Course Descriptions

Current students, visit insideND Class Search for more detailed information about credits, class meeting times, pre- or co-requisites, and cross-listings.

For information on previous FTT course offerings, visit the Course Description Archive.

International Studies

The University of Notre Dame offers Film, Television, and Theatre classes in various countries around the world for course credit. These countries include, but are not limited to, Ireland, England, Australia, and France. For more information and updates, visit International Studies Program, online or in person at 152 Hurley Building.

Spring 2020

FTT 10101/20101/20102: Basics of Film and Television                                                              Matthew Payne

This class is designed to enhance your understanding and appreciation of film and television. You will learn about the basic elements that distinguish films and television programs from other aesthetic forms, such as editing, cinematography, sound and set design, and how these components work together to develop stories and characters. We will also work with interpretive frameworks that uncover deeper meanings and patterns in film and television, such as genre theory, the idea of "authorship," and ideological analysis. The class presents a range of films, from such Hollywood classics as Casablanca and The Departed, to award-winning international films and projects from our very own student film festival. Television shows we will screen include Mad Men, Grey's Anatomy, and Ugly Betty.

FTT 10720/20720: Collaboration: The Art of Making Theatre                                                     Clayton Cole

Collaboration, the Art of Making Theatre explores the roles of the artists who create the material world in which a performance exists and most importantly, the collaborative nature of those relationships. Students will be challenged to understand the thinking behind the work of the designers, writers, directors, and off-stage personnel who bring stories to life on stage. Incorporating hands on projects as well as lecture/discussion formats, students will experiment with storytelling through the visual elements of scenery, costumes, lighting, etc. Collaboration, the Art of Making Theatre is an excellent entry point to the Theatre Concentration.

FTT 13182: Fine Arts University Seminar
01: Jeffrey Spoonhower /02: Marcus Stephens /03: Richard Donnelly

University Seminars will address a variety of topics in the history of art depending on the interests of the professor. These courses require several short papers as well as a final written exercise appropriate to the material.

FTT 20009:  Broadway Theatre Experience                                                                           Richard Donnelly

This 0-credit course offers students the opportunity to experience live, professional theatre at its finest. The course will include four days and three nights in New York City where we will see four Broadway productions. The dates for the trip to NYC are over Easter weekend from early Friday morning, April 19 through late Monday evening April 22, 2019. The course is being offered as a supplemental opportunity for Notre Dame, Saint Mary's, and Holy Cross students. The cost of the trip includes round-trip bus and air transportation from Notre Dame to a Times Square hotel in Manhattan, 3 nights at the hotel, and the best seats available for the four shows. Prior to the trip to NYC we will meet to answer any questions about the trip, discuss the itinerary, and meet everyone going to Broadway.

FTT 20036:  Harry Potter, Medievalism, and Transmedia Narratives   Susan Ohmer and Jacob Coen

It has been twenty years since J.K. Rowling released the first book in the wildly successful Harry Potter series, one which has sprouted a total of seven books, eight films, and multiple spinoffs. The tales of magic, alchemy, castles, and fantastic creatures captivated audiences around the world and brought medievalism - the appropriation and reinterpretation of medieval history and culture - into the popular imagination in new ways. This course will offer students with any level of familiarity with the characters, films, and books the opportunity to explore how the author and directors reconsidered common medieval themes of friendship, family, growing up, power, and - of course - magic. While a background with Rowling's books is encouraged, the course's main focus will be on the eight feature-length Harry Potter films and the ways in which they extended the novels into new narrative forms. At the end of this class, students will be able to explain some basic elements of the process and business of adapting texts, analyze narratives across different kinds of media forms, and articulate historically valid positions about medievalism in contemporary culture.

FTT 20037: The Hyphenated American: Contemporary Culturally Inclusive U.S. Theatre
Anne García -Romero

Contemporary U.S. theatre ought to value equity, diversity, and inclusion by more consistently producing works that reflect its culturally complex society. This course is designed to introduce students to theatrical texts by contemporary Latinx, African-American, Asian-American, and Native American playwrights. Many of these playwrights' works engage with a variety of cultural experiences that complicate definitions of U.S. society. This course will examine the trajectory of culturally inclusive U.S. theater from the late 20th century to the present. The course will also consider how U.S. regional theaters work toward greater equity by including diverse voices. Students will be expected to read plays and analyze them using methods provided. The course aims to provide students with tools for reflection to develop their own analytical and creative responses to contemporary U.S. theatre.

FTT 20260:  La Telenovela                                                                                                                     Kevin Barry

In this course you will explore the genre of the telenovela (a major social, cultural, political, and economic force in Latin America and, more recently, in the United States) by reading about the genre (in Spanish) and watching two condensed telenovelas (also in Spanish). You will demonstrate your understanding of the telenovela and its importance in Hispanic culture through writing and discussion and through application of these ideas as you write, produce, direct, act in, record and edit a mini-telenovela as a class. During this process you will learn and apply basic production (videography) and post-production (computer based video and audio editing) techniques. Course taught in Spanish.

