Graduate Courses - Fall 2023
Coming Soon! Note: Some changes may still occur.
FOR CLASS DETAILS, INCLUDING TIMES, CLICK ON "FIND COURSES NOW" ON THE REGISTRAR'S PAGE.
Find descriptions of undergraduate courses also on our website, to review as electives or for teaching assistance purposes.
MEDIA STUDIES COURSES
RTF 380D/347P BUSINESS OF HOLLYWOOD • ALISA PERREN
What is going on in the media industries today? What kinds of issues and challenges are entertainment industry professionals dealing with? This class has two key goals: First, students will learn how the media industries operate, gaining a sense of the “big picture” of the contemporary film, television, and digital video landscape. Large-scale issues being faced by those working in the entertainment industry – including the impact of conglomerate ownership, regulation, globalization, and digitization on creative practices and work roles – will be addressed through readings and class discussion. Second, students will hear from a range of guest speakers coming from Hollywood, New York, and Texas about their personal experiences navigating the media business, past and present. While some of those visiting the class will work in production and postproduction (writing, directing, editing, etc.), most of the guests will work in other types of creative, managerial, and executive roles (e.g., studio and network development, acquisitions, marketing, talent management, etc.).
RTF 386C TELEVISION STUDIES • ALISA PERREN
This course has two primary goals: First, we will trace the historical 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 canonical texts from the last several decades and consider the ways that they have continued to shape ideas in this evolving field of study. Second, we will look at recent scholarship 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 cover a range of industrial, institutional, sociocultural, textual, and audience approaches and issues.
RTF 387C MEDIA AND DIASPORA • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA
This course, Media and Diaspora, is a cultural studies, qualitative research-focused, interdisciplinary seminar that will examine the function and politics of media in the context of diasporic cultures, immigration, exile, refugee culture, border zones and varied forms of temporary and multi-sited forced and voluntary migration. Thus, the frame of “diaspora” as indicated in the title of this course is only a conceptual portal to examine a very diverse range of issues relating to border crossings in historical and contemporary contexts.
Over the past few decades, scholarship in the field of media and diaspora studies has contested and interrogated a number of assumptions the migrant condition and the transnational subject. We will be starting our course at that point of contestation and working our way to ongoing research in this area. While many case studies will include the US, this course considers the question of migration in a global frame. The media examples discussed in this course include radio, film, television, the web, social media and popular music and performance. We will be reading scholarship from the fields of media and cultural studies that intersect with postcolonial studies, race and ethnic studies, gender and sexuality studies, immigration and border studies and transnational and global studies.
Questions relating to the politics of the nation-state, race, cultural hybridity, transnational subjectivity and citizenship will be front and center in this course. We will examine media in terms of media technologies and institutions, media texts and representations, media regulation and policies, the distribution and circulation of texts, discourses and capital, media audiences and their reception strategies and finally how media discourses produce, shape, regulate, contain and disrupt narratives relating to migration and borders in our interconnected world.
RTF 388C RESEARCH PROBLEMS: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP
RTF 395 THEORY AND LITERATURE I - FOR PH.D. STUDENTS • CURRAN NAULT
Drawing on literature from a rangy archive in the interdisciplinary field of media studies, this course aims to (re-)familiarize students with the established “canon,” while also broadening its horizons into dynamic and overlooked “elsewheres.” Charting significant developments in media theory, across differences in methodology, platform, representation and beyond, students will participate in debate, thought experiments, writing projects and rigorous discussion filtered through class readings and images. Within this framework of thoughtful engagement, students will explore how these texts can be activated, applied and reimagined. This course is required for all new PhD students in the RTF Department and is also open to PhD students from other departments interested in media-focused scholarship, with the permission of the instructor.
RTF 395 THEORY AND LITERATURE - FOR MEDIA STUDIES MASTER STUDENTS • MARY BELTRAN
This course provides an introduction to the broad range of theoretical scholarship that informs contemporary media studies in the humanities. It is required for all Master’s students in the RTF Department’s Media Studies graduate program, and is also open to other graduate students interested in media-focused scholarship, with the permission of the instructor. We will review the primary theories and work of scholars who have contributed to media studies, with an emphasis on the development of the discipline and its varied trajectories. The course will be conducted as a seminar, with in-depth discussions of the readings and authors we encounter.
