Film and Media Arts

DAER Requirements

This is a certificate program for graduate students who are enrolled in Ph.D. and M.F.A. programs at Temple University’s main campus. Students must be accepted into the certificate program. To apply please submit the DAER Certificate Application

Students must complete four courses in a three-year period, of which at least two must be selected from the core menu and at least two must be grad-only courses. Students have a wide range of courses to select from, ensuring that they will be able to complete the certificate in a timely manner. To receive the certificate students must file the DAER Completion Form.

Course Requirements

Certificate students must complete ANTHRO 8408: Approaches in the Anthropology of Visual Communications I or ANTHRO 8409: Approaches in the Anthropology of Visual Communications II and FMA 5461: Visual Research and Documentary Methods. The final two courses may be chosen from the list below. 

ANTHRO 8408: Approaches in the Anthropology of Visual Communication I

This course approaches the visual as both object and medium of anthropology. In the first half of the semester, we will consider the foundational works that defined the genre of ethnographic film, the intellectual and political economic context that shaped these works, and the social theory that developed to address documentary realism, reflexivity, objectivity, and visual representations of culture. In the second half of the semester, we will turn to examine photography, collaboration, and interactive cinemascapes. We will explore how photography is locally appropriated, the possibilities and pitfalls of collaborative practice, how choices alter our active engagement of visual texts, and the ongoing conversations about the role of aesthetics in anthropological knowledge production.

 (*With permission, Anthro 8408 or 8409 may be substituted with Anthro 5438: Anthropology of Mass Media, with permission, if and only if Anthro 8408 and Anthro 8409 are not being offered.)

 

ANTHRO 8409: Approaches in the Anthropology of Visual Communication II

Examination of an anthropological approach to the study of the uses of the body, space, and the built environment, film, photographic, and television theories of construction and reception, art and aesthetics, cyberspace, and museums.


(*If and only if Anthro 8408 and Anthro 8409 are not being offered and with permission only, Anthro 8408 or 8409 may be substituted with Anthro 5438: Anthropology of Mass Media) 

FMA 5461: Visual Research and Documentary Methods

Graduate students from across the university join together in developing new ways of conceptualizing documentary practices and projects. Students examine methods, language, ethics, and processes of documentary research and production in film and new media. All students contribute to written discussion boards and they produce creative and/or critical final projects. Students develop methods to work together across disciplines and collaborative projects are encouraged.

(*With permission, FMA 5461 may be substituted with FMA 5674: Media Theory and Practice, FMA 8244: Experimental Methods, or FMA 8245: Documentary Workshop, if and only if FMA 5461 is not being offered.)

ANTHRO 5389: Fieldwork in Ethnography

Anthropologists conduct fieldwork to create ethnographies.  In this course, we will explore through readings, lectures and discussions, class projects, and workshops what it means to “go to the field” and to engage in the craft of socio-cultural anthropology.  The class encourages students to explore the world around them from an ethnographer’s perspective; that is, to see, hear, and listen to the people and the settings around them with attention to the history and social, political, economic, and ideological structures that provide the context for people’s agency and decision-making. We will conduct short fieldwork exercises in public spaces in and around campus, practice writing fieldnotes and an analytic paper, and conduct an event-based oral history interview.  We will also consider what ethical issues anthropologists encounter as they pursue their studies, review the history of fieldwork, read classic and more recent examples of ethnographic writing, and engage in debate about different forms of anthropological methods and writing.

ANTHRO 5438: Anthropology of Mass Media

This course introduces students to an anthropological perspective on media that emphasizes cross-cultural comparisons of media technologies; context rather than text; the centrality of various media to the establishment and dissemination of cultural identities and norms; and, most of all, on the value of ethnographic research to understanding how people engage with communicative technologies.  This course provides an overview of key anthropological questions that have been raised about widely circulating image/sound/text, paying especial attention to how anthropologists have used ethnographic fieldwork to investigate the centrality of media to the construction, maintenance, and re-signification of socio-cultural identities and worlds.

 

ANTHRO 5439: The Anthropology of Photography

A critical examination of an anthropological approach to photography. Special attention will be given to a socio-cultural history of photography in the U.S. Examples from documentary, fine art, and commercial photographic genres will be shown, discussed, and compared to ethnographic studies. Field methods, models of analysis, and ethical issues will also be included.

ANTHRO 5444: Anthropological Problems in Visual Production

The introduction of visual recording techniques to a sample of problems in the anthropology of visual communication. Discussions will include ways anthropologists construct problems, develop observational strategies, select appropriate image-making technology, work in field conditions, among others. Strategies of representation connected to the integration of cultural and film theories will be explored in conjunction with a wide range of film examples. Students will be introduced to the department’s production facilities and do short exercises in image making, viewing, and interpretation.

FMA 4674: Anthropological Film

Anthropological perspectives on media studies in terms of both cultural organization and anthropological research tools; includes anthropological and communication theory, history of ethnography, and research methods with special emphasis on visual recording modes. 

FMA 5674: Media Theory and Practice

This cross-disciplinary graduate workshop explores uses of new media in creative arts and cultural representation. Students examine emergent and hybrid uses of electronic technologies from digital mapping tools to mobile media. The cross-disciplinary course crosses fields of the arts, humanities and sciences and student projects can take many forms.  Using diverse tools, students develop original creative works that respond to critical readings and participate in discourse both in the classroom and through digital technologies.

FMA 5672: History of Documentary Film

An international, historical survey of the factual film, including creative documentary, anthropological film, television news film, direct cinema, and cinema verite.

 
FMA 8245: Documentary Workshop

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

Design, pre-production planning, production, and subsequent evaluation of individual documentary projects.

FMA 8246: Advanced Documentary Workshop

Prerequisite: FMA 419, 651 or permission of the instructor

Designing and executing individual documentaries, dramatic projects, or works that intermix the strategies of documentary and fiction while dealing with socially significant material. Each project will involve one month of planning and scripting, one month of field production in film or video, and a final month of editing and postproduction. Lectures, demonstrations, critiques, and crew assignments on each other’s projects will accompany the intensive fieldwork.

FMA 8244: Experimental Methods

Prerequisite: FMA 419, 651 or permission of the instructor

Designing and executing individual documentaries, dramatic projects, or works that intermix the strategies of documentary and fiction while dealing with socially significant material. Each project will involve one month of planning and scripting, one month of field production in film or video, and a final month of editing and postproduction. Lectures, demonstrations, critiques, and crew assignments on each other’s projects will accompany the intensive fieldwork.

FMA 5673: Time-Image Arts / Cinema Praxis

Cross listed with Philosophy and Art History.

This screenings-oriented graduate course examines how writers such as Deleuze, Taussig, and Robbe-Grillet and media makers such as Antonioni, Frampton, and Viola expand our ideas about time- based images and the production of space in a globalizing and technological era. Students respond to the readings and screenings through short biweekly discussion papers, which are used to launch seminar discussions. Students conclude the course with a paper (M.A./Ph.D. students) or project (M.F.A. students) designed in response to the course discussions; students share in a cross-disciplinary critique of each other’s works.

MMC 9605: Visual Communication

Critical examination of the ways photographs inform our everyday lives, focusing on photography’s relationship with “truth” and “reality.” Consideration of the uses of photographs for informative, interpretive and persuasive communication.

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