201 | CCN: 31831
The seminar’s main goal is to acquaint students with ways to think "historically" about cinema. We explore theories of history, ranging from Hermeneutics to the Frankfurt School and Foucault, and also discuss more recent methodologies, such as media archaeology. The course argues that the rise of new media has opened up new vistas for the study of early cinema, which was itself a new medium more than a century ago. How can we make use of the ever-expanding archive for theory-based historical work? What were the possibilities and promises once associated with cinema, and how are those promises echoed in new media today? Although most examples will be drawn from the silent era, our questions will be in constant dialogue with present-day concerns of the digital age. There will be a conference at the end of the semester at which students will present their research.