ENVIRON 304 - Topics in Culture and Environment
Section: 002 Eco-Cinema
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Program in the Environment (ENVIRON)
Department: LSA Environment
Requirements & Distribution:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Perhaps even more than the Western, environmental film has proven to be a highly revisionist genre, capable of capturing and challenging the environmental attitudes, anxieties and ethical dilemmas of the time while also pushing the boundaries of the cinematic form itself. This course will help students develop a core set of analytical skills that will enrich their understanding of any film, in any genre. In-depth film analysis will deepen students' appreciation for how creative choices by filmmakers affect what viewers experience and how they respond. Students will also be able to identify the ways in which environmental films in particular target audiences’ ethical sensibilities in widely different ways. The course will focus on the close reading of films and documentaries, examining a range of environmental issues including the exploitation of resources, the end of nature, toxicity, representing wildlife, the global commons and climate change. Films and film excerpts will range from The Life of Pi to My Life as a Turkey, from Erin Brokovich to Princess Mononoke, from Quantum of Solace to Captain Phillips.

Course Texts:

  • Bordroll, David and Kirstin Thompson: Film Art: An Introduction, 10th ed. (2012)
  • Brereton, Pat. Environmental Ethics and Film. Routledge, 2015.
  • Corrigan, Timothy. A Short Guide to Writing about Film, 9th ed. (2014).

Course Requirements:

  • Active Participation and Attendance.
  • Regular Short Film Responses and Critiques.
  • Three Film Analyses.
  • One Team Presentation.
  • Intended Audience:

    This course is intended for students with strong writing skills who may have a major or minor in English literature, sustainability, environmental studies, screen arts and culture.

    Class Format:

    Lecture and discussion

    ENVIRON 304 - Topics in Culture and Environment
    Schedule Listing
    002 (LEC)
    MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
    004 (LEC)
    MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
    NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

    ISBN: 9780321965240
    A short guide to writing about film, Author: Timothy Corrigan. Ninth edit 2014
    ISBN: 9780415747288
    Environmental Ethics and Film, Author: Pat Brereton, Publisher: Routledge FIRST 2016
    ISBN: 9780415899437
    Ecocinema Reader : Theory and Practice., Author: edited by Stephen Rust, Salma Monani, and Sean Cubitt., Publisher: Routledge 2012
    Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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