Radio-Television-Film > Graduate > 2018 - Fall > 2013 - Spring

2013 - Spring

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**Production/Screenwriting Courses for Studies Students**
 

RTF 380            INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS • CAROLINE FRICK

This seminar surveys the primary methodological approaches used in the study of media arts and culture. In keeping with the humanities tradition, our main focus will be on qualitative forms of analysis, and we will consider media primarily as forms of art, entertainment and artifact. Relying on a primarily cultural studies approach, we will explore methods used to study the three main sites of media culture-texts, reception, and production. Methods surveyed include narrative analysis, genre studies, formal analysis, authorship studies, discourse analysis, and ethnography. This course will particularly emphasize historiographical issues and approaches.

This seminar is designed specifically for first-year RTF Master's students and will facilitate students' preparation of a proposal for a Master's thesis focused on media arts and culture.

RTF 380G         WRITING THE PAST: MEDIA AND CULTURAL HISTORY • MICHAEL KACKMAN

This graduate seminar explores a range of critical methods in media historiography.  We will work across a range of media forms and institutions, considering both the shared and the distinct historiographic challenges that face historians of film, television, radio, print, and other cultural forms.  We will begin with an introduction to the theoretical literature on historiography, then work through a range of case studies, including such issues as the following: navigating the traditional archive; historical audience/reception studies; macro vs. microhistory; problems of social, political, and cultural context; the interplay between social and cultural history; non-traditional archival sources (collectors, community media, memorabilia, etc.); popular memory practices; trans/international media history; oral history; and the history of technology.  Students will be expected to prepare a final project; this can take the form of a traditional research paper on a related topic, or it may be a historiographic essay and research plan for a larger study.

RTF 380J          INTRO TO THEORY AND PRINCIPLE OF DRAMA • BEAU THORNE

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 & ELECTRONIC MEDIA • STUART KELBAN

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         *WRITING FOR SERIES TELEVISION • CINDY MCCREERY

This course will explore how to write for both network and cable television, with an emphasis on 30-minute sitcoms and 60-minute dramas. The dramatic elements of each genre will be analyzed, with each student completing a "spec" script for a current sit-com and drama. Additionally, we will develop an original TV pilot as a class, from the original "franchise" premise through a completed story-outline for the pilot episode.

*Open to graduate students other than Screenwriting MFA candidates, as space permits by instructor permission.

RTF 384         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. Students will use promising practices and new tools in the field to practice and enhance their media literacy skills and to design innovative research projects. 

RTF 385L            CLASSICAL HOLLYWOOD CINEMA • TOM SCHATZ

This course will examine the history of American cinema from the emergence of the Hollywood film industry in the 1910s and '20s, through the height of the so-called classical in the 1930s and '40s, to the postwar decline and transformation of the industry during the 1950s. Throughout the term, we will utilize an industry studies approach, integrating institutional, economic, critical and cultural analysis of (a) the Hollywood studio system as the definitive mode of production during the classical era; (b) the complexities of film authorship under the aegis of the Hollywood studio powers; (c) the principal narrative and stylistic trends during the classical era; and (d) the significant films and filmmakers of the era, and consequently the vagaries of canonization. Thus we will consider the historiography of classical Hollywood as well, considering the various ways in which scholars and historians have treated American film history during this halcyon period.

You will be required to write a major research paper for the course, and you will be encouraged to utilize the extensive primary research materials in various collections (David O. Selznick, Gloria Swanson, Ernest Lehman, etc.) housed in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC) here at UT. Readings will include Bordwell, Staiger, and Thompson's The Classical Hollywood Cinema; Schatz's The Genius of the System; Christopher Anderson's Hollywood TV; and substantial portions of volumes 3 through 7 of Scribner's History of American Film series.

RTF 386              ALTERNATIVE POETICS • CHARLES RAMÍREZ 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 386              FILM & TV STARDOM & CELEBRITY • MARY BELTRÁN

Stardom is a central phenomenon of popular culture, driving film, television, and media production and a constellation of ancillary industries, in addition influencing the American and global public in a variety of ways. Yet it seldom is the object of study. What is stardom, and what can stars teach us about the entertainment media industries, social history, and contemporary concerns? And how has the construction and meaning of stardom and celebrity evolved since the days of the Hollywood studio system? This seminar foregrounds these questions in its exploration of the cultural phenomenon of mediated stardom and of media and film studies scholarship making sense of it. Among other topics, we will explore the development of stardom in the context of the entertainment media industries, the reading of star images as cultural texts, the evolution of popular stars in relation to shifting ideals of race, class, gender, and sexuality, the cultural and theoretical issues that stars raise, and new permutations of stardom and celebrity culture in the contemporary media environment.

