CINE-GT 1015 / Class # 6728
This course examines the ways in which the history of film has been conceptualized, written, documented, researched, and revised. Readings include theoretical considerations of historiography, methodological approaches, practical guides to conducting research, and a variety of essays from the field of cinema and media history and related disciplines. We analyze social, cultural, aesthetic, economic, ideological, and technological histories of cinema. How do we frame questions about film and the historical past that are substantial, answerable, and logically sound? What evidence might help answer these questions? How should we thereby write historical analyses that answer questions posed?
We will not attempt to survey the entire history of cinema. In roughly chronological sequence, we will consider particular aspects of that history: “early cinema,” “classical Hollywood cinema,” social history and exhibition, nonfiction and nontheatrical traditions, and the web-based media that cause us to reconsider what cinema is and was. This eclectic approach is indicative of the recent forms that film history has taken: de-centering Hollywood and feature films, rediscovering neglected archives, seeking “lost” works, moving past film specificity to historicize all moving images and sounds as a form of media archaeology.
This course is open only to Cinema Studies graduate students.