History of Art 5001: Experiments in Film and Media Theory

Body

HISTORY OF ART 5001: EXPERIMENTS IN FILM AND MEDIA THEORY

Professor Erica Levin

Film theorist Thomas Elsaesser argues, “theory is never historically stable, but takes on new meanings in different contexts.” In this course, we’ll take his claim as a starting point for exploring different approaches to theorizing film and other moving image media, including formalist and realist film theories, as well as the­ories centered around relationship between screens, perception and the human body. We’ll address how film and media theorists have revisited classical, avant-garde, and ideological theories of spectatorship in light of recent transformations and mobilizations of the moving image. We will also explore the interrelation of (real) reception space and (imaginary) media space, the “ontology of the photographic image,” and “the crisis of the commons.” We will consider how cinema has been understood as an ocular-specular phenom­enon and how more recently it has come to be understood as an immersive perceptual event. In the process of this inquiry, we’ll delve into theoretical accounts of identification, synesthesia, haptic vision, and virtuality, and consider how Third Cinema, animation, and YouTube videos provide opportunities for critically re-eval­uating these different theoretical models and approaches.

This 5000-level course will be taught in conjunction with a graduate seminar covering the same material (HISTART 8901 Cinema Studies). Grads are encouraged to take the course for 4 credits under the 8901 class number.

SPRING 2021
5001 Undergraduate Class #: 32307 | Graduate Class Number #: 34310
8901 Class Graduate # 29424

INSTRUCTION MODE: ONLINE and SYNCHRONOUS

Image credit: PRETO E BRANCO by Distruktur in collaboration with Chatschatur (2015)