Screen Studies Courses
ENGL 2453: Introduction to Film and TV
This course is an introduction to the formal analysis of moving images—film, television, and new media—in aesthetic, cultural, and political contexts. Students discuss and write about films and other moving images screened in class.
ENGL 3263: Screen Theory and Criticism
An inquiry into the major concepts and debates of mass-media theory. Issues addressed include the nature of the relation between images and reality; the psychological and cultural significance of style in film, television, and new media representations; and the role that mass-media play in the organization of social and political relations.
ENGL 3353: Film and Literature
The theory and practice of the relationship between verbal and visual texts, including adaptation of literary works for the screen, and examinations of the aesthetic, industrial, and cultural relationships between visual and literary media.
ENGL 3433: Topics in Television Studies
A focused examination of one aspect of television culture, technology, history, and/or style. While the particular topics to be considered vary, and include everything from TV genres to TV theories, in each instance the course gives students an in-depth understanding of how television shapes the social and political world in which we live.
ENGL 3443: Studies in Film Genre
A comparative study of film genres, both in and outside the Hollywood system. The course will provide students with a focused knowledge of the history and aesthetics of selected genres, along with a sense of the economic imperatives that necessitate generic "contracts" between film producers and viewers. Genres likely to be taught include the film noir, the romantic comedy, and the horror film.
ENGL 3453: History of American Film
This course examines the history of cinema in the U.S. from its beginnings until the present, addressing such issues as: the origins of cinema, the coming of sound, American film genres, the Hollywood studio system, censorship, the challenge of television, the new American cinema of the 1970s, the politics of independent film production, and the rise of computer-generated imagery.
ENGL 3463: History of International Film
Introduction to the history of international cinema and the principal eras in film history, focusing on the moments when different national cinemas flourished.
ENGL 4263: Moving Image Aesthetics (formerly "Aesthetics of Film")
Prerequisite: ENGL 2453. A historical and theoretical examination of the stylistic and affective dimension of moving images, including questions of beauty and ugliness, cuteness and the graphic, enjoyment and disgust, high and low culture. Screenings will vary from semester to semester, but may include examples of realism, lo-fi production, prestige pictures, documentary, music videos and cult cinema, and will include material from both American and international contexts.
ENGL 4350: Contemporary International Cinema
Examines major trends in contemporary international cinema of the last fifteen years. National cinema may include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, China, Taiwan, India, South Korea, and Russia, amongst others.
ENGL 4450: Culture and the Moving Image
Prerequisite: ENGL 2453. An advanced class that examines in depth the relation between moving images and a particular cultural phenomenon, including mass media and the production of violence, the moving image as common culture, television and the construction of domestic life, to name only a few possibilities.
Recent Graduate Courses
Graduate seminars in the Screen Studies Program are taught under a variety of course headings, and reflect the diverse interests of our six faculty members. The specific courses listed below may or may not be taught in the future; however, this list will provide a sense of the kinds of graduate research and instruction supported by the OSU Screen Studies program
ENGL 5363: Critical Approaches to Screen Studies: Theory and History (Offered Regularly)
This introductory graduate course is designed to provide students with an overview of the basic theoretical and historical models in the fields of film and television studies. Students will encounter not only fundamental texts in the discipline, but also very recent work in the field. Our aim here is to see that students understand the traditions and approaches employed by screen studies scholars and also have a sense of how certain discourses, theoretical and historical, are developing. Students should leave the course with a sense of what it will require to make an intervention in the field. Moreover, this course will help students to understand not only the differences between theory and history, but also the very important ways in which they intersect. Likewise, students will become acclimated to doing close readings of theory, history and the moving image. The course should have the added benefit of enabling students to come to some understanding of their own scholarly inclinations, which they can continue to pursue and develop in a more explicit fashion. (Note: this course is offered regularly).
ENGL 5360: Marxism and Movie Form (Dr. Menne, Spring 2021)
In this seminar we will read key works in the tradition of Marxist cultural criticism, particularly as that tradition has intersected with the emergence of movies as a dominant cultural form. The key sites for us will be the Frankfurt School; the tradition of political economy; Marxist hermeneutics; the Birmingham School and Cultural Studies; and Third Cinema. We will read such thinkers as Adorno, Benjamin, Braverman, Hall, Jameson, Lukács, Kracauer, and Spivak, but we will also read quite recent work by such scholars as Anna Kornbluh, Luka Arsenjuk, and Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky. We will also bring this theoretical tradition to bear on a set of movies that are appropriately paired to the weekly readings.
