05/03/2017 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
EGSA Mixer & Farewell Party for Ron Brooks
Spring Semester Ends
Sponsored by OSU Screen Studies, the exciterbulb series presents avant garde and experimental films in their original formats. Screenings take place monthly during Spring and Fall semesters and often feature discussions with the artists.
Undergraduate Courses Offered
ENGL 2453: Introduction to Film and TV
This course is an introduction to the formal analysis of moving images—film, television, and new media—in aesthetic, cultural, and political contexts. Students discuss and write about films and other moving images screened in class.
ENGL 3263: Screen Theory and Criticism
An inquiry into the major concepts and debates of mass-media theory. Issues addressed include the nature of the relation between images and reality; the psychological and cultural significance of style in film, television, and new media representations; and the role that mass-media play in the organization of social and political relations.
ENGL 3353: Film and Literature
The theory and practice of the relationship between verbal and visual texts, including adaptation of literary works for the screen, and examinations of the aesthetic, industrial, and cultural relationships between visual and literary media.
ENGL 3433: Topics in Television Studies
A focused examination of one aspect of television culture, technology, history, and/or style. While the particular topics to be considered vary, and include everything from TV genres to TV theories, in each instance the course gives students an in-depth understanding of how television shapes the social and political world in which we live.
ENGL 3443: Studies in Film Genre
A comparative study of film genres, both in and outside the Hollywood system. The course will provide students with a focused knowledge of the hisory and aesthetics of selected genres, along with a sense of the economic imperatives that necessitate generic "contracts" between film producers and viewers. Genres likely to be taught include the film noir, the romantic comedy, and the horror film.
ENGL 3453: History of American Film
This course examines the history of cinema in the U.S. from its beginnings until the present, addressing such issues as: the origins of cinema, the coming of sound, American film genres, the Hollywood studio system, censorship, the challenge of television, the new American cinema of the 1970s, the politics of independent film production, and the rise of computer-generated imagery.
ENGL 3463: History of International Film
Introduction to the history of international cinema and the principal eras in film history, focusing on the moments when different national cinemas flourished.
ENGL 4263: Moving Image Aesthetics (formerly "Aesthetics of Film")
Prerequisite: ENGL 2453. A historical and theoretical examination of the stylistic and affective dimension of moving images, including questions of beauty and ugliness, cuteness and the graphic, enjoyment and disgust, high and low culture. Screenings will vary from semester to semester, but may include examples of realism, lo-fi production, prestige pictures, documentary, music videos and cult cinema, and will include material from both American and international contexts..
ENGL 4350: Contemporary International Cinema
Examines major trends in contemporary international cinema of the last fifteen years. National cinema may include France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, China, Taiwan, India, South Korea, and Russia, amongst others.
ENGL 4450: Culture and the Moving Image
Prerequisite: ENGL 2453. An advanced class that examines in depth the relation between moving images and a particular cultural phenomenon, including mass media and the production of violence, the moving image as common culture, television and the construction of domestic life, to name only a few possibilities.
Recent Graduate Courses Offered
Graduate seminars in the Screen Studies Program are taught under a variety of course headings, and reflect the diverse interests of our six faculty members. The specific courses listed below may or may not be taught in the future; however, this list will provide a sense of the kinds of graduate research and instruction supported by the OSU Screen Studies program
Critical Approaches to Screen Studies: Theory and History (Offered Regularly) This introductory graduate course is designed to provide students with an overview of the basic theoretical and historical models in the fields of film and television studies. Students will encounter not only fundamental texts in the discipline, but also very recent work in the field. Our aim here is to see that students understand the traditions and approaches employed by screen studies scholars and also have a sense of how certain discourses, theoretical and historical, are developing. Students should leave the course with a sense of what it will require to make an intervention in the field. Moreover, this course will help students to understand not only the differences between theory and history, but also the very important ways in which they intersect. Likewise, students will become acclimated to doing close readings of theory, history and the moving image. The course should have the added benefit of enabling students to come to some understanding of their own scholarly inclinations, which they can continue to pursue and develop in a more explicit fashion. (Note: this course is offered regularly).
