Taught September 2013 to December 2013
CAMS 101 is the required introduction to the Cinema and Media Studies major, but we think the material in this course is useful—no, even essential—to anyone who indulges in any form of media use in today’s world. And who does not? Ours is a media saturated world, and it behooves us to ponder what that means. We will do a lot of pondering in this course, as well as a lot of inspection of different forms of media. The CAMS program is currently a very film-centered program, and there are those who argue that digital media, to the extent that they come to us through a screen, have strong roots in film. We therefore take film as a kind of originary point in this course. Every week we will view a film—and every film that we have selected concerns itself with some aspect/form of media (social media, photography, television, sound…). The course also has a make-it-yourself component: as we consider different forms of media, or different inventions or techniques, we will explore those techniques hands-on, so we can feel what a maker feels. This component reflects a central value of our Cinema and Media Studies Program: we expect all CAMS majors to know something about production, and something about the history, theory, and analysis of media.