PHILOSOPHY 252: PHILOSOPHY AND FILM THEORY

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Earlham College, Fall Semester 2011-2012
Monday, Thursday 1:00-2:20 Carpenter 320; Wednesday 7:00-9:00 BC 105
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: By Appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399
e-mail: guvenfe@earlham.edu
web page: http://www.earlham.edu/~guvenfe
Moodle page: https://moodle.earlham.edu/course/view.php?id=1321

Course Description: This course is an introduction to film theory.  The field of film theory is a fairly broad one.  In this course we will concentrate on specific concepts, thinkers and topics.  Our fundamental focus will be psychonanalysis among other philosophical and cultural perspectives. Rather than attempting a comprehensive analysis, we will concentrate on a few texts and films and interpret them in relation to philosophical concepts such as reality, appearance, power, desire, race and postcoloniality.

Required Texts: All the texts for this course will be on the Moodle.

Course Requirements:  This course will be conducted in a seminar format.  Attendance and participation are important dimensions of the course and your grade.  I expect you to come to class prepared and ready to participate, i.e., having read the text carefully, and ready to raise and answer questions.

You are required to write 2 papers (5-7 pages long). I will provide paper topics for these papers.

You are also required to prepare one-two paragraph reflections on the movies we watch for each Thursday. The aim of these assignments is to think explicitly about the connection between the movies we view and the texts we read and start off our discussions on Thursdays.

For every Monday two students will prepare a two-paged protocol. A protocol is a carefully edited summary/notes of the previous two class sessions written in full sentences. Protocols will be photocopied by the student who wrote it and handed out to all students at the beginning of each week (Monday) to be read aloud.  The protocol will serve as a cumulative record of the course. In addition to reviewing the material covered in the previous class, it should include announcements made and questions not addressed in class. The best protocols will be those that do not simply reproduce word for word everything that was said during class, but that rearrange the material thematically, editing out what was unimportant and emphasizing what was significant. One of the advantages of the protocols is to allow you to think during class and not just take notes; because someone will be taking notes for you, you can concentrate on the ideas being presented, and participate without having to write constantly. Also, you will have a summary of every class which will help you with writing papers.
There will be no final examination. 
Your grade will be calculated according to the following distribution: Paper I: 30%; Paper II: 30%; Protocol=20%; Attendance, Participation and Reflection Essays=20%

Participation and Attendance:
Participation counts for 20% of your grade. I expect you to participate not simply for the sake of your grade, but hopefully because you will be interested in what will be discussed in class.
If you miss more than four classes you will fail this course regardless of your grade.

Our sessions will start at 1:00 pm (or 7:00 pm). Students are expected to come on time. Walking into (and out of) the classroom while the session is in progress is very disruptive for everybody. For every two late attendance (or exit) you will be marked as absent for one class session.

You are required to bring the text (the book or photocopied material) to class, and refer to them during discussions.

Any student with a documented disability (e.g., physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing etc.) who needs to arrange reasonable accommodations must contact the instructor and the Disability Services Office (Academic Support Services) at the beginning of the semester. Accommodation arrangements must be made during the first-two weeks of the semester.

Calendar: There will be several modifications to this calendar. It is your responsibility to be aware of these changes. These changes will be announced in class. If you miss a class you should make sure that you are informed about the assignments for the next session.

Week 1:
August 24:  Introduction to the course
August 25:  Introduction to the course

Week 2:
August 29: Plato, Republic Book 7
August 31: Wachowski Brothers, MATRIX
September 1: Descartes, Meditations 1 and 2

Week 3:
September 5: Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction
September 7: Zizek, THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA
September 8: Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction

Week 4:
September 12: No Class: Continue Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction
September 14: Zizek, THE PERVERT'S GUIDE TO CINEMA
September 15: No Class: Continue Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction

Week 5:
September 19: Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction
September 21: Allen, THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO
September 22: Robert Stam, Film Theory: An Introduction

Week 6:
September 26: Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
September 28: Hitchcock, PSYCHO
September 29: Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Week 7:
October 3: Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle
October 5: Hitchcock, VERTIGO
October 6: Freud, "A Note on the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis"

Week 8:
October 10: Richard Allen, Psychoanalytic Film Theory
October 12: Lynch, BLUE VELVET
October 13: Richard Allen, Psychoanalytic Film Theory

Week 9:
October 17: Lacan, Beyond the Reality Principle," from Ecrits
October 19: Lacan, Beyond the Reality Principle," from Ecrits
October 20: Midsemester Break

Week 10:
October 24: Lacan, "The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as revealed in Psychoanalytic experience," from Ecrits
October 26: Lynch, LOST HIGHWAY
October 27: Lacan, "The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the I as revealed in Psychoanalytic experience," from Ecrits

Week 11:
October 31: Zizek, Enjoy Your Symptom!
November 2: Tarkovsky, SOLARIS
November 3: Zizek, Enjoy Your Symptom!

Week 12:
November 7: Zizek, Enjoy Your Symptom!
November 9: Lee, BAMBOOZLED
November 10: Zizek, Enjoy Your Symptom!

Week 13:
November 14: Butler, "Imitation and Gender Subordination"
November 16: Jordan, THE CRYING GAME
November 17: Butler, "Imitation and Gender Subordination"

November 21-November 25:  Fall Break 

Week 14:
November 28: Robert Stam and Louise Spence, "Colonialism, Racism, and Representation: An Introduction"
November 30: Pontecorvo, THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS
December 1: Robert Stam and Louise Spence, "Colonialism, Racism, and Representation: An Introduction"

Week 15:
December 5: Ella Shohat, "Gender and Culture of Empire: Toward a Feminist Ethnography of the Cinema"
December 7: Haneke, CACHE
December 8: Ella Shohat, "Gender and Culture of Empire: Toward a Feminist Ethnography of the Cinema"

Final Exam Day TBA: Review and Evaluation

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