FTT 20801: Acting for the Non-Major                                                                                               Anton Juan

This course introduces the non-theatre major to the basic elements of the art and craft of acting. The student will explore the spaces of memory, the body in an external space, voice and diction, and the choices they have to make, through the observation and imagination of realities. They will explore the process of looking for the sense of truth and urgency in expressing a dramatic text and a character's will and action. This course is participatory and will involve students' scene study presentations as well as written textual analysis to introduce scene studies.

FTT 21001: Acting: Process                                                                                                                      Carys Kresny

Acting: Process introduces the student to the core techniques of acting for the stage. The course engages both the analytical and the creative mind as students use research and analysis to support their physical, vocal and imaginative approaches to creating compelling scripted and improvised scenes. Students will rehearse and prepare scenes outside of class (with a partner and solo) for in-class performance. All students must see two live theatrical performances and turn in a reflection for each.

FTT 21005: Viewpoints for Actors and Directors                                                                             Carys Kresny

This course is designed to introduce actors and directors to the fundamentals of a dynamic technique known as Viewpoints. Viewpoints allows a group of actors to function together spontaneously and intuitively and to generate bold work quickly. It develops flexibility, articulation, and strength in movement and makes ensemble playing truly possible. The Viewpoints further gives directors a vocabulary with which to create and transform their work on stage or in film.

FTT 21006:  Playwriting                                                                                                          Anne García-Romero

This course is designed to introduce students to creating original work for the theatre. The course will explore the writing process as well as models from contemporary U.S. theatre with the aim to present a variety of paths toward creating new, vibrant plays. This is primarily a writing course. In addition, by reading and discussing ten separate dynamic play texts, we will analyze dramatic writing. Weekly writing exercises, movement work, visual arts approaches, improvisation techniques and collaborative discussions will create resources for rich play material, which each student will eventually use in a final scene, presented in a public reading at the end of the semester.

FTT 30021:  Voice and Dialect                                                                                                                   Siiri Scott

In this course students will learn the principles of vocal production for acting in any medium. The class will use physical and vocal exercises to explore the relationship between alignment, respiration, and relaxation. Articulation and phonetics will be emphasized throughout the coursework. In addition to learning the standard dialect rules of American English, students will research and analyze the sounds and ethnographic influences of several dialects, as well as perform short monologues and/or scenes in those dialects. Students can expect to work on three to five dialects throughout the semester.

FTT 30108:  Advanced Reporting                                                                                                            Jack Colwell

This is an advanced course in journalistic reporting and writing devoted to learning how to prepare in a professional manner in-depth articles for national and local publications and on-line. Emphasis will be on going out to get the news, through record searches, interviews and covering events. Stress also will be on the ethics and responsibilities of journalists in obtaining and presenting information.

FTT 30110:  How to Do Script Coverage                                             Christine Becker and William Donaruma

One of the most fundamental skills to have if you're interested in a career in film or television development is knowing how to do coverage. Whether you're working at an agency, management house, production company, network, or studio, especially early in your career, you will be asked to provide coverage on scripts, which means reading a complete script and providing a concise assessment of its potential viability, with a turnaround time of a weekend or even just an overnight. This workshop will provide instruction in how to do coverage, opportunities to assess real feature film and television pilot scripts, and Skype visits from FTT alumni in the industry who are coverage experts. It will meet six times across the semester for 90 minutes per class and will include reading and writing assignments for each session.

FTT 30129:  The Digital Newsroom                                                                                                  Richard Jones

Building on the skills acquired in Fundamentals of Journalism, this practicum course is centered around students preparing stories, photos and videos for The Observer, the university's independent, student-run newspaper. Students will acquire real-world experience in reporting, writing, and using their digital journalism skills by covering live news events on campus and in the surrounding community. Pre-requisite: Fundamentals of Journalism.

FTT 30130:  Covering America                                                                                                            Richard Jones

The course is a practical and conceptual exploration of the journalistic issues involved in reporting on topics of national interest. This is an advanced reporting course in which students will build on their digital and multi-platform journalism skills and learn to produce stories for audiences nationwide. The capstone assignment requires traveling to the site of an ongoing national story during Spring Break; the resulting stories, photos and videos will be published on a student-produced website. Please note: There are no additional costs for students in this course; all travel costs will be covered for any student who is admitted to the course. Admission to the course by permission only.

FTT 30202:  Global Cinema II                                                                                                              Ted Barron

This course traces the major developments in world cinema from the post-WWII era to the present. The course will examine the shifting social, economic, technological, and aesthetic conditions of this period, especially the demise of the Hollywood studio system, the rise of new technologies and auxiliary marketing outlets, and the increasing globalization of cinema. The course will not be limited to Hollywood filmmaking, but will also look at various international movements, including Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and recent Asian cinemas.

FTT 30202:  "Charlie Don't Surf" and Other Stories from Southeast Asia                       Eric Haanstad

This course traces the major developments in world cinema from the post-WWII era to the present. The course will examine the shifting social, economic, technological, and aesthetic conditions of this period, especially the demise of the Hollywood studio system, the rise of new technologies and auxiliary marketing outlets, and the increasing globalization of cinema. The course will not be limited to Hollywood filmmaking, but will also look at various international movements, including Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and recent Asian cinemas.

