ENGL329Q - Special Topics in Film Studies: Classical Film Theory

Alongside the emergence of cinema as a commercial industry, various writers engaged with the possibilities of the new medium as well. This course will survey classical film theory, writings about cinema that ranged from responses to cinema’s novelty in the 1890s to the creation of theoretical systems that formulated accounts of the “essence” of cinema. The emphasis will be on reading texts by Hugo Munsterberg, Bela Balazs, Rudolph Arnheim, Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, Jean Epstein, Louis Delluc, Germaine Dulac, Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Lev Kuhleshov, Vsevolod Pudovkin, and André Bazin. The course also will put these texts into conversation with relevant films. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions and write two papers.

Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.


ENGL245, FILM245, FILM283, or SLLC283; or permission of ARHU-English department.