The Graduate Calendar lists all of the courses in the program, please note that not all courses are offered every year.
2019-2020 Graduate Courses
Students are responsible for insuring that your selected courses meet the program requirements stated in the Calendar. If, however, you feel that you need additional information or guidance please contact us. Barbara Shannon, our Graduate Administrator, will be able to advise you on all administrative matters.
- FILM 5002 Special Topics: Media and Emotion - Fall term
- Professor: Aubrey Anable
- This graduate seminar will consider the ways that feelings and emotion figure in theoretical and historical accounts of film and media. Questions about emotion and “affect” are at the root of contemporary debates about identity, subjectivity, politics, and representation. Yet, the body—its sensual capacities and vulnerabilities—is often figured as that which media technologies and those who study them must overcome or entirely deny.
- Many of the readings for the course will cover the contemporary “affective turn” in theory, its debates, and its critics.
- FILM 5010 Film Theory, History, and Critical Methodologies I - Fall term
- Professor: Laura Horak
- Course Description: This course offers a rigorous orientation to the discipline of Film Studies. We will think critically about and practice key methodologies of the discipline, ranging from interpretation and close analysis, to building arguments (both written and audiovisual) conducting archival and online research, and formulating original research project proposals. We will also explore the genealogies of key concepts in Film Studies, including national cinema, genre, and authorship. In the course, students will work on their analytic, writing, research, and communication skills.
- Learning Objectives: By the end of this term, students are expected to be able to:
- Perform a close analysis of an audiovisual text, paying close attention to sound as well as visual elements.
- Make inventive arguments about films using evidence and a logical chain of reasoning.
- Use multiple methods to track down primary and secondary sources, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these methods, and critically assess the material they find.
- Conduct original archival research, engaging with the unique collections of Ottawa-area institutions.
- Describe the genealogy of key concepts in Film Studies, such as national cinema, genre, and authorship.
- Use drafts, feedback, and thoughtful revisions to improve their writing.
- Create a persuasive research project proposal.
- Assignments (Subject to change):
- Co-lead class discussion
- Close analysis essay
- Archival object project
- Proposal assignment
- FILM 5020 Film Theory, History, and Critical Methodologies II - Winter term
- Professor: Aubrey Anable
- Building on FILM 5010, this course continues a rigorous orientation to the discipline of Film Studies. We will think critically about and practice key methodologies of the discipline. During the winter term, we will participate in the on-going theoretical conversations of the discipline, reading both foundational and newer work. These conversations include: What is the nature and purpose of film? How do film and other audiovisual media shape individuals and societies? Does it make a difference whether something is shot on and projected from celluloid film vs. digital technologies? What happens to us when we watch movies? Students will also explore the genealogies of key concepts in Film Studies and work on their analytic, reading, writing, research, teaching, and communication skills.
- FILM 5107 Topics in Film History: Music and Sound in Film History - Winter term
- Professor: Charles O’Brien
- also listed as MUSI 5200
- Course Description: The familiar characterization of cinema as a visual art has enabled a neglect of the cinema’s sonic dimension that endures into the present, when scholars of film and media, by and large, continue to devote less attention to sound than the image. Sound-related questions provide the focus of this course, which examines film history from the standpoint of the role in cinema of music and sound. Topics covered include: major developments in the history of the technology and aesthetics of film music and sound; the function on movie soundtracks of music relative to dialogue and ambient effects; sound’s role in the filmic representation of social difference, including gender, race, and ethnicity; the function of popular songs as film accompaniment in contrast to orchestral music; the treatment of sound in silent films versus sound; the history of film-theoretical reflection on music and sound; the history of cinema’s interface with cognate media such as recorded music, radio, television, and the internet; and the virtues and limitations of specific critical methods of film-soundtrack analysis.
- Course Requirements are likely to include: a scene-analysis paper due during week six (35 points); a class presentation on one of the course readings (10 points); a class presentation on the topic chosen for the final essay (10 points); and a final essay due at the end of the term (45 points).
- FILM 5109 Topics in Film and Philosophy - Fall term
- Professor: Marc Furstenau
- Topic: Film Theory and the Philosophy of Art
- Cross-listed with FILM 4301
- Precludes credit in FILM 4501 and/or FILM 5500
- Description: This course will consider the history of debates in film theory about the aesthetic status of the cinema. One of the very first questions to be asked about the new medium of film was whether it could be art. The cinema emerged at a time when the very concept of art – its status, its value, its significance – was being questioned by philosophers and critics and being redefined by artists experimenting with new forms and materials. We will consider the effect that the emergence of the cinema had on these debates, reading representative essays in film theory and in the philosophy of art.
