Courses

This page displays the schedule of Bryn Mawr courses in this department for this academic year. It also displays descriptions of courses offered by the department during the last four academic years.

For information about courses offered by other Bryn Mawr departments and programs or about courses offered by Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges, please consult the Course Guides page.

For information about the Academic Calendar, including the dates of first and second quarter courses, please visit the College's calendars page.

Students must choose a major subject and may choose a minor subject. Students may also select from one of seven concentrations, which are offered to enhance a student's work in the major or minor and to focus work on a specific area of interest.

Concentrations are an intentional cluster of courses already offered by various academic departments or through general programs. These courses may also be cross-listed in several academic departments. Therefore, when registering for a course that counts toward a concentration, a student should register for the course listed in her major or minor department. If the concentration course is not listed in her major or minor department, the student may enroll in any listing of that course.

Spring 2024 FILM

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
AFST B210-001 Black History in American Cinema Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM-2:15 PM TTH Park 180
Aboderin,T.
FREN B208-001 La diversité dans le cinéma français contemporain Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Old Library 104
Suaudeau,J., Suaudeau,J.
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU Carpenter Library 21
HART B170-001 History of Narrative Cinema, 1945 to the present Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:55 PM-2:15 PM TTH Old Library 110
King,H., King,H.
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM M Old Library 110
HART B235-001 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Carpenter Library 25
Feliz,M., Feliz,M., Teaching Assistant,T., Teaching Assistant,T.
LEC: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU Carpenter Library 25
ITAL B238-001 Italy on Screen: A Journey through Italian Cinema Semester / 1 Lecture: 1:10 PM-2:30 PM MW Dalton Hall 1
Genovese,G.

Fall 2024 FILM

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
ENGL B231-001 Horror Film Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Daniels,D.
GNST B237-001 Introduction to the Film Medium Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:30 AM TTH Dept. staff, TBA
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU

Spring 2025 FILM

Course Title Schedule/Units Meeting Type Times/Days Location Instr(s)
ENGL B228-001 Post-Nuclear Literature and Film Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM MW Daniels,D.
FREN B208-001 La diversité dans le cinéma français contemporain Semester / 1 Lecture: 11:40 AM-1:00 PM TTH Suaudeau,J., Suaudeau,J.
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU
HART B235-001 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema Semester / 1 Lecture: 10:10 AM-11:00 AM MWF Feliz,M., Feliz,M.
Film Screening: 7:10 PM-10:00 PM SU
HART B376-001 Topics in Interpretation and Theory: Affect, Art, & Psychoanalysis Semester / 1 LEC: 2:10 PM-4:00 PM M McKee,C.
HART B380-001 Topics in Film Studies: Digital Media Art Semester / 1 Lecture: 12:10 PM-2:00 PM M Carpenter Library 15
King,H.

2024-25 Catalog Data: FILM

AFST B210 Black History in American Cinema

Not offered 2024-25

This course will serve as an overview of the history of Black Cinema and the portrayals of persons of African descent in cinema from the early 1900s to the present. This includes developments from Hollywood, independent filmmakers, and experimental foreign films. Additionally, and more importantly, we will venture to gain a deeper comprehension of the politics of film, as well as the ways that cinema has been used as a form of socialization, and/or self-expression.

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ARCH B246 Classical Antiquity in Movies

Not offered 2024-25

This course explores the visual representations and the narratives of the Graeco-Roman times on screen. From silent films to modern Hollywood productions through Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming services productions, students will discuss the impact of classical antiquity in the film-making industry. We will be looking into how the depiction of different aspects of the Greek and Roman past (literature, history, art, archaeology) are used (and misused) on screen and in which way these productions influence the way we understand the ancient world.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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CRWT B266 Screenwriting

Not offered 2024-25

An introduction to screenwriting. Issues basic to the art of storytelling in film will be addressed and analyzed: character, dramatic structure, theme, setting, image, sound. The course focuses on the film adaptation; readings include novels, screenplays, and short stories. Films adapted from the readings will be screened. In the course of the semester, students will be expected to outline and complete the first act of an adapted screenplay of their own.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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CSTS B274 Greek Tragedy in Global Cinema

Not offered 2024-25

This course explores how contemporary film, a creative medium appealing to the entire demographic spectrum like Greek drama, looks back to the ancient origins. Examining both films that are directly based on Greek plays and films that make use of classical material without being explicitly classical in plot or setting, we will discuss how Greek mythology is reconstructed and appropriated for modern audiences and how the classical past continues to be culturally significant. A variety of methodological approaches such as film and gender theory, psychoanalysis, and feminist theory will be applied in addition to more straightforward literary-historical interpretation.

