PHILOSOPHY 252: PHILOSOPHY AND FILM THEORY

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Earlham College, Fall Semester 2013-2014
Tuesday, Thursday 7:00-9:00. LBC 105
Instructor: Ferit Güven
Office: Carpenter 328
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday by Appointment
Office Phone: 983-1399 (voice mail)
e-mail: guvenfe@earlham.edu
web page: http://www.earlham.edu/~guvenfe

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 themes, concepts, thinkers and topics. Rather than attempting a comprehensive analysis, we will analyze a few texts and films and interpret them in relation to philosophical concepts such as reality, appearance, power, desire, race and postcoloniality. We will also focus on psychoanalysis and its role in understanding and interpreting films.

Required Texts: (Available at Earlham College Bookstore).
Stam, Robert. Film Theory: An Introduction, (London: Blackwell, 2000)
Zizek, Slavoj. Enjoy Your Symptom! (London: Routledge, 1992)
There will be additional texts for this course on Moodle.

Learning Goals: In light of the following General Education Requirement Goals at Earlham College
*Close and critical reading, thoughtful reflection, ready discussion and cogent writing
*Increased adeptness in thoughtfully considering texts of all sorts, whether singly or in comparison with one another
*Multiculturalism in the study of domestic and international diversity
*Informed understanding of the arts through performance or creative fashioning as well through theory and history
The specific goals of this course are: to read, analyze, and reflect on the texts that are assigned for the course; explain and interpret the ideas in these texts in your own words; understand the compositions and explicit and implicit ideas, techniques and strategies employed in the films we watch; make connections between the texts we read and films we watch; understand basic film theories and concepts and be able to discern these themes in the films; articulate the ideas expressed in the films and texts in oral and written form.

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. For every paper (including papers on topics of your own choice) you are responsible for the general guidelines provided.  See "Comments and Suggestions for Papers."

You are also required to prepare one-two page reflection papers on five of the films we watch (each 5% of your grade). The aim of these assignments is to think explicitly about the connection between the movies we view and the texts we read. See the guidelines for these assignments.

For each week 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 (Tuesday) to be read aloud, and will serve as a cumulative record of the course. The students who prepare the protocol should come to class a couple of minutes early, so that the protocols will have been distributed at the beginning of the class (i.e., by 7:00 pm). 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: 20%; Paper II: 30%; Protocol=15%; Film Essays= 25% Attendance, Participation=10%

Participation, Attendance and Policies:
Participation counts for 10% 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 7:00 pm. Students are expected to come on time. Walking into (and out of) the classroom while the session (lecture and/or film) is in progress is very disruptive for everybody.
For every two late attendance (or early 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: The calender and the reading assigments will be posted on Moodle. 
There may be some modifications to the calendar. It is your responsibility to be aware of these changes. Make sure you follow these changes on Moodle.

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