Lehigh University Film Studies: Spring 2018 Film Studies Courses

For more information please contact: 
Michael Kramp

 Psycho is studies in Lehigh University Film Studies Program

English 104 Our Robots, Ourselves: Sentient Machines in 21st C Film and Television (4) (12662)

This course explores a group of Anglo-American films and television dramas that tell stories about human relationships with computers, robots and avatars. These fictions imagine not just what humans might do with sentient machines, but what we might want from them: Will we want them to love us? To merge with us? To submit to us? And of course these dramas provide multiple perspectives on what robots might want. (We will consider, for example, why we like to imagine that conscious machines will try to exterminate humanity). The course will pay particular attention to the gendered construction of artificial intelligence. Texts include Ex Machina, Her, The Matrix, Alien: Covenant and the television dramas Westworld, Black Mirror and Humans. As we examine these stories, we will be asking how they use the audiovisual language of film to present a speculative world. This course will also ask you to examine your own relationships with artificially intelligent machines and virtual versions of self and others. Works by Sigmund Freud, Sherry Turkle, and Jessica Benjamin, and other writings about technology and contemporary society, will help to illuminate our uneasy relationship with ever more intelligent machines. Cross-listed with WGSS 104 (13581)

MW 2:35-3:50/Lab M 7-10                Kristin Handler


English 115 Vital Signs: Medicine and Popular Culture (4) (13445)

Does popular culture have a “fever” for medical narratives? If so, does it merely represent or actually influence how biomedicine is thought of and practiced in everyday life? What makes contagious disease fit so well within the genre of science fiction, or makes surgery and psychiatry so conducive to horror? How does pharmaceutical advertising play upon anxieties and desires of general or specific populations in Western culture? In this class, we will draw from several disciplines to think about medicine as both a biological reality and social construction so that we may understand medicine’s “cultural work” in the context of history, sociology, and literary, film, and cultural studies. We will consider the role of different genres (drama, science fiction, horror, and reality TV, to name a few) and media forms (fiction, news, social media, video games, film, and television). Topics will include doctor-patient relationships, mental illness, contagious disease, medical education, pharmaceuticals, enhancement, and bioethics. To these ends, our objective is to explore how biomedicine produces and is a product of our culture. Students will learn how to think and write critically about medicine as a science/technology, system of thought, and social force. Crosslisted with HMS 115 (13578).

TR 9:20-10:35            Lorenzo Servitje


GS 128 / MLL 128: Global Literature and Film

This course introduces an array of contemporary writers and filmmakers from the “Global South” ­­ South Asia, Africa, and Latin America ­­ who have been inspired by globalization. These writers and filmmakers explore issues related to patterns of mass migration, various forms of ethnic conflict and civil war, disappointment in the post­colonial nation state, the role of transnational finance and technology, and the impact of diseases such as AIDS and Ebola. We will link these texts and films with nonfiction essays that give students historical context and introduce them to some of the basics of the societies in question. Filmmakers may include Kiran Rao, Mira Nair, Asghar Farhadi, Alejandro Inarritu, and Neill Blomkamp. Authors whose works we will read include Arundhati Roy, Teju Cole, Chimamanda Adichie, Junot Diaz, and Aravind Adiga.

TR 1:10­2:25     Amardeep Singh


English 304 Filmmaking Studio: Documentary on the History of Lehigh's Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program 10(14229) 11(14346) (4-3)

Lehigh University's program in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has been a vital part of the educational and cultural landscape of our institution for several decades. This course will focus on researching, producing, and premiering a documentary film on the evolution of this program and the many people who have played vital roles in this process. Students will study filmic conventions, learn how to conduct archival research, develop filming, recording, and editing techniques, and work to market their film. We will also consider ethical concerns of documentary study and practice interviewing and camera skills as we learn to become proficient filmmakers. Our goal will be to premier the film in the fourteenth week of the Spring 2018 semester. Instructor permission required. Fulfills elective requirement. Cross-listed with WGSS 304-10 (14231) and 11(14347).

TR 1:10-2:25              Michael Kramp


MLL/FREN 398 North African Cinema (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia)

This course deals with North African Cinema and more specifically with the region called the Maghreb. We will be looking at visual representations of postcolonial subjects by male and female filmmakers from the Maghreb. We will investigate how the sociopolitical context of countries such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia informs the constitution of subjectivity within a multicultural and multilingual community. We will look at issues such as patriarchy, nationalism, colonialism, postcolonialism, identity, migration, homosexuality, gender and Islam in North African films from Franco-Arab traditions. Course taught in English with specific requirements for Minors and Majors in French and Francophone Studies.

MW 2:35-3:50                        Taïeb Berrada



For past courses, please click on the following links:

Film Studies Courses:  

Summer/Fall 2016

Muhlenberg Film Studies Courses:  Spring 2016

Lafayette Courses