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Courses in LSA Screen Arts & Cultures

The primary goal of the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures is to provide students with high quality instruction in the history, theory, aesthetics, and technique of moving image media in its historical and emergent forms. We also believe that a significant element of creative practice in the field, broadly conceived, is extremely important both to student's understanding of media and to making their knowledge marketable post-graduation.

The curriculum in Screen Arts and Cultures provides an integrated program of courses in the history, aesthetics, theory, and techniques of film and moving image electronic media (television, single camera video, digital). Emphasis is placed on a liberal arts sequence that provides students with a solid foundation for understanding how film and electronic-based visual media arise out of varied cultural, historical, social, and technological circumstances.

Screen Studies

The Screen Studies mission is to advance the knowledge and understanding of all forms of the moving image media, from film, television, and video to emergent digital forms, and courses stress the importance of understanding international or global contexts. The Screen Studies curriculum is based on the premise that a broadly based education in the moving image gives our graduate an advantages an advantage when entering their chosen profession, the film industry, or graduate school.
SAC 190, 232, 236, 245, 272, 309, 320, 330, 340, 351, 352, 353, 355, 361, 365, 366, 367, 368, 372, 375, 376, 380, 381, 422, 440, 441, 442, 451, 455, 460, 461, 470, 480, 485, 490, 499, 500.

Production

Production courses in the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures are integrated into the students study of the history, aesthetics and theory of the moving image. A wide variety of courses are offered in all phases and genres of production. Courses are offered in film, video, television and digital arts. The program is oriented to teach all genres including dramatic narrative, documentary as well as experimental and personal work. Students are expected to master fundamental production techniques as they apply to their conceptual goals.
SAC 290, 300, 301, 302, 306, 400, 401, 402, 404, 406.

Screenwriting

SAC 310, 410, 423, 427.

Television Writing

SAC 311, 411.

Screen Arts and Cultures (SAC)
SAC 210. Introduction to Screenwriting
SAC 236. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

After taking this course, students will understand how timeless dramatic principles function in feature films, television shows, and new media. Students will also understand how the elements of storytelling (characterization, point-of-view, subtext, symbolism, dramatic irony, etc.) translate to motion pictures in ways different from fiction and the stage.

SAC 236 / RCHUMS 236. The Art of the Film
(4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Lectures and demonstrations isolate the different elements and techniques that the director utilizes in film-making to shape viewers' response. Historical developments, artistic and technological, are discussed. Sections for discussion analyze and interpret significant films.

SAC 250 / HJCS 250 / JUDAIC 250. Jewish Film: Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality
(4). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This lecture course offers an introduction to Jewish cinema from the earliest silent films to contemporary animated documentary. A range of European, American, and Israeli films will offer contrasting representations of Jewish ethnicity across diverse national contexts. We will consider how the nexus of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality and class informs images of Jews on the screen created in divergent historical periods and political circumstances.

SAC 272. Classical Film Theory
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is designed to introduce the student to the basic concepts and intellectual preoccupations of what is now known as "classical film theory." Attention is given to major theorists and theorist/practitioners of the first half of the twentieth century such as Sergei Eisenstein, Rudolf Arnheim, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and others.

SAC 282 / ASIAN 282 / RCHUMS 283. Asia Goes Viral: Asian Pop Culture in the Age of Social Media
(4). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

This course introduces students to the popular culture of Asia. Topics will include film, television, anime, music, and social media.

SAC 290. Introduction to Media Production
SAC 230 or 236 or RCHUMS 236, completed with a minimum grade of C- or better. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (CE). May not be repeated for credit.

SAC 290 is a hands-on survey course in media production introducing television, digital video, and film. Students gain first hand experience in strategies and techniques of scripting and pre-production, production, and post-production. Students will master a basic understanding of the aesthetics and processes of film, video, and television production.

SAC 300. Dramatic Narrative I
SAC 290; and concentration in Screen Arts and Cultures. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This introductory motion picture course familiarizes students with dramatic narrative movie production from interpreting the screenplay through location production techniques and post-production. It provides students with a solid understanding of how standard movie production processes and techniques are used to effectively communicate ideas in Dramatic Narrative productions (any genre: comedy to drama). Students work in teams of four to six to produce two short films as well as participating in two in-class dramatic narrative film productions.

