Film Historiography


This seminar has a dual focus: to teach advanced students to conceive, research, and write archivally sourced film history, and to chronicle the history of narrative American independent cinema. (MThe first objective will involve gaining an understanding of the conceptual approaches scholars have taken to film historical writing, an appreciation for the research that film historians do, and a familiarity with how film historians delimit their field of study, form research questions, and develop hypotheses. To ground these concerns, we will trace the historiography of independent film from its New York-based beginnings in the 1950s (Cassavetes, Clarke) to the midnight movies of the 1970s (Waters, Lynch) to the New Queer Cinema of the 1990s (Van Sant, Dunye) and the mainstreaming of independent film as represented by "Indiewood" (Tarantino, Linklater) in the 2000s. These two strands of inquiry will come together in an historical research project, a fairly lengthy paper and presentation involving original primary document historical research on an aspect of American independent cinema. As preparatory assignments leading up to this final project, students will learn to prepare project descriptions, conduct research, compose bibliographies, and formulate outlines that will be shared and discussed in a workshop format.. Requried Screenings: Thursdays @ 4pm
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM