Course offerings and special topics vary by semester. Explore recent offerings below.
ENGL 130: Intro to Film/Media Studies
This course introduces students to the complexities and nuances of the moving image. No matter its delivery system (silver screen, television, tablet), the orchestration of image, sound, and time constitutes, as one critic has put it, "a natural counterbalance to language as a way of accounting for the world." After deeply grounding ourselves in the formal qualities of cinema, we will explore the aesthetic and cultural ramifications of its transformation in the second half of the 20th century, and into the 21st. Weekly screenings at the Campus Theatre will focus our attention on magnificent achievements in cinema. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: AHLG ARHC EGHU FRST W1.
ENGL 214: Introduction to Screenwriting
The course will introduce students to the craft of screenwriting through detailed study of produced screenplays, and it should enable them to begin to develop their own styles in screenwriting. For students who are interested in creative composition, filmmaking, storytelling and creative collaboration, this is a chance to explore an ever-expanding artistic medium. Original, creative writing of participating students will be the ultimate subject matter of the course. Each student will produce a final portfolio that includes an original short screenplay. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC FRST W2.
ENGL 231: Pre- and Early Cinema
Traces cinema's technological ancestors and examines film's profoundly different possibilities and alternatives prior to 1918. Weekly screenings illustrate cinema's various functions in its earliest years.
ENGL 232: Film History I
World cinema history from 1918 to 1945. Weekly screenings.
ENGL 233: Film History II
World cinema history from 1945 to present. Weekly screenings.
ENGL 234: National Cinemas
This class examines trends in contemporary World Cinema studying a range of styles and their connection (or disconnection) to national and cultural identity. Weekly screenings at the Campus Theatre. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC EGHU FRST GBCC.
ENGL 235: Gender and Film
Current debates about gender and American film, from WW II to the present. Diverse critical approaches for interpreting film within the broad context of gender studies. Crosslisted as HUMN 340.
ENGL 238: Special Topics in Film Studies
Examination of a specialized topic in film studies. Weekly screenings.
Topic: Race and Film
This course introduces students to critical thinking about representations of race in media. We will survey representations of race on film (and the related media of radio and television) from the late 19th century up until the 1960s. A most compelling component of the course will focus on how underrepresented groups like African Americans represented themselves in "race films": low budget independent productions with mainly black casts made specifically for segregated black audiences. The films of Oscar Micheaux and Spencer Williams, as well as titles like Hallelujah (1929), Imitation of Life (1934 + 1959), and The Exiles (1961), will be viewed at weekly screenings at the Campus Theatre and serve as a backbone for our engagement with the difficult intersection of our eponymous terms. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC DUSC EGHU FRST.
Topic: Documentary & Avant-Garde Film
While much of the cinema that we experience arises from the realm of fiction, the documentary film and the avant-garde film offer motion pictures a different set of possibilities. Despite the fact that fiction filmmakers have claimed that "every film is a documentary of its own making" and that avant-garde filmmakers have stated that "for any finite series of shots ['film'] whatsoever there exists in real time a rational narrative, such that every term in the series, together with its position, duration, partition and reference, shall be perfectly and entirely accounted for," this course will attempt to explore the historical and stylistic trajectories of non-fiction at the movies. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC EGHU.
Topic: Intro to Film/Video Production
This is an introductory level course in the basics of film and videomaking, including planning, camera operation, principles of cinematography and lighting, sound recording, and picture and sound editing. Students will be introduced to both 16mm filmmaking and digital video practice. Throughout the course, a range of approaches to making films will be screened and discussed, toward the goal of achieving a greater awareness of the expressive potential of the medium. Students will have the opportunity to work on three individual projects during the course, and will present their work to the class for group critique in all phases of production. The development of both technical skills and personal vision will be emphasized. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC EGHU.
ENGL 242: Film and Media History
This course examines major industrial, technical, and cultural milestones in the history of the cinema, radio, television, and new media industries. Weekly screenings.
ENGL 245: Televisual Culture
This course focuses on non-cinematic moving image culture including the television industry, video art, and new media technologies. The course examines the subject from a variety of theoretical viewpoints—industrial practices, stylistic modes, and audience reception.
ENGL 246: Documentary & Avant-garde Cinema
Examines the history and style of non-fiction and experimental cinema in order to explore the importance of recording the world in the most direct and the most abstract fashion. Weekly screenings.
ENGL 247: Film/Media Genres and Auteurs
Examination of a particular film/media genre (film noir, melodrama, Hong Kong action movies, Westerns, etc.) or a close examination of a particular director, cinematographer, screenwriter, or producer’s oeuvre. Weekly screenings.
Topic: Film Noir
This course traces the history of Film Noir from its German Expressionist origins in the teens and 1920s to the neo-noir movement of the 1990s. We will especially focus on Film Noir’s post-WWII heyday in the 1950s. In many ways, noir has served as an antidote to Hollywood’s embrace of dominant ideology by exploring and even critiquing many of the underlying assumptions of how the United States views race, gender, and socio-economic traits. As a result, this class focuses on how and why filmmakers embraced the genre as a mode of social critique. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC DUSC FRST.
ENGL 253: Introduction to Film/Media Production
An introductory level, studio-based course covering the basics of moving image practice, from pre-visualization to principles and techniques of cinematography, editing, lighting and sound. Students produce individual projects, developing both technical skills and personal vision. In-class screenings further students’ awareness of cinema’s expressive potential.
ENGL 254: Film Programming & Exhibition
This course provides a historical and practical perspective on various strategies for independent and alternative film programming and exhibition. Coursework culminates in the production of the Bucknell University Short Film Festival, held annually at the Campus Theatre. Class participants curate the programs and organize all aspects of the festival.
ENGL 256: Writing about Film/Media
This course examines various approaches to writing film criticism, scholarly analysis, and industry-oriented copywriting. Students will practice these approaches by developing their writing and argumentation skills, prose style, and critical thinking abilities using films as a subject.
ENGL 332: Seminar in Film and Technology
Traces technology's impact on film form and content. Topics include early cinema, sound technology, widescreen, and computer-generated images. Weekly screenings. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
ENGL 335: Special Topics in Film/Media Production
This advanced seminar focuses on specific production (lighting, cinematography) and post-production (sound design, color grading) areas to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of specialized production skills. Prerequisites: ENGL 236 or ENGL 253.
ENGL 336: Seminar in Film Genres and Auteurs
Examination of a particular genre (film noir, Hong Kong action movies, Westerns, etc.), director, cinematographer, screenwriter, or producer. Weekly screenings. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as ENGL 636.
ENGL 337: Seminar in Film Theory
This seminar looks at various theoretical models to interpret and understanding a wide variety of film forms, covering a broad range of theories-formalism, realism, psychoanalytic, etc.-to demonstrate how various frameworks can produce insight into a film's form and meaning. Weekly screenings at the Campus Theatre. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC EGHU.
ENGL 338: Special Topics in Film/Media Studies
This course covers specialized, rotating topics in Film/Media Studies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
ENGL 339: Film/Video Production
This course applies film theory concepts to advanced video/audio production through a range of hands-on production assignments including the Film/Media Production Clinic (FMPC). Every year, the clinic solicits applications from non-profits with media needs. Selected projects are then partnered with the class, providing students with real-world opportunities to produce broadcast-quality content for non-profit organizations. Fulfills the following CCC requirements: ARHC.