SAC 301. Documentary I
SAC 290 and SAC Concentrator. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is designed to teach the theoretical, aesthetic and technical principles of making a meaningful and compelling documentary. An introduction to documentary, this class will focus on knowing what makes a story compelling and how to clearly convey the ideas visually. The craft of shaping of story ideas, creating powerful images that drive the story, capturing and use of sound, script writing, narration, and advanced editing with Final Cut Pro will be explored.

SAC 302. Television I
SAC 290; and concentration in Screen Arts and Cultures. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Building on previous television experience, this course is designed to focus on the relationship between technique and content in television programs. Students receive continued hands-on experience in multi-camera studio television production through a series of increasingly complex directing projects.

SAC 304. The Experimental Screen I
SAC 290 with a minimum grade of C- or better, and a declared major in Screen Arts and Cultures. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (1 - 3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course provides intermediate experience in special production topics. Film, video, television and/or digital production may focus on a particular subject area and/or approach to the medium.

SAC 306. New Media Practices I
Consent of instructor required. SAC 290. Students should have basic working knowledge of the Macintosh platform, Photoshop, and digital video. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an intensive, 15-week introduction to time-based new media processes and practices. With an emphasis on individual and team-based activities, students engage with an array of materials, hardware and software to produce short projects for a variety of potential platforms that include single-channel presentation, web-based programming, portable media, installation and live audio/visual performance. Using 2D animation as a starting point we consider a number of current strategies to produce media (both lens-based and non lens-based), how it has evolved, and how contemporary new media interface with current cinematic and artistic practices.

SAC 308. Screenwriting for Non-Majors
(3). (CE). May not be repeated for credit.

In this course designed for non-majors, students are required to write character profiles, a treatment, a complete three-act step outline for their proposed screenplay, and a first act of approximately 25 pages.

SAC 310. Screenwriting I: The Feature Script
SAC 210,SAC 290,SAC majors. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course teaches students to write a feature-length screenplay. Students begin with the development of a concept, proceed to writing a treatment, and then spend the majority of the semester working on the full script. Students will read and critique each other's work.

SAC 311. Writing for Television I: The Spec Script
SAC 210,SAC 290, SAC major. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course teaches students to write full length teleplays for various small-screen formats. The class has rotating formats so students will focus on one genre or serial format during a given semester, such as sit-coms, dramas, soap-operas, etc.

SAC 313 / RCHUMS 313 / SLAVIC 313. Russian and Ukrainian Cinema
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The course spans the period 1917-present, from the Russian pioneers of film montage to the varied cinematic approaches of recent directors. All films are viewed, analyzed, and discussed with respect to their intrinsic aesthetic structure and to the cultural trends and socio-political events of the period and country.

SAC 314 / POLISH 314. Polish Cinema
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Course covers Polish cinema from WWII to the present, tracing the development of film styles in the context of the historical, political, and cultural features of Polish society, with focus on the use of realist norms, intricate symbolism, and absurdist allegory to critique the loss of civic values under Communism.

SAC 316 / ITALIAN 316. Screening Italian-Americans
(3). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the history of Italian Americans' representation from gangster films to The Jersey Shore. It also explores how the American film and television industries have historically translated stereotypes about Italians' national, racial, and ethnic difference into a wide range of appealing representations to achieve popular and political consensus.

SAC 320. Documentary Film
SAC 230 or 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The films to be studied in this course will be selected from the full spectrum of documentary film practices from the 1920's to the present, but will concentrate on the specific topics rather than on a historical overview. The developing and shifting conception of documentary film practice, issues of social import, of political and propagandistic values, of documenting the "other" as well as claims to veracity and objectivity will be treated within an analytical framework.

SAC 325. New Line and New Hollywood Cinema
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This class examines New Line Cinema as a way to better understand the cultural, economic, and historical conditions of contemporary cinema. By looking at the different films, genres, and franchises put out by New Line, we will see how they have shaped the cultural scene in the United States since 1967.

SAC 330 / ENGLISH 330. Major Directors
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

The various sections of this course are devoted to concentrated analysis of particular directors or of particular schools of filmmaking. Representative films are shown and discussed in terms of their place in the context of film history. General theoretical concepts about film are developed.