- METHOD OF EVALUATION: Reading Reports, Essay
- READINGS: Readings will be available at Carleton University Bookstore and through the on-line reserve system of the Carleton University library (ARES).
- FILM 5203 Issues in World Cinema: Film and the World - Winter term
- Professor: Malini Guha
- World cinema has become a veritable sub-field within the discipline of film studies over the last decade. This course investigates the ‘world cinema turn’ in film studies by returning to earlier historical moments that similarly attempted to globalize and de-westernize the discipline while also investigating the limitations of this turn and alternative scholarly responses to it. Our approach to this material is interdisciplinary in nature, given that numerous Humanities disciplines have undergone their own ‘turns to the world’ and there are considerable overlaps as well as sharp differences across these approaches. We will explore the question of why the world is at stake in the present moment across the Humanities while also putting pressure on this turn by considering terms such as ‘the postcolonial’, ‘the border’ and so on.
- Methods of Evaluation: a keyword assignment, presentation, essay or video essay proposal and final essay or video essay
- FILM 5506 Topics in Culture, Identity and Representation: Transgender Cinema - Winter term
- Professor: Laura Horak
- Cross-listed with FILM 4002, WGST 4812/WGST 5902
- Course Description: This course explores the widely varied and inventive world of film and media created by trans, Two-Spirit, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people in the United States and Canada. How have trans people used audiovisual media to create new forms of community, identity, and desire? How have Black trans and Indigenous Two-Spirit people used film to expose and craft ways to collectively survive colonialism, racial capitalism, and the prison industrial complex? What challenges or paradoxes do audiovisual media pose to trans struggles for self-determination and liberation? How has “trans” changed over time and in different places? What is trans cinema? This class will analyze a variety of trans-made feature films, shorts, television shows, YouTube videos, and web series that span modes and genres, including drama, sci-fi, comedy, documentary, experimental, and pornography. We will also compare trans-made media to mainstream representations of trans people. Although the course’s primary focus is on audiovisual media made in the United States and Canada, we will also examine films from Europe, Asia, and Africa. Students will have the opportunity to conduct close analyses of trans-made audiovisual media informed by the latest scholarship in the burgeoning field of Transgender Studies.
- Learning Outcomes: By the end of this term, students will be able to:
- Give a nuanced account of gender and sexuality that takes into account historically- and geographically-specific meanings and a wide array of gender expressions and identities.
- Notice the narrative and formal elements of an audiovisual text (e.g. mise-en-scene, editing, cinematography, and sound) and use these elements to sustain an argument about a media text in conversation with existing scholarship.
- Describe the recent history of trans filmmaking in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
- Bring the latest scholarship in Transgender Studies into conversation with trans-made films and videos.
- Assignments (Subject to change):
- Filmmaker presentation
- Close analysis essay
- Final essay with presentation
- FILM 5601 Studies in Genre: Documentary - Fall term
- Professor: Aboubakar Sanogo
- “All great fiction films tend toward documentary, just as all great documentaries tend toward fiction . . . He who opts wholeheartedly for one necessarily finds the other at the end of his journey.” Jean-Luc Godard
- “Every time you are getting ready to make a shot in a documentary film, you are asking yourself questions about your cinematographic approach. You are approaching the truth, but the image is never the truth itself.” Rithy Panh
- “I began to feel that the drama of the truth that is in the moment and in the past is richer and more interesting than the drama of Hollywood movies. So, I began looking at documentary films.”- Ken Burns
- “Documentary film is the one place that our people can speak for themselves. I feel that the documentaries that I’ve been working on have been very valuable for the people, for our people to look at ourselves, at the situations, really facing it, and through that being able to make changes that really count for the future of our children to come.” Alanis Obomsawin
- These quotes very much embody some of the many stakes, debates, paradoxes and profoundly inspiring dimensions of the inaugural film form known as the documentary (indeed, the cinema was arguably born twice, first as documentary and then as fiction).
- This course will explore the theory, history and aesthetics of the documentary mode of filmmaking. As such it will examine major theoretical debates related to the very nature of documentary, and its relationship to larger debates such as truth, reality, fiction, representation, memory, history, identity, subjectivity, among other things. The history of the documentary form will also be examined through such canonic figures, schools and movements as the Lumiere brothers, Thomas Edison, Robert Flaherty, John Grierson, Dziga Vertov, Joris Ivens, Jean Rouch, Chris Marker, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Fernando Solanas, alongside such newer figures as Dieudo Hamadi, Joshua Oppenheimer, Wu Tsang, Katy Lena Ndiaye, John Akomfrah, Ari Folman, among many others.
- Evaluation: Discussion leading, position paper, research paper.
- Important Note: Possible attendance of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) in November (to be confirmed)