The Craft of Writing – Film Focus – Identity and Film
R1B 003 | CCN: 32145
Location: Wheeler 220
Date and Time: TU, TH 11:00am - 12:29pm
This course explores the expression and the representation of identity in film. We will study films that question established perceptions of identity through political modes of representation. These mostly non-narrative films (documentary and essay films) reveal people, places, and social contexts engaged in alternative processes of identity construction and affirmation. We will identify and analyze cinematic technique of representation such as: performative construction of race and gender identity, media archeology of ethnic identity, recuperation of family identity through memory-probing interviews, interview as mediated challenge of unconventional identity, first-person experiential identity of place and space, evocation of trauma and survival. We will explore these film topics in relation to theoretical and philosophical readings, in an attempt to address questions on the politics of belonging to, or being excluded from social categories or groups, and on the tensions between the socio-political necessity and the cultural (ir)relevance of subscribing to identity labels.
This course fulfills the second part of the Reading and Composition requirement, with an emphasis on research. Students will learn to generate research topics, locate and evaluate sources, and write analytical, original papers with arguments supported by those sources. Students will base their writings on close readings of filmic texts.