HUM 6939 & 5915: Syllabus

Course Objectives Honor Code Course Description
Required Texts ADA Statement Printing PowerPoints
Viewing Arrangements Course Requirements Grading Scale

Course Objectives
This course aims to accomplish the following things:

  1. to examine how film language creates an interaction between filmmaker and spectator;
  2. to analyze how categories of race, class, gender, sexuality, and other factors have been ideologically constructed through avenues such as commercial film;
  3. to develop a vocabulary for how film creates a "politics of the gaze"-that is, focusing on the issues of whose view or story is authorized or not, and on what grounds;
  4. to examine how all of the aforementioned factors work together in narrative and popular film;
  5. to introduce the student to several theoretical approaches in film criticism;
  6. to address, at very pragmatic levels, various ways in which to teach film theory in relation to a critical analysis of film form;
  7. to integrate the effective and appropriate use of technology in relation to teaching film theory;
  8. to enable the students practice exercises in preparing lesson plans, evaluation instruments, powerpoint lectures and various interactive exercises to prepare them for teaching the material within the year
    (Note: Numbers 1 - 5 form the theoretical backbone of HUM 3321, the undergraduate course the TAs are being trained to teach; numbers 6-8 specifically are geared towards pedagogical issues, as well as effectively integrating the use of appropriate technology with teaching the material)

Required Texts [top]
Jason Grant McKahan, Caroline Joan (Kay) Picart, Gregory J. Thompson and Kathryn Field, Multicultural Dimensions of Film: A Reader. 7th Ed. NY: McGraw-Hill, 2001. ISBN: 0-07-251446-9
(Student and Teacher Edition powerpoints are available through; passwords to be
provided in class.)

The website, is a purely virtual version of HUM 3321, a companion to the text, and provides a backbone of lectures that will enhance the understanding of how the materials flow together. {The main result of the Council for Instruction Grant in 2001)

Viewing Arrangements [top]
I have reserved Williams 204 for your possible viewing of films after every class during summer C. However, you are not required to stay. You may, if you prefer, view the materials in your own time by borrowing the films from elsewhere. But you should have viewed the materials when we are scheduled to talk about them in class; your participation and attendance will take note of whether or not you have viewed the films. The Humanities Library and possibly Strozier Library have copies of all of the materials required for this course (though only HUM would probably have the optional materials). Leon Public Library is an extra possible source for borrowing videos. Obtain library cards early and place reserves on any titles that you think you will want to borrow. In order to get a library card, the applicant must show some form of identification with their current Leon County address. If the students have any questions about what form of ID is acceptable, they should call the library at 487-2665 and ask to speak to the Circulation Department for clarification of that issue. I strongly encourage all of you to watch and take notes on as many of the films as you can prior to the onset of the seminar, because you will have a lot to do, on top of watching films by then. Those who sign up for reports on certain films should watch these films ahead of time so that they can prepare their reports early; if you have already watched a film assigned for in-class viewing during the seminar, you may leave during the viewing session. You are responsible for whatever you choose to miss.

Academic Honor Code [top]
The Florida State University General Bulletin contains an Honor Code that is repeated verbatim in the Student Handbook. You are responsible for knowing and conforming to it; in addition to the information listed in the Handbook, you are also cautioned that:

  1. If you take material that is not yours, from any source (inclusive of websites), and copy it into anything you submit, you are obligated to provide a footnote, endnote or parenthetical reference and works cited list at the end of the paper.
  2. Material that is lifted verbatim from other texts must be placed in quotation marks or, in the case of anything longer than three sentences, blocked quotes, indicating its source, as in item # 1 above.
  3. Material that is paraphrased must also be documented as in item # 1.
  4. Persons who violate the Honor Code and any of the items above in any requirement, whether minor or major, will receive an "F" for the course.

