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Historiography: Film R 402, sec. 001 Prof. Gaines Thursday, 2:00 – 5:45 pm 507 Dodge Hall 510 Dodge Hall

Fall, 2011 Office Hrs: Thurs. 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Basic Texts: at Book Culture

Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge. Trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith.

Giovanna Fossati, From Grain to Pixel: The Archival Life of Film in Transition

(Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009).

Carolyn Steedman, Dust: The Archive and Cultural History (New Brunswick,

N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2002).

David Bordwell, On the History of Film Style (Cambridge, MA.: Harvard, 1997).

Wanda Strauven, ed. The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded (Amsterdam: Amsterdam

University Press, 2006).

David E. James, The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor

Cinemas in Los Angeles (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).

Warren Buckland, ed. Puzzle Films: Complex Storytelling in Contemporary Cinema

Malden, MA: Oxford: Blackwell 2009. E-Books

mt = MediaThread/pdfs hand-out = in class on day listed text = textbook cp=coursepak

Week 1: Thurs. Sept. 8 - The Historiographic Problem + Treasure Hunt Reports

Discussion: hand-outs: Gunning, “The Cinema of Attraction”; Gaines, “Early Cinema’s Heyday of Copying”; Eisenstein, “Montage of Attractions”

texts: Foucault, Archaeology of Knowledge, Part. III, Ch. 5, “The Historical a priori and the Archive” Part. IV, Ch. 1 “Archaeology and the History of Ideas,” Steedman, Ch. 1 Viewing: L’Arroseur arosé/The Waterer Watered (Lumière 1895); Pillow Fight (Thomas A. Edison, 1897); Bataille d’oreillers no. 2/Pillow Fight No. 2 (Lumière Co., 1897); A Pillow Fight (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1902); A Pillow Fight (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1905) A Corner in Wheat (D.W. Griffith,

American Mutoscope & Biograph, 1909) 14 min.

Assign. # 1: Find & download a one-min. film that problematizes the “cinema of attractions” paradigm. Explain how it does this in class = 1 min. clip + talk = 4 min. total

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edppr.html - Go to Paper Print Collection,

See alphabetical title list & select any one, download, bring to class Sept. 15

Week 2: Thurs. Sept. 15 – Paradigm: Cinema of Attractions

Reading Due: text: Strauven, ed.: Gunning, 31-39; Crafton, 355 – 64; Sobchack, 336 – 51; cp: Gaudreault, “Early Cinema and Narrativity”

Viewing: Personal (American Mutoscope & Biograph Co., 1904); How a French Nobleman Got a Wife Through the New York Herald “Personal” Columns (Edison Mfg. Co., 1904) Seven Chances (Buster Keaton, 1927)

Assign. # 1 presentations: Discuss how one-min. film problematizes the “cinema of attractions” paradigm. 1 min. clip + talk = 4 min. total

Assign. # 2: Rewriting Radical Documentary, Due Sept. 29
Week 3: Thurs. Sept. 22 – Philosophy of Film History/Documentary

Reading Due: text: Bordwell, Ch. 2 cp: Cowie, “Narrating the Real”;

Barnouw, 85–100; 111-121; 134-135; Benjamin, “Theses on a Philosophy of History”

Viewing: Human Remains (Jay Rosenblatt, 2001) clips: Misère au Borinage (Joris Ivens/Henri Storck, 1933); Housing Problems (Grierson 1935)

Assign # 2: Rewriting Radical Documentary (continue)
Week 4: Thurs. Sept. 29 – History of Film Style

Reading Due: text: Bordwell, Ch. 4 & 5; Salt, “Film Style: 1914 - 1919”:


http://www.starword.com/ Barry Salt Website

Assign # 2 Due

Assign. # 3: Impossible & possible historiographic problems, Due Oct. 6

Close Analysis with the aid of cinemetrics site in the light of Foucault, Derrida Bordwell, History of Film Style2 pgs. single-spaced, pg. 3 bibliography

http://www.cinemetrics.lv/ Yuri Tsivian website: See for “The Numbers Speak”

Viewing: Babel (dir. Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, 2006); The Man Who Knew Too Much (dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958); The French Connection (dir. William Friedkin, 1971); The Bourne Ultimatum (dir. Doug Liman, 2002); Ransom (dir. Ron Howard, 1996); High and Low/ Tengoku to jigoku (Akira Kurosawa,1963)

Week 5: Thurs. Oct. 6 – Impossible and Possible Problems

Reading Due: text: Foucault, Introduction + Ch.1 & 2; cp: Derrida, Archive Fever

cp: Williams, Ch. 1, “Of Kisses and Ellipse”; “Historicizing Porn”: Jump Cut online 53:

Julian Hanich, “Clips, Clicks, and Climax: Notes on the Relocation

And Remediation of Pornography.”:


Magnus Ullén, “The Excess of Porn: Response to Julian Hanich”:


Tom Waugh, “Back to the Golden Age,” Jump Cut 53 (2011):


Viewing: Stolen Kisses (c.1920s) 3.30 min.; The Erwin-Rice Kiss (Edison Co., 1900)

Removed (Naomi Uman, 1999) 6 min.

