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Spring 21 courses

Any course on this list (except for the First Year Seminars) may count as an elective for the Global Cinema Minor or the Film Studies concentration in English and Comparative Literature.. Some of these courses, however, may not automatically count, and in those cases you will need to request a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment from the program advisor.

Keep in mind that some restrictions may apply to film/media production courses. Be sure to check Connect Carolina for specifications by the department offering the course.

We recommend that you take courses from a wide range of faculty members. If you have already had the same professor for as many as four or five courses, you should branch out and take full advantage of the variety our curriculum offers.

Note to grad students: you may receive credit for any 400-level CMPL course and any 600-level ENGL course listed here. If you are PhD student in English and Comparative Literature, you can fulfill seminar paper requirements in these courses if your instructor makes allowances for you to write and revise a long research paper.

If you are an undergrad following the Film Studies Concentration, here are spring 21 courses that will meet certain requirements:


CMPL 240 Introduction to Film Theory — Dr. Pollmann

Survey I

CMPL 143 History of Global Cinema — Dr. Johnson

Survey II

CMPL 490 Special Topics: Word and Image — Dr. Flaxman (Tar Heel Tracker adjustment)

ENGL 252 National and Transnational Cinemas: Focus on East Asia — Dr. Warner

Writing Intensive

ENGL 381 Literature and Cinema — Dr. Veggian

[If you are graduating in the spring and you need another writing-intensive course, and you’re not able to take ENGL 381 because of your schedule, you can still satisfy this requirement by taking any 300-level ENGL or CMPL course offered next semester, even if film isn’t the focus.]

Research Intensive

CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism — Dr. Warner

ENGL 494 Research Methods in Film Studies — Dr. Johnson


CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism — Dr. Warner

ENGL  494 Research Methods in Film Studies — Dr. Johnson

ENGL 681 Topics in Contemporary Film and Media — Dr. Flaxman



AAAD   51 – 001   First-Year Seminar: Masquerades of Blackness

TuTh 1:15PM – 2:30PM

Charlene Regester

This seminar is designed to investigate how the concept of race has been represented in cinema historically, with a particular focus on representations of race when blackness is masqueraded. Its intent is to launch an investigative inquiry into how African Americans are represented on screen in various time periods, how we as spectators are manipulated by these cinematic constructions of race, and how race is marked or coded other than through visual representation. Students will view films that deal with “passing” from the various historical periods and will utilize theoretical concepts introduced in class to read these visual representations. Films selected for viewing include the pre-World War II Era, the Civil Rights Era, and the “Post-Racial” era. Students will be required to write three papers that reflect their ability to apply theoretical concepts to reading racialized representations on screen in these three historical periods to demonstrate their understanding of how racial masquerades have evolved over time and continue to persist in contemporary culture.


ASIA   57 – 001   First-Year Seminar: Dis-Orienting the Orient

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM

Dwayne Dixon

Examines how the East is constructed as the Orient in different historical periods: 19th-century European colonialism, 1950s to 1960s Hollywood films, contemporary Japanese animation, and the current global war on terrorism.


ASIA   60 – 001   First-Year Seminar: Israeli Culture and Society: Collective Memories and Fragmented Identities

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Yaron Shemer

This seminar is oriented toward students who are interested in learning about the culture and society of modern Israel. Specifically, we will examine the transformative power of the early Zionist discourse in the formation of the new State of Israel and the challenges to this discourse in years that followed. Consequently, the emphasis in this class will be on the cultural and social manifestation of the tensions between the creeds of “one nation” and “the melting pot” on the one hand, and the reiteration of ethnic, gender, and religious identities on the other. The first five sessions will provide contextual and background accounts for later discussions. Then, until the middle of the semester, the seminar will focus on various arenas of Israeli culture, past and present. The second part of the semester will be devoted to selected themes and case studies pertinent to culture and society in modern Israel.

Students may also register for this course under JWST 60-001.


ENGL   53 – 001   First-Year Seminar: Slavery and Freedom in African American Literature and Film

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM

Danielle Christmas

The seminar’s purpose is to explore the African American slave narrative tradition from its 19th-century origins in autobiography to its present manifestations in prize-winning fiction and film.


ENGL  59 – 001  First-Year Seminar: Black Masculinity and Femininity

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM

Tyree Daye

This first year seminar will use literature, film, and popular culture to explore different expressions of masculinity and femininity in the African American and Black diasporic context. Students will evaluate how artists use gender and sexuality for social critique and artistic innovation.


