2019-2020 Catalog

MAC 248 Topics in Global Media

A survey course on the global language of film and media. Screenings and readings will cover a range of national contexts, examining questions of national identity, national cinema, alternative cinema, Third cinema, experimental ethnography, diaspora, postcoloniality, globalization, and transnationality. The course will take advantage of the international and intercultural makeup of Los Angeles, as a means of exploring media and accessing practitioners who are working across national boundaries.  May be repeated once for credit when offered with a different topic. Note: specific topics fulfill distinct core requirements. 

Transnational Cinemas: Borders, Walls, Difference

In film studies, the term “transnational” has opened up new ways of thinking about cinema, its production contexts, spectatorship, and ideological investments.  We will explore different understandings of the concept of transnationality and focus on its relation to migration, foreignness, national identity, racial politics, globalization, and various philosophical discussions (about difference, multiculturalism and diversity). We will screen a number of fascinating films and videos from multiple regions of the world. The course is discussion-based, encouraging critical thinking, writing, and presentation skills.  Expect theoretical readings and that will guide our explorations. Additional Core Requirement Met: Global Connections.

African Film and Media

Africa has one of the largest film industries in the world. This course surveys significant film and media traditions within Africa along with their aesthetic, political, and cultural contexts. We will explore African film and video across a broad array of traditions, mediums, and historical periods including the griot, Yoruba theatre, colonial visual culture, independence and liberation films, counter-ethnography, the Négritude movement, Third Cinema, post-independence Francophone Art films, sub-Saharan Black African cinema, FESPACO, Anglophone Nollywood and Ghana popular video, and African new media. The goal is to focus on distinctly African film and film scholarship by critically examining the various conflicting traditions and methodologies of cross-cultural African film studies. This course will involve seminar-style discussions, presentations, extensive screenings (in and outside of class), guest lectures by African filmmakers and scholars, and critical writing. Additional Core Requirement Met: Regional Focus.

Transpacific Social Justice

This course will explore a variety of contemporary film and multimedia productions, with a focus on social justice issues across the transpacific. Topics discussed may include, but are not limited to: race, gender, and sexuality in a networked world; war and its aftermaths; labor rights; and digital media advocacy. What are the implications of multimedia technologies for social justice and democracy, especially in marginalized communities across the Pacific and their diasporas? Our sessions will include readings by interdisciplinary, transnational, and feminist scholars such as Sara Ahmed, Arjun Appadurai, Trinh T. Minh-ha, et al. These will be accompanied by discussions of films such as The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence and Plantungan (testimonies from Indonesian women political prisoners), and digital projects such as EngageMedia, Papuan Voices: Stories of West Papua, and the USC Visual History Archive. Additional Core Requirement Met: Global Connections.


4 units

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts
  • Global Connections