FTT 30238: Writing the Short Film                                                                                       Terrance Brown

This course is an introduction to the theory and craft of dramatic screenwriting. The class explores how a script is developed from concept to final written form. Through lectures, film viewing, and weekly exercises, emphasis is placed on plot and story structure, the adaptation of ideas into cinematic forms, how to tell a story with images, character, plot, and dialogue development. Each student writes two short 8-12 page scripts developed within the context of the workshop.

FTT 30330:  Ireland on Screen                                                                                                 Briona Nic Dhiarmada

This course will examine and analyze representations of Ireland in film from the Silent era through Hollywood film to the contemporary independent indigenous cinema of today. It will trace the representation of the rural and the urban through the varying utopian/dystopian lenses of filmmakers from the Kaleb Brothers to John Ford to Jim Sheridan to Lenny Abramson. Films discussed will range from early 20th century silent films to The Quiet Man, Ryan's Daughter, The Commitments, Poitin, The Field, Kings, My Left Foot, Once, Garage, Goldfish Memory and The Guard.

FTT 30407:  Internet Television Production                                                                Theodore Mandell

Working in conjunction with Fighting Irish Digital Media and the website, students will learn the many aspects of producing content for an internet based television network. From the beginning idea to the final upload, this is a creative hands-on production course with students writing, shooting, and editing digital media pieces for an online audience. In addition, as part of a live broadcast production team during numerous Notre Dame sporting events throughout the semester, students will also learn the many techniques used in multi-camera television production.

FTT 30408:  Video Essays                                                                                                                Matthew Payne

This upper-division course introduces students to "essayistic" approaches to media analysis and production. As the name signals, this class explores the sometimes experimental and sometimes playful "video essay" mode of expression with the goal of understanding how media makers and artists utilize sounds and images for fictional and non-fictional ends. By emphasizing the multiple points of connection that exist between media theory and praxis, this course aims to help students understand how to craft compelling arguments and evocative, impressionistic sequences using this unique form of storytelling.

FTT 30410:  Intro to Film & TV Production                                                                 Theodore Mandell

An introductory course in the fundamentals of shooting, editing, and writing for film and video productions. This is a hands-on production course emphasizing aesthetics, creativity, and technical expertise. The course requires significant amounts of shooting and editing outside class. Students produce short video projects using digital video and DSLR cameras and edit digitally on computer workstations. The principles of three-camera studio production are also covered.  Material fees required. Cannot have taken FTT 30405 or FTT 50505.

FTT 30420:  Sound & Music Design for Digital Media                                                        Jeff Spoonhower

Sound and music for digital media is an often overlooked art form that is critical to the effective telling of a story. Writer-director George Lucas famously said that "sound is 50 percent of the movie-going experience." Director Danny Boyle mentioned in an interview that "the truth is, for me, it's obvious that 70, 80 percent of a movie is sound. You don't realize it because you can't see it." At its root, sonic design creates mood and setting - it engages the audience on a primal, emotional level, in ways that imagery alone cannot achieve. A cleanly recorded and creatively edited sound effects track can immerse an audience in a fictional world. Music, whether used sparingly or in grandiose fashion, can enhance or subvert the visual component of a film or video game to create cinematic magic. Through feature film screenings, video game play-through sessions, and hands-on production assignments using Adobe Audition CC, students will learn how to direct the emotions of an audience through creative recording, mixing, and editing of sound effects and music.

FTT 30423:  Global Modern Contemporary Art                                                                              Nicole Woods

This course will study the history of art in the twentieth-century from a global perspective, focusing on several cities and regions that were crucial to the development of modernism, including Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Zurich, London, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, Mexico City, Johannesburg, and Tokyo. Spanning the decades 1900-1989, the course will examine a wide variety of figures, movements, and practices within the visual arts, situating them within the social, political, and historical contexts in which they arose. The history of these artistic developments (e.g., abstraction, the readymade, conceptual, feminist, postcolonial) will be traced through the rise of mass-media technologies (such as photography, radio, video, and cinema) and the aesthetic accomplishments of the avant-garde. Exploring the forces of late-industrial capitalism, urbanization, and postmodernism, we will attempt to understand how artistic innovations of the century fundamentally altered, negotiated, and framed the ways in which we understand and represent the world.              

FTT 30424:  Mysterious Women: The Portrayal of Female Detectives in TV & Film           Mary Parent

Female detectives have been sleuthing in literature long before they appeared in film or on television. Almost one hundred years ago, Agatha Christie created the elderly spinster Miss Marple, who solved mysteries in the town of St. Mary Mead. By contrast, high school teen Veronica Mars moonlights as an amateur private investigator in the fictional town of Neptune, California. Jodie Foster took home an Oscar for her portrayal of Clarice Starling, a no-nonsense student in the FBI Academy. Julia Roberts won gold for combining her street smarts with short skirts in order to uncover corruption in Erin Brockovich. Whether they sleuthed solo, paired up with a partner, or worked as a trio, female investigators have been portrayed on screen as everything from hookers to Angels. This course will explore the broad portrayal of female detectives in crime dramas and comedies on television and film. Why are female Private Eyes oftentimes portrayed as Private Eyelashes? How do they solve crimes differently than the traditional gumshoe in a trench coat? This class meets 6 times, on 6 specific dates.

FTT 30455:  Critical Approaches to Television                                                                               Mary Kearney

This course offers an introductory survey of the primary critical approaches used to analyze television, and thus serves as a foundation for other TV-specific courses within the major. Through an examination of pioneering and contemporary studies of television, we will explore how television has been analyzed as a communication medium, a technological apparatus, a commercial industry, and a cultural forum, as well as a form of recreation, education, and social bonding. We will also consider critical approaches that focus on how television shapes our personal identities and values. While examining methods developed to study TV production, reception, and texts, we will explore such concepts as publicness, liveness, quality, art, and representation. In addition to discussing how television was analyzed in the past, we will consider how both television and TV studies have changed as a result of globalization, industrial convergence, digital media, and participatory culture.

FTT 30456:  Critical Approaches to Screen Cultures                                                             Pamela Wojcik

In this course, students will learn different theories, methods, and approaches to understanding and writing about screen cultures. We will explore approaches that consider aesthetics/style, narrative, authorship (directors, show runners, stars), genre (e.g. the musical, horror), history (history of film/media industries, history of visual spectacle, historical context for films/media, etc.), technologies (sound, color, digital technologies, etc.), identities (considerations of gender, sexuality, race, nation, age, etc.), and audience (reception, fandom). Students will: Read theories that articulate and advocate each approach; consider the parameters, value, and appeal of that approach, as well as its limitations; practice each approach in written exercises; and research and write a final paper using one or more of these approaches. Students may also use video essays or other media as tools of analysis and critique. This is a course in academic criticism, not journalistic reviewing. Strong emphasis will be placed on argumentative writing.

FTT 30461: History of Television                                                                                           Michael Kackman

Television has been widely available in the United States for only half a century, yet already it has become a key means through which we understand our culture. Our course examines this vital medium from three perspectives. First, we will look at the industrial, economic, and technological forces that have shaped U.S. television since its inception. These factors help explain how U.S. television adopted the format of advertiser-supported broadcast networks and why this format is changing today. Second, we will explore television's role in American social and political life: how TV has represented cultural changes in the areas of gender, class, race, and ethnicity. Third, we will discuss specific narrative and visual strategies that characterize program formats. Throughout the semester we will demonstrate how television and U.S. culture mutually influence one another, as television both constructs our view of the world and is affected by social and cultural forces within the U.S.

FTT 30468:  Ethics in Journalism                                                                                                    Gary Sieber

"The primary purpose of journalism," according to media observers Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, "is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing." That's a lofty goal in any age - but it's especially difficult in the current era of market-driven journalism that has produced fabrication and plagiarism scandals, political cheerleading on news networks, "gotcha" videos on the internet and social media, and an outright obsession with celebrities. Students in this course will come away with a deep-seated understanding of journalism's purpose, develop a disciplined and repeatable process of making sound ethical choices when confronted with tough situations, and be able to articulate ethically defensible arguments explaining their decisions. They will accomplish these goals by reading, viewing, debating, analyzing, and writing about actual cases and issues in the news. The focus will be as much on what journalists should do, as on what they should not do.

FTT 30491:  Debate                                                                                                                                Susan Ohmer

This course will focus on research of current events and the efficacy of proposed resolutions toward the alleviation or reduction of societal harms. It will also involve discussion of debate theory and technique. Permission required.

FTT 30491:  Drunk on Film                                                                          Theodore Mandell and Anne Venter

Alcohol Use Disorder is a chronic relapsing brain disease. But when presented on screen, it's entertainment. Why do we laugh, why do we cry, why do we emulate fictional characters whose drinking habits result in a life of debilitating addiction? From Humphrey Bogart to Ron Burgundy, the psychology and seduction of alcohol on film, in television, and laptops will be analyzed. Furthermore, what is the relationship between the manner in which alcohol use/abuse is presented on screen and the manner in which alcohol is used and abused on, for example, college campuses? Surveying film and television history, we will examine how alcohol is used in story structure, as a character flaw or strength, and as a narrative device in the story arc of films across multiple film genres (action/adventure, comedy, romance, etc.). Why do characters drink, where do they drink, and how does the result of their "getting drunk" advance the narrative? We'll also look at non-fiction films that tackle issues of addiction, as a way of comparing character development in Hollywood films to the results of this same behavior in everyday life. Film materials will include weekly screenings outside of class and academic articles relating to portrayal and analysis of alcohol use in film and television, including the business of marketing campaigns, product placement, and box office results. From the psychological perspective we will discuss the topic and process of social influence and how the presence of others influences our behavior. Questions of interest will include the following: what are the mechanisms by which group influence unfolds? How and why might we be persuaded? Does the manner, and if so how, in which alcohol use is portrayed in movies and the media reflect the processes and principles of social influence? Readings will include chapters on social influence, persuasion and academic articles evaluating the manner in which alcohol is portrayed and advertised and the effect this has on alcohol consumption. In addition, issues of addiction will be discussed - from understanding the basis of addiction to examining the efficacy of addiction treatment.

