2013 - Fall
RTF 380 THEORY & PRACTICE OF COMM RESEARCH • SHARON STROVER
This is an advanced graduate course that examines epistemological, theoretical and applied issues in communication research. The course aims to fulfill three principal objectives. First, to introduce students to the main epistemological and methodological debates that have shaped communication research with particular emphasis on an examination of positivist and post-positivist methodologies. Second, to develop an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and conceptual building blocks of communication research methodology including issues of design, selection, observation and inference. Third, to develop a grasp of quantitative and qualitative communication research methods, their techniques, assumptions, strengths and weaknesses and applications. These three objectives will be achieved through multiple means. At the core of the course is a set of methodological readings available in a required course packet. These will be supplemented by empirical readings that will provide students with an opportunity to review, criticize and analyze published readings. The readings and class discussions will be synthesized through a number of in-class and take-home assignments. The final assignment of the course will be the development and analysis of a research proposal with the focus on the methodological issues involved.
RTF 380C SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS • STUART KELBAN
The purpose of this course is to explore how to write effective narrative screenplays, with an emphasis on the short script. By breaking-down screenplays and films (ie: figuring out how they "work"), the class explores the basic dramatic principles of story, character and structure, applying these concepts to the development of original short scripts.
At the end of the semester, students will leave class with short scripts ready to shoot in the spring RTF 881KB narrative production class.
RTF 380G 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.
The seminal work of Robert Putnam on the decline of social capital in the US has generated a growing multidisciplinary literature. Social capital can come in many forms (trust, civic engagement, community attachment, and social networks) and has become one of the most contested concepts in social sciences. What makes social capital unique is its relational nature. Social network analysis provides a critical lens and powerful tools to understand the causes and consequences of social capital. Social network analysis focuses on how connections and structural positions affect fundamental issues such as cognition, creativity, cultural capital, social status, information flow, political coalition, interlocking directorates, social movement and social change. Scholars and pundits have been debating on the implications of new communication technologies and digital media for network structure and social capital at the individual and community levels.
This course is designed to balance theories, methods, and applications, drawing on literatures from sociology, communication, media studies, and management. It begins with key concepts and theories of social capital and social networks. In the second part, we explore the relational and structural embeddedness of actors, communities, and organizations. In the third part, we focus on how to collect network data and do network analysis.
RTF 380J FIRST-YEAR SCREENWRITING • CINDY MCCREERY
In workshop, students will discuss and evaluate each other's work on a weekly basis, developing their critical skills as screenwriters. The constructive participation of each student is required. This course continues the first year writing requirement.
RTF 380M *WRITING FOR FILM AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA • RICHARD LEWIS
This course fulfills the second year, second semester writing requirement for all screenwriting majors specializing in narrative motion pictures and television. The goals of this course are as follows: That you complete a feature-length script suitable for submission to agents, production companies and/or contests. That you leave this course a better writer than when you entered. That you help your fellow classmates achieve the above two goals and vice-versa.
*This course fulfills the second year, first semester writing requirement for all MFA screenwriting majors. Other qualified students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.
RTF 380N ADAPTATION • BEAU THORNE
This course will provide a pragmatic, hands-on approach to several skills crucial to the screenwriter's craft: adapting a screenplay from existing material, and executing creative work "on assignment". Students will write a film adaptation of a short story or similar source material, which will be assigned by the instructor. Students will also create an outline or treatment, revise their writing extensively, and engage in weekly discussions of each other's work.
*Open to graduate students other than Screenwriting MFA candidates, as space permits by instructor permission.
RTF 380P PRODUCTION WORKSHOP FOR WRITERS
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to basic principles of production that can enhance your own work in media in the coming years. Our emphasis will be on effort, understanding, collaboration, and creativity rather than skill.
RTF 384C CHILDREN AND MEDIA • KATHLEEN TYNER
This course analyzes the social construct of childhood and the way that ideas about the appropriate uses of media and popular culture by children and teens change over time. Analysis of media texts will be organized around authorship and point of view: media produced for youth, by youth and about youth. A wide range of entertainment and educational media and pop culture texts will be explored, including television, film, music, gaming and virtual world participation.
