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  Dec 15, 2017
 
 
    
Course Catalog 2010-2011 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cinema Studies


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Geoff Pingree, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and English; Director, Cinema Studies
Rian Brown-Orso, Associate Professor of New Media and Cinema Studies
EunJung Grace An, Associate Professor of French and Cinema Studies
William Patrick Day, Professor of English and Cinema Studies; Chair, Department of English
Brian Doan, Visiting Instructor in Cinema Studies
Daniel Goulding, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies and Theater Arts
Brett Kashmere, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies


CINEMA STUDIES THEORETICAL CONCERNS

Cinema, modern culture’s primary art form, is also the central component of the media traditions and industries that structure contemporary society. We cannot understand fully how music, painting, literature, and other artistic practices have developed without seeing them in relation to cinema, and we cannot begin to comprehend the full significance of the media in our lives without first studying cinema. Movies, as well as novels, magazines, radio broadcasts, television shows, art installations, and the internet (to name just a few) comprise what we think of, loosely, as media. Each profoundly influences how we understand and experience the world; each stands, in some meaningful way, between us and the world – past, present, and future. The Cinema Studies Program encourages its students to consider cinema and media within this framework and to explore the “in between” – to think, more precisely, about what mediates the relations among authors and readers, artists and audiences, filmmakers and spectators. It encourages them to pursue the meanings of cinema and other media in the broadest, most interdisciplinary ways, considering movies, for example, as works of art, as cultural forms, and as industrial practices.

Media are material forces that enable a global exchange of information, ideas and stories. From the Guttenberg press to Kindle wireless reading devices, from Morse Code to short-wave radio broadcasts, from magic lanterns to movie projectors, from typewriters to computer word processors, from town criers to YouTube, media have integrally shaped human history and society. Students majoring in Cinema Studies explore not only the “how” of this influence (how, for instance, an ancient poem or a contemporary television program is composed, gains influence, and shapes social and cultural attitudes and behaviors), but the “what” as well. They study the materials of art and communication – whether as words spoken, texts written, canvases painted, or celluloid exposed to light – that mediate their understanding of the world, of their own experience, of each other. And they consider media’s “how” and “what” in order to enrich their reflection upon its “why” – upon its moral, political, and cultural effects and justifications.

CINEMA STUDIES PRACTICAL CONCERNS

Cinema Studies at Oberlin thus concerns itself with a broad process of critical understanding that lies at the heart of liberal arts education – a process that involves paying close attention not only to the values and assumptions we bring to our encounters with different artistic and communicative structures, practices, and artifacts, but also to our engagements with the individuals, communities, and traditions that give them human significance. We study cinema and other media, in other words, so that we might become more reflective not only about the forms that structure our world, but about our own actions as creators and consumers of those forms. On the idea that to genuinely understand cinema and other media one must learn to create as well as analyze it, then, majors are required to take both hands-on media production and critical studies courses. And on the belief that to fully grasp media’s role in structuring social relations and shaping communities one must engage in concrete ways with one’s own community, in addition to our other areas of focus within the major, students will have the opportunity, beginning in 2010, to translate their experience with cinema and media into community outreach and service learning through the Oberlin College Apollo Outreach Initiative: after receiving training in the Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy, they will be able to teach media production classes to students in local public elementary, middle, and high schools.   

CINEMA STUDIES COURSES AND MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

Cinema Studies offers the following types of courses: The General Interest Cinema Studies Course is CINE 110, What is Cinema? The Introductory Cinema Studies Core Course is CINE 298, Form/Style/Meaning/Media. CINE 298 is required for the Cinema Studies major for those who declare after July, 2009.  Students who are interested in majoring in Cinema Studies should take this course by the end of their sophomore year and before they declare the Cinema Studies major. The Intermediate Cinema Studies Core Course is CINE 299, Persistence of Vision: Approaches to Cinema Studies.  CINE 299 is required for the major, and should be taken during the fourth or sixth semester at Oberlin (or the equivalent).  It may not be taken in either of the final two semesters at Oberlin and still count toward the major.  It is recommended that CINE 298 and CINE 299 be taken in sequence as the gateway to the Cinema Studies major. Cinematic Traditions Courses include all  other courses taught by the Cinema Studies faculty at the 200 level, as well as film courses from many College and Conservatory departments/programs in the list of cross-referenced courses below. Cinematic Traditions Courses count as electives toward the major.  CINE 110 or CINE 298 is suggested preparation for Cinematic Traditions Courses.  Courses cross-referenced with other departments may have different requirements noted in the catalog section of the listing department.  Apollo Outreach Initiative Courses count as electives and are geared for students who are interested in learning through teaching and community involvement.  The requirement for CINE 394, Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy I: Theory, is CINE 298 and consent of instructor; the requirement for CINE 395, Fall Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice, and CINE 396, Spring Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice, is CINE 394 and consent of instructor.  Advanced Cinema Studies Courses are those courses taught by Cinema Studies faculty at the 300 level.  Prerequisites may vary by course (see descriptions for details).  In general, 300-level critical studies courses will require CINE 110, 298, or 299 or consent of the instructor as prerequisite.  300-level production courses will, in general, require CINE 298 or consent of the instructor.  At least three Advanced Cinema Studies Courses are required of majors; at least one of these courses must be completed before the senior year.  Finally, majors must successfully complete The Senior Project Sequence, which includes CINE 400: The Senior Project I, and CINE 401: The Senior Project II.  This two-semester sequence is centered on the conception and development of a substantial independent project, typically either a film or critical work. CINE 298, 299, at least one Advanced Cinema Studies course, and consent of instructor are required before enrolling in CINE 400, The Senior Project I; CINE 400 and consent of instructor are prerequisites for CINE 401, The Senior Project II. Exceptional accomplishment in CINE 400 may result in an invitation to prepare for Honors evaluation during CINE 401.  See below for details. No student is guaranteed Honors. The Senior Project Sequence does not count toward any other requirement for the major.