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EALC B240 Topics in Chinese Film

Not offered 2024-25

This is a topics course. Course content varies.

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ENGL B205 Introduction to Film

Not offered 2024-25

This course is intended to provide students with the tools of critical film analysis. Through readings of images and sounds, sections of films and entire narratives, students will cultivate the habits of critical viewing and establish a foundation for focused work in film studies. The course introduces formal and technical units of cinematic meaning and categories of genre and history that add up to the experiences and meanings we call cinema. Although much of the course material will focus on the Hollywood style of film, examples will be drawn from the history of cinema. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory.

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ENGL B213 Global Cinema

Not offered 2024-25

This course introduces students to one possible history of global cinema. We will discuss and analyze a variety of filmmakers and film movements from around the world. Students will be exposed to the discipline of film studies as it is specifically related to the cinema of East Asia, South Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. We will study these works with special emphasis on film language, aesthetics, and politics, as well as film style and genre. Along the way, we will explore a number of key terms and concepts, including colonialism, postcolonialism, form, realism, surrealism, futurism, orientalism, modernity, postmodernity, hegemony, the subaltern, and globalization. Filmmakers will include, among others, Wong Kar-wai, Satyajit Ray, Shirin Neshat, Fernando Mereilles, Agnès Varda, and Werner Herzog.

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ENGL B228 Post-Nuclear Literature and Film

Spring 2025

This course will consider silence as a rhetorical art and political act, an imaginative space and expressive power that can serve many functions, including that of opening new possibilities among us. We will share our own experiences of silence, re-thinking them through the lenses of how it is explained in philosophy, enacted in classrooms and performed by various genders, cultures, and religions.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ENGL B231 Horror Film

Fall 2024

How has cinema visualized monsters, death, spectral presences, and all that is beyond human comprehension? How (and why) has it sought to elicit fear, revulsion, and horror from its viewers? In this class, we'll explore these and other questions through a broad survey of the horror film across cinematic history. We'll consider a wide range of films and subgenres, including gothic silent films, "golden age" monster movies, 80s slasher films, and found footage horror. We'll also watch contemporary examples of how filmmakers like Jordan Peele, Ana Lily Amirpour, and Matt Farley have used the horror genre to produce independent, original, and critically acclaimed movies in an era dominated by franchises and high budgets. We'll pay particular attention to how the vampires, zombies, killers, and victims of horror are racialized, gendered, and classed, showing us how horror seeks (and often fails) to contain societal fears and anxieties within the realm of the fantastic. Likely films will include The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Night of the Living Dead, Get Out, and A Girl Walks Home at Night, among others. This course presumes no prior knowledge of film studies, and we'll read film criticism and scholarship to learn how to think, talk, and write about movies generally and horror films specifically. CW: Given the subject of the course, we will be watching a number of films that include disturbing or frightening imagery or themes. That said, the professor will happily provide content warnings on specific topics or themes if desired.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ENGL B232 Race on Film: From Student Movements to BLM

Not offered 2024-25

This course will introduce students to cinematic representations of and engagements with race since the late 1960s. In the years following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the student movements of the late 1960s, struggles for racial justice evolved in response to the development of new "colorblind" forms of oppression and the persistence of racial and economic inequality in spite of the Civil Rights movement's significant political victories. Filmmakers of color experimented with how best to represent and intervene in this struggle while Hollywood production companies sought to incorporate racial difference into their market share. We will watch a large variety of films, with a particular focus on Black cinema, from documentaries of the 1960s social movements, to early Blaxploitation films, to the L.A. Rebellion, to contemporary responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, alongside examples of Asian-American cinema, Chicanx cinema, New Queer Cinema, and Indigenous science fiction. We will ask questions about the importance and limitations of representation, the relationship between political movements and art, and the intersections of race with gender, sexuality, and economic class. We will pair short theoretical and critical readings with films by, among others, Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Cheryl Duyne, Spike Lee, Gregory Nava, and Wayne Wang.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ENGL B336 Topics in Film

Not offered 2024-25

This is a topics course and description varies according to the topic.

