ARTH 591
Borders/Walls: Liminality and Politics in Documentary Cinema Fall 2022
Division I

Class Details

Despite increased potentialities for mobility and exchange, borders and walls persist within contemporary culture. This research-based seminar examines where the foreclosure of these potentialities appears within global documentary cinema. It does so with the knowledge that walls have also played a significant role in cinema’s ongoing reinvention. Auguste and Louis Lumière’s first film featured not only the routine departure of the factory’s workers at the end of the working day, but also the built structure of the factory wall separating spheres of labor and leisure. Examining the intersection of concrete reality with the moving image, this seminar considers the implications of these spaces of liminality for the possibilities or limitations of the cinematic medium. It considers the way these mental, physical, and geopolitical constructs emerge both theoretically and materially as spaces that are tangibly felt, negotiated, and experienced. Given that site-specific works, institutional and civic contexts, as well as museums, serve as spaces of liminality and knowledge production, attention in this course will also be directed towards the (im)materiality of cinematic practice with respect to projection and the screen.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 1696
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Requirements/Evaluation: Active discussion participation; rough draft (mid semester) and final research paper (20-25 pages)
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Graduate students, senior-level majors in art history
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ARTH post-1800 Courses

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