FTT 30708: Performance Techniques                                                                              Matthew Hawkins

The intention of this course is to provide you with a context within which to understand the techniques of musical theatre performance and the foundational skills needed to personally inhabit these techniques. This course will give you the tools to "act a song." You will work on analysis and performance of five songs from the following categories: Golden Age, Modern, Rock, Pop and any other kind of song you love. These songs are assigned by era sequentially so that we may simultaneously introduce the context of this material within the genre-at-large. You will also apply your growing knowledge of technique and context to intelligently observe and comment on the work of your peers within a structured setting. Throughout the course we will incorporate short group exercises to better explore performance technique and promote a deeper understanding of the differences between traditional script/text analysis and score/lyric analysis. There will be reflection papers due after the exploration of your songs.

FTT 30715: World Theatre II: Text and Performance Across Cultures                        La Donna Forsgren

This course examines world theatre history from 19th century popular entertainment performance practices to the present. Students learn techniques of script analysis, performance analysis, and independent research as tools for analyzing theatre from the literary, aesthetic, and historical perspectives. Throughout, the course emphasizes the importance of cultural context and historiography to understanding the creation and transformation of theatre as an art form. Each semester will be a stand-alone course and can be taken in any order. Students are encouraged to enroll in adjacent semesters. At least one semester of this sequence is a prerequisite for the upper-level electives required to complete the major.

FTT 30800/40800:  Scenic Painting                                                                                       Marcus Stephens

An introduction to the tools and techniques used in painted and textured scenery for the stage and screen. Students will learn and apply the variety of methods used in creating a wide range of painted effects; from the basic wood treatments to the advanced marbling and faux finishes. Outside of class painting time will be required.

FTT 30803:  Costume Design                                                                                                     Richard Donnelly

This course teaches the principles of costume design for the stage. The course will explore the use of costumes to express character traits by analyzing play scripts. Students will design costumes and explore the process of organizing the script from the costume designer's viewpoint. The course will include projects, discussions, and lectures. The course will end with a portfolio presentation of the work completed throughout the semester. Students will be expected to provide their own materials and supplies.   

FTT 30890:  Media Industries                                                                                                Christine Becker

How do the contemporary film and television industries work? How can an analysis of the "business of entertainment" enable a greater understanding of contemporary media aesthetics and culture? This course will explore these questions by focusing on the structure, practices, and products of America's film and television industries, and students will engage with academic readings, screenings, trade publications, current events, guest lectures, and written and oral assignments in order to understand the activities of the film and television industries. By the end of the course, students should be able to understand prominent practices employed by media conglomerates today; recognize the ways in which industrial structures and practices can shape media products; examine how television shows and movies are influenced by business strategies; and identify the potential impact that the media industries have on creativity, culture, and society. The course should be especially beneficial for students intending to pursue scholarly or professional careers related to film and television through its comprehensive overview of how these industries work, why they work as they do, and the broader practical and theoretical implications of media industry operations.

FTT 30900:  Guest Lectures                                                                                                                Ted Mandell

A unique insiders' view of the entertainment industry, this course features seven guest lecturers/industry professionals who will share the inner workings of the many aspects of the film and television world. Members of Notre Dame's iNDustry Alliance alumni group will speak on aspects of Development, Marketing, Production, Distribution, New Media and other areas. A one-of-a-kind chance for students to meet and learn from working professionals in a classroom environment. Meets every other Friday.

FTT 30905:  Special Effects for Studio and Stage                                                                     Clayton Cole

From Singing in the Rain to Star Wars to Beauty and the Beast, special effects existed before CGI. This course will cover the design, budgeting, and execution of special effects. Theoretical and hands on experience with some common and not so common effects used on the movie studio lot and Broadway stage.

FTT 31005:  Theatre Production Workshop                                                                                Kevin Dreyer

A workshop course in the process of theatre production in which students assume a major nonperformance production responsibility including, but not limited to: stage manager, assistant stage manager, prop master, costumer, technical director or assistant director. This course can be repeated for up to four hours credit. Requires Instructor's permission.

FTT 31008:  Acting: Text and Technique                                                                                             Siiri Scott

This upper level acting course will focus on the intersection between written and embodied (performed) text. The class will use scripts from film, television, and theatre to practice the actor's craft of close reading: students can learn to look beyond the explicit facts in a given scene to uncover the implicit information that feeds objectives and intentions. Daily classes will explore the relationship between close reading and strong artistic choices. We will begin the semester solidifying the basic acting techniques of improvisation, physicality, intention and subtext and move quickly into textual analysis. Students will be required to create detailed scene breakdowns with scene studies and to rehearse weekly outside of class time.