Post-Fordist Hollywood (Dr. Menne, Spring 2013) There is debate within cinema studies about whether Hollywood classicality—the style whose development overlapped the studio system—was ever overcome, or whether it cannot now be deemed the triumphal poetics of moving-image artifacts, from the Paramount decree down to our own moment. We will read certain key studies, from Thomas Schatz, Jerome Christensen, and Murray Smith, in order to clarify what's at stake in naming Hollywood practices in the aftermath of studio monopoly. Discourses of classicality, we'll come to see, offer us little in a periodizing project, for what they say about style—that harmony obtains between maker and audience, that going conventions are broadly legible—fails to disclose anything much about the changing base of Hollywood production. This seminar proposes that giving priority to the poetics of moving- image artifacts, as some do, tends to distort our understanding of the mode of production (in Hollywood and beyond); another method is that we first study arrangements of production so they might let us interpret moving-image artifacts in their light. Taken in this order, a poetics is henceforth shown to accommodate, and even help guide, the industrial change underfoot. Looking at a set of post-studio films, we will see that leaving behind factory production and adopting flexible economies (Fordism to Post-Fordism) was a historical passage that registered powerfully, and was negotiated culturally, in the Hollywood product of the late 1960s and the 1970s. Films to be considered include Seconds (1966), I Am Curious Yellow (1967), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), A New Leaf (1971), The Conversation (1974), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), and An Unmarried Woman (1977). In our manner of inquiring, classicality will simply mark the dominance, with disturbance (or romanticism, as Robin Wood puts it) marking the emergence and decline, of a mode of production.
Cuban Cinema and the Body Politic (Dr. Menne, Fall 2011) The study of Cuban cinema presents unique conditions for reflecting on the relation between art and the state—culture and politics, more broadly put—because post-1959 Cuba developed its cinema and state coextensively. Shortly after expelling Batista from Havana, the revolutionary government started a film institute, ICAIC, on the notion that cultivating cinema and the body politic were roughly the same project. This seminar will consider the careers of the filmmakers who emerged within Cuba's revolutionary cinema—namely Santiago Álvarez, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, Julio García Espinosa, Sergio Giral, Sara Gómez, and Humberto Solás—in the context of the explicitly and implicitly theorized part cinema should play in statecraft. We will consider such films as I Am Cuba, Death of a Bureaucrat, Lucía, and Memories of Underdevelopment, among others; read the manifestos of the filmmakers themselves; read theoretical writings from Theodor Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Perry Anderson, Nicos Poulantzas, and Jean-Paul Sartre alongside those of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara; and assess historical reports from Ernest Mandel, C. Wright Mills, and Jose Yglesias, among others. No Spanish-language knowledge required.
Examining the Screen (Dr. Takacs, Spring 2011) This course will examine the shifting relationship between the screen as a material framework for exhibiting visual imagery and the screen as a metaphor for spectatorship. How has the size, shape, and orientation of the screen influenced the construction and consumption of the virtual worlds displayed there? Or, rather, how has it influenced the way media theorists and historians have discussed these issues? The course will examine how screens look, act, and are acted upon in different eras of media history, with particular attention to the era of digital convergence and the concept of "virtuality."
Welcome to the OSU Screen Studies Program
As one of six programs within the OSU English Department, the Screen Studies program incorporates film studies, television studies, and studies in new media. The program’s most distinctive feature is the special emphasis that we give to theoretical questions about the moving image—questions that do not in any way abandon historical reflection, but instead understand history and theory as necessarily related enterprises. The interdisciplinary nature of the program emphasizes scholarship and coursework across disciplines, and encourages diverse research approaches to film and media, whether avant-garde or genre, American or international, classical or contemporary.
Housed in historic Morrill Hall, Screen Studies offers courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Undergraduate students may elect the Screen Option as part of their Bachelor's degree in English, while graduate students may pursue both the Master's degree and the Ph.D. in English with emphasis in Screen Studies. Courses cover a wide array of moving image productions and contexts—both American and international, ficton and non-fiction, narrative and avant-garde—and focus on the history, theory and aesthetics of screen-based representations, as well as their cultural and political impact.
At the graduate level, we seek students who want to immerse themselves in critical theory as a way of opening up new ways of thinking about the moving image. In turn, we take seriously the idea that moving image theory itself should be better recognized as a form of social and philosophical reflection. We invite you to look at some selected recent graduate course offerings in Screen Studies.
