Documentary Film as a Liberal Art [CRN 27476] [27477 Lab]

456:
Discipline: Liberal Arts
Instructor: Seel
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 12:10
End: 13:30
Field Class: Day 2 | March 20, 2017 | South Africa
Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing Download Syllabus

Students will view and analyze documentary films to sharpen their critical assessment of how individuals, cultures, and events are depicted in these programs. The course will use documentary film as a vehicle for students to integrate varied perspectives represented in the liberal arts disciplines. Students will examine the diverse roles of the documentary producer as an explorer, social activist, historian, entertainer, muckraker, journalist, and creative troublemaker. An analytical paper will be researched and written by each student about one or two documentary films viewed in the course. Films will be selected to include a mixture of classic documentaries and contemporary programs about people and places in countries to be visited on the voyage.

This class is also offered as JTC456, through the CSU Department of Journalism and Media Communication.

Field Class

Country: South Africa
Day: 2
Date: March 20, 2017

We will travel by ferry to Robben Island to visit the prison occupied by Nelson Mandela for 18 years, while learning about the creation of the African National Congress (ANC) and Mandela’s role in it. On our return to Cape Town we will have lunch near the port then meet with record store owner Stephen “Sugar” Segerman who assisted in tracking down singer-musician Sixto Rodriguez in Detroit, as featured in the documentary Searching for Sugar Man. We will discuss his role in the making of the Academy-Award winning documentary directed by Malik Bendjelloul. We will also talk with journalist Chris Jordan of the Cape Town News about the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, and how Sixto Rodriguez’s music became freedom anthems in the defeat of the apartheid regime. We’ll ask him how images of the repression in South Africa circulated around the world led to global pressure for it to end. We’ll also discuss the divisions in South African society caused by apartheid and analyze how the nation is progressing in terms of racial equality since its abolition.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Students will learn about the creation of the African National Congress (ANC) and Nelson Mandela’s role in it while on a tour of Robben Island.
  2. Learn about the creation of the documentary Searching for Sugar Man by meeting with Cape Town record store owner Stephen Segerman who assisted in tracking down singer-musician Sixto Rodriguez in Detroit for this Academy-Award winning film.
  3. Learn about the Apartheid years in South Africa from journalist Janet Heard, the rise of the anti-apartheid movement, and how Sixto Rodriguez’s music became freedom anthems in the defeat of the Apartheid regime.