Film Courses at Lehigh University: Spring 2017

Spring 2017

The following courses, listed on this page, are taught at Lehigh University.  Additional offerings are available through the LVAIC consortium...
(Please click on links in block at the left of this webpage entitled 'LVAIC Courses'...)

ASIA/MLL 165 Love and Revolution in Shanghai
C. A. Cook
MW 11:10-12:25

This project-based course will examine human relationships and political-economic changes in Shanghai through the lens of literature, film, and a selection of other readings. Students will discuss the conflicts between and influences of pre-communist, communist, and capitalist systems as played out in the Shanghai urban arena.

ENGL/WGSS 104: 11 What Does Creativity Look Like? Documentary Visions
Kristin Handler
MW 2:35-3:50

What can documentary films tell us about the nature of creativity?  What defines it? Why does it matter to people? Some of the films in this course explore activities such as painting, music and dance that we commonly associate with the term “art.”  Others explore the role of creative imagination in other activities, including political dissent, online romance, and relationships with animals. Most of the course films are about people who have been marginalized because of their sex, race, class position, age, mental health or political beliefs. We will consider how these people use imaginative work to define themselves and transform their communities.  We will also examine how the course documentaries frame their subjects, visually and narratively, and explore the ways in which documentary filmmaking, although committed to truth-telling, is itself always an act of creative imagination and interpretation. Finally, the course will encourage you to consider the role of creativity in your own life.   Films will include Searching for Sugar Man, Waste Land, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Catfish, 20 Feet from Stardom, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Grizzly Man, and Rize.  Readings for the course will include scholarship on documentary form and production, psychological accounts of creativity and play by D.W. Winnicott and Marion Milner, and cartoonist Lynda Barry’s meditations on the creative process in her graphic “autobifictionalography” One! Hundred! Demons!

DOC 201: Legal and Ethical Challenges in Documentary Practice
Julia Maserjian

Legal and Ethical Challenges in Documentary Practice examines questions of how stories are represented on the screen, how documentary films represent truth, the nature of filmmakers’ ethical obligations toward their subjects, and how these questions inform documentary practice. In this course, students will study the variety of approaches used in this act of truth-telling, examine legal and privacy issues facing documentarians, and explore the ethical and moral practices that surround filmmaking.

With the exception of two class meetings, this is an online course. 
(prerequisite DOC 150)


ENGL 319: Horror in our Decade
Dawn Keetley
TR 10:45-12

From the vantage point of time, it’s often quite easy to see what characterizes horror films of a particular decade. But how will the current decade be understood? In this course, we will undertake an intensive analysis of horror film beginning around 2010. I will choose two-thirds of the films we’ll watch in class but then you, collectively, will choose the other third. We will analyze the films we watch, considering what makes a “great” horror film—one that will likely become part of the horror film canon and that promises to help define our current decade. We will also think about a few failures. The course will involve reading about how horror of other decades has been characterized as well as reading lists, reviews and articles about post-2010 horror; we will watch about 18-20 films as a class (and you will watch some on your own); and you will write on at least 7-8 contemporary films, producing, at the end of the course, your “Top Ten” list, with a justification of your choices.

FREN 322/MLL 397: Contemporary French Films
M,W  11:10-12:25   Marie-Sophie Armstrong

In this course we will analyse some ten French Films from the late 1950s to the present. Through these movies, representative of such film movements such as the New Wave, Cinema du look, Extreme Cinema etc, we will explore the cinematographic language and its possibilities, and examine issues of gender, power, class, colonialism, and madness. Films by Truffaut, Godard, Beineix, Denis, Kassovitz, Haneke, Berliner, Varda, Dardenne, Dumont. Course is taught bilingually in French and English,

HIST 396: Documentary Film and the Practice and Politics of History
Tamara Myers
M-W 2:35-3:50

This course examines the relationship of documentary film to the production of historical knowledge. An exploration of the genre’s origins and its development into a powerful medium for public history and protest, this course will focus on history’s and film’s strong social justice tradition. We will compare and contrast the each medium for its depiction of major 20th century socio-political causes, including, for example, labor, civil and human rights, and the environment. 


If you are interested in the Film Studies Minor, please contact Michael Kramp (