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  Nov 21, 2017
 
 
    
Course Catalog 2012-2013 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cinema Studies


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Geoff Pingree, Director, Cinema Studies Program; Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and English
EunJung Grace An, Associate Professor of French and Cinema Studies
Doron Galili, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies
Rian Brown-Orso, Associate Professor of New Media and Cinema Studies
Carla Carter, Visiting Instructor in Cinema Studies
William Patrick Day, Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Daniel Goulding, Emeritus Professor of Film Studies and Theater Arts
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

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 actual world; each stands, in some meaningful way, between us and that world – past, present, and future.

Oberlin’s 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.

Cinema and other 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 both reflects 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 purposes, justifications, and effects.


PRACTICAL REQUIREMENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

Cinema Studies at Oberlin thus addresses the broad processes of critical understanding and creative production that lie at the heart of liberal arts education –  processes that involve 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, critics, and consumers of those forms. On the idea that to genuinely understand cinema and other media one must learn to create media forms as well as analyze them, then, majors have the opportunity to enroll in both hands-on media production as well as 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, students have the opportunity to translate their experience with cinema and media into community outreach and service learning through the Apollo Outreach Initiative, a year-round media literacy outreach program housed in Cinema Studies whose central mission is to provide sustainable educational outreach and media literacy opportunities for public school students of all ages.  After receiving training in the Program’s courses in media literacy and pedagogy, majors can work with local public elementary, middle, and high school students to help them grow as artists, citizens, and leaders by mentoring them in the use of media, especially film, as a force for local and global education, understanding, community building, and change.  


OVERVIEW OF COURSES

First-Year Seminars

Part of the College’s First-Year Seminar Program, these courses do not count toward the major.  Several are taught by Cinema Studies faculty, however, and in addition to providing foundational learning experiences for first-year students, they provide one way to satisfy the prerequisite for Cinema Traditions Courses.

General Interest Courses

These courses are intended mainly for students not planning to major in Cinema Studies.  While it fulfills an elective requirement towards the Cinema Studies major, CINE 111 - What is Media?, for example, is open to all students in the College.

Introductory Core Courses

CINE 290 - Introduction to the Study of Cinema is required for all Cinema Studies majors and is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in the major (for those who declared before July 2009, CINE 299 - Persistence of Vision fulfills this requirement). Students interested in majoring in Cinema Studies should take CINE 290 as early as possible – no later than the end of their sophomore years, before they declare the Cinema Studies major, and before studying abroad/away. Students may not take CINE 290 in either of their final two semesters at Oberlin and still count it toward the major.

Cinematic Traditions Courses

Cinematic Traditions Courses, which count as electives toward the major, include all courses taught by the Cinema Studies faculty at the 200-level (except CINE 290 and CINE 298) as well as film courses from various other College and Conservatory departments or programs (indicated in the list of cross-referenced courses below).  Either CINE 111 or CINE 290 is suggested as preparation for Cinematic Traditions Courses.  Courses cross-referenced with other departments may have different requirements noted in the catalog section of the listing department.

Production Courses

Committed to the integrated (i.e. critical and creative) study of cinema and media, Cinema Studies offers, along with its critical studies courses, an introductory and a number of advanced media production courses.  Although no production courses are required for graduation in the major, students who wish to pursue production must begin with CINE 298, Video Production Workshop I, which is the prerequisite for all advanced production courses (see Advanced Courses below).  Students may take no more than one production course in a given semester at Oberlin (students studying production in the Prague, Tisch, or other such programs are obviously exempt during their semester abroad/away).  Production courses are selective and consent-only and enroll during the first week of classes; interested students should consult with advisors and/or course instructors prior to applying for admission.

Oberlin Arts Intensive Semester (OASIS)

OASIS is an arts-intensive semester (plus a Winter Term) at Oberlin in Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 that culminates in performances of faculty and student work at the Cleveland Public Theater.  Some OASIS courses may count as elective credit towards the Cinema Studies major.

Advanced Courses

Advanced Courses are classes taught by Cinema Studies faculty at the 300 level. Although additional prerequisites vary (see course descriptions for details), all Advanced Courses require CINE 290, and all Advanced Courses that are also Production Courses require CINE 298 as well. Most Advanced Courses require consent of the instructor. Majors must take at least three Advanced Courses to graduate; at least one of these must be completed before the senior year, and at least one must be in critical studies (not a Production Course).

