UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2017

151 - 002 | CCN: 44728

Auteur Theory: Geek Auteurs: Abrams, Whedon

Emily Carpenter,

4 Units

This course examines the auteur status of two writer-producer-directors whose careers span the late 20th and early 21st centuries, blend and revise generic categories, and jump across media platforms. J. J. Abrams and Joss Whedon function as case studies of the models of authorship in the current popular media landscape that extends outward through the coterie of multi-hyphenate talent often attached, as close collaborators, to Abrams and Whedon projects. While course materials explore the industrial/economic imperatives that produced them, close textual analysis will cultivate a sense of their visual style, narrative form, and generic and thematic concerns. Abrams and Whedon, as different as their products seem, share a preoccupation with stories of catastrophe and conspiracy, moral and ethical struggle, and teams of smart, tenacious misfit (anti-)heroes.