Elective Courses


ENGL 392 | COML 391
401 |SEM |Rita Barnard |TR 3-4:30pm |FBH 20

This seminar has a bold aim: it seeks to understand better what has happened in our world since the era of decolonization, by considering the term “politics” in its very broadest and most dramatic connotations: as the dream of social change and its failures.  Another way of describing its subject matter is to say that it is about revolution and counterrevolution since the Bandung Conference.  Together we will investigate the way in which major historical events, including the struggle for Algerian independence, the coup in Indonesia, the Cuban Revolution, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Congo, the Vietnam War, Latin American and African dictatorships, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, the Iranian revolution, the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, 9/11, the Iraq War, and its aftermath, have been represented in some of the most innovative and moving films of our time. Attention will therefore be paid to a variety of genres: including cinema verité, documentary, the thriller, the biopic, animation, the global conspiracy film, hyperlink cinema, and dystopian science fiction.  The ongoing and fraught question of race in America, as well as the American fixation on elections (which sometimes seems the be all and end all of politics here) may also come under scrutiny; but the idea is to have a more global reach. We will study 12 to 15 of the following titles (here grouped in terms of thematic connections), along with a rich collection of critical essays: Battle of AlgiersThe Year of Living Dangerously/The Act of KillingThe Motor Cycle Diaries/Y Tu Mama TambienLumumba/The Last King of ScotlandThe Official Story/Missing/!NoThe Lives of Others/Goodbye, Lenin,PersepolisA Very British CoupInvictus/ Endgame/ More than Just a GameMississippi Burning/American History XCrashCachéThe Fog of War/WThe Reluctant Fundamentalist,The Ghost WriterIn the Valley of ElahWaltz with BashirThe Edukators/Die WelleElection,Children of Men. Note also that this course will be taught in a way quite similar to my earlier seminar on Cinema and Globalization: students will view the set film on their own in advance and read the accompanying critical articles; occasional and voluntary in-class presentations are possible.  Requirements: a midterm paper of around 8-10 pages and a final paper of around 8-12.

last updated 07/18/2016 - 2:13pm

Cinema Studies Program
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