Courses

Tarryn Chun - Justice & Asia class - photo by Barbara Johnston

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

Courses with * fulfill the International/Identity requirement.

Fall 2022

Core Film Courses

FTT 10101/11101 and 20101/21101 and 20102/21101:  Basics of Film and Television  | Christine Becker

This class is designed to enhance your understanding and appreciation of film and television. It operates on the philosophy that the better we understand how film and television texts work, the more intelligently and perceptively we will be able to consume them, which is an invaluable skill to have in our media-saturated world. 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, political economy, and ideological analysis. Finally, you will acquire the skills and tools needed to write your own educated analyses of film and television texts. The class screenings present a range of films, from Hollywood classics to independent and international films, as well as television shows both old and new. This course is required for all concentrators in Film and Television. Taught every semester.

FTT 30201/31202: Global Cinema I | Pamela Wojcik

This class traces major developments, movements, artists, and aesthetics within global film culture from the beginning of cinema in the 1890s to about 1950. We will consider different national cinemas from Europe and Asia, as well as the rise of Hollywood and emergent African American cinema. We will consider certain prominent directors and film movements with attention to how they conceive of cinema, and will read contemporary theories and critiques of cinema. We will consider the development of the film industry and technical developments that shift the aesthetic, and changes in modes of production and distribution, and spectatorship. We will consider cinema in the context of modernity to consider how cinema reflects, refracts, transmutes and negotiates the effects of modernity to consider cinematic responses to urbanism, changing gender roles, mass production, race and immigration, among other topics.

FTT 30456/31456: 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.

Core Television Courses

FTT 10101/11101 and 20101/21101 and 20102/21101: Basics of Film and Television  | Christine Becker

This class is designed to enhance your understanding and appreciation of film and television. It operates on the philosophy that the better we understand how film and television texts work, the more intelligently and perceptively we will be able to consume them, which is an invaluable skill to have in our media-saturated world. 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, political economy, and ideological analysis. Finally, you will acquire the skills and tools needed to write your own educated analyses of film and television texts. The class screenings present a range of films, from Hollywood classics to independent and international films, as well as television shows both old and new. This course is required for all concentrators in Film and Television. Taught every semester.

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. Usually taught every semester.

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.

Core Theatre Courses

FTT 10720/20720:  Collaboration: Introduction to Theatre  | Kevin Dreyer

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. Taught every semester.

FTT 30715:  World Theatre II  | 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. 

Electives

Mary Celeste Kearney's Gender & Rock class

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 30118 Storied Landscapes IRL to CHI | Amy Mulligan

Storytelling allows us to make a place, and a past, come alive, and it is through narrative that certain people, locations, and experiences lodge themselves in our memories. How, and why, do we reshape our own environment to convey certain stories about our past, our accomplishments, and our collective experiences? Why is it that road-trips loom so large in American cultural memory, and what do they have in common with other placelore stories, such as those featuring Native Americans, Irish saints and TV characters like Northern Ireland's Derry Girls? How can words, sounds and imagery be used to map out and draw us into new and often fantastic virtual geographies? In this class, we will think about how stories gain power by being anchored in evocative depictions of specific places, both real and imagined. We will examine verbal and visual stories, from medieval manuscripts like the Book of Kells and tales of St. Patrick's travels around Ireland, to contemporary animation (Song of the Sea), murals from Northern Ireland, place-based television series (Derry Girls) and Chicago-based road-trip films (The Blues Brothers, Ferris Bueller's Day Off). We will contemplate how icons of ancient Ireland were used to create new spaces in Chicago, and we'll look at the massive 1893 World's Fair that put a newly rebuilt Chicago on the world map, as well as dramatic histories of Chicago and some of its murderous inhabitants (Devil in the White City). We will also turn to regional storytelling traditions and will study songs and stories about "home" composed by those who experienced diaspora and migration.

FTT 30132 Applied Multimedia  | Justin Hicks

This course is a hands-on examination of the latest digital tools and techniques used by journalists as they produce stories on multiple platforms. Students will learn how to take digital photographs, how to shoot and edit high-definition videos, and how to produce audio stories and podcasts. Students will also study the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use, creation and publication of digital media.

FTT 30143 Broadcasting the News Colleen Wilcox

This course is a practical immersion into the world of broadcast journalism. Class will function much like a television newsroom, with time dedicated to workshopping and exploring a variety of reporting techniques. Students will spend time outside of the classroom engaging with asynchronous materials, practicing on-camera skills, and exploring the many roles that make up a newsroom. Students will build a professional reel or portfolio to demonstrate storytelling techniques essential to broadcasting the news.

