Film and Media History

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Film and Media History

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    History, Media Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Students learn:
    1. To acquire knowledge of the historical chronology and developments of cinema, in particular in Western Europe (including the Netherlands) and the United States, regarding its style and its context of production, distribition and exhibition.
    2. To acquire knowledge of the crossovers between cinema history and the history of other media and arts, e.g. precinematic optic devices, theatre, graphic design (posters) and television.
    3. To acquire knowledge of the perspectives and historiography of conventional vs. New Film History.
    4. To be able to critically and academically situate and reflect on this film and media history, using their respective terminologies.
    5. To set a first step towards the BA thesis by training and justifying research questions related to the course.

    Film will be the central focus. The literature focuses on American and West- European cinema, but the lectures will contain extra information on precinema, cinema in the Netherlands and conventional vs. New Film History. Cinema developed in its first decades from a vaudeville-like programme of attractions to a story-telling, narrative medium; from an invention to a popular mass medium, an industry and an art form. Technological, economical, social and aesthetical factors played important parts. For instance: 1) the introduction of the feature film, sound and widescreen; 2) the growth and expansion of cinema's infrastructure such as cinema exhibition and film distribution; 3) the rise of serious film criticism and the changes in the audiences; 4) the role of stardom and the language of performance; and 5) the interchange with such arts as literature, fine arts and theatre, but also with television and new media. Therefore, attention will also be paid to the idea of an integral or comparative media history. All lectures will be followed by related viewings of features or groups of shorts.

    Lectures, viewing, series of guest lectures, excursions and response meetings.

    Matching of course objectives and assignments:

    Course objective 1, 2, 3, 4: Small assignments for all students (making concept maps of film historical movements to train the knowledge); to be submitted (entry requirement for the exam). Course objective 1, 2, 3, 4: written exam (90% for regular students, 100% for exchange and elective students). The written exam is combination of knowledge, application and judgment questions. Course objective 5: extra assignment regarding training set up for academic research (only for major and premaster students) (10%). 

    Media, Art, Design and Architecture students must have completed the 1st year MADA courses Visuele en materiële cultuur II (L_AABAMKD105)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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