Effective Term: 2151 (Spring 2015) Subject Area Course Number: film 110 Cross-listing:  



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University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Curriculum Proposal Form #3



New Course



Effective Term: 2151 (Spring 2015)
Subject Area - Course Number: FILM 110 Cross-listing:      

(See Note #1 below)


Course Title: (Limited to 65 characters) Visual Culture in America

25-Character Abbreviation: Visual Culture in America

Sponsor(s): Anna Thompson Hajdik and Donald Jellerson

Department(s): Languages and Literatures

College(s): 

Consultation took place:  NA  Yes (list departments and attach consultation sheet)


Departments: Languages and Literatures, Art and Design, Communication, History

Programs Affected: Languages & Literatures, Film Studies

Is paperwork complete for those programs? (Use "Form 2" for Catalog & Academic Report updates)

 NA  Yes  will be at future meeting


Prerequisites: None
Grade Basis:  Conventional Letter  S/NC or Pass/Fail
Course will be offered:  Part of Load  Above Load

 On Campus  Off Campus - Location      

College:  Dept/Area(s): Film Studies

Instructor: Anna Thompson Hajdik or Donald Jellerson

Note: If the course is dual-listed, instructor must be a member of Grad Faculty.
Check if the Course is to Meet Any of the Following:

 Technological Literacy Requirement  Writing Requirement

 Diversity  General Education Option: GI

Note: For the Gen Ed option, the proposal should address how this course relates to specific core courses, meets the goals of General Education in providing breadth, and incorporates scholarship in the appropriate field relating to women and gender.


Credit/Contact Hours: (per semester)

Total lab hours:       Total lecture hours: 48

Number of credits: 3 Total contact hours: 48
Can course be taken more than once for credit? (Repeatability)

 No  Yes If "Yes", answer the following questions:

No of times in major:       No of credits in major:      

No of times in degree:       No of credits in degree:      


Proposal Information: (Procedures for form #3)
Course justification: This interdisciplinary course will serve as a gateway course to the Film Studies Minor and as a General Education elective (GI). It considers the importance of visual culture in the United States across historic time periods from the nineteenth century to the present, encompassing a range of genres including film, television, advertising, art, public space, and online environments. In the 21st century, we live in a society that simultaneously celebrates and creates visual culture. We are constantly bombarded with images whether they originate with classic forms of media like television or billboards or whether we ourselves produce them via Instagram or Twitter in an increasingly cluttered virtual space. This course aims to increase visual and digital literacy while complementing the goals of the Writing Matters Rubric developed by representatives from across campus that sought to improve students’ skills in analytical thinking, strength of interpretation, knowledge of research techniques, and clarity of language.
The phrase “visual culture” has been variously defined, and the academic disciplines that have incorporated its analysis have expanded rapidly in recent decades. Disciplines engaged in this work share a sense of the highly visual world in which we live, the imperative to think critically about how the visual shapes experience, and a focus on the many ways we create meaning through the interaction of culture and its multimodal visual representations. Film Studies, in particular, takes the study of visual narratives in cultural context as its primary focus, drawing on a range of disciplines to do so. From its emergence several decades ago, Film Studies has also served as a key location in the academy within which scholars have sought to describe and theorize the relationships among cinematic images and other visual artifacts. Film Studies is thus uniquely suited to offer an introductory, interdisciplinary course on visual culture.
Readings will take both a long view of American history and cross multiple disciplines so that students have the opportunity to appreciate how visual culture has evolved over time. Assignments will stress the close reading of images in order to enhance visual/digital literacy. “Visual Culture in America” offers preparation for students who plan to advance in the Film Studies minor, but it will also provide a broad-based introduction to visual culture that will help prepare students for advanced work in a large range of fields across all colleges. Perhaps most importantly, the course will enhance students’ ability to critically read and interpret visual images in context and therefore help them become thoughtful consumers and producers of culture.
Budgetary impact: Initially, the course will be taught by existing faculty members in Languages and Literatures. This will require a yearly shift of one faculty member away from one section of English 101 or 102 (the equivalent of .11 FTE). Though no specific plans are underway as of the moment of writing this proposal, Film Studies welcomes the possibility of expanding the range of instruction for this course through team teaching or having the course taught by faculty members in other departments.
Course description: (50 word limit)
This course explores the history and enduring significance of visual culture in America. Themes the course will explore include the role of technology in visual culture, modern consumerism, cinematic representation, and the postmodern digital collage of contemporary culture.
Relationship to program learning objectives:
FILM 110 will serve the proposed Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the Film Studies minor.

