Screening the Past


Course Description

  • Course Name

    Screening the Past

  • Host University


  • Location

    Sydney, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Communication, Journalism, Mass Communications, Media and Journalism, Media Studies, Radio/Television/Film, Telecommunications

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    58225 Introduction to Film Studies

    These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses

  • 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

  • Credit Points

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

    Through a detailed engagement with a broad range of different media (including film, video, television and new media) this subject explores the various channels through which we come to know, understand and engage with the past, memory and historical experience. Drawing on extensive scholarship in the field, students analyse how, and with what effects, certain texts from the historical blockbuster to experimental video confirm, challenge and/or complicate our understanding of the past and its relationship to the present.
    Subject objectives
    a. Discuss key concepts, theories and ideas used to know, understand, and engage with the past through cinema
    b. Analyse key arguments and positions in texts that interrogate, challenge, and/or complicate our understanding of the past and its relationship to the present
    c. Write about a diverse collection of written and audiovisual texts in an informed, critical, and scholarly way
    Teaching and learning strategies
    This subject consists of a weekly lecture, screening, and tutorial. All of the weekly readings for the subject are contained in the subject reader, and reading and viewing lists for further study are also suggested. The films viewed in the subject will be available in the UTS library, with at least one copy held on closed reserve at all times. While the weekly lectures provide the student with a comprehensive overview of the key issues and ideas that are central to the weekly topic, in the tutorials, students participate in (a) close readings of the weekly screening/readings, and (b) discussions that analyse and critique the issues and ideas raised in the lecture and the required readings. By undertaking a series of written assessment tasks, students will develop the necessary skills to: (a) undertake independent, scholarly research in the field; (b) critically interrogate key concepts, issues, and ideas pertaining to history, memory, and historical experience explored in the lectures and the weekly readings; and (c) think and write critically and analytically about a diverse range of written and audiovisual texts.
    The subject will investigate and analyse films that specifically engage with the historicity of particular pasts, or with particular historical events. This will include films which can be said to participate in a politics of memory, e.g. aestheticising some desirable past, exoticising some fascinating past, validating a version of a particular past in the interest of national, ethnic or political communities, or on the contrary critiquing those orthodox understandings of a past that circulate due to such interests. The subject explores (a) an eclectic collection of films from a diverse range of national and cultural contexts, and (b) key writings on cinema, history, memory, and historical experience that critically interrogate the role that various films play in confirming, challenging, and/or complicating our understanding of the past and its relationship to the present.
    Assessment task 1: Report and Facilitate Discussion on Weekly Screenings and Readings
    a and b
    Weight: 20%
    Clarity of analysis of texts
    Relevance of additional case study material
    Relevance of issues raised and identified for discussion
    Effectiveness of strategies for communicating and generating class discussion
    Assessment task 2: Critical Analysis
    b and c
    Weight: 30%
    Length: 1,000 words
    Depth and coherence of critical analysis
    Clarity of expression
    Referencing accuracy
    Assessment task 3: Critical Essay
    b and c
    Weight: 50%
    2,000 words
    Depth and coherence of critical analysis
    Clarity of expression
    Referencing accuracy

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.