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CIEE Study Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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Screen Cultures
Social Sciences
Spring 2015
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 17:00 to 18:30
CIEE office, Roetersstraat 8 HS, 1018 WC Amsterdam
Jonathan Key
CIEE office, Roetersstraat 8 HS, 1018 WC Amsterdam
By appointment

Course Description
Beginning from the premise that we live mediated lives, and that the visual media texts we consume on
a daily basis shape our understanding of the world around us, CIEE Screen Cultures will explore the
ways in which media at large and film and television, in particular produce meaning, articulate
ideology and identity, and both reflect and effect cultural change. After a critical introduction to the
historical development and formal elements of film and television, as well as an overview of the major
theoretical approaches that inform the study of popular culture, this course will home in on (a) the
representation of race, gender, and sexuality, and (b) the global circulation, reception and cultural
translation of historically and culturally situated visual media texts (with a specific focus on the crosscultural mediation of European identity/ies). While this course is principally concerned with the cultural
work performed by film and television, we will make brief forays into literature and music videos in an
effort to come to a rudimentary understanding of the roles they play in the current era of convergence
Learning Objectives
When students reach the end of this course, they will be expected to:

Be familiar with the history and current state of film and television;
Have a basic understanding of the formal and institutional parameters of film and television;
Process, engage with, and interrogate theories of popular culture;
Apply theories of popular culture to visual media texts, both orally and in writing;

Understand and comment on the complex relationship between the creators, distributors, critics, and
consumers of popular culture;
Identify and be sensitive to the ways in which identity is shaped and represented on screen;
Have become more discerning and critical consumers of film and television.

Course Prerequisites
There are no prerequisites for CIEE Screen Cultures except for an interest in film and television!
Method of Instruction
CIEE Screen Cultures runs for 16 weeks (in other words, throughout block 4 and 5) and meets twice a
week for 1.5 hours. Every single class, students will be assigned one or more theoretical texts, one or
more introductory readings and one or more primary texts (i.e. a film, one or more episodes of a
television show, or a combination of the two). This course is taught as a seminar, which means that we
will discuss the primary and secondary texts together, and that students are free to pose questions to
the instructor and each other.
In order to frame the discussion, every class will begin with a synopsis of the materials, which will be
presented either by the instructor or by the discussion leader. It is the discussion leaders responsibility
to explain the theoretical readings and, crucially, to show how they relate to the film or television show
assigned for that class. Every student will serve as discussion leader at least once, and discussion
leaders should aim for their presentation to between 15 and 20 minutes long.
Although the ensuing discussion will be facilitated and moderated by the instructor, it is imperative that
students contribute actively to the discussion. Seminar-style classes rise and fall by the participation of
the students, which makes it essential that everyone comes to class prepared. At a minimum, students
should have read the assigned texts, watched the assigned movie(s) and/or television show(s), and
taken (extensive) notes on both.
Assessment and Final Grade
Students final grades will be based on the following:

Class participation: 10%

Discussion leadership: 10%

Three pop quizzes: 10%

Review/recap: 15%

Midterm prompt paper: 15%

Presentation/pitch of research paper: 15%

Research paper: 25%

Class participation 10%
As mentioned above, the success of seminar-style classes depends in no small part on the active and
informed contributions of students; you will therefore be expected to come to class prepared and
ready to engage with your fellow students on the assigned readings and visual media texts.
Note: Although all of you are experienced viewers of film and television, there is a difference between
watching a movie in bed before you go to sleep and watching a movie in order to unpack its ideological
underpinnings. While some of you may choose to watch a film two times, all of you will have to take
copious notes and bring these to class in order to support your arguments with specific references to
scenes, camera movements, dialogue, etc.
Discussion leadership 10%
In addition to what is outlined under Method of Instruction, please note that successful discussion
leaders go above and beyond the standard requirements for class participation by doing additional
research on both the primary and secondary texts and by making connections to previously discussed
Three pop quizzes 10%
These three unannounced quizzes are designed to test that students have read the assigned readings
and watched the assigned visual media texts. Students will have 20 minutes to answer 4 or 5
straightforward questions, and quizzes will precede the presentation by the discussion leader.
Review/recap 15%
As will become clear in this course, film and television criticism plays a key role in our understanding
and consumption of film and television texts. Students will be asked to write their own piece of film or
television criticism, which may take the form of a classic review (traditionally used to evaluate movies
and television pilots) or of a recap, which summarizes and critiques an individual episode of television.
Students piece of film or television criticism may not be shorter than 750 words and may not exceed
1,000 words, with an acceptable deviation of 15%. Students reviews or recaps should be typed using
1.5 or double spacing, Times New Roman 12-point font, and standard margins.

