Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2020

  • The Craft of Writing – Film Focus / Across Borders: Latin American Representations, Migrations, and the Multicultural Experience in International/Global/Transnational Perspectives

    R1A-003 | CCN: 25953 | 25954

    Jennifer Alpert

    4 Units

    *This course will be taught via Remote-Synchronous instruction

    Lecture: Tu/Th 11am-12:30pm; Screening: Th 5pm-8pm

    In an increasingly globalized world, conceptual frameworks of borders and our paradigms for defining cinema’s regional and cultural origin and belonging are becoming further problematized. Through the case study of Latin American film production (broadly conceived), this course examines what happens when characters, films, funding, and/or directors cross borders, with particular attention to how the multicultural and the diasporic experience shape representations on screen. How are the permeable borders that separate us (and that many governments have tried to reinforce through stringent policies) being challenged, critiqued, bridged, or reinforced through cinematic representation? What does it mean to make a Latin American or Latinx film today, and how does that definition change based on the system of production (Hollywood, independent, different industries throughout Latin America) in which films are made? What constitutes a fair, ethical portrayal? Is film itself a category that has developed a permeable border with the advent of digital and streaming technologies?

    These are some of the questions that will guide our discussion as we delve into the complexities of global media while we reconsider the analytical categories of national cinema, citizenship, cultural identity, and commercial vs. independent film among others. In the process, students will gain a greater understanding of how to read and summarize academic writing, and learn to construct an analytical argument and personal style through a writing intensive curriculum.