ENGL 616C (01) - Studies in Film/Culture and Ideology

Studies in Film/Sci-fi Film

Durham   Liberal Arts :: English
Credits: 4.0
Term: Spring 2022 - Full Term (01/25/2022 - 05/09/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Class Size:   25  
CRN: 56709
Advanced, focused study of the narrative, dramatic, and poetic practices of cinema, within one of four possible subject areas: A) Genre; B) Authorship; C) Culture and Ideology; D) Narrative and Style. Precise issues and methods may vary, ranging from general and specific considerations of how a given subject area involves film theory, criticism, and history, to its use in diverse analyses of selected national cinemas, periods, movements, and filmmakers. May be repeated for credit barring duplication of topic. Barring duplication of material taken for credit in CMN 650, course may be repeated for credit. Detailed course descriptions available in the English department office.
Department Approval Required. Contact Academic Department for permission then register through Webcat.
Repeat Rule: May be repeated up to unlimited times.
Equivalent(s): AMST 605, ENGL 616
Attributes: Writing Intensive Course
Instructors: STAFF

Times & Locations

Start Date End Date Days Time Location
1/25/2022 5/9/2022 TR 2:10pm - 3:30pm HS G35
Additional Course Details: 

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This course examines the emergence of sci-fi films from cheaper and sensational B genre productions into ambitious and costly A genre films raising serious social and cultural questions. As imagined utopian or dystopian spaces, sci-fi films address contemporary issues of technology, standardization, authoritarian rule, invasion of privacy and surveillance. From within worlds of seemingly sanitized order, sci-fi films focus on troubling questions of health and immunology, genetics, eugenics, race, class, and gender. On a conceptual level, sci-fi films challenge perceptual notions of space and time and erase the difference between simulation and reality in their imagined cyber worlds. We will explore the relation of future oriented cinematic worlds to the cultural present in which they are screened. Classic sci-fi films (2001: A Space Odyssey) will be examined along with more recent films (Children of Men). Particular attention will be paid to the variety of genres invoked by sci-fi films ranging from horror (Alien), to mystery (Ex-Machina) epic superhero (The Matrix) noir (Blade Runner), and recent TV series (Stranger Things).  Close analysis will involve cinematography and the function of soundtrack in the construction of utopian/dystopian space. No prerequisites. Course requires use of Canvas.