Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2018

  • The Craft of Writing: Colonialism and the Image

    R1B - 004 | CCN: 24283

    Jennifer Alpert & Diana Ruiz

    4 Units

    In this course, we will challenge the notion that colonialism is a relic of the past by focusing on colonialism’s role in cinema. More than simply the annexation of land by another national power, colonialism exists in literal and figurative forms across global cultures, often aided by cinema. Our approach takes a broad definition of colonization: the systemic control, occupation, and exploitation asserted by dominant power over that which is marginal. Through a critical look at both mainstream and avant-garde films, we will uncover the ways in which dominant film institutions, ideologies, and forms have appropriated the image in ways that erase marginalized voices and ways of seeing, and how different cinematic movements have attempted to challenge this system of oppression.


    This course emphasizes close readings of texts ranging from art movement manifestos, film theory, cultural studies, historical accounts, and postcolonial philosophy, as well as close attention to formal analysis in a broad scope of films– Hollywood features, ethnographic, documentary, and experimental films from a variety of global contexts. Students in this course will complete an original research paper based on the themes, films, and readings in the syllabus.