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ENGL B357 A Star is Born: Race, Gender, and Celebrity

Not offered 2024-25

This course will explore the concept of celebrity in cinema and cinematic culture from the standpoint of race and gender. Focusing on, but not limiting ourselves to, the classical Hollywood cinema (about the 1910s to the 1960s), we will approach the topic of stardom from theoretical and institutional perspectives. We will quickly discover that the study of celebrity opens out onto broad questions about the distinction between art and reality. What is the distinction, for instance, between a person and a character? What is it about celebrities that makes this question especially salient? What are we doing, precisely, when we identify with a character on screen, and, moreover, when that character is played by someone extremely famous? What are the racial, sexual, and gendered performances that go into the construction of celebrity? What political operations are at work in the formal construction of identification? Under what circumstances is identification something to be complicated, challenged, or avoided altogether? Celebrity also seems to hold within it the promise of its own demise. The extremely famous, for instance, are susceptible to infamy-or worse, irrelevance. How do race, gender, and sexuality intersect with fame's fundamental fragility, the way that celebrity seems to court obsolescence? We will examine these and other questions by way of classical and contemporary stars such as Josephine Baker, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Judy Garland, Anna May Wong, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga.

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FREN B208 La diversité dans le cinéma français contemporain

Spring 2025

Until the closing years of the 20th century, ethnic diversity was virtually absent from French cinema. While Francophone directors from Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa debunked colonialism and neocolonialism in their films, minorities hardly appeared on French screens. Movies were made by white filmmakers for a white audience. Since the 1980's and the 1990's, minorities have become more visible in French films. Are French Blacks and Arabs portrayed in French cinema beyond stereotypes, or are they still objects of a euro-centric gaze? Have minorities gained agency in storytelling, not just as actors, but as directors? What is the national narrative at play in the recent French films that focus on diversity? Is it still "us against them", or has the new generation of French filmmakers found a way to include the different components of French identity into a collective subject? From Bouchareb to Gomis, from Kechiche to Benyamina and Jean-Baptiste, this course will map out the visual fault lines of the French self and examine the prospects for a post-republican sense of community. This course will be taught in French. Open to non-majors. There will be a weekly screening on Sunday, 7:00pm-9:00pm.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Power, Inequity, and Justice (PIJ)

Counts Toward Africana Studies

Counts Toward Film Studies

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GNST B237 Introduction to the Film Medium

Fall 2024

This course provides students with an introduction to the language and practices of film analysis. It gives students exposure to formal and cultural issues important to the analysis of film. The course approaches film as both art and cultural artefact by focusing on film form, history, genre, theory, and production. In order to gain familiarity with the different aspects of cinematic style and narrative form, the course will explore a variety of films ranging from classic Hollywood, global cinema, to contemporary films. Assignments will ask students to reflect the course concepts through written assignments and multimodal projects. Attendance at weekly screenings is mandatory.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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GNST B255 Video Production

Not offered 2024-25

This course will explore aesthetic strategies utilized by low-budget film and video makers as each student works throughout the semester to complete a 7-15 minute film or video project. Course requirements include weekly screenings, reading assignments, and class screenings of rushes and roughcuts of student projects. Prerequisites: Some prior film course experience necessary, instructor discretion.

