Spring 2016 Undergraduate Courses

Tier One

Seminars and small lecture classes that serve as a core curriculum for Cinema Studies MAJORS only.

Film History: Silent Cinema


Dan Streible
Wednesdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 648
4 points
Class # 15670

This course provides an introduction to the aesthetic, technological, and cultural development of cinema from the emergence of film to the arrival of sound. The class also addresses issues of silent film historiography and explores the basic tools for analyzing the art of film. Topics include: the emergence of cinema from various scientific experiments and popular entertainments of the nineteenth century, the “cinema of attractions”, D.W. Griffith and the origination of narrative form, film expressivity through the use of camera, editing, set design, and acting, “location” as a cinematic concept, the city in cinema, the body and corporeality, film genres, silent film sound, the usage of color, women and the silent screen, the rise of the Hollywood glamour culture, and the movie star system. Screenings cover examples from national cinemas around the world such as American early drama and comedy, Scandinavian cinema, Italian cinema, French Impressionism and the avant-garde, Weimar cinema from Expressionism to New Objectivity, Russian pre-revolutionary melodrama and Soviet montage, Japanese silent cinema, and Hollywood of the 1920s. Readings, screenings, and written essays required. 

Mondays, Room 646
Section 002 / 11:00am-12:15pm, class # 15671
Section 003 / 12:30-1:45pm, class # 15672
Section 004 / 2:00-3:15pm, class # 15673

Television: History and Culture


Artel Great
Mondays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 648
4 points
Class # 15674

This course will interrogate the industrial, economic, and cultural dimensions of television's evolution as a technology and a system of representation. We will consider the medium of television and its storytelling, myth-making, and cultural practice from sociological, political economic, and cinematic perspectives. This course focuses on the history of prime-time commercial broadcasting and cable programming by exploring television’s cultural history through several theoretical frameworks.  In addition, we will examine the TV business in transition following the rise of the Internet and digital culture, transmedia, new technologies and new forms of entertainment, including Netflix, the emergence of social media and the ‘webseries’ all as contemporary sites for the expressive production of culture, political debate, alternative discourses, and emerging models of public participation.

Thursdays, Room 646
Section 002 / 11:00am-12:15pm, class # 15675
Section 003 / 12:30-1:45pm, class # 15676
Section 004 / 2:00-3:15pm, class # 15677

Advanced Seminar: Gender & Madness


Chris Straayer
Tuesdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 652
4 points
Class # 15779

In this seminar, gender provides a lens for viewing madness as depicted in film, thus producing a focal point within a study of broader issues. How has film translated and incorporated psychoanalytic and psychiatric concepts for popular entertainment? Have these depictions changed over time? Are these representations informed or irresponsible? Do they construct our viewership as empathic or voyeuristic? Remembering the ultimate impossibility of seeing mental processes, we will inspect their cinematic displacements onto characters’ appearances and behaviors and narrative events in films such as Possessed, The Bad Seed, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Butcher Boy, Spider, and American Psycho.  The core UG Film Theory Class is a prerequisite for this seminar.


Advanced Seminar: Downtown NY Art & Film


Vera Dika
Mondays, 6:00-10:00pm
Room 635
4 points
Class # 15692

Some called it “punk” some called it “postmodern.” This course explores the art and film practice of New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although situated in a geographical area of lower Manhattan, the artists came from across the country and around the world, and the practice spanned high and low culture, as well as across mediums.  For a short moment, art, film, music, and performance dynamized the galleries, clubs, and lofts, and created works that often looked to the medium of film itself for inspiration.

Studying this practice in context, we will address the traditional avant-garde, and its subsequent rejection and revival in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  We will also consider the important critical writings of the period, as well as the economic and social conditions of a city that today has been so dramatically transformed.

Works by such artists as Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, Jack Goldstein, Amos Poe, James Nares, Vivienne Dick, and Kathryn Bigelow will be studied. Screenings, readings, class discussions, and written reports required.

Vera Dika holds a Ph.D. in Cinema Studies from New York University. She is the author of three books, The (Moving) Pictures Generation: New York Downtown Film and Art (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), Recycled Culture in Contemporary Art and Film: the Uses of Nostalgia (Cambridge University Press, 2003) and Games of Terror: Halloween and the Films of the Stalker Cycle 1978-1983 (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1991). Dr. Dika is a founding editor of Millennium Film Journal.


