ENGL 203 Fall 2014 Black/Independent/Cinema

Cross Listed as AMST203, AFR209
Trick question: Is black independent cinema (a) a marketing strategy, (b) a political project, or (c) an aesthetic tradition? In this course, we'll watch movies that are celebrated or obscure, crowd-pleasing or aesthetically demanding, militant or reassuring, or sometimes all of the above. But "all of the above" is a cheap answer to a trick question--the kind of thing you might say on the way out of the theater if you want to sound smart but don't really have an opinion of your own! Since the films we'll watch are not designed for a passive, silent viewer, one of our tasks will be to ask how we might constitute ourselves as the audience they call for. Our primary emphasis will be on basic theoretical questions--what makes a film "independent," and what makes it "black"?--but we'll aim for some historical coverage as well, moving backwards and forwards from a grounding in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Films may include Daughters of the Dust, Killer of Sheep, Do the Right Thing, Drylongso (Ordinary), The Spook Who Sat by the Door, The Brother from Another Planet, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and others.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: active participation, frequent short writing assignments, a midterm paper and a final project
Additional Info: meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under ENGL; meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AFR or AMST
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam; or consent of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: English majors and Africana concentrators
Department Notes:
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories C
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 1452
ENGL 203 - 01 (F) SEM Black/Independent/Cinema Division 1: Languages and the Arts Vincent J. Schleitwiler
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Greylock A 1452
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