Documentary: Art, History, Future

Schools of Public Engagement: Media Studies

Liberal Arts

Graduate Course

Majors Only

Doc: Art History Future

Fall 2022

Taught By: Amir Husak

Section: A

CRN: 1450

Credits: 3

The documentary is arguably the most challenging and influential genre of media today. It touches, informs, and sometimes outrages millions of viewers seeking facts and insights in a complex world. This introduction to the genre starts and ends with workers leaving the factory: we begin with the earliest “actuality” films of the Lumière brothers and end with Jia Zhang-ke’s salute to Chinese workers over a century later along with the latest digital explorations of documentary “truth.” Ethical, technical, and aesthetic issues are foregrounded. We examine the role of scripting, re-enactment, archival footage, sponsorship, music, narration, animation, point of view, autobiography, and performance. We discuss some of the many uses of documentary—as a tool for social change and political activism, a means of personal expression, a form of popular entertainment, as propaganda, and as visual history, ethnography, and journalism. The course emphasizes how changing technology, shifting social, cultural, and political contexts, and the personalities and talents of influential individuals and collectives continually re-define what documentary is. Weekly screenings and discussions are of classic as well as more contemporary and/or iconoclastic works by: Vertov, Flaherty, Grierson, Riefenstahl, Rouch, Gúzman, Marker,Trinh, Godmilow, Panh, among others.

Course open only to Documentary Studies Certificate students.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Media Studies (NMDS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 15

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 20, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Open*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 4:08pm 8/16/2022 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 9:30pm

Building: 66 5th Ave

Room: 101

Date Range: 8/30/2022 - 12/6/2022