SAC 331 / ENGLISH 331. Film Genres and Types
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Careful analytical studies of representative films from various film genres. The course concentrates on one particular genre every semester it is offered. Past subjects have included non-narrative film, post-1972 gore, farce, and the American musical.

SAC 332 / GERMAN 330. German Cinema
(3; 2 in the half-term). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

An introduction to German cinema and its cultural background from the beginning to the present, with emphasis on the classical period (ca. 1918 to 1938) and the modern (post-1965) resurgence.

SAC 333 / GERMAN 333. Fascist Cinemas
SAC 236. (3). (HU). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

This interdisciplinary course explores the fascist-era cinemas of Germany, Spain, Italy, and Japan. It focuses on a set of common themes to identify both commonalities and specificities of a given context or historical moment.

SAC 334 / AMCULT 334. Race, U.S. Culture and Digital Games
(4). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines how video games function as a window into U.S. race relations. We will study the history, theory, and practice of video games in the U.S. with particular attention to racial stereotyping, user demographics, diversity of the industry, and racial conflict in shared world and social games.

SAC 340. Writing Film Criticism
SAC 230 or 236. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is aimed at helping students write illuminating and stylistically engaging film criticism. Students will do this within the context of screening contemporary films and reading various types of critical writing in popular and academic criticism.

SAC 350. The Silent Screen: Arts and Cultures
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The screening of moving images encompasses a long and fascinating history that begins even before the emergence of cinema. International in scope and intermedial in approach, this course examines the diversity of screen practices that preceded the introduction of synchronized sound at the end of the 1920s.

SAC 352. Film History: Origins to the French New Wave
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course introduces students to the history of cinema from its technological and cultural origins in the late nineteenth century to the global impact of the French New Wave. The objectives are to orient students to a wide range of cinema, establish the relationships between films from different aesthetic, industrial, and national contexts, and illuminate the development of narrative form and film style.

SAC 353. Film History: Post New Wave
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the development of cinema during a period characterized by significant changes in film form and style as well as by important industrial and technological developments. It considers the international dimensions of these changes as well as their specific national and institutional contexts. The course also addresses questions of historical method in film scholarship and the relevance of this period to current trends in film production and reception.

SAC 354. New Media History
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

The history of new media extends back into the histories of media and technology far deeper than we might first imagine. Computers, software programs, networks and the innovative social, cultural and artistic exchanges and representations that occur through them have emerged from, adapted and re-formed prior media like film and television while also introducing and spreading new kinds of content and experiences across a range of networks and devices. This class looks back at the history of media in order to best understand our present notion of what new media is and how it has come to be. From photography to weaving, radio to television, automobiles to airplanes, we seek to understand how the technologies of the Industrial age are part of the history of our current and future forms of new media.

SAC 355. Television History
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course traces the development of television from the medium's historical, industrial and technological roots in radio to the advent of new audiences, technologies and forms in the 1990s. Addressing television as a global phenomenon, we will investigate televisions institutions, structures, and programming from various perspectives in order to understand television's role in mass culture.

SAC 358 / ITALIAN 358. Italian Cinema
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Focusing on the post-WWII period, this course looks at Italian cinema from a number of perspectives: political, commercial, social, and aesthetic.

SAC 366. Topics in Film, Television and Popular Culture
(3). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course addresses the role of film and television as popular media. It emphasizes the acquisition and use of analytical skills relevant to the given topic and serves as an introduction to cultural studies. Students will be taught to read and analyze specific popular films, genres, or figures; at the same time, the course introduces broader issues in cultural studies, such as definitions of popular/mass culture and the 'culture industry', the role of intertextuality, reception or globalization in popular culture, and the function of gender and sexuality in popular culture. Topics may include: James Bond as Popular Hero; Serials in Film and TV; Popular Cinema Beyond Hollywood; Cult Films/Cult Shows.

SAC 367. Introduction to Digital Media Studies
(3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course surveys the technologies, representations, and experiences that constitute digital media culture. Course goals are to understand the aesthetic, political, and cultural roles of digital media by reading diverse texts and entering into the debate around new technologies and the ways that we imagine them.

