German 44: Popular Cinema. Willkommen!. Course Outline. German 44: Popular Cinema.
This course provides an introduction into popular forms of cinema in the German speaking countries. We will discuss a number of significant films from various historical periods and place them in their respective cultural and socio-historical context.
You will be introduced to a number of filmic genres, some of the most popular performers, and some of the key thematic concerns that reflect the interests, fantasies, and desires of German speaking audiences. What makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what do they identify with?
The aim of the course is to enhance your understanding of culturally specific mentalities and dispositions as reflected in the most popular and most powerful entertainment medium, popular cinema.
1) [20 %] Regular attendance and active participation in classroom discussion. I expect you to come to each class meeting, prepared to participate in the discussion (i.e. having done the reading and having watched the movies). I will take attendance, and the component grade will be affected by each unexcused absence.
I expect you to watch all the films, preferably in the context of our joint viewing session.If you can’t make it to class or to an agreed upon video screening, it is a question of common courtesy to let me know why, preferably ahead of time, and to make up what you missed.
2) [2 x 20 %] Two short papers (ca. 5 pages each). Each paper will be “peer-reviewed,” i. e. it will be read and commented upon by a class-mate. The quality of your comments on a fellow-student’s paper will factor into the class participation component of your grade.
As concerns matters of “intellectual property rights” and academic honesty, I would like to remind you of the Amherst College “Statement of Intellectual Responsibility.” If you have questions concerning conventions of citing sources and giving proper credit to ideas not your own, there are useful resources available via the Amherst College Writing Center’s website.
3) [15 %] One n-class oral presentation (ca. 20 mins.) of a “project” (a filmmaker, a performer, a genre, an issue) of your choice. Students with enough background in the language are encouraged to investigate sources in German for their “project” (such as German publications, web sites, videos without subtitles).
4) [25 %] Final paper (ca. 10 pages), can be based upon one of the previous assignments (i.e. the first two papers, or the “project”). If you decide to expand a previous assignment, you will be judged on the quality and care with which you addressed comments and feedback you received on your earlier effort/s.
1) [20 %] Regular attendance and active participation.
2) [2 x 20 %] Two short papers (ca. 5 pages each).
3) [15 %] One n-class oral presentation (ca. 20 mins.).
4) [25 %] Final paper (ca. 10 pages).
The bottom line:
what you get out of the course correlates with what you put in it.