FTT 30205  Ethics of Journalism  Brendan O'Shaughnessy

This class will focus on how print, broadcast and online journalists work - how they think and act as well as the ethical dilemmas they face today in delivering news, analysis, and commentary. We will study the processes involved in the creation of news and the effects or consequences of the news on the public. This is not a course that teaches the techniques of journalism. Rather it is an examination of the practices of professional journalists and a survey of the impact of what they do.

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 30255: The Writers' Room: Building the Half-Hour Comedy  | Conor Hanney

There is perhaps no place more sacred in Hollywood than the writers’ room of a half-hour TV comedy. Often a place of deep vulnerability (and vulgarity), “the room” is shrouded in mystery. Its inhabitants are sworn to secrecy, their words uncensored and legally protected by the controversial Lyle v. Warner Bros lawsuit. As such, aspiring writers cannot possibly learn how to conduct themselves in a writers’ room without actually participating in one. In this class, we will do just that: learning the art of “punching” and “pitching” to revise your peers’ scripts alongside them as a writing staff. 1 credit.

FTT 30302/31302: Envisioning Contemporary Europe  | James Collins*

In this course we'll focus on some of the central concerns in contemporary European cultures: how to construct a meaningful sense of historical memory (and post-memory), how are gender and class struggles impacting national and increasingly transnational identities, and how can artists develop new forms of representation to depict those changes. In each unit we'll compare how films, novels, television series, and conceptual art frame these issues, zeroing in on points of both commonality and divergence. We'll also be incorporating films from the Nanovic Film Series at the Browning Cinema. (Some of the texts we'll be discussing: Pawlikowski, Cold War; Tykwer, Babylon Berlin; Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend; Sorrentino, La Grande Bellezza; Donnersmarck, Never Look Away; Almodovar, Pain and Glory; Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book 2; Rohrwacher, Lazzardo Felice; Price, Borgen.)

FTT 30438: Law and Film: Images of Justice in "The Twilight Zone" | Mary Parent

In this course, students will enter the wondrous dimension of the imagination, The Twilight Zone. More than fifty years ago, radio and television writer Rod Serling was fed up with censorship. Corporations that advertised during radio plays and television shows dictated what was acceptable and network executives edited out controversial dialogue and topics. Serling was determined to use television, this fresh new medium, to bring awareness and spark discussions of racism, war, greed, and discrimination. He respected the intelligence of his viewing audience and pushed them to question the future of humanity, societal norms, and charismatic leaders. His solution was to present these themes in another dimension, The Twilight Zone. He created aliens, civil war soldiers, a child’s toy telephone and the Devil himself to deliver these messages and shock the public conscience. It has been said that the storytelling in the Twilight Zone explored the surreal, and what it means to be human, in a new and extraordinary way. This course will explore how Rod Serling communicated these themes through the power of television. Are these themes from the 1950’s - 1960’s relevant today? As citizens, have our rights, freedoms, and laws changed for the better? As a society, have we progressed?  This course will meet on 6 specific Wednesdays, beginning the first week of classes, August 24, 2022. 1 credit.

FTT 30410/31410: 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.

FTT 30416 3D Digital Production  | Jeffrey Spoonhower

Are you interested in the world of feature animation, visual effects, and video games? This course will be your first step in learning the tools and techniques of 3D digital content creation, which can be applied to a variety of professional industries, graduate school programs, and higher-level production courses at Notre Dame. You will learn the basics of modeling, texturing, animation, lighting, virtual cinematography, and rendering using the industry-standard application, Autodesk Maya. Through weekly tutorials and projects using Maya, you will receive hands-on, practical experience in the core facets of 3D digital production. Through weekly lectures, group discussions, critical studies reading assignments, and film screenings, you will learn the foundational principles of 3D computer graphics, computer animation, and visual storytelling, and gain a broader understanding and appreciation of the cultural and historical contexts that surround the creation and reception of this art form. This is a hybrid critical studies and production course, and as such, you will "learn by doing" in both lecture and lab settings.

FTT 30420: Sound & Music Design - Digital Media  | Jeffrey 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 30465: Sports and Television  | Christine Becker

Sports have played an integral role in the television industry since the medium's early days. This course will highlight the history of sports on television and focus on the nuts and bolts of how television sports programming works today. The course will also examine the impact of televised sports on our culture as well as the ethical issues raised by the media's coverage of sports. Taught in the Fall only.