SAC 368. Topics in Digital Media Studies
SAC 367. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This course explores topics relevant to film and video studies and emerging entertainment, communications, and computer technologies. Courses methodologically use critical theory, industry studies, media and cultural studies to digital media representations and experiences. Topics include but are not limited to digital media theory, video games, and virtually and identity.

SAC 372. Contemporary Film Theory
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines approaches to film theory. It explores how different theories and methods of analysis built on structural and post-structural presuppositions and paradigms have influenced recent film theory, its consideration of narrative practice, the psychological experience of viewing, the construction of moving image representations, and the impact of technology on aesthetic practice.

SAC 375. Television Theory and Criticism
SAC 236. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Introduction to various methodologies in study of commercial television programming; semiotic, linguistic, rhetorical, cultural, etc. Throughout the course, emphasis will be upon inquiry into what television is saying and how messages are represented for mass comprehension.

SAC 376. New Media Theory
SAC 236. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course surveys the major theories of digital media culture from theories of media convergence to "cyberfeminist" analysis of identity politics and accounts of the formal properties of digital media.

SAC 380 / AMCULT 380 / LATINOAM 380. Studies in Transnational Media
Prior coursework in Screen Arts & Cultures, Communications (TV), or Latino Studies. Knowledge of Spanish is not required. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Taught in English.

Drawing from writings in cultural theory and criticism in both English and Spanish. This course will examine national and transnational trends in Spanish and Portuguese language TV, alternative video and cinema since WW II.

SAC 381 / AMCULT 381 / LATINOAM 381. Latinas/Latinos and the Media
Consent of department required. AMCULT 213 or SAC 236 or AMCULT 380/SAC 380 or SPANISH 380. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines the access and contributions of Latinas/os to the U.S. media from an historical perspective, with a culminating emphasis on the contemporary period. The cultural scope is pan-Latino, covering a range of genres and formats, from documentary to experimental film and television.

SAC 400. Dramatic Narrative II
SAC 300; and concentration in Screen Arts and Cultures. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This is an intermediate sync-sound movie production course. It familiarizes students with dramatic narrative (any genre comedy to drama) sync-sound movie production from interpreting the screenplay through sync-sound shooting and post-production. Students have access to high-end production equipment and work in large teams to produce a substantial sync-sound final project. They also participate in dramatic narrative productions in class in collaboration with Theatre and Drama students.

SAC 401. Documentary II
SAC 301, SAC concentrators only. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This advanced course is designed to teach the theoretical, aesthetic and technical principles of making compelling non-fiction productions. The class includes readings and viewing of clips to investigate current and past issues in non-fiction production that include documentary form, objectivity in documentary production, ethics, and representation.

SAC 402. Television II
SAC 302, SAC concentrators only. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This is an advanced course in television production focusing on a multi-camera studio or location production. Possible topics may include Situation Comedy or Live Event Production.

SAC 404. Exp Screen II
A 300- (or 400-) level production course in the relevant emphasized area: SAC 300, 301, 302, or 306; and permission of instructor. (1 - 3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

An advanced course in special production topics that may include film, video, television and/or digital production within a particular subject area and/or approach to the medium. It also may focus on collaborations with other courses or units.

SAC 406. New Media Practices II
Consent of instructor required. SAC 306 or equivalent experience and permission of instructor. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This intensive course further explores and builds upon the practices and strategies in SAC 306. Students work individually and in small groups to research new media practice, new software and hardware, and new presentation methods. Rotating topics include: special effects for cinema; audio/visual performance; web-based serial production; and 2D digital animation. Research and seminar-based presentations along with workshops and demonstrations ultimately culminate in the design and production of individual or team-based final projects.

SAC 410. Screenwriting II: The Rewrite
SAC 310 and SAC concentrators. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course follows SAC 310 as an intermediate course in the art and practice of screenwriting. It stresses creative dramatic writing and focuses on critical tools for rewriting. Each student is expected to write or rewrite a feature length screenplay.

SAC 411. Writing for Television II: Pilots
SAC 311. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) SAC 290 and 310. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course offers students who have succeeded in SAC 410 the opportunity to conceive and develop their own hour-long television program, from the creation of a "show bible" to the completion of a full-length spec script of the pilot episode.

SAC 422. Topics in Avant-Garde Film
SAC 230 or 236. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Historical and theoretical studies of topics in avant-garde film and video. The class examines the cultural contexts of the firms as well as their formal innovations.