RELI   70 – 001   First-Year Seminar: Jesus in Scholarship and Film

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Bart Ehrman

This seminar will examine how historians have reconstructed the life, teachings and death of the historical Jesus. We will look at the Gospels of the New Testament, as well as references to Jesus in other writings (Roman and Jewish sources, as well as Gospels that did not make it into the New Testament). In addition, we will explore how Jesus has been portrayed in modern film, including such Biblical ¿epics¿ as The Greatest Story Ever Told, such ¿period pieces¿ as Jesus Christ Superstar, such brilliant retellings as Jesus of Montreal and such controversial films as The Last Temptation of Christ and The Passion of the Christ. The ultimate goals of the seminar are to see what we can say about the historical man Jesus himself and how Jesus came to be portrayed in both ancient sources and modern imagination.




AAAD  202 – 001   African Film and Performance

MoWe 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Samba Camara

This course examines the misrepresentation of Africa and Africans in western colonial films and how African filmmaking and performing have responded to the colonialist narrative.


AAAD  250 – 001   The African American in Motion Pictures: 1900 to the Present

Tu 3:30PM – 6:20PM

Charlene Regester

This course will analyze the role of the African American in motion pictures, explore the development of stereotypical portrayals, and investigate the efforts of African American actors and actresses to overcome these portrayals.


ARAB  337 – 001   Borders and Walls in the Arab World

Tu 5:00PM – 8:00PM

Nadia Yaqub

Can art, film, and literature undo cultural, social, and political divisions created by borders and walls in the Arab world?


ARTH  159 – 001   The Film Experience: Introduction to the Visual Study of Film

MoWe 3:35PM – 4:25PM

JJ Bauer

A critical and historical introduction to film from a visual arts perspective. The course surveys the history of film from its inception to the present, drawing upon both foreign and American traditions.


ARTS  209 – 001   2D Animation

MoWe 8:00AM – 10:45AM

Sabine Gruffat

Prerequisite, ARTS 104. This class explores several techniques of 2D character animation, including storyboarding and conceptualizing, pencil testing and timing animation, animating simple sequences with Photoshop, experimenting with coloring and materials under a film camera, and compositing in After Effects.


ARTS  657 – 001   Movie Making Machines: Learning About Cinema in the Maker Space

MoWe 9:05AM – 10:45AM


Prerequisite, ARTS 105, 106, 209, or COMM 130; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. This projects-based seminar will introduce students to the fundamental optical and technological principles of motion pictures. By using the Maker Space to design and fabricate pinhole cameras, zoetropes, and 16mm film strips, students will gain a deep understanding of the material and technological foundations of the cinema, and the operating principles that are behind not only the classic films of Hollywood’s past, but the high-definition digital imaging technologies of the present.


ASIA  231 – 001   Bollywood Cinema

TuTh 5:00PM – 6:15PM

Afroz Taj

This course explores the development of the Indian cinema, with particular emphasis on the Hindi-Urdu films produced in Mumbai (Bollywood).


ASIA  235 – 001   Israeli Cinema: Gender, Nation, and Ethnicity

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Yaron Shemer

The course explores major periods and trends in Israeli cinema.  Focus is given to issues pertaining to gender, ethnicity, and the construction of national identity.


ASIA  427 – 001   Cold War Culture in East Asia: Transnational and Intermedial Connections

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM

I Jonathan Kief

This course introduces students to the specific contours that the Cold War accrued in East Asia. Focusing on literature and film, it explores what the fall of the Japanese Empire and the emergence of the post-1945 world meant across the region.


CMPL  143 – 001   History of Global Cinema

MoWe 9:05AM – 9:55AM

Martin Johnson

Ever since Auguste and Louis Lumière sent their cinematograph on a world tour in 1896, the cinema has been global. At each stop, from St. Petersburg to Mexico City, from Melbourne to New York, the Lumière company shot as well as exhibited films, producing a catalogue of views from 31 countries. In this course, we will consider the original Lumière vision of a truly global cinema, one that accommodates a diversity of cultures in a medium that has enduring worldwide appeal. While we will conduct a broad historical overview of the cinema, our approach will focus on paradigmatic shifts in the medium. In this course, you will be exposed to

a wide range of moving images, crossing nations, genres, modes of production, people, and cultures. At the same time, we will cover the fundamental components of the history of the medium as it has been observed, critiqued, experienced, proselytized, studied, and debated. Assignments include four short papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam. This course satisfies both the Visual & Performing Arts (VP) and the Global Issues (GL) general education requirements. It is also a core component of the Film Studies major within English and Comparative Literature, as well as the Global Cinema Minor.