Midterm prompt paper 15%

For the midterm paper, students will be presented with at least five clips from television shows (not
discussed in class) and will be asked to critically engage with one of them by adopting one or more of
the theoretical frameworks that were dealt with in class.
Students are allowed to cite any of the articles that were read in class, but they are not allowed to cite
only these articles. (In other words, students must venture outside the confines of the required reading
Envisioned as a dry run for students research paper, the midterm paper must have a clear thesis
statement that is followed by supporting arguments that display a keen understanding of the chosen
clip and a thorough understanding of the theories used to explicate the clips ideological work.
Students midterm paper may not be shorter than 1,000 words and may not exceed 1,500 words, with
an acceptable deviation of 15%. Students reviews or recaps should be typed using 1.5 or double
spacing, Times New Roman 12-point font, and standard margins.
Since most academic journals of film, television and media adhere to the MLA Handbook for Writers of
Research Papers (MLA), students will be expected to format their papers according to this citation
method. Students will be provided with a brief summary of MLA guidelines if they are unfamiliar with
this method of citation.
Presentation/pitch of research paper 15%
Prior to submitting their research paper, students will have the opportunity to present their provisional
thesis/main ideas to their fellow students, who will then provide constructive criticism and point the
student in helpful directions as he or she readies his or her paper for submission.
In this presentation, which should last no longer than 15-20 minutes, the student should delineate his or
her object of analysis, clearly lay out the chosen theoretical framework, formulate a tentative thesis
statement, and present one or more supporting arguments. While students are encouraged to
incorporate visual materials in their presentation, they are not required to do so.
Research paper 25%
Serving as the culmination of the course, students will write a final research paper in which they will
engage with one or more visual media texts of their own choosing and provide a close reading of them.
This paper should be both interpretive and argumentative; the student should, respectively, ground his
or her reading of the text in cultural theory and persuade the reader that his or her line of argumentation
is sound and his or his overall reading of the text is valid. Successful research papers should display an
intimate knowledge of both the chosen visual media text(s) and the theoretical apparatus used to
support the students analysis.

Students final research papers may not be shorter than 2,000 words and may not exceed 2,750 words,
with an acceptable deviation of 15%. Students research paper should be typed using 1.5 or double
spacing, Times New Roman 12-point font, and standard margins. Research papers should include a full
list of works cited, formatted according to the MLA citation style.
Plagiarism is strictly forbidden. If a student is found guilty of plagiarism, he or she will receive a 0 on the
assignment in question.
Attendance, class participation and classroom policies
Each student is expected to attend all sessions of the course and to participate actively in class
discussions. Attendance will be taken every week by the course instructor. Participation will be
assessed according to the CIEE Amsterdam attendance policy outlined below:
1 absence = allowed
2 absences = extra assignment (1 page in consultation with the instructor)
3 absences = 1 point off the students final grade
4 absences = student fails the course

If a student comes in 15-30 minutes late to class, this counts as a absence.

At all times, the student needs to inform the instructor before the start of class in case he or
she will incur an absence. Failure to notify the teacher in advance will result in an extra
Note about all assignments: Late assignments will be marked down with 1 point off.
Assignments that are more than 3 days (72 hours) late will not be accepted.

