Okay, Gang – how about this for a set of objectives?  I boosted this directly from this course syllabus – like I said; I’m not interested in reinventing the wheel here, and these objectives feel pretty darned close to what I envision for my own course:

• Students will enhance their ability to understand, appreciate, and discuss works of literature through extensive reading and discussion of short stories, novels and plays.

• Students will analyze works of fiction and drama for plot structure, setting, characterization, theme, and narrative point of view.

• Students will develop an understanding of critical analysis of film through careful examination of cinematic adaptations of literary texts, focusing on character development, dramatic structure, and performance.

• Students will learn and utilize the terminology of film analysis, both those terms shared with literary discussion (character, plot, theme, setting) and those specific to cinema (lighting, montage, special effects, etc.).

• Students will demonstrate an understanding of the possibilities and problems involved in the transposition of literature to film, applying terminology and critical skills acquired during the semester to analyze a cinematic adaptation of a text not discussed in class.

I would add to this an objective about learning to see film as literature in its own right – that a film doesn’t have to be an adaptation of a novel in order to be considered literature.  I suppose I’d have to start with a working definition of what literature is for the purposes of the course, but that’s something I can play with as I go.

Does that help clear up for you all what I’m looking to do here?



Filed under colleagues, film as literature, job hunting, Learning, Literature, popular culture, Questions, reading, self-analysis, Teaching, The Job

6 responses to “Objectives

  1. Heh, heh. We are all full of ideas about what movies to watch, yet not so full of ideas about how to do the real work.

  2. Mrs. Chili,

    I love what you are trying to do here.

    When I was a freshman at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, I took great 3 credit class called, “Introduction to Film.

    I found the catalog description:

    181 Introduction to Film, Video, and Moving-Image Culture
    4 crs (2.5-3.5). F, Sp.
    (Formerly ENGL 190)
    Not available for juniors or seniors
    Introduction to critical study of classic and contemporary audio-visual texts, organized around the moving-image, from varied film, video, and other sources. Considerations of art and technology, form and style, and production and reception.

    I’ll go home tonight and see if I can find the syllabus. I’m not confident, however. That was a long time ago. And based on the catalog description, it sounds a little different from the class I took.

    But it looks like they’re still offering some version. It probably wouldn’t be too tough, probably, to contact somebody and get a copy of their syllabus.


  3. I am with Chris; I took a great course on film as literture; however, we only looked at films that were never books. I too will look for that syllabus.

  4. Mrs. Chili:

    Thank you for not only quoting the course desiription, but linking to the site. The course has been revised several times since it was offered as Lit-273 (An updated version is at my website, at http://www.brian-t-murphy.com/Lit218.htm), and I am no longer at BCC, but I am looking forward to the next time I get to offer it or something similar…someday!

  5. Pingback: The Dream Course; Part I « A Teacher’s Education

  6. Hi Chili,

    I always save posts like these so I can come back and give a more thoughtful comment later but by then everyone else has already left better suggestions!

    Anyway, I think it would be useful to go over the similarities between plot, symbolism, flashback, pacing, etc. in film and literature. But in viewing a film as literature, I think students need to be taught how to watch a film just as they often how to be taught how to read a novel. I think that’s what you are saying you want to do with this course.

    I was a film major in undergrad and remember it opened my eyes. I wish I could remember the syllabus. So, unfortunately, I do not have any great ideas to offer other than to say, I wish you were my teacher.

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