Major


The Cinema Studies Major requires 30 hours in Cinema Studies courses, including

  • CINE 298, Form/Style/Meaning/Media (CINE 298 is required for the Cinema Studies major for those who declare after July, 2009.  Students who are interested in majoring in Cinema Studies should take this course by the end of their sophomore year and before they declare the Cinema Studies major.)
  • CINE 299, Persistence of Vision: Approaches to Cinema Studies (CINE 299 should be taken during the fourth or sixth semester at Oberlin, or the equivalent.  It may not be taken in either of the final two semesters at Oberlin and still count toward the major. It is recommended that CINE 298 and CINE 299 be taken in sequence as the gateway to the Cinema Studies major.)
  • At least three 300-level courses taught by the Cinema Studies faculty
  • CINE 400: The Senior Project I
  • CINE 401: The Senior Project II
  • Electives chosen in consultation with advisor. 

Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or received a grade of CR or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.

Film Production: Curriculum Logistics, Costs


The Cinema Studies curriculum is based on integrating critical and production courses in order for students to fully understand the broad spectrum of media.  All students are expected to do both critical studies and production work.

Our production facilities include a fully outfitted shooting studio with green screen and professional lighting capabilities, an equipment Depot that lends to students a wide range of digital video cameras (Sony PD170’s), HD cameras and 16mm film cameras (Bolex and Arriflex), tripods, digital audio recording tools, projectors and more. For post-production we have editing facilities fully equipped with Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Photoshop and ProTools. There is a vast collection of DVDs and films housed in the Oberlin Library system that are available to students for doing research.

Students in production courses are required to purchase their own external hard drives and A/V supplies, including tape stock, memory cards, and DVDs.  In addition, for most production courses there will be a lab fee.

Fall Semester at Prague Film School, Prague, Czech Republic


The Cinema Studies Program has a consortial arrangement with the Prague Film School. Students interested in the fall semester at PFS should consult with the Director of the Cinema Studies Program. All film courses, including those in film production, offered at PFS count toward the Cinema Studies major at Oberlin. Students may earn up to 14 credits during a semester at PFS. Coursework there will count as electives towards the Cinema Studies major; in addition, students may substitute these credits for one 300-level production course for the major.

Spring Semester at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts


The Cinema Studies Program has a consortial arrangement with the Film Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Students interested in the spring semester at Tisch should consult with the Director of the Cinema Studies Program. All film courses, including those in film production, offered at Tisch count toward the Cinema Studies major at Oberlin. Students may earn up to 14 credits during a semester at Tisch.  Coursework there will count as electives towards the Cinema Studies major; in addition, students may substitute these credits for one 300-level production course for the major.

Transfer of Credit


No more than 14 hours of transfer credit in Cinema Studies may be applied to the Oberlin Cinema Studies major. At least 12 hours in advanced courses (300-level courses and the Senior Project Sequence) must be taken within the program. To have transfer credit approval toward the major and/or toward meeting prerequisites for upper-level courses, students should consult the Director of the Cinema Studies Program (or his designate), preferably with syllabi in hand.

Winter Term


Winter Term projects sponsored by Cinema Studies faculty will be according to the interests and availability of staff. Students also are encouraged to propose group projects which, with an approved sponsor, they will direct.

Honors


Honors in Cinema Studies may be earned through exceptional performance in The Senior Project Sequence by seniors whose record both overall and in the major meet College-wide criteria of excellence.  Students will be informed after completion of CINE 400 that they are eligible for review for Honors during CINE 401.  Invited students will be advised throughout this process, leading up to a review of their work and an oral examination by the Cinema Studies faculty.  Honors in Cinema Studies is not guaranteed to any student.

First-Year Seminar Program


First-year seminars do not count toward the Cinema Studies major, but are recommended as an introduction to deeper-level skills in reading, viewing, analysis, writing and discussion. The successful completion of a first-year seminar will serve as one of the ways to satisfy the prerequisite for Cinematic Traditions courses. 