Students who make active connections to the concepts from the reading materials in class discussions,
students who actively ask questions, and students who actively reflect on out-of-class experiences in
class will receive extra points for participation. Participation points will be deducted when students do
not participate in class or have not read the assigned reading materials before coming to class.
Since we will be discussing culturally sensitive issues in class, the classroom must be a safe space in
which students are able to express their opinions openly. Discriminatory comments or language of any
kind will not be tolerated.
Resits are not offered for CIEE courses.
As stated before, students are required to view all of the assigned films and television episodes prior to
each class meeting. Students will have the opportunity to view (some of) these as a group in the CIEE
classroom on Fridays from 13:00 to 15:00, where (select) movies and episodes will be screened in
advance. While students are not required to attend these group screenings, they will then have to make
other arrangements to view the assigned texts on their own. Students will be provided with instructions
for viewing those films and television episodes that will not be screened in advance.

Overview of screenings:
(1) Friday, February 13th: Rear Window
(2) Friday, February 20th: Damages and Star Trek: Voyager
(3) Friday, February 27th: Magnolia
(4) Friday, March 6th: Crash
(5) Friday, March 13th: Far from Heaven
(6) Friday, March 27th: Penoza
(7) Friday, April 3rd: Io Sono LAmore
(8) Friday, April 17th: Le Fabuleux Destin dAmlie Poulain
(9) Friday, April 24th: Zwartboek and Un Long Dimanche de Fianailles
(10) Friday, May 1st : ADam-E.V.A.

Weekly Schedule
Class 1: Tuesday, February 10th
Introduction to CIEE Screen Cultures
Reading: None
Viewing: a clip of a movie or television show that is a testament to your interest in/love for the medium, and be
prepared to discuss it (briefly) in class.
Class 2: Thursday, February 12th
The Culture Industry I

Adorno and Horkheimer, The Culture Industry

Althusser, Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses
Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
Debord, The Society of the Spectacle
Hutchings, Some of Us Are Real, Some Are Not
Ross, The Naysayers

The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985)
Class 3: Tuesday, February 17th
The Culture Industry II

Arthurs, Sex and the City and Consumer Culture

Collins, Television and Postmodernism
Hall, Encoding/Decoding
Little Non-Darlings and the Bad News Brats
Man Sacrifices Finger to Save Wedding Ring
Marx, Capital
Newcomb and Hirsch, Television as a Cultural Forum
Nussbaum, Difficult Women

Sex and the City (HBO, 1998-2004): Escape from New York (S3E13) | Ring a Ding Ding (S4E16) | A
Womans Right to Shoes (S6E9)
Class 4: Thursday, February 19th
Film Style
(a) Speidel, Film Form and Narrative
(b) Mulvey, Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema
Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Class 5: Tuesday, February 24th
Television Style

Fuchs, The Thing with Feathers

Mittell, Narrative Complexity in Contemporary American Television
Newman, From Beats to Arcs
Nowalk, The Knick: Method and Madness
Nussbaum, When TV Became Art
ODonnell, Television Style
Thorburn, Television as an Aesthetic Medium

Damages (FX/DirecTV, 2007-2012): Get Me a Lawyer (S1E1) | The Knick (Cinemax, 2014-present): Method
and Madness (S1E1)

Class 6: Thursday, February 26th


Feminist Interventions I

Creed, Alien and the Monstrous Feminine

De Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Haraway, A Manifesto for Cyborgs
Maslin, Ripley, Believe It or Not, Has a Secret
Schneider, Dark Frontier
Snierson, Lust in Space

Alien: Resurrection (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1997) | Star Trek: Voyager (UPN, 1995-2001): Dark Frontier
Class 7: Tuesday, March 3rd
Feminist Interventions II

Dowd, Lady Psychopaths Welcome

Flynn, Gone Girl
Genz and Brabon, Postfeminist Contexts
Gray, Gender, Performativity, and the Dating Show
Kaminer, Feminisms Identity Crisis
Lisanti, The Two Virgins You Meet in Dating Show Heaven
Scott and Dargis, Sugar, Spice and Guts
Shone, Gone Girl, Hollywood and the Gender War
Dockterman, Is Gone Girl Feminist or Misogynist?
VanDerWerff, Gone Girl Is the Most Feminist Mainstream Movie in Years

Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) | The Bachelor (ABC, 2002-present): Camping (S19E4)