NOTE: All course lectures will be recorded in advance, and available via the course Sakai site. The Monday class meeting time will be optional, reserved for questions and informal discussion. On most Tuesday evenings, we will have a live “shared screening” of a feature-length film, or a program of short films, using a GroupMe chat group to discuss the films while we watch. While you are expected to watch these assigned films, participation in the screening is optional.

During the Wednesday class meeting time, we will have a live, participatory lecture, focusing on clips from the films discussed in the week’s prerecorded lectures and readings. You can elect to participate asynchronously in both the lecture and discussion sections.


CMPL  232 – 001   Imagining the City in Modern Korea: Text, Image, Space

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

I Jonathan Kief

This course introduces students to modern Korea through the lens of the city. It explores the changing shape of urban space on the Korean peninsula as well as the central role that visions of the city and of city life have played in the development of modern Korean literature, television, and film.


CMPL  240 – 001   Introduction to Film Theory

TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM

Inga Pollmann

This course introduces students to debates in classical and post-classical film theory. Likely topics include medium specificity; the ideological functions of narrative cinema; film theory’s investments in psychoanalysis, linguistics, semiotics, and phenomenology; the advent of digital media; feminism; national and transnational cinema; spectatorship; authorship; genre theory; and film and philosophy.


CMPL  254 – 001   Horror and the Global Gothic: Film, Literature, Theory

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM

Guillermo Rodriguez

This course traces the development of horror in film and writing from the 18th-century European novel to contemporary Asian film. Theoretical readings will embrace a range of disciplines, from literary and film theory to anthropology, feminism and gender studies, and psychoanalysis.


CMPL  463 – 001   Cinema and Surrealism

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Rick Warner

While focusing on cinema, this course will examine the emergence of surrealism as an inter-art movement in the years between the two World Wars of the 20th century. Our discussions will begin by considering the avant-garde origins of surrealism in France. From there, we will trace the aesthetic, political, and philosophical legacy of surrealism in contemporary international film and television. To some extent, we will compare surrealist cinema to surrealist developments in painting, literature, and photography, observing how surrealism’s historical evolution has been an intermedial project.  We will cover a variety of genres and production modes along the way, including experimental shorts, animated films, documentaries, art films, and even Hollywood feature films. We will see how surrealism has continually reinvented itself, making its way into thrillers, comedies, horror, science fiction, and other popular genres (the relationship between surrealism and horror will be a key thread). Several theorists will guide our conversations, from leading surrealist intellectuals themselves (such as André Breton and Georges Bataille) to later critics devoted to reconsidering the importance of surrealism (such as Walter Benjamin). We will continually try to describe not only the mental and conceptual conundrums of surrealism but also the emotional, visceral, and multisensorial effects of surrealism. To that end, we’ll consult texts from Sigmund Freud’s “The Uncanny,” to Mark Fisher’s The Weird and the Eerie, through to phenomenological film theories that emphasize the affective, tactile, and atmospheric dimensions of spectatorship. Our study of surrealism will also take us into ecological matters, theories of the posthuman, and queer theory. We will also examine the rise of Afro-Surrealism and its challenge to established canons of surrealism that marginalize Black experience. Our purpose will be to work toward an understanding of surrealist cinema that is flexible enough to accommodate its many mutations over time, but firm enough to retain for it a special significance not to be confused with the merely bizarre. Our conversations will become increasingly philosophical as both films and critical texts force us to question many of the basic assumptions at the heart of our habitual ways of thinking and perceiving: the binary distinctions between self and other, mind and body, subject and object, human and animal, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational, dream and reality, and so forth.

Note: graduate students in the class will have different requirements. In short, while doing the basic work of the course, you will undertake a more independent project in line with your own research interests. You will have 3-5 additional class meetings during the semester with the other graduate students in the class and the instructor. You will write just one paper of 20-25 pages in length, the goal being to come away from the class with a piece of writing that will serve you in some other capacity, either as a potential publication or dissertation chapter. You will also have the opportunity to give a guest lecture that concerns your research topic.

Note: some of the films shown in this course contain disturbing and provocative scenes. This content is essential to the films and to the course as a whole. Please enroll only if you plan to engage with such representations in a serious, critical manner.