SAC 423. Practicum for the Screenwriter
SAC 290, 310, and 410. (3). May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.

This class is a writing practicum where the student will learn the role of the screenwriter in the greater process of the production media. Each student will participate in the various creative steps involved in bringing a narrative script to the screen.

SAC 427. Screenwriting III
SAC 310 and 410. Limited to students whose work is judged as showing outstanding potential in writing for the screen. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

An advanced screenwriting course that provides individual and small group instruction to select students who have completed basic (SAC 310) and intermediate (SAC 410) screenwriting. Students will write a final draft of a revised original screenplay (see SAC 410) and a first draft of a new screenplay.

SAC 440 / AAS 440. African Cinema
AAS 200. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

A critical and interdisciplinary look at the development of African cinema from its inception in the 1960s, at the height of the sociopolitical upheavals experienced by many nations in the transition from colonialism to independence, to the recent phase of introspection and diversification.

SAC 441. National Screens
SAC 230 or 236 or 360. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

An in-depth exploration of the evolution and forms of specific national or regional cinema in terms of its stylistic, socio-political, economic, and technological dimensions. Close study of the development of a cinema (e.g. Japanese, Eastern European, British) or of a film movement, e.g., Italian Neorealism, German Expressionism, French New Wave.

SAC 451 / AMCULT 490. American Film Genres
Junior standing. (4). May not be repeated for credit. W.

The development of American film genres as a popular art form, considered within the broad context of American cultural development since the late nineteenth century.

SAC 455. Topics in Film Studies
SAC 230 or 236. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Studies in various film topics, such as silent film, women and film, German Expressionism, and Latin-American film.

SAC 458 / ASIAN 458. Film Culture in Korea
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course will explore the history of Korean cinema through the framework of national/transnational cinema discourse, auteur/genre theory, globalization, the division system, and the problem of nation/state which evokes the question of identity. Students will learn Korean cinema through key films, directors, and dominant genres.

SAC 461 / WOMENSTD 461. Explorations in Feminist Film Theory
WOMENSTD 240 or AMCULT 240; and junior standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course offers an in-depth exploration of feminist theories that address film in relation to gender. Discussion focuses on contemporary feminist scholarship that draws upon a variety of viewpoints, including psychoanalysis, cultural theory, postmodernism, historical research and ideological theory.

SAC 475. Cultural Studies and Critical Theory in Film and Screen Media
(3). (R&E). May not be repeated for credit.

An upper-level introduction to critical theory and cultural studies to film and mass media drawn from theoretical traditions including the Frankfurt School, Marxism, feminism, post-colonialism, post-structuralism, and critical race and ethnicity studies. We concentrate on approaches, issues, and methods underpinning key debates in film and media studies.

SAC 480. Internship
Consent of instructor required. (2). (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term. Pass/Fail with Narrative Evaluation.

SAC 485. The Global Screen
Junior or Above. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) Junior standing; SAC 230 or 236. (3). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Explores the impact of global trade and cultural exchange on audiovisual media during different periods in media history. Topics rotate. Possible topics include international film co-productions, censorship and state regulation, the transnational transmission of television, and translation and the politics of reception.

SAC 489. Senior Screenwriting Tutorial
SAC 410, SAC concentrators only. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is one of the options for the capstone experience required of Dramatic Writing concentrators who choose the screenwriting sequence. Students write a screenplay as a thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

SAC 490. Senior Honors Research
Consent of instructor required. SAC Concentrators only. (1 - 4). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

Candidates work independently on a thesis or on a film and video project under supervision of SAC faculty.

SAC 495. Senior Honors Seminar
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 6). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits.

This course is a year-long workshop led by a faculty member which includes all seniors writing Honors theses, or completing Honors creative production projects in Screen Arts and Culture.

SAC 499. Independent Study
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 4). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term. May not be used toward the Global Media Studies academic minor.

Independent study on a subject to be determined by student in conjunction with a faculty member. Does not count toward concentration requirements. Must be approved by Department in term prior to enrollment. In exceptional cases, students can petition for enrollment during current term.

SAC 500. Directed Study in Screen Arts and Cultures
Consent of instructor required. (1 - 4). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term, the final grade is posted for both term's elections.

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