ADA Statement [top]
Students with documented disabilities needing academic accommodations should, in the first week of class: 1.) register with and provide documentation to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) and 2.) bring an authorized letter from SDRC to the professor, indicating the need for academic accommodations, if necessary. This and all other class materials are available in alternative format, upon request. I will do everything I can to ensure fairness to everyone in class.

Course Requirements [top]
Course Requirements (for the Three Credit Seminar):

  • Powerpoint lectures and SE powerpoints (40%)
  • Attendance and Participation, inclusive of watching films (25%)
  • Threaded Conversations (35%)
  • Bonus Points for Optional Films (+2 max for the final mark; note that it is only a 3 point difference that separates one grade level from the next)

Course Requirements (for the One Credit Technology Training): (Pass or Fail)

  • Attendance (50%)-more than two excused absences leads to an "F"; each late entry (I call your name and you are not in your seats) is half an unexcused absence, so more than 4 latenesses becomes an "F."
  • Participation (50%)-evidence of using the time in the laboratory towards completion of the requirements in the seminar section is all you need to pass.

Course Description [top]
This course will employ principally a discussion and seminar format, and will integrate the effective use of technology (e.g., Blackboard, powerpoint, videos, when relevant). As you are taking this course, you will be undergoing the one credit training in the use of Blackboard and Powerpoint, which are prerequisites for this course; you should also stay on top of the assigned required films. The essentials, other than registering (which should be generated automatically, if your paperwork is in place for this course), entail learning how to use threaded conversations (Under "Communication-Discussion Board" and "Communication-Small Groups-Discussion Board"); checking for "External Link" powerpoint posts and "Announcements," and checking posted grades (Under "Student Tools--Check Your Grade"). There are other additional features you may use, such as the e-mail feature under "Communication." There are more powerful features of Blackboard, but I'll aim to use the very basics, effectively integrated into pedagogy training; there is no need to use all the proverbial bells and whistles in order to use technology effectively.

I also urge you to read the "Handbook" and the "Lectures" in the companion website: Password protected teacher and student edition powerpoint lectures are also on the same website. Note that these files may at times be quite large, and so it is probably best to download them on appropriate computers on campus, such as those on the Strozier Library basement. Or if you want to use a home modem, be prepared to leave it alone for say a couple of hours before you check back. You may want to download while you get some sleep and check on it in the morning.

Ultimately, the course is largely discussion-oriented, and students play an active role in ensuring the success of the course. Students are required to come in, having read the assigned texts for the day, in order to present and defend their interpretations of the texts, as well as critique those of others and pose clarificatory questions. In-class oral participation and attendance will also comprise 25% of the total mark. Note that given that we are meeting only for six weeks, only two unexcused absences are allowed; having more than two absences is sufficient reason for an "F."

Note also that skills of reading, listening, and speaking, which all rest upon prior preparation, form an integral component of the course. Extended discussions via Blackboard threaded conversations during the periods in between sessions, will be used to help set up and continue generating class momentum. These threaded e-mail conversations will comprise 35% of the total mark, and will be monitored and evaluated by the professor. The threaded conversation exercise integrates writing with skills of argumentation and discussion. Students are required to log in once a week, anytime between Friday morning (after this seminar) and Sunday midnight prior to the next class, to carry on these electronically mediated conversations. THERE IS NO MAKE-UP OR LATE WORK THAT WILL BE ACCEPTED.

The initial sessions will be handled principally by the professor. At other times, the duty of giving a brief summary and critique of some of the assigned texts for the day, and of generating discussion, will be rotated among the students in pairs or singly. This is designed to enable students to be more actively involved in class discussions, and to give them a trial run for actually teaching the material in class in preparation for their duties in the coming year. Students giving powerpoint presentations are required to e-mail their presentations to me ( 24 hours before they are due to report (an exception may be made only with the first group to report). On the day of the presentations, the presenters are required to come in with a diskette version (just in case something goes wrong with the web) and two hard copies of the powerpoints in "handout" format. AGAIN, NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED.