Advanced Research/Writing Seminar


Antonia Lant
Day & Time TBD upon enrollment
4 points
Class # 15693

Students must have a GPA of 3.65 to enroll.

This course will provide the CAS Honors Student with the opportunity to write a departmental Honors Thesis (approximately 40 pages in length). At the same time, this course is open to UG Majors who have an interest in producing a longer paper that is of suitable quality for publication or conference submission.  This will be a very participatory workshop – drawing on individual paper topics to drive the academic content. Students interested in continuing onto the graduate level are also recommended to enroll. Please be prepared with a paper in hand that you wish to develop and polish during this seminar.  All CAS students wishing to be considered Honors MUST take this course.  Any TSOA major with a GPA of 3.65 is encouraged to take this course as a Thesis option.


Advanced Seminar: Transnational Melodrama


Zhen Zhang
Thursdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 670
4 points
Class # 15925

Is melodrama a genre?  How can it be studied across different film cultures?   This seminar takes as its premise that melodrama is at once a prevalent mode throughout world film history and a powerful expressive form addressing significant social changes and historical experiences.  Focusing on the post World War II period up to the early 1970s, we examines the proliferation and transformation of the melodramatic mode in film within various national, subnational, postcolonial and global contexts. We will study melodrama’s various manifestations--as colonial fantasy, war trauma rehabilitation, and decolonizing and nation-building narratives--in relation to questions of genre, gender, affect and style.  But most importantly, the course builds its investigation of melodrama trans-nationally and cross-culturally in order to search for new understandings of melodrama’s role in remaking a world cinema as an integral part of the postwar world order.


Tier Two

These are small lecture classes open to all students. Seats are limited.  Non-Cinema Studies majors should register for section 2 of each class. It is suggested that non-Cinema Studies majors enroll in Expressive Cultures: Film or Language of Film prior to enrolling in these courses.  No permission code required.

Asian Media & Pop Culture


Jung-Bong Choi
Tuesdays, 6:00-10:00pm
Room 670
4 points

Section 001 (Cinema Studies majors) / Class # 21653
Section 002 (Non-majors) / Class # 21654

This class surveys major concepts and issues concerning media and popular cultures in Asia along with the region’s geocultural and sociopolitical environments. It investigates the assumed distinctiveness of Asian media systems in conjunction with the macro theoretical questions of regionalism, Asian modernity, cultural hegemony and postcoloniality. There are three sections in this class: the first part examines  a range of media/cultural texts and practices as an effort to locate conceptual frameworks befitting the regional particularities; the second part assays the political economy of media institutions following the end of Cold war and intensification of globalization; the last part looks into the latest development of mobile digital media in relation to the changing dynamics of producing, distributing and participating in inter/regional popular cultures. While adopting methodological transnationalism in the place of national frameworks, it will focus geographically on East Asia with due attention to both South East Asia.



Sid Gottlieb
Mondays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 674
4 points

Section 001 (Cinema Studies majors) / Class # 21619
Section 002 (Non-majors) / Class # 21620

Sid Gottlieb, Monday 12:30PM – 4:30PM, Room 674                                                     4 points
This course will focus on representative films from all stages of Hitchcock’s career as a director, including his work in the silent era, his sextet of thrillers in the 1930s, his early films in Hollywood, and the films of his "major phase" in the 1950s and ‘60s, including his television work. I’ll try to balance new looks at some of his films that everyone has probably seen (e.g., The 39 Steps, Vertigo, Psycho) with what may be first looks at some of his films that have been overlooked or under-appreciated (e.g., The Pleasure Garden, I Confess, The Wrong Man). Recurrent topics of discussion will include Hitchcock’s visual style; analysis and presentation of human weakness, wickedness, and sexuality as well as his critical examination of social institutions and political issues; representations of women; and reflections on the act of watching and the art of cinema. We will also examine Hitchcock’s place in film history, discussing films he was influenced by and those he influenced, and his role in critical history. Each class will include an introductory lecture, film screening, and discussion. Required work will include regular reading assignments and writing at least one short (5 pp.) and one long (12-15 pp.) critical essay.