CMPL  490 – 001   Word and Image

We 4:40PM – 7:10PM

Gregory Flaxman

This course concerns the relation between writing and visuality. Of course, writing is already an image, and we’ll broadly consider the relation of image and text, but the class will also use this intersection to reflect on how to write about images. In this regard, we’ll read a number of art historians, film and media scholars, and philosophers who’ve sought to invent not only new ways to conceptualize images but, even more integrally, new styles to express images. In turn, these occasions will provide the impetus for students to think about their own writing. Readings for the class will likely includes works by Susan Sontag, Svetlana Alpers, André Bazin, James Baldwin, Michael Fried, Stanley Cavell, Paulin Kael, E.H. Gombrich, Robert Hughes, Anne Carson, Nelson Goodman, Wassily Kandinsky, Leo Steinberg, and Susan Stewart. Along these lines, we’ll look at wide range of fine, photomechanical, and digital art—including works by Tintoretto, Velasquez, David Hockney, Cindy Sherman, Carrie Mae Weems, Hans Richter, Michael Haneke, Terrence Malick, Glenn Ligon, and Jane Campion.


COMM  130 – 001   Introduction to Media Production

Tu 11:00AM – 12:50PM

Kristin Hondros

This course has major restrictions; no seniors.

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors.

This course has classification (class year) restrictions.

This class is not open to seniors.

This course requires a lab section.

Class meetings may also be held in the following alternative locations: Swain Hall 01A and Swain Hall 101A.

Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Prerequisite for all production courses. Introduces students to basic tools, techniques, and conventions of production in audio, video, and film.


COMM  330 – 001   Introduction to Writing for Film and Television

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Stephen Neigher

This course has classification (class year) restrictions.

Enrollment restricted to first year and sophomore students only.

An introduction to screenwriting for film and television.


COMM  330 – 002   Introduction to Writing for Film and Television

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Stephen Neigher

This course has classification (class year) restrictions.

Enrollment restricted to first year and sophomore students only.

An introduction to screenwriting for film and television.


COMM  331 – 001   Writing the Short Film

MoWe 11:15AM – 12:30PM

Dana Coen

Preferences given to COMM majors.

Students practice and learn the craft of narrative, short film writing by conceptualizing, outlining, writing, and rewriting three short film scripts. They include one three-minute silent, one five-minute script with dialogue, and one 15-minute script with dialogue.


COMM  345 – 001   Gender and Film

MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:10AM

China Medel

This course examines the representations of women in contemporary American film and also considers women as producers of film.


COMM  430 – 001   History of American Screenwriting

MoWe 11:15AM – 12:30PM

Michael Acosta

Permission of the instructor required for non-WSS minors.

The Screenings for this course will now take place on Mondays, 3:15- 5:15 in Swain Hall Room 01A

This viewing and research-intensive course examines the history of American narrative film through the screenwriter’s experience, using a decade-by-decade approach to examine the political, social, global, psychological, religious, and cultural influences on the art, process, and careers of screenwriters.


COMM  534 – 001   Aesthetic and Technical Considerations in Making Short Videos

MoWe 11:00AM – 12:15PM

William Brown

Prerequisite, COMM 230. The course examines the aesthetic and technical elements at work and play in cinematic storytelling. The student is required to complete three projects and will gain hands-on experience in narrative filmmaking.


COMM  635 – 001   Documentary Production

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Julia Haslett

Prerequisite, COMM 230. A workshop in the production of video and/or film nonfiction or documentary projects. The course will focus on narrative, representational, and aesthetic strategies of documentary production.


COMM  656 – 001   Sound for Film and Video: Theory and Practice for Motion Picture Sound Design

MoWe 12:20PM – 2:15PM

William Brown

The aim of this course is to provide students who have an interest in film and video production with an understanding of the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic implications of the motion picture soundtrack, with a special emphasis on sound-image relationships. Students who have already developed a basic proficiency in the use of video cameras, audio recorders, and editing software will be asked to cultivate an understanding of and appreciation for the expressive and artistic possibilities.


COMM  690 – 005   Advanced Topics in Communication Studies

TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM

Julia Haslett

A workshop to study and create non-fiction films about the environment. The course examines aesthetic, narrative, and representational strategies with an eye to how students’ films can contribute to critical conversations about human impact on the natural world.


ENGL  143 – 001   Film and Culture

MoWeFr 2:30PM – 3:20PM

Bradley Hammer

Examines the ways culture shapes and is shaped by film. This course uses comparative methods to contrast films as historic or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, in English or a foreign language, etc.


ENGL  143 – 002   Film and Culture

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM

Jennifer Larson

Examines the ways culture shapes and is shaped by film. This course uses comparative methods to contrast films as historic or contemporary, mainstream or cutting-edge, in English or a foreign language, etc.


