CMS 321 A: Oppositional Cinema/Media

Spring 2024
MW 2:30pm - 4:20pm / MOR 221
Section Type:
Syllabus Description (from Canvas):

This course will engage and explore a range of American films made by and/or predominantly featuring Black characters from the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will watch, analyze, and discuss films from a range of decades and genres, taking both a thematic and semiotic approach to these films and their subject matter. How do cinematic representations of Black characters vary depending on the race, gender, and sexuality of the filmmaker? How have filmic depictions of Blackness changed, and not changed, over time? Do Black filmmakers always tell different (diverse, non-stereotypical) stories about Blackness? How do they navigate prevalent narratives and themes that are subtly or overtly anti-Black, whether aesthetically, culturally, industrially, or historically? What can we learn from examining depictions of class, gender, and sexuality in tandem with Blackness? In some weeks, screenings and discussions of films will be supplemented with screenings of television shows, trailers, and/or visual albums, which we will place in conversation with these films in order to examine how representations of Blackness and of gender compare across media.


Link to Syllabus (must be accessed with UW email):

Catalog Description:
Approaches film and related media as socially and politically engaged practice, with focus on screen media produced or received in "opposition" to dominant cultural and entertainment industry norms. Topics vary.
Department Requirements Met:
Cinema & Media Studies Core
GE Requirements Met:
Diversity (DIV)
Arts and Humanities (A&H)
Last updated:
April 9, 2024 - 6:50 pm