Documentary: Art, History, Future

Schools of Public Engagement: Media

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Graduate Course
Degree Students
Doc: Art, History, Future
Fall 2023
Taught By: Andrea Avidad
Section: A

CRN: 3880

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. NOTE: This course was formerly titled "Documentary: It's Art and History."

Media Studies courses are open to all graduate students. Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors with permission from the instructor and BA/MA Media studies students should email mediastudiesadvising@newschool.edu for access.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Media (MED)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 13

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* 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: 3:30am EST 2/25/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday
Times: 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Building: 66 5th Ave
Room: 101
Date Range: 8/29/2023 - 12/5/2023