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Spring 2023 Film & Media Studies Courses

FILM 1051: Introduction to Film and Media Studies  
Instructor: Jim Knippling
BoK: FA and HU
TuTh 14:00-15:20                                                                                                                          
This course offers a broad introduction to the study of film. We will consider such issues as: (1) how films are made and marketed, (2) how films tell stories, (3) the techniques of film art, (4) methods of film theory and criticism, and (5) important movements in film history. A major emphasis of the course will be learning how to analyze a film. You will be introduced to the vocabulary involved in film analysis and will practice analyzing film sequences, as well as discussing films as a whole. Examples for discussion will range widely, from different countries, time periods, and genres. The idea of this course is that film analysis can apply to all types of films, from self-conscious "arthouse" films to summer blockbusters.

FILM 1052: Film & Media History                                                                                Instructor: Petersen Niehoff
BoK: HP and TI
TuTh 12:30-1:50
This class will trace the history of film and other screen media from the origins of motion pictures to the present. It will look at the most important technological, industrial, aesthetic, and cultural developments in screen media. Topics include the establishment of the film industry, the emergence of national cinemas, the studio system, key cinematic events and movements, and the emergence of new screen media technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries.

FILM 1053: Global Film & Media                                                                                  Instructor: Michael Gott
BoK: DC, FA and SCE
TuTH 11:00-12:20 
This course introduces students to film and screen media with a global emphasis, from key movements and developments of the 20th century in global film to new media technologies and globalization. Students will discover and analyze various important international film and television trends and movements: Italian neo-realism, the French New Wave, Czech New Wave and stop action animation, the German New Wave, post-colonial African cinema, Nollywood, Asian cinemas, Latin American cinemas. It will also consider how cinema and screen media have, from the start, moved across borders in a variety of ways. The course uses a selection of films and clips to explore the specific economic, political and historical circumstances of cinema around the world. We close with a consideration of new technologies for making and disseminating films, from i-phones to YouTube and their role in representing important global events such as the refugee crisis. 

FILM 2001: Exploring Screen Media
Instructor: Chandra Frank
BoK: FA and TI
TTh 11:00-12:20
The course will explore the variety of forms of screen media throughout history, from the age of mechanical reproduction to the age of digital media. It offers an introduction to media theory and allows students to become acquainted with key theoretical concepts from media studies, screen studies, and visual culture. Students will have the opportunity to work with different media in order to gain literacy in analyzing media art. In addition to the theoretical engagement with screen media, students will develop a creative project exploring these topics.

FILM 2005 001: Topics in Film & Media Studies: Media Law & Ethics
Instructor: Leonard Penix
BoK: FA and HU
TuTh 3:30-4:50
This course is designed to assist journalists and media practitioners in understanding the legal system and analyzing the elements of law that directly affect mediated communication.  The class discusses various topics through an introspective look at case law and current events.  Topics include First Amendment, libel, copyright, advertising, electronic and digital media, the courts and the media, obscenity and privacy.  Each topic will also include discussion of ethical concerns and exercises to stretch students' perception of their professional responsibilities.  We will also discuss several contemporary and historical/landmark cases, as well as hypothetical scenarios for informational and analytical purposes

FILM 2005 002: Topics in Film & Media Studies (Holocaust in Film)
Instructor: Jodi Elowitz
BoK: FA and HU
Tu 6:00-8:50 (Online)
In Film and Holocaust, students view and analyze films portraying Jews during the Holocaust, from Nazi propaganda to postwar documentaries and artistic reconstruction.

FILM 2005 003: Topics in Film & Media Studies (Star Wars)
Instructor: Mary Leech
BoK: FA and HU
MoWeFr 12:20-1:15
In 1977, the film Star Wars (subtitled as A New Hope) changed the film industry and the structure of film narrative. Before Star Wars, science fiction films were known for cheesy costumes and terrible special effects. Star Wars changed all that, and has since built an empire (not THE Empire!) that includes not just the nine base narrative films, but also stand alone films (Rogue One, Solo), animated series (The Clone Wars), and the live action series Madalorian among other things. In this class, students will explore the basics of George Lucas’ narrative vision for Star Wars as well as the ground-breaking film making that changed the way the public viewed science fiction and action movies in general. The class will also explore how the world of Star Wars has created a modern fairy tale, and what that means in relation to cultural impact and the influence on other media.

FILM 2008: Game Studies and New Media 
Instructor: Evan Torner 
BoK: SS and TI
MW 10:10-11:05 Fr Asynchronous 
This course introduces students to key concepts regarding games and social networks as procedural and participatory media. The course begins with discussions of analog board games as well as early sports as practiced in the pre-colonial Americas, and concludes with modern game poems as well as recent developments in mobile apps and social media connectivity. Careful attention will be paid to the systems of emergent human interaction that the media under discussion produce, as well as their circulation within pre-modern and modern societies. The course also presents an array of theoretical and pragmatic approaches to game studies, including but not limited to: procedural rhetoric, simulationism/immersionism, narratology/ludology, political economy, cultural studies, queer(ing) gameplay, design ethics and transmedia. Prior experience with games or game studies is not required.