FTT 30603: Visualizing Global Change  | Tamara Kay*

The goal of the course is to compare the processes by which social scientists and filmmakers/photographers engage in social documentation. Students explore how global social problems such as rural and urban poverty, race and gender inequalities, immigration, and violence are analyzed across the social sciences, and depicted in a variety of documentary film and photography genres. The course also explores the role that documentary photography and film play in promoting rights and advocating for social change, particularly in the realm of human rights and global inequality. It examines the history of documentary film and photography in relationship to politics, and to the development of concerns across the social sciences with inequality and social justice. It also looks at how individual documentarians, non-profit organizations and social movements use film and photography to further their goals and causes, and issues of representation their choices raise. The course is also unique because it requires students to engage in the process of visual documentation themselves by incorporating an activity-based learning component. For their final project, students choose a human rights or social problem that concerns or interests them (and which they can document locally - no travel is required), prepare a documentary "exhibit" on the chosen topic (10-12 photographs), and write a 12-15 page paper analyzing how 2-3 social scientists construct and frame the given problem. Students also have the option to produce a short documentary film.

FTT 30635: Drunk on Film  | Anre Venter & Ted Mandell

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 James Bond to Jonah Hill, the psychology and seduction of alcohol on film, television, and online 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 recent film 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 alcohol in print and television advertising. 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 30706: Musical Theatre History  | Stacey Stewart

The intention of this course is to provide you with a context within which to understand the history of the American Broadway musical, while cultivating your own opinions about the art form and how it relates to society. You will track the progression of the musical by studying its path through the operetta, minstrelsy, vaudeville, Golden Age, Sondheim and the concept musical, the modern rock musical, the juke-box musical and the postmodern era. You will apply your growing knowledge of musical theatre history and context to engage in discussion of the thoughts and presentations of your peers within a structured setting. Throughout the course there will be group discussions, independent research, oral presentations, and regular writing responses to prompts, which will require critical thinking and self-reflection.

FTT 30708: Performance Techniques  | Matt 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 30730: The Big American Play  | Carys Kresny

A class for actors, writers, and scholars, The Big American Play will dig into theatre's role in the American conversation on race, class, and gender. Students will analyze scripts, research cultural contexts, rehearse scenes, and perform up to four public readings of selected plays. All students will participate in each approach at least once, then will have the option to focus on either acting or dramaturgy. Students will also curate a season of plays for the current American moment, choosing their ideal performance context for each event and articulating the vision that drives their choices. Pulitzer Prize-winning plays include musicals, comedies, dramas, and cutting-edge experiments by diverse American playwrights like Suzan Lori Parks, Michael R Jackson, Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, August Wilson, Annie Baker, Sam Shepard, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Neil Simon, and Zona Gale.

FTT 30780: Sound Studies, Popular Music, and American Literature  | Sara Marcus

US literature and popular music between the mid-19th century and the end of World War II. This interdisciplinary course will incorporate methods from performance studies, sound studies, and musicology in addition to literary criticism. We will read key works of American prose (as well as some poetry) from the period's principal literary movements, including realism, naturalism, modernism, and multimedia documentary. We will also listen to musical works - Broadway tunes and blues songs, spirituals and symphonies. We'll pay particular attention to how segregation and other racial politics, changing roles for women, and the mass production of commodities influenced the art of this period. Texts will include writing by Stephen Crane, W.E.B. Du Bois, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Harriet Jacobs, and Edith Wharton, as well as music by George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, Paul Robeson, and Bessie Smith. Course requirements will include two argumentative essays, several shorter writing assignments, regular online reading responses, and active class participation.

FTT 30800: 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 30802: Lighting Design  | Kevin Dreyer

This class will teach you what is involved in creating and executing a lighting design. We will cover lighting equipment and safety. You will design and draft a light plot, and you will learn how to write and use paperwork. Most importantly, the goal of this class will be to teach you how to see light. There will be lectures, videos, projects (take-home and in-class), hands-on training, and required attendance at TWO performances. The semester culminates with a final design project, as well as written components.

FTT 30809: Story Structure  | Anne García-Romero

Story Structure is designed to engage students in exploring a variety of approaches to playwriting and screenwriting structure. The course will delve into structural analysis utilizing models from contemporary world theatre and film with the aim to present a variety of paths toward creating new, vibrant plays and screenplays. Students will write one-act plays and short screenplays throughout this course, which culminates in a public reading of their work. This course is ideal for any student interested in writing for theatre and film.

