Spring 2022 | 6 Credits | Dr. Esther Yau
Film Culture II introduces cinema as a medium of cultural memory. Films in the 20th and 21st centuries have become reflexive and innovative in the search for forms to represent the traumatic experiences of modernity, to examine the meaning of past events for the present and future, and to articulate their subjects’ and spectators’ lived experiences and affect. The course explores how narrative and documentary films shape testimony and remembrance of traumas of the public and personal kinds. It examines cinema-informed debates on historical truth and amnesia as part of transnational discourse, as well as the role cultural memory plays for identity formation in the present. Students will read key concepts in trauma, cultural memory, melancholia, forgetting, and forgiving to approach contemporary film culture in which visual-auditory narratives of injuries, traumas, and remembrances have been prominent. Students will write essays and do optional experiential projects using concepts, critical analysis skills, and creative expressions to engage film poetics, politics, and ethics in a range of cultural contexts.