FTT 31018:  Production and Technique                                                                                  Matthew Hawkins

This course is open to students interested in becoming involved with specific performing/non-performing roles on a departmental production. This research driven course will examine the history of the production and research prior performances and the significance of the play in the overall scope of theatre history. Additional areas of research include dramaturgy of the production, historical context of the story, historical sources and innovative performance techniques, etc. This research will support the work of the designers and performers, as members of the class work to implement their research in a finished production. The course also seeks to teach the students all of the lesser known aspects of bringing a play and a musical into performance.

FTT 31150:  Programming for Video Game Development                                                    Michael Villano

The purpose of this course is to provide students with experience in various aspects of programming for video game development. No prior programming experience is necessary and students will proceed at their own pace. In addition to several programming projects that utilize gaming APIs or frameworks, students will also be exposed to level design (map creation), 3D construction techniques, custom textures, sound design, and lighting effects. 3D game development will utilize the Hammer Editor, part of the Half-Life 2 video game modding Software Development Kit (Source SDK) and its associated tools. Additional third-party (and often free) utilities will also be necessary. Students will work on their own or in teams on a final project agreed upon with the instructor. Students will need to provide their own Windows compatible computer or laptop or a Mac running windows under BootCamp.

FTT 33208:  Global Visual Culture: Anthropology of the Image                                     Christopher Ball

Visual anthropology involves the cross-cultural study of images in communication and the use of images as a method for doing anthropology. This course proceeds through a non-linear integration of visual themes including water, earth, light, fire, flesh and blood with analytical themes including aesthetics, poetics, violence, history, materiality and subjectivity. We explore still photography, film, and popular media in domains from ethnography, social documentary, war photojournalism, to high art. Students watch, read and write about, and generate visual products of their own in multiple media.

FTT 33327:  Qing China: History, Fiction, and Fantasy, 1600-1900                              Lujing Eisenman

This course examines the historical transformation, literary representations, and contemporary re-imaginations in popular media of China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing (1644-1911). The Qing dynasty was born a Manchu empire that rose outside of China proper to become one of the largest land empires in human history, but was undone by foreign encroachment and internal unrest and eventually fell in 1911. The Qing's dramatic trajectory continues in the competing narratives circulated over a century after its fall. On the one hand, despite its domination by a non-Han people, it is regarded as the pinnacle of China's past, while on the other, it is frequently condemned for its decadence and arrogance precipitating a well-deserved downfall. We will explore the fundamental issues pertaining to the Qing, such as ethnicity identity, minority rule, conquest dynasty, imperialism, militarization, and gender, and the lasting fascination with the dynasty regularly captured in contemporary film and television. Through reading, thinking, discussing, and debating, we will enter a different culture and a different time, and come to appreciate how the past continues to influence our world.

FTT 35501: FTT Internship                                                                                                        Christine Becker

Students who successfully complete at least two of the following courses, FTT 30410, FTT 30462 or FTT 30463, may be eligible for an internship at a television station or network, radio station, video production company, film production company or similar media outlet. Interns must work 10-15 hours per week and compile 150 work hours by the end of the semester (120 hours for the summer session) to obtain three credits. Interns will complete a project, mid-semester progress report and a final evaluation paper. NOTE: This course does not count as an upper level course toward the FTT major.

FTT 37600: Notre Dame Film Society                                                                                     Christine Becker

The Film Society is a film screening-and-discussion group that meets once a week in the Browning Cinema to watch an independent, foreign, or classic film. Students can take the course for either zero credit or one credit. Those taking it for one credit will have a minimum attendance and writing requirement. The meeting times and requirements may vary from semester to semester. Contact the sponsoring professor for more information. NOTE: This course does not count as an upper level course toward the FTT major.

FTT 40022: Advanced Performance Techniques                                                                 Matthew Hawkins

Musical Theatre: Advanced Performance Techniques is an upper-level performance class offered to students who have completed the Musical Theatre Performance Techniques Class: How to Act A Song. This course will build upon techniques explored in the previous Performance Techniques Class, with the intention of working songs in context, while exploring character work in both the book scenes and the musical numbers. To be considered for the class, please email Matt Hawkins,, and "make your case" for why you want to be in the class.

FTT 40023: Musical Theatre Minor Capstone                                                                   Matthew Hawkins

A capstone of the Musical Theatre Minor is a 3-credit course. The capstone will be project based and individually designed towards the student's interest. The specifics of the capstone will be agreed upon between the student and the instructor and ultimately approved by the instructor. The chosen topic for the capstone project is intended to reflect the student's interest in Musical Theatre and how it relates to their studies in the Minor. See instructor for details. Departmental Approval is needed to register for this course.

FTT 40031/60031: African American Musicals in FTT                                                          La Donna Forsgren

This course traces the development of African American musicals as they cross different social, cultural, and aesthetic boundaries. The course invites students to contextualize a variety of musical performance traditions - ranging from 19th century blackface minstrelsy to today's television hip hopera Empire - through the lens of black feminist and queer theories. In so doing, students will engage in critical discussions about how individual artists, spectators and African American musical productions more broadly have signified, reaffirmed, and challenged dominant US society's understandings of race, class, gender, and sexuality. The course is divided into four units of study: "Early Black Musical Performance" reconsiders the contributions of black women minstrel and vaudeville performers; "Hollywood's Black-Cast Musical" explores mainstream representation of black folk culture in iconic films such as Carmen Jones and Show Boat; "New" Black Musicals of the 1970's considers revolutionary off-Broadway musicals and queer reimaginings of the 1975 Broadway hit The Wiz; and "Contemporary Musical Performances" brings our discussion to the present with an exploration of gospel musicals on Broadway, hip hopera and Madea mania. Assessment includes: participation; leading a discussion of a film, play, or televised performance; and four short critical response papers.

