Theorizing Film & Media
200 | CCN: 24405
Tues, 1pm-4pm, Location: Dwinelle 226
Screening: Monday, 6pm-8:30pm, Location: Dwinelle 188
This course offers an advanced introduction to theories of film and other audiovisual media. We will read key works of film and media theory from the early twentieth century through the post-structuralist turn, as well as examining their resonances and afterlives in more recent theoretical projects. We will situate these works in the context of the larger intellectual movements that they emerged from and helped to shape. Topics may include modernity and the culture industry (Frankfurt School), debates over realism and “ontology,” apparatus theory, psychoanalysis, feminist film theory, Marxist media theory, post-modernism, Deleuze and Deleuzean film theory, affect theory, phenomenology, queer theory, and critical race theory. We will consider how recent works of media theory displace the centrality of film as an object, and problematize our understanding of key terms from the history of film theory: the public sphere, the apparatus, and the subject. We will approach audiovisual media as technologies of representation, of cultural fantasy, of perception, and ask how their theorization has been central to the analysis of aesthetics and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, to the point that a study of modernity without a theory of film and media is virtually inconceivable.