Film and Media Theory
20 001 | CCN: 17094
Location: Berkeley Art Museum 1T75
Date and Time: TU, TH 12:30pm - 1:59pm
“Theorizing, as a form of experimenting, is about being in touch. What keeps theories alive and lively is being responsible and responsive to the world’s patternings and murmurings. Doing theory requires being open to the world’s aliveness, allowing oneself to be lured by curiosity, surprise, and wonder. Theories are not mere metaphysical pronouncements on the world from some presumed position of exteriority. Theories are living and breathing reconfigurings of the world.”
Karen Barad, “On Touching – The Inhuman That Therefore I Am”
This course introduces students to foundational texts in film and media theory: texts that attempt to account for the aesthetic and cultural power of film and other mediums. These are also texts that theorize what it is to be human in a highly technologically-mediated world: how systems of power encoded in our language(s) and conceptual systems constitute us as subjects and locate us at the intersection of our identity categories; how mediums, in their basic structures and formal conventions, work to position us as spectators – and how we can push back through our own critical practices. The course focuses on major works of 20th and 21st century media and cultural theory; as these texts provide us with new theoretical tools, screenings will provide objects of analysis to which to apply them: concrete examples through which we may understand what we are reading and how we can apply it to our own experience, new texts, and our own artistic production.