RTF 398M MASTERS RESEARCH/WRITING
RTF 398R MASTERS REPORT - HYBRID/BLENDED
RTF 398T PEDAGOGY - SUPERVISED TEACHING IN RTF • CHARLES RAMIREZ BERG
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.
MFA SCREENWRITING COURSES
RTF 380J FIRST-YEAR SCREENWRITING (Fall) • STUART KELBAN
The gateway course for entering MFA Screenwriters, this class focuses on writing the feature-length screenplay, which means delving into the three primary elements of screenwriting: story, character and structure. Students discuss and evaluate each other's work on a weekly basis, developing their critical skills as screenwriters. By the end of the semester, each student will have a completed treatment, step-outline, and Act I of a feature-length screenplay. RTF Screenwriters will complete-and-revise their screenplay during the Spring, in the 380J companion course.
RTF 380M ADVANCED SCREENWRITING I • 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 script or television pilot 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 DEVELOPMENT FOR SCREENWRITERS • MAYA PEREZ
What does the career of a professional screenwriter entail? What are some paths toward becoming a professional screenwriter? What challenges are screenwriters dealing with? Through lectures and conversations with a series of guest speakers—assistants, producers, representatives (agents, lawyers, managers), filmmakers, and various levels of feature and TV writers—students will get answers to these questions and more. This is an advanced course in which we will cover “generals” and staffing meetings, screenplay competitions and fellowships, pitches, treatments, navigating a TV writers' room, production company/studio/network notes, networking and building a community, and how students can best advocate themselves in their pursuit of a professional screenwriting career.
RTF 380N WRITING FOR TELEVISION • KATHERINE CRAFT
This course explores writing for scripted series television. Over the course of the semester, students will write "spec" scripts of an existing half-hour comedy and hour-long drama. The class will take an in-depth look at TV writing from the inside out, learning how to "break" an episode and how a TV writer's room works.
MFA PRODUCTION COURSES
RTF 380C SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS (for 1st Year Production MFA students) • RICHARD LEWIS
Though focusing on the short script, 380C explores basic dramatic principles – story, character, and structure – which are applicable to all forms of narrative screenwriting. Students apply these narrative principles to the development of their own original short scripts, with an emphasis on the writing process: from the initial premise, through character exploration and outlining, to drafting and revision. 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 388F/344M POST-PRODUCTION TECHNIQUES (COLOR GRADING) • DAN STUYCK
This class will examine best practices in the finishing and mastering stages of digital post-production for a film or media piece focusing primarily on picture control and quality. The class will reinforce strong habits in media preparation when it comes to editing -- but this is not an editing class. We will depart from the moment the offline edit is done and move forward with preparing assets for online editing, sending them to sound design and mix, integration of VFX to color correction and grading (finishing) and then integration of all these elements (mastering) for deliverables creation. While we will cover color correction and grading, this course will also emphasize the technical elements that allow us to deliver the best quality images possible for different platforms. The concepts of infrastructure, pipeline and workflow should become second nature to the student upon successful completion of this course. Ideally, students should come with a pretty good understanding of nonlinear editing software.
This class is open to all the students who have some previous experience in film or narrative production. Each student must have a script that they want to develop for this class.
RTF 388P ADVANCED DIRECTING • ANDREW SHEA
This course is designed to bring together advanced directing students and Austin-based actors in an environment that will foster mutual growth and understanding of the director/actor dynamic in the filmmaking process. Each student will direct or co-direct a Dogme-style film. Each director or directing team will cast two actors who will play the leading roles in the film and who will participate in our in-class workshops during the middle part 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 388P CINEMATOGRAPHY • DEBORAH EVE LEWIS
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 / 337 EARS ONLY: AUDIO STORYTELLING • TODD THOMPSON
Audio production and post for storytelling using voice, actuality, music, ambiences and sound effects. Structuring stories for audio only, plus microphone and recorder techniques, mono, stereo, and binaural recording, field mixers, basic Pro Tools, signal processing, and noise reduction, applicable to sound for picture as well. Students will make a variety of small projects leading up to a longer, final project of their choice.
