Courses / Undergraduate

Fall 2016

  • The Craft of Writing: The Illusive (Elusive) “Real”

    R1B - 003 | CCN: 15685

    Renée Pastel and Alina Predescu

    4 Units

    This course examines the possibilities of representing and recreating reality in visual media. How does film’s basis in the indexical art of photography shape its relationship to the “real”? To what extent is what we perceive as ‘authentic,’ in fact constructed, mediated, and performed? What is the relevance of the notion of ‘truth’ in this context? Can we distinguish between fact and fiction, and is it even worthwhile to try? We will study films, television shows, and other forms of media that blur the boundaries of reality, and allow a rethinking of received definitions and established forms of perception. As a class we will reconsider ‘realism’ in film, treated both thematically within a narrative and as a foundational question of the filmic medium. Beginning with discussion of film as a photographic art form, we will use theoretical and philosophical readings to question how we perceive the ‘real’ in life and in art.
    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 paper with arguments supported by those sources. Students will base their writings on close readings of filmic texts.