This course introduces students to film history from 1960 to the late 1980s. While the emphasis is on U.S film history, the course introduces students to a wide range of films from other locations as well, from Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. Readings and films balance a dual perspective. On the one hand, we are interested in a history of the cinema in this particular period: what the title of the course calls “film history”. By the end of the quarter, students are expected to be familiar with the key events, concepts, films, directors, and transformations in film history in this period. On the other hand, we are also interested in the cinema as a medium that narrates and depicts the history of a period, location, movement, set of ideas. The two perspectives – film history and film as history, are often inextricable and readings will introduce students to the ways in the two kinds of histories are related.
This is also a course on the practicalities of writing film history. What kinds of evidence do historians marshal to construct a historical narrative? Under what circumstances do assessments of a movie change over time? How does the cinema challenge conventional techniques of writing and narrating history? Students will read accounts of film history not just for the claims made in those accounts but also with an eye to the manner and methods used to make those claims.
Students will also be given an introduction to the UW Libraries’ research resources and some assignments will require students to consult historical sources available at the UW Library.
COURSE PACK AND READINGS: There is no textbook for this course. Course packs will be available from:
RAMS COPY CENTER 4144 University Way NE Seattle, Washington 98105, Phone: (206) 632-6630
Readings will also be available online on the course website. The course pack is therefore optional but recommended, since lecture/discussions will require students to bring readings to class.
Students must complete readings before the lecture session for which they are assigned.
Assignments will comprise a combination of short response papers and long essays. There are no in-class exams for this class.
SCREENINGS: Attendance at screenings is required. Where possible, DVDs will also be available on reserve at the Media Center.