RTF 386              RACE, NATION, & MEDIA • JENNIFER FULLER

This course takes a cultural studies approach to analyzing relationships between race, representation and national identity.  The United States will be central, but not the only nation discussed in this course.  The theoretical frameworks that inform this course include feminist criticism, critical race studies, postcolonialism, and critical historiography.

RTF 386C           GIRLS' MEDIA AND CULTURAL STUDIES • MARY CELESTE KEARNEY

Girls' Media and Cultural Studies exposes students to the various theoretical and methodological approaches that have been used to analyze Anglo/American girls' media and female youth cultures.  The course will begin with an exploration of the various ideological dynamics that, prior to the 1980s, led to the exclusion of girls from feminist politics and research, as well as from scholarship focused on adolescence and youth cultures.  Following an examination of the contexts leading to the rise of Girls' Studies during the 1990s, the course will focus primarily on girl-oriented research in critical media studies, cultural studies, and communication studies.  In addition to problematizing sex and gender through explorations of age and generation, and vice versa, special attention will be paid to how issues of race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality impinge upon particular formations of girls' identities, female youth cultures, and the representation of girlhood in popular culture.  Though the majority of the class will focus on contemporary girls' media and culture, students will engage with some historical studies of girls and their cultural experiences.

RTF 386C           YOUTH AND SOCIAL MEDIA • 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           MEDIA AND DIASPORA • MADHAVI MALLAPRAGADA

This course will introduce you to the key conceptual and theoretical issues relating to media, migration and diaspora. We will focus on the relationship between race, ethnicity, class and nationalism in the formation of immigrant identities and diasporic communities; varied histories and contexts of migration including exile, voluntary emigration, forced migration; the response of nation-states to transnational mobility and the particular cultural struggles and political commitments of migrant subjects. We will interrogate such issues by examining how the media represent the identity, difference and hybridity of diasporic communities in specific socio-historical and cultural contexts. We will also discuss the politics of media technologies, texts, institutions and audiences in reshaping conventional understandings of media and diaspora. Readings for the course will draw from postcolonial theory, critical race and ethnic studies, diaspora studies and media and cultural studies. The examination of media in a diasporic context will offer us a rich site to explore issues relating to hybrid identities, border crossings, transnational politics, racial and ethnic minorities, strategic nation-states and flexible citizenships.

RTF 387D           DIGITAL INCLUSION IN TEXAS—VOLUNTARY OVERLOAD • SHARON STROVER

Unique Numbers: 62070, 08497 - Policy Research Project: Digital Inclusion
Though Internet access is widely believed to be increasingly critical to participatory democracy and economic benefits, the topographies of computer literacy and computer infrastructure are highly uneven. A variety of initiatives over the past 15-20 years have sought to address this “digital divide,” and to promote what has come to be known as digital inclusion. This course will examine the issue of digital inclusion, and evaluate policies that have addressed this complex of digital divide issues, focusing primarily on a number of recent government efforts to address the issue: the stimulus-funded programs mounted by the U.S. federal agencies NTIA and the Dept. of Agriculture, the federal eRate program, and selected foreign government initiatives (e.g., programs in Mexico, Europe, and India).

This two-semester course will involve students in analyzing this issue from a variety of perspectives, including the viewpoints of clients using public computing centers, the institutional interests of those providing services, and national level policymakers. In addition to evaluating the impacts of this rich menu of programs and policy experiments put into place around the world, students will undertake original field research in order to assess the Texas Connects Coalition Public Computing Center program, the client for this study, and provide analytical recommendations that will enable this client to evaluate and improve the operation of their digital inclusion programs. 

If you wish to enroll for it during spring semester 2013, please talk to Professor Strover.  It will count as a Research Tools course. 

RTF 388P           CINEMATOGRAPHY • PJ RAVAL

The class is experimental in nature with an emphasis on sharpening visual awareness through practice. We will explore the potential for visual expression in both film and digital imaging. Using a variety of film emulsions, lenses, lights, DV and film cameras, students are encouraged to think cinematically in both documentary and dramatic forms. A number of readings and exercises are assigned to increase a student's technical knowledge leading to greater creative and personal expression. The semester will begin with assignments in documentary videography and move onto narrative and experimental cinematography projects.

