Cinema and the Moving Image (HIST*3260) | College of Arts

Cinema and the Moving Image (HIST*3260)

Code and section: HIST*3260*01

Term: Fall 2017

Instructor: Susan Nance


Course Synopsis:

This course provides a historical survey of Hollywood cinema, as well as the history of the material, cultural, political, and technological contexts of film production. Students will come to understand the broad development of the industry and its medium over the past one hundred and thirty years, beginning with early, pre-cinematic moving image technologies and ending with an analysis of the influence of other media and merchandizing on cinema, as well as funding models that shaped how and which films got made. Students will also become familiar with crucial terminology for analyzing and writing about films and related production and marketing materials as a unique and interrelated set of historical primary sources.

The course combines brief lectures, film viewing, presentations on primary sources, and online discussion groups. Students in the course will also learn about how to write persuasively and authoritatively about the history of cinema through the various writing assignments below.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights:

Online discussions (3 @ 5%, 10%, 10%):    25%
Primary source presentation:    15%
Mid-semester essay:    25%
Final paper:    35%

Required Texts and/or Resources:

Jon Lewis, American Film: A History (W W Norton, 2007).
Hess and Dabholkar, Singin’ In the Rain: The Making of an American Masterpiece (University Press of Kansas, 2009).
Tom Sito, Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2002).
Plus a selection of book chapters and journal articles available through the UofG Library.


This is a preliminary web course description only. The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description. The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.