2018 - Fall

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Graduate Courses

Graduate Courses – Fall 2018

FOR CLASS DETAILS, INCLUDING TIMES, CLICK ON "FIND COURSES NOW" ON THE REGISTRAR'S PAGE.

RTF 377H/387C           GLOBAL SPORTS MEDIA • JENNIFER McCLEAREN

Sports adopt numerous forms around the globe that tell vivid stories about the locations and cultures from which they come. Our myths, ideologies, and narratives embed themselves in sports media, which become windows into broader issues such as nationalism, international relations, immigration, human rights, and a plethora of other matters. This course examines sports media as a cultural, political, and economic phenomenon that are simultaneously nationalizing and globalizing forces. We interrogate the ways in which sports function as sites of contestation on local, regional, national, and international scales. The course will study sports media from a cultural studies perspective, which considers how power struggles operate through sports and who is advantaged and disadvantaged in this process. Topics may include colonialism, diasporas, regional and global fandoms, sports and development, racialized bodies and exploitation, human rights violations and sports mega-events like the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup, American exceptionalism, and human trafficking.

This course will be structured in a seminar format similar to graduate-level or honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course. Class is capped at 18 students.

RTF 377H/389             MEDIA AND POPULAR CULTURE • SHANTI KUMAR

Drawing on the current debates in media and cultural theory, this course provides in-depth analyses of a wide range of issues in media and popular culture-- such the changing nature of production and consumption in digital culture, representations of race, gender, class in the media, and the growing centrality of regulations and surveillance in everyday life. The goal of this course is to help students develop the theoretical and methodological skills necessary to critically evaluate the reciprocal relationship between media and popular culture in the 21st century. This course will be structured in a seminar format similar to graduate-level or honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course. Class is capped at 18 students. This course is structured in a seminar format similar to honors courses. Advanced undergraduate students interested in learning more about graduate school, or graduate students seeking a more introductory approach to advanced theoretical materials are especially encouraged to enroll in the course.

RTF 380C         SCREENWRITING FOR DIRECTORS (FOR PRODUCTION MFAS) • 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 380J          FIRST-YEAR SCREENWRITING • 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        WRITERS ROOM WORKSHOP •  CINDY McCREERY

The class will develop and write an entire season of an original Television series with the Instructor and a known Hollywood Showrunner. At the end of the semester, the entire show will be sent out for consideration by every major network and the students will get full writing credit for their episodes.

RTF 380N        TV SPECS • FELICIA D. HENDERSON

Introduction to the fundamentals of writing for television where students will develop and write both a one-hour and half-hour television ‘spec' based on an existing series. Consent required: contact Cindy McCreery.

RTF 384C        STORYTELLING FOR POLICY WONKS • PAUL STEKLER

The ability to communicate policy aims is crucial to achieving policy aims, through legislation, executive action, and successful electoral campaigns.  Increasingly, this kind of communication is done through online videos designed to reach a significant audience.  This seminar will be a workshop class for researching and producing video material that advocates for policy.
 
Students will work closely with a local non-profit think tank in researching personal stories that work as metaphors for policy goals.  They will then work with the video personnel there to produce visual material that is usable online and for presentations.
 
Student performance will be evaluated in terms of class participation, their collaborative work in researching and producing material, and in a written journal detailing their work during the semester.

RTF 386C         DIGITAL IDENTITIES • SUZANNE SCOTT

This course will contemplate digital identities from a range of perspectives, with a particular emphasis on feminist, queer, and critical race theory.  In addition to addressing the flexibility, management, and performance of identity in digital spaces, this course will cover such topics as posthumanism, social media and celebrity, identification in video games, and scholarly branding practices in the digital age.  By framing how scholarly work on digital media shapes, and is shaped by, identity politics, we will examine social justice movements and hashtag activism (#blacklivesmatter) as well as instances of spreadable and networked misogyny (#gamergate). Additionally, this course will engage the identities cultivated by and through specific digital platforms, from a discussion of post-feminism and Pinterest, to a theorization of the “Troll” as an emergent digital identity.

RTF 386C         HISTORIOGRAPHY • KATHY FULLER-SEELEY

This course explores methodological issues connected to the research, writing and interpretation of film and broadcasting history, investigating a variety of approaches (cultural, industrial, genre, biographical, technological, modes of production, distribution and audience reception, etc.) We will examine historiographic controversies. While most of our examples will be North American and 19th and 20th century, we will compare/contrast with global histories. The course will be reading-intensive, and the second half will incorporate archival research in UT and in digitized sources. Requirements will include an in-class presentation of your research and a term paper.

RTF 386C         MEDIA INDUSTRIES • ALISA PERREN

Three main objectives will guide us throughout the semester: First, we will trace the development – and increasing interrelatedness – of the media industries from the early twentieth century to the present.  We will focus in particular on the evolution of Hollywood’s film and television operations, considering the ways that regulatory and technological shifts, as well as growing impulses toward globalization, have intersected with industrial changes. Second, we will look at the range of qualitative methods that have been employed to research the media industries. In the process, we will read several “case studies” that provide examples of each of these approaches. Third, we will explore the emerging field of “media industry studies.” This field, which incorporates work in film, media, communication, and cultural studies, argues for the importance of integrating analysis of media structures with consideration of cultural and textual matters. Although our readings will focus most heavily on “filmed entertainment” from Hollywood, students are encouraged to explore such areas as video games, music, comic books, publishing, and radio in their final projects. Further, students are encouraged to apply the theoretical and methodological frameworks to other local, regional, and national contexts.

RTF 386C         RACE, CLASS AND GENDER IN AMERICAN TV • 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 387D         MEDIA AND THE 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 cultural contexts 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 387F         LATIN AMERICAN MEDIA • JOE STRAUBHAAR

This course will examine key issues across Latin American television, film, journalism and new media. It will examine the role of media in politics, the relationship of media to national identity and state building; the build-up of national media production and the flow of media, particularly television and film, into, across and out of Latin America; the evolution of key genres, like the telenovela, that have come to be identified with Latin America; and the impact of the new Internet based media on these issues. Theoretically, we will examine approaches that have originated in Latin America, such as mestizaje or hybridity, and dependency, as well as those that have been applied to it, imperialism, globalization and the development of geo-cultural and cultural-linguistic regions.

RTF 388P         CINEMATOGRAPHY • DEB 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/368C 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 390C         INTRO TO EDITING • 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 395           THEORY & LITERATURE – PHD • SHARON STROVER

Theory is the foundation of knowledge production. Drawing on literature from the fields of media studies, communication and sociology, this course aims to help new PhD students understand, critique, use, and develop media theories. The course has three major goals:   First, we start with the foundational theorists and theories broadly in social science and specifically in media and communication studies.  We will examine whether and how these theorists and theories remain relevant in the digital age and address how digital media have challenged conventional modes of theorizing.   Second, we will draw on milestone studies to showcase how theories are applied, criticized, appropriated, revised, and reclaimed, crossing disciplinary and national boundaries. Third, students will be encouraged to engage with media theories through review and research and will be guided to demonstrate a solid understanding of major theoretical approaches and their confluence in different aspects of media studies, especially as applicable to recent digital media domains.

RTF 395           THEORY & LITERATURE – MA • TOM SCHATZ

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.

RTF 398T         PEDAGOGY • 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.

RTF 488M        PRE-THESIS PRODUCTION • MIGUEL ALVAREZ

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 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 488M        THESIS POST-PRODUCTION - INDEPENDENT STUDY

RTF 881KA      DIRECTING DOCUMENTARY • PAUL STEKLER

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 10-15 minutes in length, will be completed and screened at semester's end.