College Catalogue

Cinema and New Media Studies

Program Committee
Steve Humphries-Brooks (Religious Studies), Director
Ella Gant (Art)
Martine Guyot-Bender (French)
Tina Hall (Creative Writing)
Doran Larson (Creative Writing)
Scott MacDonald (Art History)
Susan Mason (Education Studies)
Angel Nieves (Africana Studies)
Vincent Odamtten (English)
Kyoko Omori (East Asian Languages & Literatures)
Patricia O'Neill (English)
Peggy Piesche (German)
Deobrah Pokinski (Art History)
Edna Rodriguez-Plate (Hispanic Studies)
Brent Rodriguez-Plate (Religious Studies)
Janet Simons (ITS)
Zhuoyi Wang (East Asian Languages & Literatures)

Cinema and New Media Studies is an interdisciplinary minor that brings together courses involving historical and theoretical study and/or hands-on experience of photochemical, electronic and digital media. The focus of the minor is to develop critical perspectives on visual representations and new technologies (for example, cinema and the Internet) as they construct or express individual artistic visions or cultural identities.        

The minor in Cinema and New Media Studies consists of five courses, including
1) CNMS 100 or 120 or 125
2) and four additional courses that collectively satisfy the three goals of the minor. Two of these four courses must be at the 200-level or higher.

The three goals of the minor are
1) Critical attention to and analysis of cinema and new media as artistic expression.
2) Engagement with the ways gender, religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, class, the natural environment and other social and physical forces are represented and explored in cinema and new media.
3) Analysis of the uses of technology in representing and constructing knowledge by means of performance, programming or participation in the creation of multi-media documents and/or hands-on experience in class assignments.

The list below is representative of courses available to minors. Additional courses may become available on a semester-by-semester basis. Please consult with the program's director regarding the courses. Opportunities for independent study for seniors are made available by individual faculty sponsors. The numbers after each course in the list indicate the goals of the minor addressed.

Africana Studies
304        Seminar in e-Black Studies: Race and Cyberspace [1,2,3]

American Studies
205        Video Game Nation [1,2]
325        Media Theory and Visual Culture [1,2]
350        Gender and Cyberculture [1,2]

115        Introduction to Digital Photography [1,3]
213        Introduction to Video [2,3]
302        Advanced Photography [1,3]
313        Advanced Video [2,3]

Art History
350        Gender Issues in Art History [1,2]

205        Modern China through Film [1,2]
450        Remembering the Chinese Revolution through Film [1,2]

320        The Romans on Film [1,2]

310        Media Form and Theory [2]

Comparative Literature
164        Fantastic Worlds: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Sci Fi and Anime [1,2]
301        Critical Cinema: A History of Experimental and Avant-Garde Film [1,2]

Computer Science
110         Introduction to Computer Science [3]

Education Studies
210        Curriculum and Pedagogy Decision-Making [2,3]
250        Technology in Education: Issues and Opportunities [2,3]

122        Literary CSI [2,3]        
255        The Marrow of African-American Literature [2,3]
300        Women Filmmakers [1,2]
317        Knowledge Work and Literary Futures: Read, Interpret, Encode, Play
374        The Hollywood Novel [1]

285        Is Paris Burning [1,2]
350        Francophone Cinema [1,2]
435        Picturing War        [1,2]

German and African Studies
135        Race, Jazz, Eugenics and Hip Hop: Black German Diaspora Revisited [1,2]

German and Russian Languages and Literature
169        Nightmares: Introduction to Russian Film [1,2]
295        Bloodsucking as Metaphor: Vampires, Werewolves and the Living-Dead in Myth, Literature and Film [1,2]

112        Comparative Politics (when taught by S. Rivera) [2,3]

Hispanic Studies
223        Introduction to Hispanic Cinema [1,2]
224        Women in Spanish Film and Literature: "Chicas de pelicula" [1,2]
323        The Power of Looking: Re-imagining the Nation in Hispanic Films [1,2]

383        History of Photography in Britain and the Empire [1,2]

356        Introduction to Japanese Film [1,2,3]

245        Music in American Film [1,2]
277        Music for Contemporary Media [2,3]

Religious Studies
145        World Films, World Faiths [1,2]
150        Pop Culture/Pop Religion [1,2]
215        Religion in Film [1,2]
304        Religion and Media [1,2]
407        The Celluloid Savior [1,2]
421        Raging Gods: Scorsese and Coppola's Religious Films [1,2]