The research about the social and psychological effects of media and popular culture on children and teens is mixed--ranging from moral panics about the negative effects of media, to utopian visions of digital media as a new form of social capital. This course takes an historical look at the research related to media effects and the way that these studies have been used to underpin political and social change efforts in the past. Particular focus will be placed on research related to trends in the social uses of digital tools and new media cultural products by children and youth. Drawing upon the research base, the class provides evidence that informs the integration of young people's existing 21st Century Literacy skills into public policy arenas for education, citizenship, child welfare, health prevention, life skills and workforce development.
RTF 384N INTERNSHIP IN FILM AND ELECTRONIC MEDIA • TBA
RTF 385K HISTORY OF FILM • CHARLES RAMíREZ-BERG
This course is a survey of international film history for graduate students who have not taken previous work in the history and aesthetics of the motion picture. It is required of all RTF MFA students in production and screenwriting. The course will cover the development of the medium from Thomas Edison to Robert Rodriguez. The history of cinema will be looked at from various perspectives (as a technology, an industry, an entertainment medium, and a mode of personal and national expression) and particular attention will be given to the evolution of film’s formal elements. Several assignments are designed to acquaint students with how research in film history is conducted.
RTF 386 RACE & ETHNICITY IN AMERICAN TV • MARY BELTRÁN
Television is one of the primary forums through which American notions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship--in intersection with notions of gender, class, and sexuality-- have been 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 in the U.S. has been represented in entertainment television at various sociohistorical and industry junctures since its inception and how racialized and ethnic groups in the U.S. have participated in the production and consumption of television since the late1940s, we will survey the evolution of scholarship on these topics and areas of theoretical and popular contention. Key concepts interrogated include race, racialization, and whiteness in televisual representation; intersections in these dynamics with gender, class, and sexual orientation; debates over equitable representation and over the possibilities for television to serve as a public forum for all; self-representation and television authorship; diaspora and transnational television flows; and cultural hybridity versus cultural appropriation. Although a variety of media studies approaches are taken up in the readings, critical and cultural studies approaches will be emphasized. A weekly screening will provide key texts that we will analyze in our discussions.
RTF 386C INTRO TO TELEVISION STUDIES • ALISA PERREN
This course has two primary goals: First, we will trace the development of television studies from a humanistic perspective, exploring a variety of critical approaches that have been taken in the study of the medium. We will look at some of the canonical texts from the last several decades and consider the ways in which they have continued to shape ideas in this still young field of study. Second, we will look at recent work in television studies as a means of assessing both the changing nature of television and of television studies as an area of inquiry. The readings for the class will explore the range of industrial/institutional, sociocultural, textual, and audience analyses, approaches, and issues presently being discussed by television studies scholars.
RTF 386C POSTCOLONIAL THEORY • 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 QUEER MEDIA STUDIES • CURRAN NAULT
This course immerses students in the critical and theoretical analysis of queer film and media. We will explore dominant strategies used by the media industries, as well as those utilized by LGBTQI independents and subcultures, paying close attention to contested discourses of representation, politics, identity, activism, entertainment, realism, fantasy and desire. Important to this project are historical shifts in the representation of non-straight individuals, including their growing visibility in commercial media culture and the mainstreaming of queerness. In addition, we will examine media reception practices among queer folks, as well as the alternative media economies developed by members of the LGBTQI communities. Key to this course is an exploration of the intersections of queer identities, queer politics, and media culture, which will be facilitated by readings on queer, feminist, and gender theory. This course also insists that queerness cannot be divorced from other axes of identity, and thus critical race and class theory will also be employed.
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 388 RESEARCH PROB IN SPECIFIC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388 RESEARCH PROB: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP
RTF 388P ADVANCED DIRECTING • ANDREW SHEA
Dogme 95 meets Meisner technique in this collaborative class. Each student will co-direct a Dogme-style film, utilizing Meisner techniques to develop story ideas in the early weeks of the semester. 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 388S RESEARCH PROB IN SPECIFIC FIELD OF RTF: PRODUCTION
RTF 388T PRODUCING FILM AND TELEVISION •
RTF 390C INTRO TO EDITING • ANNE LEWIS
Required for first year MFA production students.