FILM STUDIES MINOR



STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES (SLOs)

  1. critically interpret films and clearly express those interpretations orally and in writing

  2. demonstrate knowledge of the historical development and cultural impact of film as an art form

  3. demonstrate a familiarity with the collaborative processes through which films are constructed

  4. employ the specialized vocabularies and methodologies used by film studies scholars

  5. engage with questions of ethics and social justice through representations of culture on film

  6. analyze a range of cinematic visual styles, narrative conventions, and generic trends


Specific Course objectives for FILM 110:


  1. Develop keen analytical skills rooted in the ability to critically read and understand the power of visual culture (Film Studies Objectives 1 & 2).

  2. Cultivate and foster visual and digital literacy (Film Studies Objectives 3 & 4).

  3. Compose engaging, thoughtful prose that is grammatically sound, concisely written, and creatively executed (Film Studies Objective 1).

  4. Understand the role of visual culture within the broader story of American identity formation (Film Studies Objective 2 & 6).

  5. Gain an appreciation of and understanding for cultural diversity (Film Studies Objective 4 & 5).


Relationship to General Education goals:


  1. Think critically and analytically integrate and synthesize knowledge, and draw conclusions from complex material

  2. Make sound ethical and value judgments based on… an understanding of shared cultural heritage…

  3. Understand and appreciate the culture diversity of the U.S. and other countries…

  4. Acquire a base of knowledge common to educated persons and the capacity to expand that base over their lifetime

  5. Communicate effectively in written, oral, and symbolic form

  6. Understand the nature and physical world, the process by which scientific concepts are developed and modified

  7. Appreciate the fine and performing arts.

  8. Develop the mathematical and quantitative skills necessary of calculation, analysis and problem solving.

  9. Understand the principles essential for continual mental and physical well-being.




  • As the course description and course objectives suggest, Film 110 will promote many of the above general education goals, especially numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

  • Analysis of visual culture (film, television, artistic works, advertising, digital environments, public space) is a complex exercise in critical thinking and enhances knowledge (1).

  • The focus on the many varieties and categories of visual culture in the United States as well as the broad sweep pedagogical approach of this course deepens student understanding of shared cultural heritage, American identity formation, and cultural diversity (2, 3).

  • Film 110 is an introductory course and as such, provides a solid knowledge base that enhances cultural and digital literacy by offering perspectives from the past and present (4).

  • Through a range of assignments, students in Film 110 will hone their skills in writing and oral communication (5).

  • Students will be exposed to a wide variety of highly influential texts, from pivotal works of art, to early silent films, to classical Hollywood cinema. In doing so, a fuller appreciation for the fine and performing arts will be developed by students as they learn to consider visual culture as a key cultural lens for understanding the evolution of American identity (7).



Relationship to General Education Core Courses:
Visual Culture in America complements GENED 110. Through its focus on advertising, film, television, and other visual narratives, it will add a key dimension—the analysis of multimodal visual artifacts in a cultural studies context—to the focus on the arts in World of the Arts. Visual Culture in America also complements GENED 120 and 130, adding a specific visual culture survey emphasis that usefully supplements student learning in Historical Perspectives (120) and Individual and Society (130).

