Studies in Foreign Film: Global

Discipline: Linguistics, Languages, Literatures and Cultures
Instructor: Vogl
Credits: 3

Field Work: Studies in Foreign Film: Global
Prerequisites: None

Cinema offers a unique window onto another culture, and Semester at Sea offers an unparalleled opportunity to experience first-hand what we are studying in class. In this course we will examine cinema through a global and comparative perspective, familiarizing ourselves with contemporary debates about world cinema as a critical category and the relationship between world cinema and national and regional film cultures. We will focus on films from the countries we visit, gaining a sense of the cinema industry in each country, its history, infrastructure, prizes, festivals, etc. We will consider the film’s genre, its target audience, and its critical and popular reception. We will also look at each film’s cultural specificity and its lingustic features (choice of language, subtitles, code-switching, etc.).

In addition, we will consider how these cultures have been represented in cinema from “external” perspectives. Students will develop a vocabulary for discussing and writing about films. The class will be student-centered with an emphasis on daily discussions of readings and screenings done outside of class. There will be regular short writing assignments and a final paper offering a comparative analysis of two or more films or, alternatively, a final media project.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain what world cinema means in a global context and describe the relationship between global and local in the films studied.
  • Identify similarities and differences in the films studies in terms of themes, subject matter, genres, techniques.
  • Critically analyze a film orally and in writing using precise terms.
  • Demonstrate awareness of cultural diversity in the countries we visit and how that is represented in film.

Field Work