Professional Skills Module (SQM): Transcultural Literacy: Constructing ‘America’

The Module consists of a Lecture and a Seminar.

Graded Work: A seminar paper (topics handed out eight weeks prior to due-date) and a fifteen-minute oral presentation.

Lecture: Constructing ‘America’ in a Transcultural Context

Tuesday, 11 am – 1 pm, HS 6
Professor Barry Laga

This course provides you with the intellectual tools to make sense of, interpret, appreciate, evaluate, and discuss film critically. To acquire those tools, we will trace the development of film history, dabble in film theory, study a variety of genres, and apply the “elements of cinema” (i.e. cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, etc.) to a wide range of films. We will be particularly attentive to American and some British films as both aesthetic artifacts and cultural narratives. We will pay attention to what the films convey, but also to their particular strategies and methods. Please note that you’ll have to watch the longer feature films outside of class. We will provide several screenings during the week.


Seminar: Reading ‘America’ in a Transcultural Context

Bethany Lerch
Tuesday, 1-3 pm, GWZ 2.516

The seminar complements the lecture by creating a forum where students discuss the transnational / transcultural reception of films and investigate how these films have shaped perceptions of Anglo-American cultural identity. Students will independently research and present texts that reflect these debates. The seminar thus provides students with the opportunity to practice and improve analytical, reflective, and presentation skills (written and oral) in English.