Bibliography: (Key or essential references only. Normally the bibliography should be no more than one or two pages in length.)
Belton, John. Movies and Mass Culture. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995.
Cohen, Paula M. Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Doss, Erika. Looking at Life Magazine. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian, 2001.
Kasson, John. Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century. New York: Hill & Wang, 1978.
Le Beau, Bryan. Currier and Ives: America Imagined. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian, 2001.
Marchand, Roland. Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920-1940. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1985.
Marling, Karal Ann. As Seen On TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.
McLaughlin, Robert M. We’ll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema During World War II. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010.
Sayre, Henry M. Writing About Art. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1995.
Stoddart, Scott F, ed. Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Television Series. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.
Sturken, Marita and Lisa Cartwright. Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Trachtenberg, Alan. Lincoln’s Smile and Other Enigmas. New York: Hill & Wang, 2007.

Tentative course syllabus with mandatory information (paste syllabus below):

FILM 110: Visual Culture in America

MW 2:15–3:30

Dr. Anna Thompson Hajdik

Email: hajdika@uww.edu

Laurentide 3261

Office Hours: T TH 12-4 p.m.



“Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. But there is another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world with words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.”

-- John Berger, Ways of Seeing



COURSE DESCRIPTION

In the 21st century, we live in a society that simultaneously celebrates and creates visual culture. We are constantly bombarded with images whether they originate with classic forms of media like television or billboards or whether we ourselves produce them via Instagram or Twitter in an increasingly cluttered virtual space. This course explores the history and enduring significance of visual culture in America. Through an expansive survey approach, we will critically examine unique forms of visual media that reflect the diversity of the American experience. From art and advertising to film and theme parks, this course will explore a rich array of visual culture that documents the past and responds to the present. Themes the course will explore include the role of technology in the evolution of visual culture, divisions between highbrow and lowbrow popular culture, the dawn of modern consumerism, the rise of celebrity culture in tandem with Hollywood, the many links between politics and visual culture in the mid-20th century, and finally, the postmodern digital collage of 21st century visual culture.


COURSE OBJECTIVES

  1. Develop keen analytical skills rooted in the ability to critically read and understand the power of visual culture.

  2. Cultivate and foster visual and digital literacy.

  3. Compose engaging, thoughtful prose that is grammatically sound, concisely written, and creatively executed.

  4. Understand the role of visual culture within the broader story of American identity formation.

  5. Gain an appreciation of and understanding for cultural diversity.


GRADE BREAKDOWN

Participation and Journal 20% Primary Source Analysis 15%

Daguerreotype Analysis 10% Advertising Analysis 15%

Midterm 15% Final Exam 25%


GRADE SCALE

A = 93–100 A- = 90–92 B+ = 87–89 B = 83–86 B- = 80–82

C+ = 77–79 C = 73–76 C- = 70–72 D = 60–69 F = < 60

REQUIRED COURSE TEXTS
D2L Readings – Access these through the course D2L content page. Readings as noted in the syllabus.

The books listed below are available for purchase in the University Bookstore. All titles have also been placed on 3-hour reserve in the library.

John Kasson, Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century

Paula Cohen, Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth

Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV: Visual Culture and Everyday Life in the 1950s
SELECTED FILMS

Coney Island (1991)

The Great Train Robbery (1903)

Birth of a Nation (1915)

It (1927)

The Jazz Singer (1928)

The Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936)

Casablanca (1942)

Atomic Café (1982)

Design for Dreaming (1956)

The Suburbs (1957)

Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of America’s Superheroines (2012)
ASSIGNMENTS
In-Class Participation, and Visual Culture Journal (20%): Students will be expected to engage with the reading material and the class by contributing thoughtful comments and discussion throughout the semester. In addition to your regular participation, you will make at least one entry in your visual culture journal every two weeks for a minimum of 7 entries. Each entry should have both writing and images, address ideas that are raised in class or in the readings, and cover at least two pages. It isn’t a diary, but an intellectual and creative project that complements and extends the work we do in class. You can draw/design your own images or take a collage approach. In short, you have a lot of creative leeway. I will take a look at your journals about half way through the semester, but it is your responsibility to keep up with the work. Do not fall behind on the journal entries.
Attendance: Attendance will be taken regularly. If you have more than four unexcused absences throughout the semester, your final course grade will drop by one level. If you miss more than eight classes, you will fail the class.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is dedicated to a safe, supportive and non-discriminatory learning environment. It is the responsibility of all undergraduate and graduate students to familiarize themselves with University policies regarding Special Accommodations, Academic Misconduct, Religious Beliefs Accommodation, Discrimination and Absence for University Sponsored Events (for details please refer to the Schedule of Classes; the "Rights and Responsibilities" section of the Undergraduate Catalog; the Academic Requirements and Policies and the Facilities and Services sections of the Graduate Catalog; and the "Student Academic Disciplinary Procedures (UWS Chapter 14); and the "Student Nonacademic Disciplinary Procedures") (UWS Chapter 17).



***COURSE SCHEDULE***


Date

Theme/Topic

Readings

(Complete before class)

In-Class Activities, Films, & Assignments

Week #1

Introduction to the Course and Assignment Expectations



Spend 20 typical minutes noticing what kinds of images you see in your everyday experiences -(drawings, photographs, advertisements, logos, video, animation, digital images, what kind of screens, multimedia (and what kind), etc. Compose a 1-2 page short essay detailing your observations. Turn it in at the start of the next class.





What is Visual Culture? Why Study Visual Culture?



“Introduction” from Practices of Looking (D2L)


Discussion of Daguerreotype Assignment


Week #2

Visual Culture in Early America

Excerpt from Currier & Ives: America Imagined (D2L)


Tour the Online Exhibit Currier & Ives: Perspectives of America





Visual Culture in Early America Part II, The Rise of the Daguerreotype



“Mirror in the Marketplace: American Responses to the Daguerreotype, 1839-1851” and “Mute Romance: Stories of a Daguerreotype” by Alan Trachtenberg (D2L)


Online Exploration of the “My Daguerreotype Boyfriend” Tumblr


Week #3

Visual Culture in Early America, Part III

No reading: In-class discussion of your essays




Daguerreotype Assignment Due



Visual Culture and the Dawn of Consumerism



Introduction to Amusing the Million





Week #4

World’s Fairs and Coney Island: Visual Culture and the Dawn of Consumerism

Chapters 1-3 from Amusing the Million






World’s Fairs and Coney Island: Visual Culture and the Dawn of Consumerism


Chapters 4-5 from Amusing the Million



In-Class Screening of



Coney Island (1991)

Week #5

Early American Film (continued)

Chapters 3-4 from Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth



In-Class Screening of



The Great Train Robbery (1903)



MID-TERM



Chapters 5, 6, and Epilogue from Silent Film and the Triumph of the American Myth



Selected Scenes from



Birth of a Nation (1915)

Week #6


The Visual Dynamism of 1930s America:


The Films of Busby Berkeley

NO ASSIGNED READING


Selected Scenes from It (1927) and The Jazz Singer (1928)






Photography, Documentary, and the Farm Security Administration During the Great Depression



“The Crowd, the Collective, and the Chorus: Busby Berkeley and the New Deal” from Movies and Mass Culture

(D2L)



Journals Due

Week #7



Library & Research Day



“The FSA File: From Image to Story” by Alan Trachtenberg


FSA File Assignment Discussion


Selected Scenes from

The Gold Diggers of 1933





No Required Reading: Be Prepared to Conduct Research on Your FSA Photograph and its Historic Context




In-Class Exploration of the FSA Online Database


In-Class Screening of

The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)


Week #8

The Visual Rhetoric of War in the Mid-Twentieth Century


No Required Reading: Present Your FSA Research Papers



Meet in the Library







“Introduction” from We’ll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema During World War II (D2L)





FSA File Assignment Due

Week #9


The 1950s: Consumer Culture As Visual Culture

“Imagining the Atomic Age: Life and the Atom” from Looking at Life Magazine (D2L)




Selected Scenes from Casablanca (1942)






