Foundations in Film Studies IV/ Environmental Studies I
Global Ecocinema – Reflections on Human Ecology and the Environmental Crisis
Lecturer: Prof. Dr..Karsten Krueger
Course hours: 3hrs
English level 2- or higher
Teaching language: English/Chinese (bilingual)
I. Course Outline:
This CIS Cross-Cultural Concentration GE elective course will introduce you to some of the most important environmental issues of the 21st century, via an exciting array of recent feature, animation and non-fiction films. The course will cover a wide range of topics, questions, and issues in the environmental humanities, with a special focus on recent American, European and Chinese films. Cultural, historical, philosophical, ethical, and political contexts and questions will be discussed, along with careful analyses and interpretations of these films.The films will include animation, documentary, science fiction, and activist films. This course features the following topics: Wilderness Conservation and Modern Environmentalisms, Indigeneity and Environmental Justice,Toxins, Science, and the “Ordinary Expert”, Climate Change and Animals: Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity, Art, and Activism.
II. Course Objectives:
1. To introduce students to environmental issues via the medium of film/video and to the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities.
2. To introduce major questions, concepts, histories, and topics in environmental film and media.
3. To develop students’ abilities to understand and interpret film and media within environmental, historical, cultural, ethical, political, and philosophical contexts, and to highlight the meaning and significance of different interpretations.
III. Learning Outcomes:
1. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the ideas, information, arguments,questions, and concepts of the course.
2. Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the films, the content of the lectures and additional texts and reading material.
3. Students should demonstrate their ability to write clear, organized, content�rich essays within the time constraints of the exams (mid-term/final exam).
Personal and key skills:
• Manage own learning time and learning activities with limited guidance from course lecturer
• Undertake independent research on the basis of a taught course.
• Present information and arguments on a particular topic in a class situation..
• Demonstrate skills in the selection and organisation of material (through formative and summative written assignments and presentations).
• Develop visual literacy.
• Ability to adopt a critical and/or thematic approach to the understanding of films and context materials
College competences addressed by the course:
• Writing, Oral Communication, Reading, Computer Literacy, Ethics/Values, Citizenship, Global Concerns, Information Resources, Critical Thinking, Integrative Thinking, Visual Thinking,Construction of Visual Narratives
IV. Teaching Methods:
The primary method of teaching will be a series of lectures on the topics above in conjunction with a reading of texts from a variety of theorists (historic and contemporary) and practitioners. Students will also be required to make the most of online resources as well as express themselves and record their own opinions and ideas through the mySTU course website blog. This will enable them to keep up to date.
Course activities promote active learning, with most class sessions including a mix of mini-lectures, discussion, and group work. My role is to provide the tools and resources; you will need to advance your own thinking and writing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you think through these questions, and respond to your ideas. Your role is to do the hard work—the critical reading, discussion, and writing.
V. Assignments :
There will be a number of opportunities for you to show your knowledge,thinking, and skill in
this class. Over the course of a semester,we will have a range of assignments: quizzes, reaction
papers, leading discussion in class and on-line, a mid-term exam, and a final exam research essay
paper. The course is so designed, that no one assignment can wreck your grade; however, it’s no
overstatement to say that the workload promises to be substantial. Plan ahead, and don’t
overload your schedule!
VI. Course Grade Breakdown:
The students will be evaluated on the basis of their performance as follows:
In-class participation/group discussions 10%
In-class quizzes/ reaction-papers 10%
Homework assignments 20 %
Mid-term exam paper 20%
Final exam paper 40%
VII. Course Syllabus
( Note: this syllabus might be subject of change at any time!)
WEEK 1: Intro to the Course
WEEK 2: Wilderness Conservation and Modern Environmentalisms I
WEEK 3 Wilderness Conservation and Modern Environmentalisms II
WEEK 4 Wilderness Conservation and Modern Environmentalisms III
WEEK 5: Indigeneity and Environmental Justice I
WEEK 6: Indigeneity and Environmental Justice II
WEEK 7: Indigeneity and Environmental Justice III
WEEK 8: Toxins, Science, and the “Ordinary Expert” I
WEEK 9: Toxins, Science, and the “Ordinary Expert” II
WEEK 10: Toxins, Science, and the “Ordinary Expert” III
WEEK 11: Climate Change I
WEEK 12: Climate Change II
WEEK 13: Climate Change III
WEEK 14: Animals: Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity, Art, and Activism I
WEEK 15: Animals: Genetic Engineering, Biodiversity, Art, and Activism II
WEEK 16: Wrap-up of course
1. Ecocinema - Theory and Practice (AFI Film Readers)
Stephen Rust (Editor), Salma Monani (Editor), Sean Cubitt (Editor)
Publisher: Routledge (August 27, 2012)
2. Framing the World: Explorations in Ecocriticism and Film (Under the Sign of Nature) Paula Willoquet-Maricondi (Editor)
Publisher: University of Virginia Press (August 27, 2010)
Additional readings (online/ppt’s,pdf’s etc) will be provided by the lecturer
All films/ film clips and additional visual material will be up-loaded to the mySTU website of this course.
Films to be shown in class: TBA