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HART B170 History of Narrative Cinema, 1945 to the present

Not offered 2024-25

This course surveys the history of narrative film from 1945 to the present. We will analyze a chronological series of styles and national cinemas, including Classical Hollywood, Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and other post-war movements and genres. Viewings of canonical films will be supplemented by more recent examples of global cinema. While historical in approach, this course emphasizes the theory and criticism of the sound film, and we will consider various methodological approaches to the aesthetic, socio-political, and psychological dimensions of cinema. Readings will provide historical context, and will introduce students to key concepts in film studies such as realism, formalism, spectatorship, the auteur theory, and genre studies. Fulfills the history requirement or the introductory course requirement for the Film Studies minor. This course was formerly numbered HART B299; students who previously completed HART B299 may not repeat this course.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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HART B235 Critical Approaches to Visual Representation: Identification in the Cinema

Spring 2025

This course is writing intensive. An introduction to the analysis of film and other lensed, time-based media through particular attention to the role of the spectator. Why do moving images compel our fascination? How exactly do spectators relate to the people, objects, and places that appear on the screen? Wherein lies the power of images to move, attract, repel, persuade, or transform their viewers? Students will be introduced to film theory through the rich and complex topic of identification. We will explore how points of view are framed by the camera in still photography, film, television, video games, and other media. Prerequisite: one course in History of Art at the 100-level or permission of the instructor. Enrollment preference given to majors and minors in History of Art and Film Studies. Fulfills Film Studies Introductory or Theory course requirement. This course was formerly numbered HART B110; students who previously completed HART B110 may not repeat this course.

Writing Intensive

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Inquiry into the Past (IP)

Counts Toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Visual Studies

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HART B376 Topics in Interpretation and Theory

Section 001 (Fall 2023): 20th C. Theories of Signs and Images
Section 001 (Spring 2025): Affect, Art, & Psychoanalysis

Spring 2025

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisite: one course in History of Art at the 100- or 200-level or permission of the instructor. Enrollment preference given to majors and minors in History of Art.

Current topic description: This seminar interrogates the 'Affective Turn' in the humanities that emerged in the past two decades and places this 'new' approach within a longer lineage of psychoanalysis and its centrality to certain strains of art historical research. Particular attention will be paid to the role of psychoanalysis and affect in feminist, queer, and Black studies approaches.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Film Studies

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HART B380 Topics in Film Studies

Section 001 (Spring 2025): Digital Media Art

Spring 2025

This is a topics course. Course content varies. Prerequisite: one course in History of Art at the 100- or 200-level or permission of the instructor. Enrollment preference given to majors and minors in History of Art and Film Studies. This course was formerly numbered HART B334.

Current topic description: D. N. Rodowick has argued that the digital arts "are the most radical instance yet of an old Cartesian dream: the best representations are the most immaterial ones because they seen to free the mind from the body and the world of substance." In this seminar, we will explore digital images in relation to cinema, photography, and other media. We will examine the fate of materiality, the body, and duration in 21st c. media, and consider whether or not the digital marks a significant break from the analog. Texts by Lev Manovich, Gilles Deleuze, Hito Steyerl, and others; works by Walid Raad, Nonny de la Peña, Jacolby Satterwhite, and others. Prerequisite: at least one prior 100- or 200-level course in the History of Art or equivalent. Cross-listed with Film Studies and English for major/minor credit.

Course does not meet an Approach

Counts Toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Visual Studies

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HIST B284 Movies and America: The Past Lives Forever

Not offered 2024-25

Movies are one of the most important means by which Americans come to know - or think they know-their own history. We look to old movies to tell us about a world we never knew but think we can access through film. And Hollywood often reaches into the past to tell a good story. How can we understand the impact of our love affair with movies on our understanding of what happened in this country? In this course we will examine the complex cultural relationship between film and American historical self-fashioning.

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ITAL B238 Italy on Screen: A Journey through Italian Cinema

Not offered 2024-25

This course will introduce students to contemporary Italian history and culture by viewing and discussing those films produced in Italy that most reflect the diversity of its nation and society, from the Unification to today. Group work, in-class discussions, and academic readings will foster students' visual analysis, cross-cultural reflection, and critical thinking skills on topics such as organized crime, gender inequality, masculinity, racial and ethnic discrimination, migration, mental disability, and queer identities. Students will familiarize themselves with renowned directors such as Roberto Rossellini, Federico Fellini, and Marco Tullio Giordana, in addition to acquiring an interdisciplinary understanding of Italian cinema. Taught in English, with an additional hour in Italian for students seeking Italian credit. Cross-listed with Film Studies.