Sid Gottlieb is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut, where he teaches courses in film, television, and critical approaches to media. He has a particular interest in Alfred Hitchcock, has edited collections of Hitchcock's writings and interviews, and also co-edits the Hitchcock Annual with Richard Allen.

Youth in Japanese & Korean Cinema


Jung-Bong Choi
Thursdays, 6:00-10:00pm
Room 670
4 points

Section 001 (Cinema Studies majors) / Class # 21655
Section 002 (Non-majors) / Class # 21656

What is the role of cinema in a dystopic society and how does cinema as a social commentary attends to such grim realities? This class is a socio-anthropological inquiry into the interface between the youth and independent/commercial films of Japan and Korea amid heightening social crises at the turn of a new millennium. Though vibrant outwardly, youth cultures in Japan and Korea are somber testimonies to countless social malaises: generational conflicts, austere ageism, inhumane educational systems, disintegrating family structures, raucous mantra of antagonistic competition, and the world’s highest suicide rate. Beset with neoliberalist thrusts that vandalize human decency, youths in Japan and Korea find their cinematic images also afflicted by violence, alienation, unemployment, crime/addiction, and no prospect for a way out. Focusing on film texts produced during abysmal economic downturns, the class probes the affective, discursive and analytical nature of cinema in their accounts of the distraught and disenchanted youths in Japan and Korea. Class requirements include two research presentations, bi-weekly response papers, and pre-class film viewing. The in-class screening will cover Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s Bright Future, Tetsuya Nakashima’s Memories of Matsuko, Iwai Shunji’s All About Lily ChouChou, Yang Ikjun’s Breathless, and Jung July’s The Girl at My Door.

Asian American Cinema


Ed Guerrero
Fridays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 674
4 points

Section 001 (Cinema Studies majors) / Class # 20656
Section 002 (Non-majors) / Class # 20657

This course will survey a variety of issues, expressions and images in films made by, for, and about Asian Americans in popular narrative American cinema. Our viewing, reading and writing will cover a developmental, historical range of Asian American focused films, performances, and film making practices over the past century. We will engage a spectrum of critical concerns ranging from the crude misrepresentation of Asian Americans in such films as Broken Blossoms (1919), or “Charlie Chan” stereotypes, to independent break through films like Chan is Missing (1982), or films with ‘crossover,’ ambitious like The Joy Luck Club (1993) or Flower Drum Song (1961). Moreover, we will watch a number of socially outspoken documentaries, such as Slaying the Dragon (1988), Angry Little Asian Girl (2004), or Who Killed Vincent Chin (1987). We will cover the debates and issues salient to the development of Asian American cinema, including: the politics of representation of race, class, gender and sexuality; how the political economy works to over determine Asian American cinema production and its varied expressions; the politics of double consciousness and ‘marginality’; bi-racial buddy theory; negative vs. positive image debates, and so on. We will also explore the two main currents of Asian American cinematic expression: the brilliant contributions that Asians have made to mainstream cinema and the independent, breakthrough productions that mark Asian American efforts to build an emergent, fully representational cinema practice.

American Film of the 1960s & 70s


Bill Simon
Wednesdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 670
4 points

Section 001 (Cinema Studies majors) / Class # 15966
Section 002 (Non-majors) / Class # 16137

This course will examine a tendency in American narrative film during the 1960’s and the first half of the 1970’s.  This tendency can be generally defined as putting into dialogue two characteristics: 1) innovation in narrative structure and the use of genre; and 2) a critical perspective towards aspects of American culture and politics. We shall study specific narrative and genre qualities which differentiate this period of American film-making from classical norms.  And we shall relate motifs of the films in relation to specific historical manifestations in politics, society and culture.  Film-makers include Kubrick, Penn, Peckinpah, Wexler, Lester, Coppola, Malick, Pakula, Scorsese, and Altman.  Screenings, readings, and papers required.

Please note: limited enrollment.

Tier Three

These are large lecture classes with recitations open to all students.  No permission code required.

