MLA Proseminar: Cinema & Media Studies
Course Online: Synchronous Format
This seminar has a bold aim: it seeks to understand better what has happened in our world since the era of decolonization, by considering the term “politics” in its very broadest and most dramatic connotations, as the dream of social change (and its failure). Another way of describing its subject matter is to say that it is about revolution and counterrevolution since the Bandung Conference. Together we will investigate the way in which major historical events, including the struggle for Algerian independence, the military coup in Indonesia, the Cuban Revolution, the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in Congo, the Vietnam War, Latin American dictatorships, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fall of the Soviet Union, the end of apartheid in South Africa, 9/11, and the Iraq War and its aftermath, have been represented in some of the most innovative and moving films of our time. Attention will therefore be paid to a variety of genres, including cinema verité, documentary, the thriller, the biopic, animation, the global conspiracy film, hyperlink cinema, science fiction and dystopia. Films will include: The Battle of Algiers, The Year of Living Dangerously, Memories of Underdevelopment, Lumumba and Lumumba: La Mort du Prophète, The Fog of War, The Lives of Others, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Even the Rain, The Constant Gardener, Syriana, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Waltz with Bashir, Caché, Children of Men, andThe Possibility of Hope. An archive of secondary readings will be provided on Canvas. Writing requirements: a final paper of around 15 pp. Students will also be invited to volunteer in-class presentations.