ENGL 5360: Theories of Popular Culture (Dr. Takacs, Spring 2020) his course will introduce students the basic theories, and debates, in the study of popular culture. From Horkheimer and Adorno to Henry Jenkins and Suzanne Scott, we will cover the key approaches to industrial analysis, representation and identity, convergence culture, and fan studies. How have approaches to popular culture changed; what is still useful about old methods, and what no longer seems adequate to the times? Texts will include: Laurie Oullette, The Media Studies Reader; David Hesmondalgh, The Cultural Industries; Suzanne Scott, Fake Geek Girls: Fandom, Gender, and the Convergence Culture Industry, plus essays available via Canvas and examples to be determined.
ENGL 6360: Queer Culture, Queer Theory (Dr. Uhlin, Spring 2020) This course surveys the extensive cross-pollination between
queer theory and queer cultural production. It offers an sustained engagement with
the foundations and subsequent developments in queer theorizing, including questions
of authorship and reading strategies, publics and counter-publics, the “anti-social
thesis” and queer futurity, affect (shame, failure), queers of color critique, regionalism
and queer diasporas, transgender surveillance, and queer world-making. In examining
these theoretical questions, the course privileges queer aesthetics and cultural production,
framing examples from film and television as
mediated responses to these social and political issues. Screenings will be draw from popular cinema, contemporary television, global art cinema, and social media productions.
ENGL 6360: Hollywood History (Dr. Menne, Fall 2019) In this seminar we will consider the ways that Hollywood history can be told by organizing our inquiries around a series of problems: the problem of scale, the problem of Irving Thalberg, the problem of marriage, the problem of machine vision, the problem of race, and so on. We will view everything from D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) to Kogonada’s Columbus (2017), and alongside our viewing we will tease out the methodological assumptions of pioneering historical studies by Stanley Cavell, J.D. Connor, Michael Gillespie, Miriam Hansen, Kara Keeling, and D.N. Rodowick among others.
ENGL 6360: French Cinema Between the Wars (Dr. Uhlin, Fall 2018)
Social conduct and value systems as they affect the role of media in culture.
ENGL 5360: Hollywood Southwest: New Mexico (Dr. Menne, Summer 2018)
The exploration of key aesthetic issues of analysis and evaluation as they pertain to film criticism.
ENGL 5360: Post War Media Artists (Dr. Menne, Fall 2017)
This seminar surveys the frenetic experimentation in “media” forms in the postwar years, with a stress on the late ‘50s, the ‘60’s, and into the mid-‘70s. In this period, the term “media” connoted a sense of revolution in the sensorium, as Marshall McLuhan would understand it, and it had an urgent appeal in the postwar moment because such a revolution seemed to be in the making. In our retrospective appraisal, it might seem that to the extent this occurred, it did so in the displacement of verbal media by visual media—of the word, that is, by the image. Roland Barthes’ semiology, as elaborated in 1957’s Mythologies, signaled that the protocols in place for literary interpretation might be needed for the extra-linguistic signification of the commodified world, the final expression of which, Guy Debord would say, was the image. Artists of different stripes applied themselves to this glossy realm, whether that was in Ray and Charles Eames’ molded plastic chairs; or Andy Warhol’s silk-screened soup cans; or the high-design Saul Bass brought to Alfred Hitchcock’s movies; or the “media environments” and “happenings” staged by Allan Kaprow and Robert Watts; or the experiments in computer graphics; or even efforts in the academic humanities to understand these dizzying changes and renovate its curriculum accordingly. In this seminar we will assess some of the most important artists of the era, the movements they formed (Pop Art, Fluxus, New Bauhaus, etc.), and the succession of new media they developed including expanded cinema, video, and the digital arts.
ENGL 6360: Indie Cinema (Dr. Uhlin, Spring 2018)
Social conduct and value systems as they affect the role of media in culture.
ENGL 6360: Exploitation Cinema and Baby-Boom Taste Cultures (Dr. Menne, Fall 2017)
Though the New Hollywood is often thought to be modernist or self-consciously artful, it can be said to have risen on the back of the trashier “Exploitation Cinema” produced by Roger Corman and American International Pictures. Their movies were made for the drive-ins, and their subjects were bikers and babysitters. This taste for low culture was long in the making, the outcome of strains of American culture such as jazz (which put classical composition in contact with bodily rhythms), pop art (which accused the art world of commodity production), and the recent agon between the movies and television (which massified culture and made of it a “vast wasteland”). In this seminar we’ll read from cultural debates featuring Susan Sontag, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Dwight Macdonald, Lawrence Alloway, Harold Rosenberg, Clement Greenberg, Pauline Kael, Paul Krassner, Lester Bangs, and so on, but we’ll also read the more recent critical literature. These will be paired with screenings such as “Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?,” “The Wild Angels,” “The Trip,” “Pit and the Pendulum,” “Boxcar Bertha,” “The Secret Cinema,” “Coffy,” “The Shooting,” “Targets,” “Sisters,” and so on.