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 35501: FTT Internship  | Christine Becker

Students who successfully complete at least two of the following courses, FTT 10101/20101, FTT 30410 or FTT 40890, 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 35502: Supplementary Internship  | Christine Becker

This course is for students who have been approved to take a one-credit internship graded in the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory mode, including those students undertaking a remote coverage internship. Note: This course does not count toward elective credit for 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 40020: Musical Theatre Lab: Workshop the Musical  | Matt Hawkins

The intention of this course is to provide a collaborative space for students to create, develop and/or workshop a new musical. Throughout the process of creation we will explore how to collaborate as a creative team, including directors, writers, music directors, choreographers, actors and stage managers. This is an effort to allow class time to be rehearsal and development time for new artistic work. The hope of this class is to support the innovation of new work and prepare it for the possibility of heading towards production.  Please contact the instructor directly for approval to take the course.

FTT 40023: Musical Theatre Minor Capstone  | Matt Hawkins

A capstone of the Musical Theatre Minor is a 3-credit course. The capstone will be project based and individually designed toward 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: 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 c. blackface minstrelsy to today's television hip hop era 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 hop era and Madea mania. Assessment includes: participation; leading a discussion of a film, play, or televised performance; and four short critical response papers.

FTT 40046: Writing the TV Drama  | Terrance Brown

This course is an introduction to the theory and craft of writing a dramatic one-hour television series. The class explores how a one-hour series script is developed and written. Through lectures, show viewings, weekly analysis and script/show bible readings, students will learn the process of taking an original idea and growing it into a dramatic series concept, a script, and a show bible. Students will engage in class discussions on the merits and deficiencies of existing dramatic series scripts and corresponding viewings. Weekly written analyses will inform the production of students final 60-70 page original screenplays. Prerequisites: FTT 30238 or 30809.

FTT 40106: Barn Stories  | Ian Kuijt & Bill Donaruma

Visual Anthropology provides a powerful and engaging means of sharing historical and anthropological stories. This new course is based on the assumption that people think in terms of images, movement and sound and that film can be used to create powerful and important human narratives. This class is designed to train students in how to research, design, manage and produce short documentary film projects using both state of the art production equipment and accessible forms of media capture such as iPhones and GoPros. As a graduate/undergraduate elective, this course thematically focuses on understanding and documenting the historical, social, economic and personal stories centered on 19th through 20th century Indiana local barns, and placing these in a meaningful cultural and historical context. Students will work in teams of two to research an assigned farmstead, focusing on the barn as a material setting and documenting the past through the integration of historical research, oral history and digital video. Students will develop 2-minute videos for inclusion in a video book that touches on local history as well as a longer 8-minute video that explores the life, history and social context of the barn. The result will be a collaborative effort that creates a body of work by the class exploring local history and linking anthropology with filmmaking to tell stories.

FTT 40245: The Dictators’ Burlesque Ball  |  Anton Juan

Based on focused research, creative work, and collaborative process, the trajectory of class work is the production of a new dramatic/theatre text within the framework of political burlesque, culminating in a public performance. The students will devise a performance of a BURLESQUE BALL where the most infamous dictators who have made the list shall gather as the invited guests. In sinister jest and debate, they toast and boast, trying to outdo each other: who among them is the most effective in scheme and style, the most evil as dictator and warlord, has the better method as authoritarian strongman and fascist, warlord and ganglord, sinister clown and trickster, strongman and murderer, charismatic liar, adulterer and thief --- all that applies, to be elected by the audience, and crowned, “Emperor of the Ball.”

The students will delve into the analysis of documentary theatre texts and performance. They will engage with archival research into global narratives of comparative authoritarianism, global parallel histories of power, politics of torture, and impunity. They will recuperate personal narratives of dictators and fascists and process the movement from memory to national history --- or from history to forgetting and historical revisionism. The students will enrich their texts and evocations of their attitudes towards their subject, through inter-cultural contexts, historical objects, sounds, and the five senses), with the aim of providing multiple paths toward creating a vibrant and visceral new devised theatre piece. The course will also be interdisciplinary with intertextual elaborations through theatre, film, music, dance and movement, visual and performance art, international studies in political ruptures and transformations, global studies in obstructions to peace, human development, and dignity of peoples.

This course will be ideal for any student who desires to explore playwriting and performance, theatre and film, as tools to devise and stage compelling national and global issues, explore the creation of original theatre works that document historical events, contemporary community-based issues and social justice concerns.

FTT 40257/41257: Documentary: Fact or Fiction?  | Ted Barron

Over the past decade, network television producers have reimagined the situation comedy with great success by utilizing mockumentary film techniques. This course will examine the ever-changing boundaries between fiction and non-fiction film and television by analyzing a series of works which question these discrete categorizations. We will consider canonical examples of documentary and the challenges posed to these known forms by pseudodocumentary and other media which reveal the devices used to establish cinematic realism. We will also explore a selection of film and television work which ascribes to realist modes of representation while subverting this approach. Issues such as testimony, performance, reflexivity, and ethics will be addressed in an effort to deepen the complex discourse of realism in visual media.

