Communication and Culture | Introduction to Media Theory and Aesthetics
C503 | 29759 | Malitsky, J.
Tu, 4:00 PM-6:30 PM, C2 272
Required film screening: M, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, LH 102
Instructor: Josh Malitsky
Office: C2 217
This course introduces students to the major schools of thought in
the fields of film, television, and emerging media. We will pay
close attention to the specificities of cinematic, televisual, and
digital technique – the organization of mise-en-scène, camerawork,
editing, sound, color, and narrative – as well as larger questions
of meaning and impact. We will ask what aspects of cinema,
television, and digital media are specific to the medium and how
thinking about them interrelationally can be productive. We will
consider the epistemological and affective relationship between
screens and viewers by examining theoretical and critical analyses
alongside ethnographic studies on audience response.
In addition, this course aims to provide the broader theoretical
background necessary for understanding the theoretical and critical
work. We will read works associated with Formalist theory, the
Frankfurt School, phenomenology, structuralism, semiotics,
psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, and postmodernism. We will read
classical statements by theorists as well as ad hoc statements and
manifestoes by filmmakers. Throughout the semester, we will test
the theory against a variety of film, television, and digital media
texts, noting relation between screen theory and screen practice.
Writers include: Gunning, Singer, Musser, Eisenstein, Bordwell,
Adorno, Benjamin, Hansen, Kracauer, Bazin, Merleau-Ponty, Lacan,
Saussure, Althusser, Hall, Kellner, Mulvey, Doane, Jameson,
Baudrillard, Williams, Caldwell, Jenkins, Penley, Hooks, Deleuze,
Virilio, Manovich, Friedberg, and others.