General Interest Cinema Studies Course


This course is mainly intended for students not planning to major in Cinema Studies.  However, Cinema 110 may count towards the major as an elective.  It will not replace other required courses, but can serve as entry into some Advanced Cinema Studies Courses. See Advanced Cinema Studies course descriptions for specifics.

Prerequisites:  Cinema 110 has no prerequisites.  Some spaces are reserved for first- and second-year students.

Introductory Cinema Studies Core Course


Those who declare the Cinema Studies major after July, 2009, are required to take CINE 298, Form/Style/Meaning/Media, which is the foundation for future study in the discipline.  CINE 298 combines production and critical studies elements, and serves as a prerequisite for both sorts of courses. Students who are interested in majoring in Cinema Studies should take this course by the end of their sophomore year and before they declare the Cinema Studies major. It is recommended that CINE 298 and CINE 299 be taken in sequence as the gateway to the Cinema Studies major.

Prerequisites: CINE 298 has no prerequisites.  Some spaces are reserved for first- and second-year students.

Intermediate Cinema Studies Core Course


Cinema Studies majors are required to take CINE 299, Persistence of Vision: Approaches to Cinema Studies. This course should be taken during the fourth or sixth semester at Oberlin (or the equivalent).  It may not be taken in either of the final two semesters at Oberlin and still count toward the major.  It is recommended that CINE 298 and CINE 299 be taken in sequence as the gateway to the Cinema Studies major.

Prerequisites: CINE 298 or consent of the instructor.

Cinematic Traditions Courses


Cinematic Traditions courses count as electives towards the major.  They include any 200-level course taught by Cinema Studies faculty exclusive of CINE 298 and CINE 299.  They also include cross-referenced courses from other departments in the College and Conservatory (see the heading, “Cross-Referenced Courses” below). 

Prerequisites
: CINE 110 or CINE 298 is strongly recommended as preparation for Cinematic Traditions Courses.  Unless otherwise noted, Cinematic Traditions courses are open to students who have completed any Writing Intensive (WRi) course, or have gained Writing Certification (WR) in any course in the Humanities.  They are also open to those who have achieved a 5 on the AP exam in English Language/Composition or English Literature/Composition; or a score of 710 or better on the SAT II writing test; or a score of 6 or 7 on the International Baccalaureate (IB). Other students may be admitted by consent of the instructor, with the understanding that students should be able to demonstrate the ability to handle writing, discussion, and analysis in ways typically taught in Writing Intensive classes.

Apollo Outreach Initiative Courses


The Apollo Outreach Initiative Courses count as electives toward the major.  During Spring semester, students will study media and pedagogy techniques in CINE 394 Practicum In Media Literacy and Pedagogy I: Theory.  These students will then be eligible to work at a summer movie-making workshop for children.  During the following Fall and/or Spring semester(s), students will implement the CINE 394 curriculum as media instructors in Oberlin Public Schools’ K-12 classes in CINE 395 and/or CINE 396 Fall/Spring Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice.

Prerequisite for CINE 394: CINE 298 AND consent of instructor.
Prerequisite for CINE 395 and CINE 396: CINE 394 AND consent of instructor.

Advanced Cinema Studies Courses


Advanced Cinema Studies Courses are those courses taught by Cinema Studies faculty at the 300 level.  At least three Advanced Cinema Studies Courses are required of majors; at least one of these courses must be completed before the senior year.

Prerequisite: Unless otherwise indicated, these 300-level courses require as prerequisites CINE 110, 298, or 299 or consent of the instructor.

The Senior Project Sequence


Cinema Studies majors must complete CINE 400, The Senior Project I and CINE 401, The Senior Project II in their final two semesters at Oberlin respectively.  This two-semester sequence of courses centers on developing and bringing to completion a substantial independent project, which will be publicly presented or exhibited.  CINE 298, 299, at least one Advanced Cinema Studies course, and consent of instructor are required before enrolling in CINE 400, The Senior Project I; CINE 400 and consent of instructor are prerequisites for CINE 401, The Senior Project II.   Honors in Cinema Studies grows out of the work done in The Senior Project courses (see below). 

Prerequisite for CINE 400: CINE 298, 299, at least one 300-level course, AND consent of instructor. Admission based on a completed application form.
Prerequisite for CINE 401: CINE 400 AND consent of instructor.

Honors


Students who meet College-wide requirements for their records in the major and overall, who are also judged to be have performed work of particular excellence in CINE 400, The Senior Project I, may be invited to try for Honors in Cinema Studies during their final term, while enrolled in CINE  401, The Senior Project II.  Students to be considered for Honors will be closely advised in preparation for a review of their Project and an oral examination by the Cinema Studies Faculty.  Honors in Cinema Studies is not guaranteed to any student.

Private Readings


Private Readings are available to students who have completed introductory coursework in the Program.

Cross-Referenced Courses


These courses count towards the Cinema Studies major as elective Cinematic Traditions Courses. Students should register for these courses using the number in the department or program of origin. For course descriptions and prerequisites, please see the department or program in this catalog.

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