RTF 388P             DEVELOPING AN INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM • KAT CANDLER, KELLY WILLIAMS

Students will learn advanced practical application of the business and creative skills used to develop, produce and distribute independent feature films for the marketplace. This is a case-study class, following an existing independent feature film through the development and pre-production process.

Prerequisites: Upper-division and graduate standing and consent of the instructor. 
All applicants must email a resumé and a statement concerning why they want to take the class to Kat Candler, katcandler@gmail.com, before 5:00 on Friday, October 26th. Students accepted for registration will be notified by the RTF Advisors on Monday, October 29th, at which time they will be able to register for the class using normal registration procedures.

RTF 388T            PRODUCING FOR FILM AND TELEVISION • RICHARD LEWIS 

RTF 388T is cross listed as the undergraduate course 367K. It will detail how things work in the supposedly noncreative side of the entertainment industry. The course will focus on the function and duties of a producer as he or she shepherds an idea through a project "life cycle": development, financing, pre-production, post-production, marketing and distribution. Lecture topics will mirror the project life cycle while students concurrently develop their own business plans/prospectuses for original film or television projects of their choosing. At the end of the semester, each student should have a complete and realistic business plan for a film or video project, one which is ready for presentation to entertainment industry contacts and financiers. Lecture topics will mirror the project life cycle while students concurrently develop their own business plans/prospectuses for original film or television projects of their choosing. At the end of the semester, each student should have a complete and realistic business plan for a film or video project, one which is ready for presentation to entertainment industry contacts and financiers.

Please note: This is a "Substantial Writing Component" course with three 5-6 page papers. RTF 388T is cross listed as the undergraduate course 367K.     

*This course fulfills a second year requirement for all MFA production majors. Other qualified students will be admitted as space permits, by instructor permission.                 

RTF 390E            AUDIO FOR PICTURE: PRODUCTION AND POST-PRODUCTION • ANDREW GARRISON   

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 393N            COMMUNICATION TECH AND CULTURE • SHARON STROVER

In this course we will examine several influential books that address the interplay of media systems, technologies and society. The class does not have a single theme or one overarching question. Rather, the material we'll read during the term has been selected because it raises issues concerning the social context for which media, old and new, have defining powers. Our simplest goals will be to understand alternative conceptions of how technology is viewed, including its supposed "impacts" on society, its role in creating and shaping broad media systems and the attendant cultural reverberations. Theories of society are foregrounded in some of the readings, and occupy central positions in other work even though they may be more implicit than explicit. Our point of departure is that one cannot meaningfully discuss media systems without acknowledging the social context in which they reside, originate, function and evolve. Culture and cultural issues are defined and explored broadly as encompassing the common practices and rituals of everyday life as well as the long-standing patterns and values that characterize American society. The ways in which media systems or technologies are synonymous with modernity will be directly addressed in many of our readings. The social construction of technology, technological determinism, actor-network theory and the political economy of communication will be among some of the theoretical approaches we will consider.

RTF 393P            INTERNET AND POLITICS • JENNIFER BRUNDIDGE

The focus of this course lies at the intersection of Internet use and democratic/political life. Here, we will investigate connections between the Internet, traditional media environments, and various forms of political engagement. What is the impact of an increasingly rich online information environment on political knowledge levels among the public? How do different types of Internet use affect people's willingness and ability to meaningfully participate in democratic processes? How important are emergent media technologies, such as social media in connecting us as a society or in setting the public agenda? With reference to these and many other questions, we will of course have the timely opportunity to explore the impact of Internet use on the 2012 U.S. presidential election campaigns.

RTF 395              THEORY AND LITERATURE  • SHANTI KUMAR   

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 488M            MFA PRACTICUM IN FILM & TV PRODUCTION -- YEAR 2 • DON HOWARD

You will sign up for this final 488M as an independent study with your Thesis Committee Chair. Or, with your Thesis Committee Chair's approval, you may take this required independent study in a subsequent semester.  

RTF 488M            THESIS FILM PRODUCTION

Independent study.

RTF 881KB           DIRECTING NARRATIVE • ANDREW SHEA

This course is an intensive workshop in narrative directing and film production. It is the directing/production component of an integrated curriculum for first-year MFA students that also includes an Audio class and a Cinematography class. The goal of this course is to develop the ability and self-confidence to articulate and translate from the page to the screen the narrative and the corresponding visual/aural structures of a scene or short film. The investigation of the director/actor relationship will be a priority and the course's primary area of focus in the early weeks of the semester. Casting, rehearsal technique, acting theory and process, and staging issues will be explored in depth. In the second half of the semester students will direct and edit 16mm short films.