Media Literacy and Outreach Courses

These courses, geared for students who are interested in learning through teaching and community involvement, are specially designed to prepare majors to participate in the Apollo Outreach Initiative (AOI), and they count as electives toward the major.  Interested students should first take CINE 394 - Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy I: Theory, which is offered each spring, and then take CINE 395 - Fall Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice, and/or CINE 396 - Spring Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice, to continue their involvement with AOI. CINE 298 and consent of the instructor are required for students who wish to enroll in Media Literacy and Outreach Courses. The combination of CINE 394 and either CINE 395 or CINE 396 may count towards the major as the equivalent of a 300-level course.

Senior Capstone Courses

To fulfill the major’s capstone requirement, students must, prior to graduation, successfully complete either (1) CINE 400 - The Senior Portfolio, (2) a Cinema Studies 400-level senior seminar, or (3) a fourth Cinema Studies 300-level course. The Senior Portfolio is enrolled by invitation based on applications and work samples submitted by majors at the end of their junior years and does not count towards any other requirement for the major.  All graduating Cinema Studies seniors, regardless of their Senior Capstone Course, may submit their final projects for award recognition at the end of the academic year.

Major


To graduate in Cinema Studies, students must take eight full course equivalents (thirty-two hours) in Cinema Studies, including

  • CINE 290 - Introduction to the Study of Cinema, which should be taken by the end of the sophomore year, before declaring the Cinema Studies major, and before studying abroad/away, and which may not be taken in either of the final two semesters at Oberlin and still count toward the major;
  • at least three 300-level courses taught by the Cinema Studies faculty, one of which must be taken before the senior year, and one of which must be in critical studies;
  • either CINE 400, The Senior Portfolio, a 400-level senior seminar, or a fourth 300-level course; and
  • electives chosen in consultation with an advisor.

Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.  Grades of P can fulfill some major requirements but should be taken sparingly.

Film Production


In order for students to understand the various dimensions of cinema and to become familiar with a broad spectrum of media, the Cinema Studies curriculum integrates critical and production courses.

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, HD,  Super 8, and (Bolex and Arriflex) 16mm film cameras, tripods, digital audio recording tools, projectors, Blu-ray decks, and more. For post-production we have editing facilities fully equipped with Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, ProTools, and other post-production software. There is a vast collection of DVDs and films housed in the Oberlin Library system that are available to students for classes and research.

Students in production courses are required to purchase their own external fire-wire hard drives and A/V supplies, including tape stock, memory cards, and DVDs.  In addition, production courses require a lab fee.

Beginning in Spring 2013, Cinema Studies will be housed in the renovated Apollo Theater, which will feature additional screening, animation, sound recording, and post-production facilities.

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 Cinema Studies.  Both CINE 290 and CINE 298 should be taken before studying abroad.  All film courses offered at PFS, including those in film production, count toward the Cinema Studies major.  Students may earn up to 14 credits during a semester at PFS, which 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 New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts


The Cinema Studies Program has a consortial arrangement with the Film Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Students interested in the spring semester at Tisch should consult with the Director of Cinema Studies.  Both CINE 290 and CINE 298 should be taken before studying away.  All film courses offered at Tisch, including those in film production, count toward the Cinema Studies major.  Students may earn up to 14 credits during a semester at Tisch, which 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 may be applied to the Oberlin Cinema Studies major. At least 12 hours in advanced courses (Advanced Courses and Senior Capstone Courses) must be taken within the Cinema Studies Program. For approval of transfer credit toward the major and/or toward meeting prerequisites for upper-level courses, students should consult with the Director of Cinema Studies (or his or her designate), preferably with syllabi in hand.

Winter Term


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

First-Year Seminar Program


First-Year Seminars do not count toward the major. Cinema Studies faculty teach several of these small, intensive courses, however (FYSP 128 - Media and Memory, FYSP 157 - The Sense of Time and Place, and FYSP 171 - Media and Meaning are examples), which are invaluable to first-year students in the College as they develop skills in critical and creative thinking, reading, viewing, analysis, writing and discussion. Successfully completing a first-year seminar is one of the ways to satisfy the prerequisite for Cinematic Traditions Courses. 

General Interest Courses


These courses are intended mainly for students not planning to major in Cinema Studies. Although they will not replace other required courses, they can serve as entry into some Advanced Courses (see Advanced Courses course descriptions for details). CINE 111 may count towards the major as an elective.

