senior Seminar from the MCM 1700 series or other equivalent in production1
Total Credits11
1

At least one must be from the MCM 1500 series.

2

Courses can be in any medium or combinatory sequence of media from the following departments: Modern Culture and Media, Visual Art, Music, Literary Arts, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Computer Science, Engineering, supplemented by approved courses at Rhode Island School of Design and study abroad. This list is not exhaustive.

Honors:

The honors program in MCM is designed for students who wish to integrate their skills in a special project. Students who qualify for Honors in Track II are eligible to apply to do an Honors project or thesis. Students should submit a letter of interest in their 6th semester, and a formal proposal, by the first day of their 7th semester.  Applications will be screened by the MCM Honors Committee. (Application forms are available in the MCM office.) If approved, a student must then register for MCM1970, a one credit course which can count towards their Focus Area requirements, and MCM1990, a one-credit thesis course in which they complete the Honors project/thesis. 

Modern Culture and Media

The department of Modern Culture and Media offers a graduate program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. There is no terminal Master’s program, but students who enter the doctoral program only with an undergraduate degree may earn an A.M. en route to the Ph.D.

For more information on admission and program requirements, please visit the following website:

http://www.brown.edu/academics/gradschool/programs/modern-culture-and-media