American Cinema: 1960 to Present


Jaap Verheul
Tuesdays, 6:20-9:50pm
Cantor 102
4 points
Class # 15678

American cinema has consistently positioned itself at the intersection of technology, entertainment, and art. In its first sixty years, it gradually developed into a mode of audiovisual storytelling, aesthetic experimentation, and industrial craftsmanship. By the 1960s, however, American cinema found itself at a crossroads. Much like US society, filmmakers of the time sought to formulate a variety of responses to the nation’s radical shifts in cultural identities, political values, and aesthetic conventions. Focusing on the cultural politics of race, gender, class, and political ideology, this course chronicles the sixty-year evolution of mainstream, independent, and experimental American cinema since the 1960s. We will discuss the steady decline of Hollywood and address the subsequent emergence of a cinema of experimentation, which New Hollywood had re-appropriated into the “new normal” by the late 1970s. The tension between normativity and subversion also structures our discussion of the 1980s, when independent productions challenged Hollywood’s white, middle-class, and domestic mores and, in doing so, contributed to an ideological and creative overhaul of mainstream filmmaking. We will then concentrate on the steady dissolution of this vibrant independent sector into a conglomerate studio system in the 1990s, which, in an era of reactionary politics, facilitated the conservatism of American filmmaking in the 2000s. Last but not least, we will consider the impact of the current digital turn in American cinema, in which filmmakers rely on digital effects to enhance their vision and ultimately decide to abandon celluloid altogether.

Cross-listed with FMTV-UT 324.

Wednesdays, Room 646
Section 002 / 9:30-10:45am / Class # 15679
Section 003 / 11:00am-12:15pm / Class # 15680
Section 004 / 12:30-1:45pm / Class # 15681
Section 005 / 2:00-3:15pm / Class # 15682
Section 006 / 3:30-4:45pm / Class # 15683
Section 007 / 4:55-6:10pm / Class # 15684

International Cinema: 1960 to Present


José Palacios
Mondays, 6:20-9:50pm
Cantor 102
4 points
Class # 15685

This course presents an overview of international filmmaking practices and histories since the 1960s. Surveying a variety of geographical regions and thematic concerns, it pays special attention to the relations between cinema, history, and identity. Screenings and clips will consist of narrative, documentary, and experimental films, including the works of directors such as Véra Chytilová, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Abbas Kiarostami, Lucrecia Martel, Tsai Ming-liang, Glauber Rocha, and Ousmane Sembène, among others. We will examine films from a formal, aesthetic, historical, and theoretical perspective, focusing on the development of film movements and their relations to the larger cultural, artistic, and industrial contexts in which they participate. For these purposes, the course is divided in three parts. First, “New Waves/New Cinemas” studies the global emergence of cinematic new waves, the aesthetic goals that drove them, and their lasting influence in film history. Second, “Projecting the Nation/Screening Worlds” looks at cinema as a complex phenomenon where aesthetic concerns are deeply tied to questions of cultural identity, national history, and the production of collective memories. Finally, “Global Art Film” considers how reevaluations of cinephilia and authorship, plus the role played by international film festivals have shaped in recent years what we understand by “national,” “international,” “transnational,” and “world cinema”.

Cross-listed with FMTV-UT 322.

Tuesdays, Room 646
Section 002 / 9:30-10:45am / Class # 15686
Section 003 / 11:00am-12:15pm / Class # 15687
Section 004 / 12:30-1:45pm / Class # 15688
Section 005 / 2:00-3:15pm / Class # 15689
Section 006 / 3:30-4:45pm / Class # 15690
Section 007 / 4:55-6:10pm / Class # 15691

Tier Four

These are small lecture classes on theory and practice for Cinema Studies MAJORS only.  SEATS ARE LIMITED.

Writing Genres: Scriptwriting


Ken Dancyger
Thursdays, 6:20-9:50pm
Room 674
4 points
Class # 16135

Genre is all about understanding that there are different pathways each genre presents to the writer. Genres each have differing character and dramatic arcs. In this class students will learn about different genres and using that knowledge will write two different genre treatments of their story idea. This is an intermediate level screenwriting class.

Independent Study & Internship

Permission code required. CINEMA STUDIES MAJORS ONLY.  Students may register for a maximum of 8 points of Independent Study/Internship during their academic career.

