I’ve just received the wonderful news that I’ll be teaching a 2000 (sophomore) level course in film studies this summer, and I’ve been searching for resources online to supplement the course. In the class, which is essentially an “Introduction to Film” course, I plan to use David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s Film Art: An Introduction, a relatively popular film textbook.
So far, I’m still canvassing for ideas. During my search, I came across the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Resources page, which offers a section where people can submit resources for teaching, research, and scholarship on film and media. The SCMS just launched their new webpage, so it may take some time for the resource page to build up a collection of useful material, but it’s something worth watching.
Right now, I’m trying to find ways of complementing the excellent treatment of film form in the Bordwell-Thompson book with a project that focuses on the material, social, and economic bases of film production. One possibility that I’ve considered is a collaborative project in which groups of 4-5 create a page focusing on (1) a specific decade of US/world cinema or (2) a specific technological or social development (the emergence of widescreen, the Hays Code, etc). I want to temper my ambitions somewhat because it is a summer class while still ensuring that students understand individual films in terms of their social, economic, and technological contexts. But any suggestions from people who have taught intoduction to film courses would be helpful. What assignments do you use to get students to think beyond film form? Will I be asking too much to encourage them to think beyond formal elements in such a limited time?
I’m really excited about getting a chance to teach this course again. I’ve enjoyed teaching similar courses at both Purdue and Illinois. There’s usually a fair amount of enthusiaism for the course among students in the class, so it should be a fun way to make some cash over the summer.
Cross-posted at Pamlimpsest. Feel free to comment at either location.