New Curriculum General Course Descriptions

  • DOCUMENTARY FORMS (formerly FILM 128)


    The Documentary Forms course examines the ways in which documentary impulses and forms are present in various media—photography, film, video, new media.
    The course inherits the kinds of topics previously taught in our Documentary Film course but expands the possibilities to include other media forms and more hybrid or comparative treatments. The courses taught under this number may include historical surveys of specific media and their documentary impulses and functions; documentary photography; reality television; or documentary film, but could also be courses that employ a comparative media approach with film, photography, other media and museum objects in a thematic and theoretical organization, such as documenting traumatic memory; archive fever; or digital truth. Whatever the particular topic taught under this number, the role of documentary forms in all media will be front and center in this course. Students are expected to acquire a conceptual vocabulary necessary for the examination of documentary forms in different media; to develop the analytic skills necessary to interpret in a socio-historical and formal context the documentary forms in art and media objects; to develop the research tools necessary for advanced undergraduate writing on film and media in the area studied in the course; and to acquire new informational content about the media being studied, with an emphasis on the role played by the documentary impulse in different media and art.