Recent or ongoing theses and dissertations by graduate students in the Screen Studies program include:
• A theory of cinematic quotation
• Queer representation in global cinema
• Artaud, the subjectile and the cinematic cut
• Cinephilia and radical politics
• Torture and the contemporary horror film
• Feminist appropriation of masculine genres across media
Graduate students teach courses in the popular undergraduate Screen Studies track. Teaching assistantships and other forms of support (including tuition waivers) are available; they are awarded on a competitive basis.
OSU undergraduate English majors may elect to pursue the Screen Option, which provides students with a broad knowledge of film history, theory, genre, international cinema, and television studies. For further information on the Screen Option, contact Clarissa Bonner, undergraduate advisor for the English Department.
The course of study for an M.A. in English with a concentration in Screen Studies includes 30 hours of coursework. Students are required to take an introduction to graduate study and an introduction to the teaching of composition; six hours are for the writing of a thesis. The remaining coursework is determined by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor and/or advisory committee. Students take comprehensive exams after completing their coursework.
The course of study for a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Screen Studies includes 60 hours of coursework (at least 40 credits of coursework, 15-20 dissertation hours). Students are required to take an introduction to graduate study and an introduction to the teaching of composition (unless they have already done so as part of our M.A. program); 15-20 hours are for the writing of a dissertation. The remaining coursework is determined by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor and/or advisory committee. Students take comprehensive exams after completing their coursework.
Jeff Menne, Assistant Professor and Director of the Screen Studies Program (Ph.D. Vanderbilt), specializes in postwar American cinema and political economy, with interests including Hollywood, the exploitation industry, Latin American cinema (Cuban and Mexican in particular), and the avant-garde. He is working on Art's Economy: Post-Fordist Cinema and Hollywood Counterculture, 1962-1975, a study of business culture in poststudio Hollywood. His work has appeared in such journals as Representations, Cinema Journal, and Post Script. He has taught a graduate seminar on Cuban cinema and offers courses in film history, film and media theory, and critical theory.
Stacy Takacs, Associate Professor of American Studies (Ph.D. Indiana), is an associate of the Screen Studies Program. Her research focuses on the role of television in the mediation of power relations, especially in the context of globalization. She has published in journals such as Feminist Media Studies, Cultural Critique, Spectator, and The Journal of Popular Culture. She is also the author of Terror TV: U.S. Television in the Post-9/11 Context, and has taught graduate courses on Convergence and Cultural Studies.
Graig Uhlin, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. New York University), specializes in film theory. His dissertation examined rhythm and time in classical film theory, utilizing philosopher Paul Ricoeur's understanding of the "aporetics of temporality" to analyze the films of Jean Epstein, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Andy Warhol. His work has appeared in Cinema Journal, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Hitchcock Annual. His research interests include the intersection of environmentalism and moving image culture, contemporary world cinema, and the filmmaking of Andy Warhol.
Jeffery Walker, Professor (Ph.D. Penn State), teaches courses on film comedy and film adaptation. His primary research area is colonial and early ninetenth century American literature; he has published a book on Benjamin Church, an edition of Cooper's The Spy, and an essay on film and Cooper: "Deconstructing an American Myth: The Last of the Mohicans." He has won the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and two Fulbright Lectureships. Two books, Reading Cooper, Teaching Cooper, and Leather-Stocking-Redux: Or, Old Tales, New Essays, are in press. He co-edits a new journal, Literature in the Early American Republic.
Find out about course offerings at the Course Offerings Page.
Community and FIlm Series
The Screen Studies program is also home to a lively film series, exciterbulb, which is strictly devoted to screening avant-garde films and videos in their original formats. In conjunction with the series we regularly bring in avant-garde film and video artists to screen and talk about their work. Our graduate students are thus in a relatively unique position to work on avant-garde media and to cross the theory/practice divide by engaging in conversations with artists such as Michelle Citron, Ken Jacobs, Mary Beth Reed, and Phil Solomon.
CRASS (Claude Rains Appreciation Society2) is the official student organization of the Oklahoma State University Screen Studies Program. CRASS meets monthly during Spring and Fall semesters and is dedicated to unearthing obscure and hard-to-find narrative films, while providing a forum for informal discussion and cooperative research within OSU's Screen Studies community.