Class 8: Thursday, March 5th

Moving Manhood

Dillman, Magnolia Masquerading as Soap Opera

Ebert, Magnolia
Harris, Constructing Masculinities
Peberdy, Bipolar Masculinity

Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)
Deadline review/recap: hand in a hard copy in class
Class 9: Tuesday, March 10th
Race and Ethnicity I

Downing and Husband, Race and Ethnicity: Definitions and Issues

Jensen and Wosnitzer, Crash and the Self-Indulgence of White America
Hall, Cultural Identity and Cinematic Representation
Middleton, Talking about Race and Whiteness in Crash

Crash (Paul Haggis, 2004)
Class 10: Thursday, March 12th
Race and Ethnicity II

Browne, Be Real Black-ish for Me

Chu, Lai, and Yu, It Takes More Than Lunchables to Assimilate
Hall, What Is This Black in Black Popular Culture?
Huang, Bamboo-Ceiling TV
MANAA, Restrictive Portrayals of Asians in the Media
Mastro and Behm-Morawitz, Latino Representation on Primetime Television


(g) Reynolds, Why Television Is Outpacing Film in Diversity

Black-ish (ABC, 2014-present): Pilot (S1E1) | Cristela (ABC, 2014-present): Pilot (S1E1) | Fresh Off the
Boat (ABC, 2015-present): Pilot (S1E1)
Class 11: Tuesday, March 17th
Queering Popular Culture

Butler, Critically Queer

---, Gender Trouble
Edgar, Drag Representation in RuPauls Drag Race
McCann, Judith Butler Explained with Cats
Raymond, Popular Culture and Queer Representation

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, 2013-present): Lesbian Request Denied (S1E3) | RuPauls Drag Race
(Logo, 2009-present): Drag Queens of Comedy (S6E8) and Glitter Ball (S6E11) [20:38-end]
At the end of this class, you will receive the instructions and prompts for your midterm prompt paper.
Class 12: Thursday, March 19th

Boym, Nostalgia and Its Discontents

Joyrich, Mediation and Immersion in Far from Heaven
Mendelsohn, The Mad Men Account
Nash, Re-Thinking Intersectionality
Sepinwall, Jews Cruise

Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002) | Mad Men (AMC, 2007-present): Babylon (S1E6)


Tuesday, March 24th

No class (midterm week)
Thursday, March 26th
No class (midterm week)
Class 13: Tuesday, March 31st
Site Visit: Tracing Shifts in the American and Dutch Television Landscape at the Dutch Cultural Media
(a) Curtin and Shattuc, The American Television Industry
None; rest your eyes.
Class 14: Thursday, April 2nd
Exporting Dutch Realities

De Leeuw, TV Nations or Global Medium?

Hutcheon, A Theory of Adaptation
Nagel, The Copy and Its Evil Twin
Navarro, More than Copycat Television

Penoza (KRO/Nederland 3, 2010-present): Het Begin/The Beginning (S1E1) and Onaangename
Verrassingen/Unpleasant Surprises (S1E2) | Red Widow (ABC, 2013): Pilot
Deadline midterm prompt paper: hand in a hard copy in class


Class 15: Tuesday, April 7th

Consuming Italy

Crothers, Globalization and American Popular Culture

Culler, The Semiotics of Tourism
Newman, Notes on Transnational Film Theory
Romney, The Food of Love
Streib, Inside the Eat Pray Love Merchandising Machine

Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy, 2010) | Io Sono LAmore (Luca Guadagnino, 2009)
Class 16: Thursday, April 9th
Consumed by Italy: The Amanda Knox Story
(a) Annunziato, The Amanda Knox Case
(b) Rich, The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox
(c) Simkin, Amanda Knox, Sex, and Celebrity Crime
Amanda Knox: The Untold Story (Channel 5, 2011) | A Murder. A Mystery. Amanda Knox Speaks. (ABC, 2013)
Tuesday, April 14th
No class (Jonathan is in Cape Town)
Thursday, April 16th
No class (Jonathan is in Cape Town)


