AMST 316 Spring 2015 Sacred Cinema: Black Religion and the Movies

Cross Listed as REL265, AFR316
Although they represent different genres, what popular films Madea's Family Reunion (2006), First Sunday (2008), The Princess and the Frog (2009) have in common is that they each offer complex and at times contradictory images of black religious expression in North America. These films, which present varied perspectives of African American experience, implicitly and explicitly engage themes inherent to the study of religion, such as the role of faith in decision-making processes and the use of religious tradition as a means of reinforcing or contesting socio-cultural norms. This course is as much about the use of film to study black religious expression as it is about the use of paradigms of religious thought to study the intersections of gender, race, and religion in film. We will study films of different genres to facilitate discussion about the various dimensions of black religious expression. Conversely, we will use images, metaphors, and teachings found in Religious Studies to discuss what appears on screen. Through interdisciplinary, critical approaches in Film Studies and Popular Culture Studies, this course will examine how black religious expression pervades modern cinema, and will offer constructive strategies for engaging in dialogue with this phenomenon.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation and film viewings, film analyses, a Comic Life midterm project, and the completion of an original multimedia narrative
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: Africana Studies concentrators, Religion majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: AFR Core Electives, REL Africa + African Diaspora Tradition Courses
Enrollment Limit: 13
Expected Enrollment: 13
Class Number: 3117
AMST 316 - 01 (S) LEC Black Religion and the Movies Division 2: Social Studies Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant
M 7:00 PM-9:40 PM Hollander 158 3117
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