Assn. # 3 Impossible & possible historiographic problems Due Oct. 20

Week 6: Thurs. Oct. 13: New Media and the (Cinematic) Network Society

Screening: YouTube: Life in a Day (prod Ridley Scott, dir Kevin McDonald, 2011), Traffic (Rajesh Pillai, 2011), The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)

Reading: Alex Juhasz, "YouTube Movie," and "YouTube is a Pomo TV" in Learning from YouTube (links tba)

Hugh Hart, "Inside Is ‘First Interactive Social Horror Film Experience’"

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2011/07/inside/ (link tba)

Neil Narine, "Global Trauma and the Cinematic Network Society" (excerpt) pp-209-223

Recommended: Barabasi, Albert-Laszlo, "Introduction" in Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means (link tba)

Carpetbagger, "YouTube's Growning Influence" video interview:

Week 7: Thurs. Oct. 20 – Problems in Silent Cinema Research: Butler Library

Visitor, Prof. Laikwan Pang (Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Reading Due: cp: Andrew, “Ontology of a Fetish”; text: Fossati, Ch. 1 & 2

View on MediaThread: The Strike (Solax, 1912); Curse of the Qwon Gwon (Marion E. Wong, 1916); Within Our Gates (Micheaux, 1919);

handouts: Laikwan Pang, “China’s Earliest Film Scene”; Ch. 1 “Building a New China”

Assign. # 4 – on MediaThread: Digital Historiography Research Map: Choose 1 of 9 or 10 (your choice):

1) Avant-Garde historiography: 1 document

2) Women Film Pioneers: early women in international film industry: 1 document

3) Silent African American cinema: 1 document

4) Silent Chinese American cinema: 1 document

5) Documentary film historiography: 1 document

6) Technological History: 1 document

7) Motion Picture Set Design: 1 document

8) Motion Picture Screenplay development: 1 document

9) Celebrity culture: 1 document

Online version Due: Nov. 10; Final version due: Finals Week TBA

Week 8: Thurs. Oct. 27 – Problems in Avant-Garde Cinema Research

Reading Due: text: James, Chs. 1, 3 & 4 ; cp: MacDonald, Cinema 16 (excerpts);

cp: Elsaesser, “The New Film History as Media Archaeology”

Screening: Unseen Cinema: Light Rhythms: Music and Abstraction:

The Life and Death of 9413—A Hollywood Extra (Florey and Vorkapich, 1927)

Vorkapich Montage Sequences” (Slavko Vorkapich, 1928 – 37)

The Firefly “Vorkapick edit” (1937) The Firefly “MGM Release Version” (1937)

Unseen Cinema: Picturing a Metropolis:

Interior New York Subway, 14th St. to 42nd St. (Biograph, 1905); Looney Lens: Split Seeing New York by Yacht (1902); Skyscrapers (1924)

Tom, Tom Chaser (Ken Jacobs)

Assn. # 5: Archival Poetics in-class essay, Due. Nov. 10
Week 9: Thurs. Nov. 3 New Media Theory and Digital Restoration

Reading: text: Fosatti, From Grain to Pixel, 13-28; 54-102; 211-19.

Screening: The Matinee Idol (Frank Capra,1928) 56 min.

Lyrical Nitrate (Peter Delput, 1991) 50 min. Decasia: the State of Decay (Bill Morrison, 2002) 70 min. Assn. # 5: Archival Poetics in-class essay

Week 10: Thurs. Nov. 10 – Authorship vs. Genre histories

Reading: cp: Foucault, ”What is an Author?”; text: Archaeology, 221-223

cp: MacCabe, “The Revenge of the Author”; Wollen on Howard Hawks;

cp: Sobchack, Screening Space; ”Great Directors” essays:


View Clips: Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979); Alien 3 (David Fincher, 1992);

Bullet in the Head/Die xue jie tou (John Woo, 1990)

Assn. # 4 Online Digital Historiography & Assn. # 5 Archival Poetics Due
Week 11 Thurs. Nov. 17 Genre Theory

Screening: Oldboy/Oldeuboi (Park Chan-wook, Korea, 2003) 120 min. Pt, 1

Reading Due: cp: Dyer, Ch. 4. APastiche, Genre, History@; Neale, “Questions of Genre”;

Bordwell, Planet Hong Kong;

Viewing: Pursued (Raoul Walsh, 1947); Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood, 1992)
Week of November 24 - No Class Thanksgiving Break

Week 12: Tues. Nov. 30 Narrative Theory

Screening: Oldboy/Oldeuboi (Park Chan-wook, Korea, 2003) 120 min., Pt. 2

Reading Due: E-Books: Buckland, “Intro Puzzle Plots”; Elsaesser, “ Mind-Game Film”

Week 13: Tues. Dec. 2 – Final Project Oral + Image Presentations Part 1
Week 14: Tues. Dec. 9 – Final Project Oral + Image Presentations cont.
Assign. # 6: 1) Oral + Image Presentation – in class, 12/2 & 12/9

2) Final Written paper: 15 pgs., double-spaced + Bibliography & Appendix

Due Finals Week: Date and time: TBA

Final Oral + Image presentation:

  1. Image = Digital Historiography Research map - wiki site final version

  2. Oral = summary and commentary on research project digital map

Final Written paper: Research Project Expanded and Imagined

Can be version of Historical Document # 4 assignment or look toward your MA thesis

Title page: Your own title, name, date, course

Within body of the paper, starting on p. 1 (be sure to number pgs.)

  1. Statement of possible problem to be solved:

  2. Situate your document (s) in relation to existing field, published research

  3. Elaborate on how your research will engage, modify, transform that field

  4. Describe the research you hope to do: where and how

  5. Foreground: the challenges of undertaking historical research, including

working in this transitional moment

  1. Bibliography: in addition to 15 pgs.; MLA style, generated from Endnote
  2. Appendix: Use for filmographies, electronic sources, lists, databases you create


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