Undergraduate Courses: Summer 2011

English 312: Topics in Film Studies

Cinema and Digital Culture
Tami Williams
Section 291 | Online

From the kinetoscope to the iPhone, moving image culture has never stopped reinventing or making itself anew. We will examine the nature of “new media” from a wide variety of perspectives: technological, economic, and particularly cultural and aesthetic. We will look at how new media, such as digital photography, video games, virtual reality, and the World Wide Web, refashion earlier media forms, such as cinema, as well as how the latter is itself influenced by emerging media. In addition to the shifts and changes effected by digital technologies in contemporary society, we will consider the place of the Self within the context of new media. To this end, in addition to reading critical texts, students will have opportunities to explore these questions on a personal and practical level, from blogging to video gaming. Class discussions will focus on weekly readings, film viewings and web visits.

English 404: Language, Power, and Identity

Patricia Mayes
Section 091 | MTWR 1:00 – 3:30 pm 7/25-8/20

This course is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the relationship between language and society. In investigating this relationship, we will consider how language is involved in the construction of social identity and power structures. Our investigation of social identity will include not only examining how individuals construct their identities but also how language is implicated in the formation of social groupings such as class, ethnicity, gender, and regional affiliations. The approach taken in this course is both descriptive and critical in that we will examine how language is implicated in creating and maintaining power for certain groups through such constructs as standard dialects and more broadly through public policies.