FTT 40262: Women Filmmakers in Europe  | Olivier Morel

Shortly after Agnès Varda had passed away on March 29, 2019, the subject made the headlines during the Cannes film festival. In the footsteps of Varda, of Akerman, of Wertmüller and Denis, there is a “New Wave” of women filmmakers in Europe (for example, Maren Ade, Frederikke Aspöck, Ester Gould, Barbara Eder, Agnieszka Smoczyńska, Ines Tanovic, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Céline Sciamma, Mati Diop, Alice Winocour…). This “wave” is not only reshaping a whole cinematic tradition and language, it is also profoundly transforming a highly masculine and macho film industry, not to mention… European societies as a whole. We will analyze works, working conditions and modes of production while discussing the lasting impact of the recent feminist movements on the industry. This will offer a window to a European culture and society in which until recently, the word “feminist” had tended to be outmoded…

I am a film and literary studies scholar and film director. Please note that one critical academic goal for this class is to develop a critical approach that will strongly revolve around production and creative techniques and styles.

This class will, in most parts, consist of seminar discussions (30%), lectures (45%), and oral presentations (25%).

Two written assignments (research paper), oral presentations as well as active participation in our class will constitute the basic requirements.

FTT 40410: Intermediate Filmmaking  | Bill Donaruma

Through hands-­on, field experience and critical analysis, we will explore the tools and techniques used to produce professional video and digital cinema projects in all genres.  We will explore the use of composition, cinematography, color 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 a variety of lighting and grip equipment, lenses, filters, light meters, etc.  Using RED Digital Cinema RED Raven 4K cameras and various support tools you will produce, shoot and edit short projects or “challenges” including your final short 3-5min film.  This will be a non-­‐dialogue driven film based with a post-­‐produced soundtrack. No other digital formats are to be used outside of what we utilize for this class.

We will also discuss various filmmaking techniques and current industry topics, including film in relation to digital cinema and current  workflows.  Post Production will be done using Davinci Resolve.

FTT 40411: Documentary Production  | Ted Mandell

A hands-on creative course for the advanced production student interested in the production process and storytelling techniques of the documentarian. Emphasizing the cinema verite approach of filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, and Frederick Wiseman, students learn the importance of capturing life's moments, being faithful to a subject, and understanding the filmmaker's point of view. The goal is to produce a short documentary film over the course of the semester which honestly portrays its subject(s), while at the same time, challenges its audience.

FTT 40600/41600: Shakespeare on the Big Screen  | Peter Holland

This course explores the phenomenon of Shakespeare in the cinema/movie theatre, examining Shakespeare and film by concentrating on the meanings provoked by the “and” that joins the terms. We shall be looking at examples of films of Shakespeare plays both early and recent, both in English and in other languages, and both ones that stick close to conventional concepts of how to film Shakespeare and adaptations at varying degrees of distance from his language, time, plot, reaching a limit in versions that erase Shakespeare from the film. We will also be looking at the recent phenomenon of “Live from” broadcasts of live theatre to movie audiences. The transposition of different forms of Shakespearean texts (printed, theatrical, filmic) and the confrontation with the specificities of film production have produced and continue to produce a phenomenon whose cultural meanings will be the subject of our investigations. There will be screenings of the films to be studied in the Browning Cinema.

FTT 40621: King Lear  | Peter Holland

Wherever we place it in the pantheon of great plays and in spite of Tolstoy’s loathing of it, King Lear is a very extraordinary play. This course will explore its extraordinariness by concentrating on it unremittingly. It will do so in two steps. For the first half of the semester we will slow-read the play together, thinking about anything and, insofar as we can, everything that it provokes us to investigate, from Shakespeare’s sources to early stagings and revisions, from its views on power, gender and the spiritual to its verse and vocabulary, and so on and on. In the second half of the semester we will engage with the play in performance and reimaginings through film versions and a variety of adaptations from Nahum Tate to Jane Smiley and beyond.

FTT 40702/41702: Audition Seminar  | Siiri Scott

Preparation for acting professionally and/or the advanced study of acting, directing and performance. A course of study is developed between the student and the faculty advisor(s) at the beginning of the semester. Students who are interested in taking this course but are not FTT majors should consult the instructor. Senior Acting majors only. Offered fall only.

FTT 43610: Senior Thesis Workshop  | Olivier Morel

A writing workshop for those students approved for a senior thesis.

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 48000: Thesis & Undergrad Research

Instructor is contingent on who student will be working with.

Research and/or thesis development for the advanced student.