The student powerpoints should feature:

  1. the aims of the particular class session
  2. key terms/concepts and examples of them, featuring specific clips
  3. a class outline, including an estimate of time allocations
  4. an interactive activity, which is usually a student edition powerpoint presentation that may incorporate a game, small group work, acting a skit, etc.
  5. guide questions for discussion

On the day of the presentation itself, come in with two powerpoint handout copies (see below for instructions) to submit to me. One will be marked and returned to you; the other will be kept on file. Just in case anything goes wrong, also come in with an e-copy (diskette or CD) of your report.

The items outlined above comprise the criteria for the evaluation of your work for this component, which comprises 40% of the total mark, with each component above equally weighted. The presentations should be more specifically geared at sharing ideas on how to present material to undergraduates, rather than general commentaries on the material. Posting these powerpoint presentations is a prerequisite to passing the course; failure to do so will result in failure. 40% of your total grade will come from this presentation. There are NO exceptions to this rule; you may switch teams and dates if you tell me ahead of time, and work out arrangements with each other. I will make sign-up arrangements available during the first week of summer C so you may think about which session/s you would like to sign up for, and with whom.

In order to save on ink and paper, you may print out a "handout" version. Instructions for this are listed below. If it is easier for you, just print out an ordinary copy of the powerpoint presentation and photocopy it to save ink.

Printing of Handout Copies of Powerpoint Presentations [top]
Here are the instructions for the best way to print out PowerPoint presentations:
I. From the web
(You must have the PowerPoint program installed on your computer to do it this way)

  1. Use Netscape to get to
  2. After you log in and get to the course webpage, click to External Links.
  3. Click on the PowerPoint presentation you would like to print out.
  4. A window will open to ask if you would like to "save it to disk" or "run from the current location". For convenience's sake, click "run from current location." This will download and transfer the presentation to the PowerPoint program on your computer.
  5. Go to "File" on the menu. Scroll down to "Print".
  6. When the print menu pops up.
    a. You can choose from "slides". This will print each slide on a full page.
    b. To save paper, you can choose to print as "handouts". On a section on the right, you can choose how many slides you would like on each page.
    c. Also, there are checklist options at the bottom, I recommend clicking "pure black and white" for clearer pictures on a black and white printer.
    d. When you are finished, click the "OK" button.

II. From the PowerPoint Program

  1. Click on the "my computer" icon.
  2. Click on the icon representing where your file is saved (for example, if the PowerPoint presentation you wish to open is on your disk, click A:)
  3. Click on the file in order to open.
  4. Go to "File" on the menu. Scroll down to "Print".
  5. When the print menu pops up.
    a. You can choose from "slides". This will print each slide on a full page.
    b. To save paper, you can choose to print as "handouts". On a section on the right, you can choose how many slides you would like on each page.
    c. Also, there are checklist options, I recommend clicking "pure black and white" for clearer pictures on a black and white printer.
    d. When you are finished, click the "OK" button.

Remember that threaded conversations go on during the weekends of weeks 2, 3 and 4 from Fridays through Sundays, midnight, with a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 750 words (double spaced within BB), again seeking to comment substantively on the powerpoint presentations in relation to theoretical and practical issues in teaching the material to the class. Since we will be doing this only for six weeks, there will be no cancellations of missed posts. Posts should be made in the general discussion board, so everyone has access to the material, and may comment on individual posts. Feedback on how you are doing (both in your presentations and BB threaded conversations) will be provided through BB and will be handed back to you in class.

Note: Appropriate breaks will be given, and all TAs are encouraged to bring their own lunches/snacks or drinks to share as they please, to help keep everyone energetic and focused.

Grading Scale [top]

A 93-100% C 76-73%
A- 90-92% C- 70-72%
B+ 87-89% D+ 69-67%
B 83-86% D 66-63%
B- 80-82% D- 62-60%
C+ 79-77% F 59-0%

Main Page | Syllabus | Timeline | Staff | Resources