courses > 2009 fall

Graduate Courses

CINE 619 - The Politics and Practices of Representation

COMM 619
401 | R 1:30-4:30pm

This course engages with the following question from theoretical, aesthetic, and practical perspectives: Who says what about whom, under what circumstances, with what effects? By combining analytical work with media production projects, students probe the aesthetic, structural, and symbolic dimensions of media representation. We will spend the first part of the semester investigating different approaches to this question through six distinct frames: documentary, ethnographic films, activist media, GLBT images, pornography, and the politics of spectatorship. Within each frame we will look at debates over such issues as insider accounts, processes of othering, reflexivity, realism and other narrative and non-narrative conventions, the ethics of consent, “objective” and “biased” shooting techniques, the politics of editing, the role of the intended audience in the production of a work, and so on. There will be weekly film screenings that complement each of the theoretical discussions during the first six weeks. We will simultaneously cover the technical aspects of production that will enable you to produce digital video projects: shooting (Canon GL1s), lighting, sound, editing (Final Cut Pro on Mac G5s), graphics, music, and so on. Students will complete weekly assignments that introduce some of the practical and political challenges of filmmaking. During the final part of the semester each student will produce a short (5-10 minute) documentary or experimental digital video.