This proseminar will introduce a range of methodological approaches (and some debates about them) informing the somewhat sprawling interdisciplinary field of Cinema and Media Studies. It aims to equip students with a diverse—though not comprehensive—toolbox with which to begin conducting research in this field; an historical framework for understanding current methods in context; and a space for reflecting on both how to develop rigorous methodologies for emerging questions and how methods interact with disciplines, ideologies, and theories. The course’s assignments will provide students with opportunities to explore a particular methodology in some depth through the lenses of pedagogy, the conference presentation, the written essay, or an essay in another medium of your choice, such as the graphic or video essay. Throughout, we will be trying to develop practical skills for the academic profession. Although our readings engage a variety of particular cinema and media objects, this course will be textually based. The methods studied will be organized around the following concepts and challenges: History/Time; Archive/Gaps/Limits; Ethics and Access; Space/Location/Position/Perspective; Sharing Media: Technology/Exhibition/Experience; National/Transnational/Global/Glocal Frameworks; Voice/Listening/Volume; Against/Beyond Representation; Infrastructures & Environments; and Elements. No prior experience needed. The course is also open to upper-level undergraduates with relevant coursework in the field by permission of instructor.
Course Requirements: Complete assigned readings and actively participate in class discussion: 20%; Canvas postings: 10%; Annotated bibliography or course syllabus on a particular methodology: 20%; SCMS methodology-focused conference paper proposal according to SCMS format: 10%; Research paper (5,000 words) or alternative essay format using the methodology explored in the syllabus or bibliography: 40%.