An intensive introduction to Production and Post Production Audio. The course is designed to prepare first-year MFA students to make good decisions about audio with a base of knowledge in ideas about audio and their practical application. By the end of the course you will demonstrate basic knowledge of various microphones, recording devices common to sound for picture, techniques of location recording, use of Pro Tools for editing and recording Foley and ADR, and an understanding of audio as a primary medium and as supporting medium by creating different sound track projects of increasing complexity from start to finish.
RTF 393P NEW MEDIA TECH AND CULTURES • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
In this course, we will explore some of the key theoretical and cultural issues relating to new media technologies and cultures. While new media is a broad term, we will focus on digital media, the Internet and the Web. Drawing from new media and cultural studies scholarship, we will discuss topics such as information and computing technologies, network societies, virtual bodies, interactive games, participatory cultures, regulation, activism and transnational community formations. Concepts of time-space, reality, embodiment, mobility, cultural and commercial flows, citizenship and play will be interrogated through the weekly assigned readings. The goal of this course is to develop a critical approach to new media by thinking beyond "information" and inserting questions of power, discourse, ideology and cultural politics into our understanding of the digital era we live in.
RTF 395 THEORY AND LITERATURE (PhD) • JENNIFER BRUNDIDGE
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.
This course provides an introduction to the broad range of theories in media studies from the perspectives of social sciences and cultural studies. It is required for all new M.A. students in the RTF 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 (such as mass communications, political economy and critical-cultural analyses of media). The course will be conducted as a seminar, with in depth discussions of the books, articles and authors we encounter. In addition to the seminar on Thursdays, the class will meet on Mondays for a proseminar where RTF faculty and occasional guest speakers will make research presentations. The proseminar is a required component of this course, and all students are expected to attend the proseminar regularly.
RTF 398R MASTER'S REPORT •
RTF 398T SUPERVISED TEACHING IN RTF
The general goal of this course is to enhance university teaching through training tomorrow's professorate. One primary gain you will receive from this course is that you will develop your own style and philosophy of teaching based on sound methods and research.
Specific objectives are: You will learn about current theories of learning and you will be able to apply these theories to specific classroom instances. You will learn how to effectively design a course by producing a syllabus, writing objectives, structuring assignments, choosing appropriate readings, outlining a lecture, and designing methods of evaluation. You will be able to use and assess the effectiveness of different teaching methods through two microteach assignments and observations of professors. You will develop an informed opinion of evaluating teaching and the nature of effective teaching by critiquing your own teaching, by critiquing others' teaching, and by discussing teaching evaluations administered here at U.T. You will understand and evaluate different philosophies of grading by writing exam questions, grading sample answers, and developing grading schemes. You will understand various ethical issues and guidelines of teaching. You will appreciate differences in teaching situations in various types of institutions. You will develop your own philosophy of teaching and be able to approach problems and tasks consistently based on you view.
RTF 488M PRE-THESIS PRODUCTION • DEB LEWIS
RTF 488M THESIS FILM PRODUCTION
This course is designed to aid students in the planning, production and completion of "short project" film/video projects required as partial fulfillment of the MFA degree; Students involved in pre-production must complete a story synopsis, treatment and/or shooting script (if the latter is already under way), plus a production budget and date for production start and completion; a student must have script, production plan, budget, and equipment list approved by his/her MFA committee before shooting can begin; and each project in post-production must have a budget and picture delivery date set by the student producer's MFA committee and course instructor.
RTF 698A THESIS
RTF 698B THESIS
RTF 881KA DIRECTING DOCUMENTARY • PAUL STEKLER
This course offers an introduction to the principles and techniques of filmmaking with an emphasis on documentary production. The class does this by focusing on both the hands-on practice of all the necessary craft and technical skills to create successful documentaries and the necessity to understand aspects of storytelling and characters that are common in all genres of filmmaking. Each student will complete a semester long short documentary project. All work will be screened and critiqued by class members.