ENGL  252 – 001   National and Transnational Cinemas: Focus on East Asia

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Rick Warner

This course explores the concepts of national and transnational cinema through a wide-ranging survey of East Asian contexts from 1945 to the present. While closely examining films from Japan, China, and South Korea, the course will consider both the advantages and complex problems that present themselves when trying to define and interpret films with regard to the category of nation. We will read several arguments that question and even dismantle the very concept of nation in a globalized world where cultural, economic, political, and aesthetic factors increasingly demand a transnational framework. Our investigation begins with post-World War II Japanese cinema, then moves to focus on three somewhat distinct yet interrelated national cinemas in China: Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Our final units in the course will be devoted to contemporary South Korean cinema in the wake of its “new wave” at the turn of the century. Along the way, we will consider multiple genres (horror, melodrama, mystery, martial arts, crime films, animation) and shift between popular and arthouse films. One of the recurring threads in the course will be a consideration of the vastly different speeds and rhythms that make up the stylistic traditions of East Asian cinema, from slow-paced, contemplative arthouse films to hyperkinetic action films.

Note: some of the films shown in this course contain disturbing and provocative scenes. This content is essential to the films and to the course as a whole. Please enroll only if you plan to engage with such representations in a serious, critical manner.


ENGL  256 – 001   Crafting the Dramatic Film: Theory Meets Practice

MoWe 4:40PM – 5:55PM

Guillermo Rodriguez

This course places students behind the camera and in front of the screen as they alternate between creative and critical approaches to cinema. They learn how to practice the basic principles of narrative film production (producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound design) while engaging critically with key debates in film theory and criticism (semiotic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, feminist, and phenomenological).


ENGL  381 – 001   Literature and Cinema

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Henry Veggian

The course introduces students to the complex narrative, aesthetic, and rhetorical relationship between literature and cinema.


ENGL  494 – 001   Research Methods in Film Studies

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM

Martin Johnson

This course introduces students to research methods in film studies. While this course will provide a broad survey of methods one might employ in film studies research of all kinds, the course may be restricted to a particular research topic


ENGL  681 – 001   Topics in Contemporary Film and Media

Mo 5:00PM – 8:00PM

Gregory Flaxman

This course examines aesthetic and social aspects of contemporary cinema, television, and/or other media. Previously offered as ENGL 580.


FREN  386 – 001   French New Wave Cinema

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Hassan Melehy

Films of the major directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s through the 1970s, including Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer. Examination of earlier films informing these directors. The impact of the New Wave on global cinema. In English; students may do written work in French for major/minor credit. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143.


GERM  281 – 001   The German Idea of War: Philosophical Dialogues with the Literary and Visual Arts in WWI

TuTh 12:30PM – 1:20PM

Richard Langston

This course brings into dialogue key ideas from seminal German philosophers who anticipated, experienced, or survived the Great War, with contemporary works of German literature, film, and painting. Of concern are the ways philosophy’s concepts and art’s themes shaped both one another and the idea of war. Readings and discussions in English.


GERM  367 – 001   Contemporary German and Austrian Cinema

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM

Inga Pollmann

Prerequisite, GERM 303. Examines exciting new directions in German and Austrian cinema from the past 20 years.  By analyzing weekly films, students develop skills in film analysis and criticism; read reviews, interviews, and film-theoretical texts; write a film review; and produce a critical essay. Readings and discussions in German. Students may not receive credit for both GERM 267 and 367.


GSLL  287 – 001   Into the Streets: 1968 and Dissent in Central Europe

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Eliza Rose

Protest movements of 1968 are often remembered as one “planetary event.” In Western Europe, protesters demanded revolution, while in Eastern Europe, protesters living under communism demanded reform. In this course, we will explore dissent and counterculture in Central Europe through the lens of 1968. Through film and fiction from Poland, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, we will investigate the impact of the Central European ’68(s) worldwide. Films with English subtitles; readings and discussions in English.


ITAL  340 – 001   Italian America in Literature and Film

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM


In English

Explores the images of Italian Americans in literature and film, from representations of Italian immigrant otherness to attempts at identity construction, differentiation, and assimilation by Italian American authors and filmmakers.


PORT  388 – 001   Portuguese, Brazilian, and African Identity in Film

MoWeFr 11:15AM – 12:05PM

Kristine Taylor

Study of the literary and cultural film production of the Portuguese-speaking world on three continents. Films in Portuguese with English subtitles.


PRSN  306 – 001   Persian Language through Literature, Film, and Media

MoWeFr 1:25PM – 2:15PM

Shala Adel


WGST  345 – 001   Gender and Film

MoWeFr 10:10AM – 11:10AM

China Medel

This course examines the representations of women in contemporary American film and also considers women as producers of film.