INST 239 Screens of Terror: Representations of War,Terror, and Terrorism in Western Films after 9/11 (D) (W)

Last offered Fall 2013

Cross Listed as COMP236
How has Hollywood contributed to "the war on terror?" What is the effect of the media on public opinion about this new kind of war? This course will seek to answer these questions through a critical examination of recent Western films with explicit portrayals of 9/11, acts of terrorism, terrorists, Arabs, Muslims, and western military and politicians. Using methods of literary analysis, we will examine such films as Syriana(2005), United 93 (2006), The Hurt Locker (2009), Avatar (2009), and Iron Man 3 (2013) among others to reflect on how experiences of war, terror, and terrorism have been recently represented on screen. We will also investigate how Hollywood practices have been implemented in other world cinemas in the recent years. Among others, we will look into how the on-going Russo-Chechen conflict has been represented in Russian cinema before and after 9/11. Readings in film interpretation will range from early film theorists such as Eisenstein and Krakauer to contemporary literary critics such as Eagleton and Jameson. We will also review relevant cultural theory and criticism addressing questions of orientalism (Said and Shaheen) and the role of media in the construction of public opinion (Zizek, Baudrillard, and Chomsky). This EDI course will engage with questions of ethnic, religious, and national identity in the highly polarized post 9/11 landscape and ask students to (re)consider the tangled notions of perspective and representation. Students will also come away with techniques in film analysis, practice in writing reviews, and a deepened understanding of the relationship between society and film today.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active class participation, frequent short writing assignments (3 pages), a final paper (3 pages), and an oral presentation
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the Gaudino option
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Comparative Literature Major or International Studies concentration
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: Meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under INST
Divisional Attributes: Division I,Exploring Diversity,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 1987
INST 239 SEM Post-9/11 Film (D) (W) Division 1: Languages and the ArtsExploring Diversity InitiativeWriting Intensive Yuliya V. Ladygina
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