Independent Study

1-4 points variable
Class # 15694

1-4 points variable
Class # 15695

A student wishing to conduct independent research for credit must obtain approval from a faculty member who will supervise an independent study for up to 4 credits. This semester-long study is a project of special interest to the student who, with the supervising faculty member, agrees on a course of study and requirements.  The proposed topic for an Independent Study project should not duplicate topics taught in departmental courses.  This is an opportunity to develop or work on a thesis project. To register, you must present a signed “Independent Study Form” at the department office when you register.  This form must be completely filled out, detailing your independent study project.  It must have your faculty sponsor’s signature (whomever you have chosen to work with - this is not necessarily your advisor) indicating their approval.





1-4 points (variable)
Class #16082

1-4 points (variable)
Class #16083

A student wishing to pursue an internship must obtain the internship and submit the Learning Contract before receiving a permission code.  All internship grades will be pass/fail. 




Cross-listed, Graduate & Outside Courses

History of Chinese Cinemas

CINE-GT 1135

Zhen Zhang
Tuesdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 670
4 points
Section 002 / Class # 20680

This course traces the origins of Chinese cinema and its transformation and diversification into a multi-faceted, polycentric trans-regional phenomenon in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan up to the 1960s. We study a number of film cultures in Shanghai/China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, including the complex web of their historical kinship ties, and place them within the regional and global contexts of modernity, revolution, nation-building, and attendant socio-cultural transformations. To investigate these unique yet interrelated film cultures together raises the question of national cinema as a unitary object of study, while suggesting new avenues for analyzing the complex genealogy of a cluster of urban, regional, commercial or state-sponsored film industries within a larger comparative and transnational framework. Topics related to screenings and discussions include urban modernity, exhibition and spectatorship, transition to sound, stardom and propaganda, gender and ethnic identities, and genre formation and hybridization. 

Email zz6@nyu.edu for permission.

Culture of Archives, Museums & Libraries

CINE-GT 3049

Howard Besser
Thursdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 611
4 points
Class # 7079

This course studies the different kinds of institutions that collect and manage cultural heritage material: museums of art, history and science; libraries, archives, and historical societies; corporate institutions. It compares and contrasts these types of institutions to reveal how they differ from one another. It considers, for example, how different types of institutions may handle similar material in significantly different ways (from what they acquire, to how they describe it, to how they display or preserve it). The course also examines the principles followed by the different professions that work in these institutions (librarians, archivists, curators, conservators). The course examines theories of collecting, and the history and culture of heritage institutions and the professions that work there. It studies their various missions and professional ethics, and the organizational structures of institutions that house cultural heritage (including professional positions and the roles of individual departments). Experts who are professionally concerned with cultural collections will visit the seminar to discuss their organizations and duties, while the class will also visit a variety of local cultural institutions. The course is required for students in the MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation. Other students should write to the instructor for permission at <howard@nyu.edu>

Curating Moving Images

CINE-GT 1806

Dan Streible
Tuesdays, 12:30-4:30pm
Room 648
4 points
Class # 7150

The word “curating” differs in meaning in different contexts. This course embraces a broad conception of curating as the treatment of materials from their acquisition, archiving, preservation, restoration, and reformatting, through their screening, programming, use, re-use, exploitation, translation, and interpretation. This course focuses on the practices of film and video exhibition in museums, archives, cinematheques, festivals, and other venues. It examines the goals of public programming, its constituencies, and the curatorial and archival challenges of presenting film, video, and digital media. We study how archives and sister institutions present their work through exhibitions, events, publications, and media productions. We also examine how these presentations provoke uses of moving image collections. Specific curatorial practices of festivals, symposia, seminars, and projects will be examined in detail.   Active participation in class discussion is essential to the success of this seminar, and therefore mandatory. All graduate students (and select advanced undergraduates) may take the course.  

Documentary Traditions

CINE-GT 1401

David Bagnall
Mondays, 6:20-9:50pm
Room 108
4 points
Class # 7069

This course examines documentary principles, methods, and styles.  Both the function and the significance of the documentary in the social setting, and the ethics of the documentary are considered.