Class 17: Tuesday, April 21st

The French Connection
(a) Durham, Finding France on Film
(b) Morrissey, Paris and Voyages of Self-Discovery
Le Fabuleux Destin dAmlie Poulain (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) | Sex and the City (HBO, 1998-2004): An
American Girl in Paris (Part Une)
Class 18: Thursday, April 23rd
Animating Japan

Cooper-Chen, Cartoon Planet

Fennell, Consuming Anime
Handlen et al., How Sailor Moon Was Sanitized
McNally, How Sailor Moon Crystal Has Failed Me
Poitras, Contemporary Anime in Japanese Popular Culture

Sailor Moon (TV Asahi/first-run syndication/Cartoon Network, 1992-2000): Who Is That Masked Man?
(S1E16) and Day of Destiny (S1E40) | Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal (Toei, 2014-present): Usagi
--Sailor Moon-- (S1E1), Tuxedo Mask (S1E6) and Enemy --Queen Metalia-- (S1E12)
Class 19: Tuesday, April 28th
Visualizing Trauma I: The European Wars
(a) Caruth, Unclaimed Experience

(b) Galpin, Women and the European War Film

(c) Masters, Not French Enough

Zwartboek (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) | Un Long Dimanche de Fianailles (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2004) (clips)
Class 20: Thursday, April 30th
Visualizing Trauma II: 9/11

Holland, Teaching Americans 9/11 in NBCs The West Wing

Poniewozik, West Wing: Terrorism 101
Somerstein, The Selective Memory of 9/11 Iconography
Spigel, Television Culture after 9/11
Wallace, The View from Mrs. Thompsons

Homeland (Showtime, 2011-present): Pilot | The West Wing (NBC, 1999-2006): Isaac and Ishmael (S3E0)
At the end of this class, you will receive (more) detailed instructions about the research paper.
Tuesday, May 5th
No class (Liberation Day)
Class 21: Thursday, May 7th
Guest Lecture: Adapting Amsterdam
None; sigh, relief, breathe.
ADam-E.V.A. (Nederland 2, 2011-present): De Eerste Maandag/The First Monday (S1E1) |
Koninginnekoorts/Queens Day Fever (S1E2)

Class 22: Tuesday, May 12th

Site Visit: Building the Audiovisual Archive, or the Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision
(a) Hagedoorn, Cultural Memory in the Multi-Platform Era
(b) ODweyer, European Television Archives
None; I hear taking walks is nice.
Thursday, May 14th
No class (Ascension Day)
Class 23: Tuesday, May 19th
The Eurovision Song Contest

Baker, Wild Dances and Dying Wolves

Erickson, Pop Politics
Lane, The Meaning of the Eurovision Song Contest
Wolther, More Than Just Music

Selected clips from previous editions of the Eurovision Song Contest
Optional Viewing:
Students are encouraged to attend the CIEE Eurovision Watch Party, which will be held at the CIEE office on
Saturday, May 23rd from 20:00 to 23:30.
Class 24: Thursday, May 21st

Student Presentations and Future Directions I

(a) Denby, Do the Movies Have a Future?
(b) Obst, Sleepless in Hollywood
None, except for your fellow students presentations.
Class 25: Tuesday, May 26th
Student Presentations and Future Directions II

Auletta, Outside the Box

Goodman, Traditional TV vs. Netflix, Etc.?
Sepinwall, How Much Good TV Is Too Much?
Steel, New Network Shows Strive for Boldness
VanDerWerff, Lets Save Network Television!

None; dry your eyes, because this is the last class.
Thursday, May 28th
No class: use this time to revise your research paper
Friday, May 29th
Deadline research paper: hand in a hard copy by 17:00


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Althusser, Louis. Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation). Media and
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Arthurs, Jane. Sex and the City and Consumer Culture: Re-mediating Postfeminist Drama. Feminist Media
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Auletta, Ken. Outside the Box: Netflix and the Future of Television. The New Yorker 3 Feb. 2014. Web. 29
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Cooper-Chen, Anne. Cartoon Planet: The Cross-Cultural Acceptance of Japanese Animation. Asian Journal
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