RTF 388P/340M MUSIC VIDEO/FILM PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL
This course explores the collaborative nature between filmmakers and performing artists. Students will partner with a local musical artist/band to create a portfolio of original short films ranging from live performance videos, to non-fiction and promotional materials, to music videos and ultimately music films. This course embraces conceptual and non-traditional forms of filmmaking often seen in the works of early music video pioneers. From the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” to Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” music videos have defined generations and cultural movements. This course will explore the artistic expressions and subsequent social impacts that music videos have had in steering the public conversations around artist personas, censorship, and cinematic innovation.
RTF 388S RESEARCH PROBLEM IN SPECIAL FIELD RTF: PRODUCTION
RTF 389P / 368P PRODUCING SHORT FILMS • SARAH SEULKI OH
Short films are often seen as an excellent calling card for first-time filmmakers. But it’s much more than just a way to practice your craft or make something that is shorter or cheaper than a feature film. Though the principles and steps involved to produce a short film are no different than producing a feature film, it is also a unique discipline of its own. How do you tell an interesting and compelling story in a short film? How do you translate a minimum budget into maximum quality on screen?
This course will examine all fundamental aspects of development, pre-production, production, and distribution of producing a short film. Students will practice the step-by-step processes of physical production such as script breakdown, scheduling, budgeting, location scouting, crew hiring, working with cast and crew, etc. Using weekly lectures, homework assignments, course readings, and class workshops to reinforce each class topic, students will put together a final production binder for a short film.
RTF 390C INTRO TO EDITING FOR GRAD STUDENTS • ANNE LEWIS
Required for first-year MFA production students. This is an introductory course in which we will build the foundation for later postproduction practice within the MFA program. It will incorporate technical, aesthetic, and practical considerations into an overall view of editing as a process, and we will use class discussion, written assignments, and (provided) editing exercises toward that end. The final third of the class will workshop your documentary film at various stages of postproduction.
RTF 488M PRE-THESIS PRODUCTION • YA'KE SMITH
For 2nd-year MFA Production students only. This course is designed to aid students in the planning and production of a short narrative or documentary film. Students must complete a story synopsis, treatment and/or shooting script, production budget, schedule, and equipment list prior to shooting. Pre-thesis fiction projects shall be under 12 minutes in length, and documentary projects shall not exceed 30 minutes. Production must be completed prior to the end of the semester. Post-production will take place in the spring semester.
RTF 488M THESIS POST-PRODUCTION
RTF 488M THESIS PRODUCTION • PJ RAVAL
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 881KA PRINCIPLES OF FILM AND TV PRODUCTION: DIRECTING DOCUMENTARY • ILIANA SOSA
For MFA Production first-year students, this course focuses on directing and producing short documentaries. Using a combination of screenings, workshops, discussion and analysis, all in parallel with each student's semester-long documentary project, we will cover aspects of film structure that pertain to both documentary and narrative. Documentary projects, within a range of 10-12 minutes in length, will be completed and screened at semester's end.
RTF 384I INTERNSHIP IN MEDIA INDUSTRIES • CINDY McCREERY
RTF 388C RESEARCH PROBLEMS: DOCTORAL EXAM PREP
RTF 388D RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388E RESEARCH PROBLEMS IN SPEC FIELD OF RTF
RTF 388S RESEARCH PROBLEMS SPEC FIELD RTF: PRODUCTION
RTF 398M MASTER'S RESEARCH/WRITING
RTF 398R MASTER'S REPORT
RTF 399W DISSERTATION
RTF 698A THESIS
RTF 698B THESIS
RTF 699W DISSERTATION
RTF 999W DISSERTATION