2015 - Fall
RTF 380 INTRO TO RESEARCH • ALISA PERREN
This course provides an introduction to research theory and design for media and cultural studies graduate students interested in conducting qualitative research. There are three primary objectives to the course: First, we will address the major considerations involved with developing and designing research projects as well as consider the potential ethical, political, and logistical challenges involved in undertaking research. Second, we will survey the range of qualitative research methods employed by media and cultural studies scholars and discuss the key considerations involved in employing each of these methods. We will examine different types of methods involved in dealing with people (e.g., interviewing, ethnography) and in dealing with texts (e.g., archival research, discourse analysis). Students will be asked to undertake a series of assignments in which they review, criticize, and analyze varied types of published research. Third, students will be asked synthesize our semester-long survey of methodological challenges, concerns, and practices by developing their own research proposal.
RTF 380C SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS • TOM WILLETT
RTF 380G SOCIAL CAPITAL & SOCIAL NETWORKS • WENHONG CHEN
RTF 380J FIRST YEAR SCREENWRITING • CINDY MCCREERY
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 380J fulfills the 1st year/1st semester writing requirement for all MFA screenwriting majors. Other students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.
RTF 380P PRODUCTION WORKSHOP FOR WRITERS • BRYAN POYSER
This class, open to students in Radio-TV-Film and the Department of Theatre and Dance, will provide an introduction to the art, tools and practice of filmmaking through hands-on collaborations between writers and actors to create original short films. This course is designed for non-production majors, so no prior production experience is required. Students will learn basic lighting, cinematography, directing and editing skills through short, collaborative hands-on exercises. The class will culminate in the production of original short films, developed collaboratively between the actors & writers.
RTF 384C NEW MEDIA LITERACY • KATHLEEN TYNER
This course explores the expanding nature of literacy in a digital world. The goal of the course is to create understanding of the social uses of literacy and the relationship between medium and message. Through the use of new media tools and an awareness of the historical uses of literacy, students will explore concepts of multiliteracies and the way they change social practices over time. Students will survey international theories underlying contemporary media education and apply them to the uses of media in formal and informal environments. Relationships between the theory and practice of alphabetic, electronic, mobile, social and digital media are explored through crosscutting techniques that highlight the content and contexts of mediated communication. The class will address topics related to privacy and surveillance, media arts, game design and Big Data. Students will use promising practices and new tools in the field to practice and enhance their media literacy skills and to design innovative, customized projects that support their research interests.
RTF 385K POLITICS OF PRESERVATION • CAROLINE FRICK
This course introduces one of the most complicated (and under-studied) components of the media industries: Preservation. Beginning with a contextualization of the field, and of its precedents in European collecting practice, public records offices, and museums, the course will employ both a theoretical and practical approach to archival media product. Debates over the merits (and drawbacks) of defining media product as "artifact" will be complemented by larger discussions over the practical ramifications of copyright and physical deterioration - increasingly problematic areas for both the filmmaker and academic researcher. Topics include: preservation principles, the impact of access programs and strategies, and the role of the archivist or curator. Utilizing the literature available as well as film and video resources of the University of Texas and the Austin community at large, students will combine an analytical approach to the history and theory of collecting with "hands-on" research - from Hollywood features and educational films, to home movies and the ever vanishing footage of the public domain.
RTF 386 ALTERNATIVE POETICS • CHARLES RAMIREZ BERG
This course is specifically designed for second year screenwriting and production students and for studies students who are interested in a comparative investigation of film form and film narrative. Beginning with the classic Hollywood paradigm (as delineated by Bordwell, Staiger and Thompson), the class will begin a survey (in weekly screenings) of alternatives to that narrative model. Among them will be the films of Yasujiro Ozu (Tokyo Story), Robert Bresson (Pickpocket), Carl Th. Dreyer (Day of Wrath), Jean Vigo (L'Atalante), Andrey Tarkovsky (Andrey Rublyov), and Ousmane Sembene (Black Girl). Additional films include W.C. Field's Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, and Casablanca. In each case the central question will be, "What is the narrative's organizing principle?"
RTF 386C GENDER AND FAN CULTURE • SUZANNE SCOTT
This graduate seminar will survey contemporary fan studies from the 1980s to the present, with an emphasis on fandom within convergence culture and digital fan cultures across media (television, music, sports, etc.). Using gender as a critical axis, this course will consider the lingering impact of fan studies’ roots in feminist and queer media studies, and contemplate how gender shapes our discussions of fan labor, fan representations, fannish taste, modes of fan performance and production, industry-audience power dynamics, and our identities as fan scholars. Finally, this seminar will consider what forms of identity work have been elided or marginalized as a result of the field’s focus on gender as its central critical axis, in an effort to move towards a more intersectional conception of fan identity and fan studies.
RTF 386C POSTCOLONIAL THEORY AND CRITICISM • SHANTI KUMAR
This course provides an in-depth introduction to debates in postcolonial studies on a range of issues such as the history of colonialism, imperialism, neo-colonialism, Orientalism, nationalism, subaltern identities, hybrid cultures, feminist theory, and diaspora studies. It introduces some of the key theorists in postcolonial studies who have played an influential role in critiquing dichotomies such as the West and the non-West, and the colonizer-colonized relationship. The goal of this course is to critically survey a diverse set of theoretical writings in postcolonial studies, and to recognize how the term "postcolonial" signifies a complex set of political, economic and cultural forces in world affairs; both historical and contemporary.