FILM 2015: Introduction to Screenwriting
BoK: FA and HU
Multiple Sections
This course is an introduction to studying, learning, and practicing screenwriting techniques. Students will learn about film and television screenplay structure, analyze dramatic strategies in film and television, learn and apply correct script form, and creatively engage in the various stages of original scriptwriting.

FILM 2060: Sex and Race at the Movies
Instructor: TBA
BoK: DC and SE
Online asynchronous
Sex and Race at the Movies encourages students to think about how movies both reflect and influence society and about the role movies play in shaping race, sex, and gender. Students will learn analytical methods from Film Studies, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Critical Race Studies and apply them to both Hollywood movies and films from around the world.

FILM 2081: Theory and Practice
Instructor: Megan Boyd
BoK: TI and FA
TuTh 2:00-3:20
This course combines the study of film theory and history with techniques of film production. The course will introduce important movements such as German Expressionism, genres such as film noir, and theories such as the gaze. Students will then undertake short creative film projects that are based on elements of these movements, genres, and theories. The course is open to students in Film & Media Studies and Digital Media. Students with a production background will develop their working understanding of the theoretical concepts behind and history of filmmaking techniques and students with a primarily Film Studies background will be introduced to specific production and editing skills.

FILM 2095: Film & Media Studies Internship
Instructor: Michael Gott
* This course is also offered at the graduate level (FILM 7095)

Students undertake experiential learning through intern positions in areas related to film and television production, cinema marketing, film festivals, and arts organizations with cinema programming. Internships introduce students to the career possibilities open to them upon graduation and provide valuable learning experiences to complement coursework. Internship experience helps students determine what aspect of film, television, and media field they would like to work in after graduation. Students may intern with local productions, in a number of Cincinnati institutions or businesses, or may seek out national and international internship opportunities.

*Please contact with questions or if you wish to register



FILM 3001: (Genres & Movements) Jewish/Women’s Humor on Screen
Instructor: Jenny Caplan
BoK: FA and HP
TuTh 3:30-4:50
This course is a look at American Jewish history through one particular lens; that of the peculiar phenomenon of Jewish humor. There is a long history of Jews and humor which has nothing to do with the immigrant experience in America, but the immigrant experience in America nonetheless has a great deal to do with the humor that has been produced by Jews in this country, particularly in the 20th century. We will be reading some historical background on American Jews and some humor theory as our foundation for our understanding of weekly film viewings and in-class analysis of stand-up comedy performances, TV sketches, and musical recordings. By looking at the way Jewish humor changed throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries we can chart the way the lives of American Jews were changing and have a deeper understanding of the American Jewish experience. 

FILM 3018: Decolonial Game Design
Instructors: Evan Torner and 
BoK: HU and DEI
TuTh 2:00-3:20
This course asks the questions: How can we design games differently? How can we foster dialogue between students in the American Midwest and Global South, an intercultural exchange premised on games as a medium for dialogue and communication? How can we work to critique and decolonize game design, so as to create more space for others whose voices are not so often heard?

This Honors seminar requires the students learn the basics of decolonial critique and game design, and then apply those theories and methods in the development of their own decolonial games in dialogue with students from Brazil (as well as their own experiences in both the USA and Brazil). Students will start by situating both the United States and Brazil within frameworks of colonialism and racialized capitalism, which also constitutes a useful framework for understanding the respective game cultures between Global North and Global South. Then students will play and critique a variety of games that represent both normative assumptions about colonial operations as well as those games that question those assumptions. During this time, students will begin collaborating with students from Brazil on a shared game project, as well as go on trips local (and abroad, when possible) to enrich their understanding of the source material. Students will reflect on these experiences as well as their assumptions toward gaming and culture. As a final project, they will collaboratively design analog or digital games that express their new understanding of colonial relations and Global South positionalities.

FILM 4005 (Advanced Topics): Children and Media
Instructor: Nancy Jennings
Online asynchronous 
This course is designed to examine the impact of media on children and their families.  We will explore how children use different media, in what context and what effect different media messages and platforms have on children.

2023 Montreal and Quebec Film Study Tour – August 5-15 (FILM 2092)
On this trip, students will undertake a variety of other activities related to the culture of Quebec and the film industry in the province. We will discover Montreal, an incredibly diverse bilingual city where French is the predominant language, Quebec City, a primarily francophone city that is culturally, historically and architecturally distinctive in North America, and the film and media industries in the Province of Quebec. Montreal is a major site of film production for the local, national and international industries and the provincial government and cultural industries have made Montreal a capital of the thriving Quebec film industry and a center where the films are shown, archived, and the French-language industry cultivated. The Montreal and Quebec combination offers a unique cultural experience, exposure to diversity (notably through the French-speaking population from around the world that lives in Montreal), and valuable insights into an industry that is closely connected to US film industries. On the 3-hour train trip between the cities you will discover the amazing landscape of Quebec along the St. Lawrence River.

UC students will work with faculty and the students of the Cinema program at the University of Quebec at Montreal on a place-based film project (screenwriting, a short film or scene) inspired by a neighborhood in Montreal. We watch a variety of films made or set in Montreal to prepare for the trip. On the side trip to Quebec City we will work with director and UQAM instructor Frederick Pelletier, who made a feature film set in Quebec City.

Applications will open in January, 2023. Contact Michael Gott ( for more information