FTT 40040: Creating Theatre and Film                                                                                              Anton Juan

Theatre and Film as Social Action will prepare students to transform moments of encounters - with daily objects, events in our lives, a secret story from a friend, or even a concept or intriguing idea - into performative texts or visual statements. Students who are interested in creating performance pieces will learn how a text evolves from idea to theatre or performance art. Students who are interested in creating films will learn how an idea is transformed to text and in turn to a visual medium, through the aesthetics of framing, editing, sound mixing, and mise-en-scène. In the process, students will understand the aesthetic and stylistic components of both theatre and film narratives, and compare their creative processes and stylistic practices. Exercises and discussions will lay the foundation for the students' creative work. For the final project, students are expected to create either a video essay, a multi-disciplinary performance, a performance art, or a hitherto unseen new experience or happening.

FTT 40042: Beyond the West: An Exploration of Non-Western Cinema                   Fahmidul Haq

Though the technique, technology and language of cinema was invented, practiced, and disseminated by the West, it has been prevalent in such places as India, Japan, and Egypt since the 1910s. Since the 1960s, it has become a global phenomenon, and today Bollywood is only one of several rich South Asian regional film industries, matched by equally robust film cultures in Brazil, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and Iran. Non-Western cinema has produced a remarkable body of creative work that has transformed both film language and film theory, ranging from the Third Cinema of Latin America to auteurs like Satyajit Ray, Akira Kurosawa, Abbas Kiarostami, Wong Kar Wai, Kim ki Duk, and Jhang Yimou. This course will deal with case studies across a range of non-Western cinema cultures, exploring their diverse cultural backgrounds, historiography, and sociopolitical realities. Topics will include both historical and contemporary cinematic practices in non-Western countries, with particular attention to filmmakers and film cultures that have received recent global attention.

FTT 40121/60121: Writing the Feature Film                                                                              Terrance Brown

This workshop focuses on the theory and craft of dramatic writing as it applies to feature screenplays. Through lectures, film viewing, and weekly exercises, emphasis is placed on plot and story structure, the adaptation of ideas into cinematic forms, how to tell a story with images, character, plot, and dialogue development. Students should come to class with 2 ideas for a feature script in hand and be prepared to develop one idea into the first half of a feature length screenplay (approximately 60 pages) at a minimum.

FTT 40258: Cinema, Poetry... Revolution!                                                                            Olivier Morel

Expanding on Bresson's idea that there is no art, and especially no cinematic poetry without a "transformation," we will confront the history of cinema with philosophies, social movements and forms of activism whose affirmed goals are to transform the world. This course examines recent trends in fiction and nonfiction films from around the world through a historical lens attentive to developments that have led to contemporary cinematic creations in which the invention of a cinematic style serves the purpose of addressing injustice, inequalities, discriminations (class, race, gender, sexual orientation...), environmental disasters and warfare. In this context, we will explore the tension between a "socially conscious cinema" and propaganda (the aestheticization of politics). While refining the idea that what defines our time is cinema (in a broad sense), the goal would be to explore the modalities by which cinema is a key cultural actor in today's world affairs. Studying the material provided by your professor as well as viewing of the audiovisual sources, active participation in all class discussions and two papers are the basic requirements for this class.

FTT 40259: Performing the Text                                                                                                      Olivier Morel

This advanced seminar consists of seeking to elaborate a "general grammatology of cinema." Revolving around a notion of performance and how textual writing is (always?) an audiovisual performance, our research will explore three directions: 1. an interpretation of textual writing in terms of sound and image as it has been theorized in literary studies from the Russian formalists to Derrida's grammatology through writings by Roland Barthes, among others; 2. a history of proto-cinematic inventions in their relation to theatrical performances and how this long history still informs our understanding of cinema today; 3. today's postmodern writing as a genuinely hybrid endeavor. The ultimate goal of the course would be to define the properties of cinema, or what I call "cinematograph-mes" in terms that align with Agn's Varda, Robert Bresson and Jean-Luc Godard's oeuvres, notably. The course will be nourished by my own experience in making a feature-length so-called "documentary" film with the author (poet, writer, playwright, thinker) Helene Cixous between 2012 and 2018 ( We will read novels, poetry, and watch films. We will welcome Helene Cixous on Skype. One written assignment (scholarly paper), oral presentations as well as active participation in our class will constitute the basic requirements.

