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Elective: Film Journeys. the World on Screen

Vak
2015-2016

Admission requirements

This course is open to students of BA International Studies only.

The number of participants is limited to 25.

Description

The road movie is one of cinema’s most prolific genres, because it shares a fascination with shifting frontiers between civilization and wilderness, between domesticity and escape/adventure. The personal life stories of the characters in this genre often transcend the realm of the individual to reflect political, national and global issues in our increasingly interconnected world. This interdisciplinary and multi-regional course will consider the road movie genre and travel narratives in the broadest sense, within national and transnational contexts. It will discuss films from early twentieth century to the present day, looking at how journey narratives in cinema have often been most eloquent at times of crisis. The unprecedented scale of human mobility we witness today, in a world defined by global migration, makes the issue all the more topical. The first part of the course will consider some key concepts and theoretical issues, such as film genre theory, which will equip students with the necessary critical tools to engage in film analysis within specific cultural contexts.
Among others, films studied might include: Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967); Badlands (Terrence Malic, 1973); Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984); Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991); My Own Private Idaho (Gus van Sant, 1991); Central do Brasil (Central Station, Brazil, 1998) Y tu mama también (Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico, 2001); Historias minimas (Intimate Stories, Carlos Sorin, Argentina, 2002); Sleepwalking Land (Portugal/Mozambique, Teresa Prata, 2007); Rabat (Jim Taihuttu and Victor Ponten, 2010).

Additionally, the students will work through W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Course objectives

This course will provide students with an overview of the main features and trends in filmic travel narratives and mobilities within specific cultural, political and historical contexts and an understanding of the significance of these cultural constructs in articulating key issues in different societies and periods. Students will engage in close analysis of key films, thereby honing their critical, analytical and communication skills, through a series of written and oral assignments.

The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.

Academic skills that are trained include:

Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using up-to-date presentation techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.

Collaboration skills:
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.

Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.

Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course
a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation;
b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria;
c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques;
d. aimed at a specific audience.

Timetable

The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.

Mode of instruction

Seminar and supervised research.

Assessment method

Weekly assignments and 1 mid-term essay of 1,500-2,000 words (35% of overall mark) and 1 final essay of approx. 4,000 words -excluding tables and bibliography -(65% of overall mark).

Note: The maximum possible grade to be obtained for re-submission of the final essay is a 6.0

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used. For tutorial groups: please enroll in blackboard after your enrolment in uSis
Students are requested to register on Blackboard for this course.

Reading list

Recommended reading and selected bibliography will be provided and will be advised on Blackboard.

W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.

Registration

Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.

Contact

Dr. S.L.A. Brandellero, email s.l.a.brandellero@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Dr. P.W.J. Verstraten, email p.w.j.verstraten@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Remarks