Film Histories and Historiography

Hello! This is the course page for our fall 2020 Graduate Center course cross listed in MALS and FSCP: Film Histories and Historiography.

Course Description & Objectives: Film History & Historiography surveys the cinematic medium from its inception to the present day with a focus on major historical, cultural, technological, and industrial developments. These may include: the growth of international silent cinema, Hollywood and the industrialization of film in relation to Bollywood, Nollywood, and the development of other sites of film production, nonfiction and nontheatrical traditions, European New Waves, Third Cinema, independent film movements, and the rise of television, digital, and streaming cinema. The course will also cover different strategies and theories of historiography that reflect the research interests of the students in the class and may include a unit linked to a local archive under the auspices of the New York Public Library’s research divisions. The semester will include instruction on research methods taught in conjunction with the Mina Rees Library staff.

In this class students will:

    • gain an understanding of the broad history of film and related audio-visual forms as national, international, and global media within a variety of historical and cultural contexts
    • gain insight into historiographic approaches to the medium and hone their research skills by engaging with primary and secondary resources
    • critically engage with examples of scholarly writing about film history
    • practice the conventions of conference presentations, longer research papers, and review essays

Our Modality: This course is fully online for the fall semester. We will meet for synchronous video discussions and conferencing via Zoom on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:00pm  (with a break in the middle). All other work will be completed asynchronously,via the CUNY Academic Commons. (Synchronous = happening at the same time vs. Asynchronous = can be completed at any time on your own schedule within the given deadlines). Graded work will be turned in through our course Blackboard site.

Virtual Office Hours: I will hold virtual office hours via Zoom on Tuesdays before our normal class meeting time to chat with students one-on-one about course related work: readings, assignments, questions about the class or about the GC (if I can answer them!). Please use this LINK to sign up for 30 minute time slots (3pm and 3:30pm).

What You’ll Find Here: On our course Commons page, you’ll find all of the elements that are typically in a course syllabus: a detailed semester calendar here with links to all readings available via PDFs, a page listing our textbooks and streaming platforms, our collaborative discussion board where you’ll complete all informal writing, a bio page with info about your instructor and your peers, a course policies page, and a page with tech guides you may find useful.