RTF 386C RACE, CLASS, GENDER AND AMERICAN TELEVISION • MARY BELTRAN
Entertainment television is one of the primary forums through which American notions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship, in intersection with class and gender, have been presented, narrated, validated, and challenged. This seminar explores the evolving poetics and politics of this representation. In addition to study of how racial and ethnic diversity, gender, class and sexual orientation have been represented in U.S. television, we will survey the evolution of scholarship on these topics and areas of theoretical and popular contention. Key concepts interrogated will include race, racialization, and whiteness; intersections with gender, class, and sexual orientation; debates over equitable representation and over the possibilities for television to serve as a public forum; self-representation and television authorship; and feminist and anti-racist thematic content in television. Although a variety of media studies approaches are taken up in the readings, critical and cultural studies approaches will be emphasized.
RTF 386C YOUTH AND SOCIAL MEDIA • S. CRAIG WATKINS
Nine out of ten American teenagers are online and more than 70% use social network sites as a daily routine. From social gaming to social networking young people are leading the transition to the social and mobile media lifestyle. In this class we explore the growing role and social consequences of social media in the lives of young people. Drawing from both critical studies perspectives and empirical-based examinations of specific communication technologies the course seeks to illuminate some of the theoretical, methodological, and critical analytical issues central in the study of teens and young adults social media behaviors. Some of the issues we address include the shifting norms of privacy in the digital age; the building and maintenance of friendships and social ties; the negotiation of identity; cyberbullying; the appeal of mobile technologies in youth culture; gaming; addiction and distraction; peer-based modes of learning; and the role of race, gender, and class in the formation of the digital world. This course is for students who are interested in exploring the social aspects of social media.
RTF 387C GLOBAL MEDIA • JOE STRAUBHAAR
In this course we will critically examine the political, economic, cultural and technological discourses of globalization in terms of the multiple forces which produce, sustain and disrupt global, national and local media. We will address questions of representation, production, consumption, identity and difference in specific cultural contexts, and pay particular attention to the role of media in globalization. The goal of the seminar is to ensure that by the end of the semester, all participants will be able to map key issues, concepts, theories and methodologies for future research in this area of inquiry.
RTF 387D MEDIA AND MIDDLE EAST • KARIN WILKINS
This graduate seminar will build from the fields of communication, media studies, and contemporary analyses of the Middle East, toward a consideration of how communication technologies and media structure and resonate with political, social, economic, and culturalcontexts in the region. First we explore television in the Arab world, as an industry working within a political and economic context contributing to and responding to cultural spheres in entertainment and news programming. Reality television allows us to consider these issues in more depth. In the final section of the course, we reflect on the role of digital media in national (political protests in Iran) and global contexts.
RTF 388P CINEMATOGRAPHY • PJ RAVAL
This course explores visual storytelling and the art of cinematography through practice in a workshop environment. We will explore visual expression through a variety of cinema tools including camera and lighting. Students are encouraged to think cinematically in both fiction and non-fiction approaches. A number of readings and exercises are assigned to also increase a student's technical knowledge and understanding of one's tools, leading to greater creative and personal visual expression.
RTF 388P/343 ADVANCED DIRECTING • ANDREW SHEA
This course is designed to bring together advanced directing and acting students in an environment that will foster mutual growth and understanding of the director/actor dynamic in the filmmaking process. The class will work closely with Lucien Douglas's Acting For The Camera course in the Department of Theatre & Dance. Each student will direct or co-direct a Dogme-style film in which the Theatre & Dance actors play the leading roles. We will adhere to a production code that is a modified version of the Dogme 95 Vow of Cinematic Chastity. The goal will be to create collaborative, performance-based works that emphasize simplicity and ingenuity in image and sound choices.
RTF 388T PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION • SUZANNE WEINERT
RTF 393P NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES AND CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
This course will critically examine new media technologies and cultures. The course will map key theoretical and conceptual issues relating to "new" media and information technologies, networked societies, digital cultures, virtual communities and e-commerce. Drawing from media and cultural studies scholarship, the readings for the course will allow us to pay particular attention to topics such as new media institutions, Internet governance, digital divide, transnational labor, mobile technologies, race, class, gender, sexuality and nationalism in new media contexts, virtual citizens, online communities and transnational social movements. The course will emphasize an integrated approach to the study of new media technologies, societies and cultures by focusing on the intersections between institutions, texts, social contexts and users.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Non-RTF majors are welcome in this class.
This course provides an introduction to the broad range of theories of society and media communication from the perspective of social scientists. The companion course, offered in the Spring, introduces theories of media communication from the perspective of the humanities. It is required for all new Ph.D. students in the department. We will review the primary theories and researchers in the field, with an emphasis on understanding the development of the discipline and its varied trajectories of research. The fall term will include discussion of theoretical bases in psychology, anthropology and sociology, and specific theories including the public sphere and public opinion, diffusion, media effects, internationalization/globalization and media, propaganda theories, various social change theories, and political economy and media, among others. The course will be conducted as a seminar, with in depth discussions of the books, articles and authors we encounter.
RTF 398T SUPERVISED TEACHING • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY
This is a course on methods and practices of teaching communication area college courses. It is designed to introduce you to some of the philosophies behind different ways of teaching, as well as to assist you in your teaching experience at UT Austin. We will thus be dealing both with theoretical material as well as more basic, “how to” information and skills. The goal of the course is to make you more comfortable in the classroom, to better your pedagogical skills, and to improve your understanding of your own teaching. The course plan moves you from “how to teach at this particular institution” (i.e., the syllabus assignments) through “thinking about the theory and practice of teaching” (i.e., the research paper, observations, discussions of ethics, practicums) to evaluating your own teaching and preparing to sell it on the job market (i.e., teaching philosophy and portfolio). You are expected to keep up with the reading, meet all course deadlines, and fulfill your responsibilities as a member of an academic community. Class time will be reserved every week for the discussion of issues, problems, and positive experiences in your individual classrooms.
RTF 488M PRE-THESIS PRODUCTION • MEGAN GILBRIDE