The 1950s, Part II











Chapters 1,2, and 3 from

As Seen on TV: Visual Culture and Everyday Life in the 1950s

In-Class Screening of Atomic Café (1982)




Week #10

The 1950s, Part III


Chapters 4-5 from



As Seen on TV: Visual Culture and Everyday Life in the 1950s


In-Class Screening of



Design for Dreaming

(1956)



Retro Appeals and Nostalgia Television in 21st Century Visual Culture




Chapters 6-7, Afterward from



As Seen on TV: Visual Culture and Everyday Life in the 1950s


In-Class Screening of



The Suburbs (1957)

Week #11


Visual Culture, Advertising, and

Real World Applications

“Kodak, Jack, and Coke: Advertising and Mad-vertising” from Analyzing Mad Men: Critical Essays on the Series (D2L)



In-Class Screening of



Mad Men






No Required Reading:


Guest Speaker, Creative Director from Hiebing Advertising Agency, Madison, Wisconsin

Come Prepared to Ask Questions!





Week #12


The Visual (and Narrative) Pleasures of Video Games




No Required Reading: Come Prepared to Discuss Your Papers






Advertising Analysis Due




The Postmodern Possibilities of Visual Culture




“On Video Games and Storytelling: An Interview With Tom Bissell” by Maria Bustillos from The New Yorker


(D2L)






Week #13


No Required Reading:

Take Notes on Film

In-Class Screening of


Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of America’s Superheroines






REVIEW FOR FINAL





Week #14




FINAL



Turn in Your Visual Culture Journal


ASSIGNMENTS (continued)


1-2 Page Analysis of a Daguerreotype Image (10%):
“The Daguerreotype is good for its authenticity. No man quarrels with his shadow, nor will he with his miniature when the sun was the painter. Here is no interference, and the distortions are not blunders of an artist, but only those of motion, imperfect light, and the like,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson of this new medium in 1841. Developed in France, daguerreotype technology arrived in the United States with much fanfare in 1839 and then proceeded to transform how the public recorded and remembered key aspects of American social and cultural life throughout the mid-nineteenth century. For this assignment, you will choose a daguerreotype from the online archive “America’s First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864.” Maintained by the Library of Congress, this collection includes a wide selection of images, from portraits and landscapes, to street scenes and architecture. Be sure to incorporate ideas from Alan Trachtenberg’s two essays “Mirror in the Marketplace: American Responses to the Daguerreotype, 1839-1851,” and “Mute Romance: Stories of a Daguerreotype” into your analysis:
Mid-Term Exam (15%): The exam will test you knowledge of key ideas and themes we have examined to this point in the semester:
3-4 Page Primary Source Analysis (15%): From 1935 to 1944, photographers working for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documented rural life across America. Part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the photographers employed by the FSA fanned out across the nation and took a wide range of photographs that primarily focused around issues related to rural poverty. These images indelibly shaped how the American public perceived the Great Depression and they continue to serve as fascinating documents of this challenging time in our nation’s history. For this paper, you are to select a photograph from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) online archive and write a 3-4 page paper in which you provide the historical context of and make an argument about the significance of this photograph. You should provide background information about the photograph (who took it, where was it taken, when it was taken, was it ever published) as well as analyze its significance and describe what the photograph depicts.
3 Page Advertising Analysis (15%): For this assignment, you will select either a print or television advertisement from the 1950s and compose a short analytical essay in which you consider how the visual culture of the decade reflected broader trends in American life. You may search the bound periodicals in the Andersen Library (suggested publications include Life, Look, or The Saturday Evening Post) for a print advertisement or utilize one of several online archives. In the crafting of your analysis, be sure to draw from Karal Ann Marling’s As Seen on TV: The Visual Culture of Everyday Life in the 1950s and at least two additional scholarly sources. Please attach either a copy of your print ad or a screenshot of your television ad to your essay:
Final Exam (25%): The final exam will primarily focus on material we examine during the second half of the semester:

Revised 10/02 of




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