Critical Interpretation (CI)

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Film Studies

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ITAL B325 Literature and Film, Literature into Films and Back

Not offered 2024-25

This course is a critical analysis of Modern Italian society through cinematic production and literature, from the Risorgimento to the present. According to Alfred Hitchock's little stories, two goats were eating the reel of a movie taken from a famous novel. "I liked the book better," says one to the other. While at times we too chew on movies taken from books, our main objective will not be to compare books and films, but rather to explore the more complex relation between literature and cinema: how text is put into film, how cultural references operate with respect to issues of style, technique, and perspective. We will discuss how cinema conditions literary imagination, and how literature leaves its imprint on cinema. We will "read" films as "literary images" and "see" novels as "visual stories". Students will become acquainted with literary sources through careful readings; on viewing the corresponding film, students will consider how narrative and descriptive textual elements are transposed into cinematic audio/visual elements. An important concern of this course will be to analyze the particularity of each film/book in relation to a set of themes -gender, death, class, discrimination, history, migration- through close textual analysis. We shall use contemporary Film theory and critical methodology to access these themes.

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MEST B201 Society and Culture of the Middle East Through Film

Not offered 2024-25

This course is designed so that students begin to acquire a knowledge and understanding of the contemporary Arab world through film. A main focus would be society and the representation of family life with all its intricacies. Because the region is extremely diverse and the life of its people and their experiences are, especially in the present, complex, it is necessary to select only a few of the countries in the region and their cinemas to focus on. This should allow for deeper study and meaningful conclusions. The cinemas of several Arab countries will be examined. Egypt has always been and to a large extent remains the center of Arabic-language cinema; three quarters of all Arabic-language feature films having been produced there. Films by famous directors such as Youssef Chahine and Shadi Abdel Salam, among others, will be appropriate to consider. But films from other Arab countries, e.g., from North Africa and the Middle East, will also be included for comparison and a more comprehensive picture.

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RUSS B258 Soviet and Eastern European Cinema of the 1960s

Not offered 2024-25

This course examines 1960s Soviet and Eastern European "New Wave" cinema, which won worldwide acclaim through its treatment of war, gender, and aesthetics. Films from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Yugoslavia will be viewed and analyzed, accompanied by readings on film history and theory. All films shown with subtitles; no knowledge of Russian or previous study of film required.

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RUSS B365 Russian and Soviet Film Culture

Not offered 2024-25

This seminar explores the cultural and theoretical trends that have shaped Russian and Soviet cinema from the silent era to the present day. The focus will be on Russia's films and film theory, with discussion of the aesthetic, ideological, and historical issues underscoring Russia's cinematic culture. Taught in Russian. No previous study of cinema required, although RUSS 201 or the equivalent is required.

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SPAN B252 Compassion, Indignation, and Anxiety in Latin American Film

Not offered 2024-25

Stereotypically, Latin Americans are viewed as "emotional people"--often a euphemism to mean irrational, impulsive, wildly heroic, fickle. This course takes this expression at face value to ask: Are there particular emotions that identify Latin Americans? And, conversely, do these "people" become such because they share certain emotions? Can we find a correlation between emotions and political trajectories? To answer these questions, we will explore three types of films that seem to have, at different times, taken hold of the Latin American imagination and feelings: melodramas (1950s-1960s), documentaries (1970s-1990s), and "low-key" comedies (since 2000s.) Course is taught in Spanish

Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)

Counts Toward Film Studies

Counts Toward Latin American,Iberian,Latinx

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flowers

Contact Us

Film Studies Program

Old Library
Bryn Mawr College
101 N. Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5334

Julien Suaudeau
Lecturer in French and Francophone Studies
Director, Film Studies Program
Phone: 610-526-6561
jsuaudeau@brynmawr.edu

Margaret Kelly, Administrative Assistant
Phone: 610-526-5334
mkelly01@brynmawr.edu