HIST 393: Topics in Film and History

HIST 393-001: War on the Silver Screen
(Fall 2024)

03:00 PM to 04:15 PM MW

Horizon Hall 3012

View in the schedule of classes

Section Information for Fall 2024

This course will consider core historical concepts like patriotism, citizenship, sacrifice, American exceptionalism, and constructions of race and gender as they have been depicted, debated, and reflected upon, on film, in the last 120 years. Specifically, we will examine military history through the motion picture camera lens, by analyzing treatments of war and the military on film. We will primarily consider American military history, but non-American films may be examined when we consider global conflicts like World War Two. The films will primarily be feature-length (fictional) films, but documentaries, television treatments of war, and state-sponsored propaganda will also factor into our analysis. Students can expect to watch at least one feature-length film each week, in addition to reading history and film criticism about each film and its historical subject(s). Students may also be required to watch some recorded lectures, to free up class time for discussion. I will reserve films on DVD for no-fee screening in Fenwick Library when possible, but students should expect to incur fees to stream films online. As such, it is critical that students have reliable Internet to do this work. Assessment will consist of discussion board prompts, a research paper, and in-class quizzes and writing exercises. Skills developed in the course include how to watch a film for scholarly research, basic research methods, textual analysis, and productive oral and written communication. 

HIST 393 may be repeated for credit when the topic is different. HIST 393 counts towards the History major and minor as well as the BA in Film & Video Studies.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Study of historical periods or topics from perspective of feature films and documentaries. Notes: Topics available in advance from the department. May be repeated when topic is different. A maximum of 6 credits may be applied to the BA in history. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.