Women’s Studies
211        Women, Gender and Popular Culture [1,2]

120F Introduction to the History and Theory of Film.
A general introduction to the wide world of cinema and cinema studies, focusing on crucial films from many cinematic traditions. Topics include the evolution of film from earlier forms of motion picture, the articulation and exploitation of a narrative language for cinema, the development of typical commercial genres, and the appearance of a variety of forms of critical cinema. Focuses on basic film terminology, with the cinematic apparatus and ongoing theoretical conversation about cinema and its audience. (Same as Comparative Literature 120 and Art History 120.) MacDonald.

[125] Introduction to History and Theory of New Media.
What makes new media “new”? How do new media compare with, transform or incorporate earlier media? Examines the production, circulation, and reception of visual and sonic media, with emphasis on how consumers and artists shape the uses and values of media. Covers key issues raised by new media through close study of critical essays and creative texts. Examples of old and new media include the phonograph, radio, film, turntable, social networks, fantasy sports and gaming, podcast, MP3, AutoTune, hypertext literature and digital poetry. Open to first-year students and sophomores only. (Same as American Studies 125.) Maximum enrollment, 20.

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201S Introduction to Digital Humanities.
Introduction to the concepts, tools and methods of digital humanities through readings and various projects. Examines the impact of computing and technology on society in the U.S. and abroad: social and cultural implications of computing; social networking; thinking with/about computers; gaming; virtual/3D worlds; strategies for online research; building websites and evaluating electronic resources. (Writing-intensive.) Maximum enrollment, 20. Nieves.

[205] Video Game Nation.
Investigates how to critically interpret and analyze video games and the roles they play in visual and popular culture, and how to test the application of these approaches to various issues in gaming and digital media culture more generally. Topics and themes include genre and aesthetics, the game industry, spectatorship, play, narrative, immersion, gender, race, militarism, violence and labor. (Writing-intensive.) (Same as American Studies 205.) Maximum enrollment, 20.

290F Facing Reality: A History of Documentary Cinema.
The history of cinema as representation and interpretation of "reality," focusing on nonfiction film and video from a variety of periods and geographic locales. Emphasis on the ways in which nonfiction films can subvert viewers' conventional expectations and their personal security. Forms to be discussed include the city symphony, ethnographic documentary, propaganda, nature film, direct cinema, cinéma vérité, the compilation film and personal documentary. (Same as Comparative Literature 290 and Art History 290.) MacDonald.

[301F] Cinema as Theory and Critique.
A history of alternatives to commercial movies, focusing on surrealist and dadaist film, visual music, psychodrama, direct cinema, the film society movement, personal cinema, the New American Cinema, structuralism, Queer cinema, feminist cinema, minor cinema, recycled cinema and devotional cinema. While conventional entertainment films use the novel, the short story and the stage drama as their primary instigations, experimental and avant-garde films are analogous to music, poetry, painting, sculpture and collage. Not open to first-year students. (Same as Comparative Literature 301 and Art History 301.)

317F The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and Literary Futures.
Based on the ideas of contemporary scholars in digital humanities, this course introduces students to new modes of reading, interpreting and thinking about literature. As a group we will apply new media and text analysis tools to two works of contemporary literature: Kamila Shamsie's novel Kartography and Agha Shahid Ali's volume of poetry, A Nostalgist's Map of America. Each student will also work on an author or text of their choice. Prerequisite, One 200-level course in literature. (Same as English and Creative Writing 317.) P O'Neill.

[325S] Media Theory and Visual Culture.
We are bombarded with images, in myriad forms, on a daily basis. How do we interpret and analyze them? What is the relationship between an online advertisement for a movie and the movie itself, between a television program and a video game? An overview of contemporary media theory as it relates to visual culture in the 21st century. Readings will include seminal works in psychoanalytic theory, cultural studies, semiotics, postmodern theory, new media studies and visual studies. (Same as American Studies 325.) Maximum enrollment, 12.

[350] Gender and Cyberculture.
Explores critical approaches to media through the intersection of gender and the technological imaginary. Investigates how the production, use and circulation of digital media affect notions of representation, identity, the body and consciousness. Close visual and textual analysis of the ways writers, artists and theorists have conceived these issues. (Same as American Studies 350.) Maximum enrollment, 20.