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Alfred Hitchcock

Vak 2013-2014

Admission requirements

A relevant BA degree and an interest in film.

Description

We will explore the breadth of Hitchcock’s film, following transformations within the cinematic experience, as well as examining the relationship between his cinema and other modes of performance, whether in the theatre, radio or television. We shall investigate the opportunities provided by these other performance media and assess their impact on the cinematic experience. We shall consider these works of art in their cultural context, and scrutinize the ways in which Hitchcock’s films expressed, critiqued or questioned developments within American and British society.

Course objectives

  • This course will extend and deepen the power of students’ critical analysis through in-depth consideration of texts.
  • Students will explore critical debates surrounding Hitchock’s films.
  • The course will aim to provide for literature students the critical skills necessary for the analysis of visual texts. This will involve an understanding of: basic film theory; the uses of the frame and editing; the place of the ‘star’; the nature of genre; and the ‘auteur theory’.
  • Regarding both literary and cinematic art works, it will also aim to extend the students’ skills in the reading of narrative and the understanding of the relationship of a text to its cultural/social context.
  • Students will be encouraged to share analytical and critical views on the texts ascribed in class discussion, perhaps including short presentations, and will focus research skills in the writing of a final research paper.
  • In their papers, the students will show that they have developed the relevant skills for researching and writing on film.

Timetable

The timetable will be available by July 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar
  • Reading List

Assessment method

Two essays of 2500-3000 words (50% each); or, one longer essay on a comparative subject (dealing with at least two texts featured on the syllabus) of 4000-5000 words (100%). Both essays must contain a significant element of research.
All essays will be expected on a date (to be announced) during the exam period. Late essays will be graded, but will not receive any comments.

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used to provide students with additional information/reading material.

Reading list

There is no set reading for the course, however a lengthy reading list will be made available, so students can pursue their own individual research.

Registration

Students should register through uSis. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272251 or mail.
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

MA Literary Studies departmental office, Van Wijkplaats 3, room 002A. Tel. 071 527 2251 or mail.
Coordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.

Remarks

The film for the first week is The Lodger (1927).

Provisionally:
WEEK ONE: THE LODGER
WEEK TWO: THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS
WEEK THREE: REBECCA
WEEK FOUR: SHADOW OF A DOUBT
WEEK FIVE: NOTORIOUS
WEEK SIX: I CONFESS
WEEK SEVEN: REAR WINDOW
WEEK EIGHT: VERTIGO
WEEK NINE: NORTH BY NORTHWEST
WEEK TEN: PSYCHO
WEEK ELEVEN: THE BIRDS
WEEK TWELVE: MARNIE