Prerequisites:  None; some spaces are reserved for first- and second-year students.

Introductory Core Courses


CINE 290 - Introduction to the Study of Cinema is required for all Cinema Studies majors and is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in the major (for those who declared before July 2009, CINE 299 - Persistence of Vision, fulfills this requirement). CINE 290 should be taken as early as possible – 1) by the end of the sophomore year, 2) before declaring the major, and 3) before studying abroad/away.  CINE 290 may not be taken in either of the final two semesters at Oberlin and still count toward the major.

Prerequisties: None

Cinematic Traditions Courses


Cinematic Traditions Courses count as electives towards the major.  They include any 200-level course (except CINE 290 and CINE 298) taught by Cinema Studies faculty as well as cross-referenced courses from other departments in the College and Conservatory (see the heading, “Cross-Referenced Courses” below). 

Prerequisites
: Either a First-Year Seminar, CINE 111, or CINE 290 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.

Production Courses


Production Courses are not required for graduation in the major. Students who wish to pursue production must begin with CINE 298 - Video Production Workshop I, which is the prerequisite for all advanced production courses (see Advanced Courses below for listings of advanced Production Courses). Students may take no more than one production course in a given semester at Oberlin (students in the Prague, Tisch, or other production programs are exempt). Production courses are selective and enroll during the first week of classes; interested students should consult with advisors and/or course instructors prior to applying for admission.

Prerequisite: CINE 290 or CINE 299 and consent of instructor.

Oberlin Arts Intensive Semester (OASIS)


OASIS is an arts-intensive semester of study at Oberlin in Fall 2012 followed by a required, full-time Winter Term project in January 2013 that culminates in performances of the work of both faculty and students at Cleveland Public Theater.  The semester focuses on exploring the integration of the arts, learning about collaborative creative and critical processes, and engaging in an ongoing community of like-minded peers towards the creation of original work.

Prerequisites: Admission is by consent only, based on application and audition.

Advanced Courses


Advanced Courses are classes taught by Cinema Studies faculty at the 300 level.  Majors must take at least three Advanced Courses to graduate; at least one of these must be completed before the senior year, and at least one must be in critical studies (not a Production Course). Most Advanced Courses require consent of the instructor.

Prerequisites for Advanced Courses: CINE 110 or CINE 111 and a Cinematic Traditions Course; OR CINE 290 or CINE 299; OR consent of instructor.

Prerequisites for Advanced Courses that are also Production Courses: CINE 290, CINE 298, and consent of instructor.

Media Literacy and Outreach Courses


Media Literacy and Outreach Courses, geared for students interested in exploring media through teaching and community involvement and specially designed to prepare majors to participate in the Apollo Outreach Initiative (AOI), count as electives toward the major.  During spring semester, students study media literacy and pedagogy techniques in CINE 394 - Practicum In Media Literacy and Pedagogy I: Theory.  These students then are eligible to participate in AOI’s Summer Media Workshop for Teens and to take CINE 395 - Fall Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice, and/or CINE 396 - Spring Practicum in Media Literacy and Pedagogy II: Practice in subsequent semesters to continue their involvement with AOI as instructors and mentors in media literacy and outreach projects in Oberlin Public Schools’ K-12 classes.  The combination of CINE 394 and either CINE 395 or CINE 396 may count towards the major as the equivalent of a 300-level course.

Prerequisites for CINE 394: CINE 298 and consent of instructor.

Prerequisites for CINE 395 and CINE 396: CINE 394 and consent of instructor.

Senior Capstone Courses


During their final year at Oberlin, Cinema Studies majors must successfully complete either (1) CINE 400 - The Senior Portfolio, (2) a Cinema Studies 400-level senior seminar, or (3) a fourth Cinema Studies 300-level course.  The Senior Portfolio does not count towards any other requirement for the major. All graduating Cinema Studies seniors, regardless of their Senior Capstone Course, may submit their final projects for award recognition at the end of the academic year.

NB: The Senior Portfolio is offered ONLY fall semester in 2012 and is enrolled by invitation based on applications and work samples submitted by majors at the end of their junior years. Students wishing to do senior projects in production must have taken at least one 300-level production course.

Prerequisites: At least one Advanced Course, and consent of instructor.

Private Readings


Private Readings are available to those who have completed introductory coursework in the Program.  Students seeking to arrange Private Readings should contact professors directly.

Cross-Referenced Courses


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

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