FTT 40401: Digital Cinema Production I                                                                             William Donaruma

Through hands-on field experience, you will develop, write, produce, direct and edit one short narrative film using RED Digital Cinema cameras in a 4K workflow in groups of two. This will be a non-dialogue driven film with a post-produced soundtrack. We will explore the use of composition, cinematography, camera movement and editing to create a narrative structure. This class will also provide you with a technical knowledge of the tools required in professional filmmaking including various lighting and grip equipment, etc. We will discuss various filmmaking techniques and current industry topics, including film in relation to digital cinema and current workflows. Editing will be done on Adobe Premiere Pro. This is an advanced digital video production course, which requires significant amounts of shooting, editing, sound design, and post-production work outside of class. All students are expected to assist their classmates as crew members on their shoots.

FTT 40434: The Telly in Transition: British Television Today                                         Christine Becker

Fleabag, Bodyguard, Catastrophe, The Great British Bake Off, Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders, Planet Earth, Derry Girls: All of these British TV shows have found tremendous success both domestically and internationally at a time when broadcast TV is under more competitive pressures than ever before. How has British television (or telly, as they call it across the pond) managed to survive and even thrive in a time when many traditional TV practices are in flux due to new technologies and burgeoning competitive forces? Through watching recent British TV programs and covering the economic and cultural contexts behind their creation, this course will explore the state of British television at a time when many traditional practices are transforming due to streaming platforms like Amazon and Netflix (which can develop its own version of British television with a series like The Crown), and new competitive pressures are being brought to bear on the world's most influential public service television system. Assignments will include short response papers, research papers, and a final exam, and class sessions will mix lecture and discussion of readings and screenings.

FTT 40469:   Cold War Media Culture                                                                                      Michael Kackman

From Invasion of the Body Snatchers to Red Dawn, this course explores the popular media of the Cold War. The course explores the interconnections between film and television, popular music, foreign and domestic policy, and US social movements. Topics include anti-communism, the Red Scare, invasion films, sub-urbanization and domestic "containment culture," anxieties about the nuclear bomb, Beats and the counter-culture, the civil rights and women's movements, and youth culture. The course centers on the ways in which the Cold War was experienced culturally, with particular attention to its impact on everyday cultural practices and identities.

FTT 40502/60502:  Media and Identity                                                                                                Mary Kearney

This course focuses on critical analyses of identities in media culture. Taking a cultural studies approach, we will interrogate theories and popular discourses of identity while exploring how particular identities are constructed, negotiated, resisted, and transformed within media culture. Our primary questions in this course are: What is identity? How do our identities inform our various relationships to media culture? And, how does media culture impact the construction of our identities? Our particular sites of analysis will be media representation (narrative, performance, aesthetics), media production (industries and political economy), and media consumption (reception practices and audiences). We will examine a broad array of media forms, including film, television, the Internet, games, and popular music. Traditional demographic identities, such as gender, age, race, sexuality, and class, will be central to the course, although other identities, including geographic and lifestyle identities, will be examined also. We will strive toward critical analyses that understand identities as constructed, not inherent, and intersectional, not autonomous.

FTT 40612: International Media Culture: From International Art Cinema to Global Quality Television       Jim Collins

How do we compare the golden age of international art cinema in the nineteen sixties to contemporary art television? In this course we'll begin by investigating how the category of the art film emerged in the post World War II era as a result of fundamental changes in film style, taste formations, exhibition venues, and the film business. We'll trace the consolidation of that film culture, then consider why it began to collapse in the seventies. We'll then turn to evolution of quality serial television over the past two decades. How did emergent media technologies, new forms of television narrativity, changes in television business models, and radical shifts in taste formations transform what was a guilty pleasure into one of the preeminent art forms of the twenty-first century? Here we'll look closely at how the "Masterpiece Theatre" phenomenon was replaced by the HBO model, and then move on to the recent explosion in the global quality television market, focusing on the ways in which Denmark, Germany, France, and Italy have moved into the arena, aided and abetted by Netflix and Amazon as they try to develop (and market) new forms of international entertainment. Or, to put it another way, how did we get from Breathless to Peaky Blinders?

FTT 40618:  Modern China on Screen                                                                                                       Xian Wang

This course introduces contemporary cinemas of mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan by focusing on a selection of internationally acclaimed Chinese films. In addition to examining cultural background, narrative themes and cinematic technique of the films, we will be exploring how these selected films respond to fundamental issues such as history, gender, identity, memory, social justice, nationalism, and globalization. The goals of the course are to introduce students to major films and directors in contemporary China, to learn Chinese culture, value, and history through films, and to refine students' abilities to analyze and write about film critically. All readings are in English; no prior knowledge of Chinese language or culture is required. All films selected for the course have English subtitles.

FTT 46000:  Acting Pedagogy & Practice                                                                                                Siiri Scott

This course introduces the advanced Acting student to various methods of Acting training. In addition to directed readings, the student serves as the teaching assistant for Acting: Process or Acting: Character under the supervision of the instructor. The student is expected to attend all class meetings and supervise weekly rehearsals outside of class.

FTT 46001:  Directed Readings  

This course provides students with an opportunity to explore readings and research as directed by an assigned faculty member in the department. It is offered by arrangement with individual instructors.