The Craft of Writing – Film Focus / Embodied Media
R1B - 002 | CCN: 22345
Renee Pastel & Jessica Ruffin
T/TH 3:30 – 5:00 PM, Wheeler 202; Screening Tu 6:00 – 9:00PM, Dwinelle 243 ///
The body is the first medium we as humans come into contact with. As such, in turning to the
body, we are able to better understand media, and through media, we gain insight into
ourselves as embodied creatures. In this course, we will explore the body in, through, and as
media. Through philosophical and theoretical texts on human embodiment and performance,
cinematic spectatorship, prosthesis, media technology, and critical race theory, we will
investigate the complex relations between the corporeal, empirical, and imaginary in how we
feel, understand and experience ourselves, the world, and others. Recognizing that we come to
sense ourselves and bodies along the lines that we draw between ourselves and others, special
attention will be given to othered bodies–gendered, racialized, abject and otherwise.
Throughout the semester, we will work to critically engage with bodies and embodiment as both
empirical facts and necessarily imagined constructs as we seek to map correspondences and
develop theories around the complex interplay of our bodies and the medial environments they
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 media objects. In addition to encouraging
critical and analytical engagement and thinking, this course aims to develop student fluency in
composing longer and more complex papers than R1A, with specific attention to the
development of research skills and the ability to incorporate source material effectively.
Because learning to write cannot be done outside of a context of reading, the development of
critical reading and re-reading skills is also a key objective and will be emphasized and
encouraged throughout the semester.