Electives 2019-20

This is a list of SMU, King’s, and Dalhousie film electives in Halifax that can count toward the Film Minor during the academic year of 2019-20. NSCAD electives will be listed ASAP. Please get in touch with your Film Minor contact person (see list at right) if you have any queries.

Please note: we strive to ensure that this information is accurate, but in the event of a discrepancy between this website and the calendar/timetable of the relevant university, the latter will of course take precedence.

  • Green = Dalhousie and King’s College
  • Blue = NSCAD
  • Red = St Mary’s

All courses listed here are 3 credit hours unless otherwise specified.

Fall term classes

ENGL 2325.1: Media and Everyday Life
Fall: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 – 12:45
Instructor: Jennifer VanderBurgh
Taught at St Mary’s
Students analyze media texts, environments, and practices encountered in everyday life, guided by longstanding debates about how media affects and reflects our imaginative conceptions of the world.

ENGL 2095.03: Narrative in the Cinema
Fall: Mondays, 5:35 – 8:25
Instructor: David Evans
Taught at Dalhousie
This course will provide a brief introduction to the study of film narrative. Through an examination of select films from throughout the history of the medium, this course will consider various forms and conventions of cinematic fiction-making. Although social, political, psychological, and other non-formal aspects of film will be discussed, the course will be primarily concerned with the aesthetics and visual styles at work in the films under consideration.

ENGL 3300.03 TV: Theory and Criticism
Winter: Wednesdays, 5:35 – 8:25
Instructor: Anthony Enns
Taught at Dalhousie
This course considers television as a uniquely powerful source of cultural production, presenting students with some of the theoretical questions it raises and some of the critical methods that have been developed for engaging it. The course will explore the way TV mediates cultural attempts to understand the contemporary world.

ENGL 3511.1: Film and the City
Fall: Wednesdays, 4:00 – 8:00
Instructor: Jennifer VanderBurgh
Taught at St Mary’s
Since cinema’s emergence in 1895, films have represented urban life. This course focuses on “city films” – narrative films whose representations of cities comment on political, social, spatial, and temporal aspects of urbanity. The course will adopt a roughly chronological approach and focus mainly on theoretical ideas about city/cinema relations developed in North American and Europe from 1895 to  the present.

FHIS 2820: History of Animation
Fall: Mondays, 6:00 – 10:00
Instructor: TBD
Taught at NSCAD
A survey of the art of animation from the early days of cinema to the present. The focus will be on narrative, avant-garde and documentary practices in traditional cell animation through to pixilation and CGI.

FHIS 3841: Cinema and Postcolonialism
Fall: Tuesdays, 8:30 – 12:30
Instructor: Darrell Varga
Taught at NSCAD
Cinematic representation always reflects power relations. The seminar course begins with an analysis of how films made within dominant systems of empire, such as Hollywood, reflect and maintain legacies of colonialism, exploitation and domination. We define this terminology in its social and political context and develop an understanding of how the industry of cinema functions within this system of power. Most of the course is then devoted to an examination of fiction and non-fiction films from around the world which depict the legacy of colonialism and serve as powerful expressions of postcolonial resistance.

*FILM 3305: Approaches in Non-Fiction
Fall: Wednesdays, 6:00 – 10:00
Instructor: Darrell Varga
Taught at NSCAD
This is a hands-on course on the production of documentary and non-narrative filmmaking. It is open to non-NSCAD students. Interested students should contact the instruction for more info at dvarga@nscad.ca. *Note that this does not count towards the Film Studies Minor, but Film Minor students are welcome to take it as a general elective.

FILM 2340.03: Monsters and Madness: 20th Century German Film (crosslisted with GERM 2040)
Fall: Thursdays, 2:35 – 5:25
Instructor: Judith Sidler
Taught at Dalhousie
This course provides an introduction to German film of the early 20th century. We will focus on one of the most influential period of cinema history, German Expressionism, and continue to early sound film, Nazi-Propaganda and Postwar film. No knowledge of the German language is necessary. All films are subtitled.

FILM 2346.03 East European Cinema: War, Love, and Revolutions (crosslisted with RUSN 2046)
Fall: Thursdays, 2:35 – 5:25
Instructor: Yuri Leving
Taught at Dalhousie
This course brings post-Berlin Wall European film into the fray of current debates on cultural identity, transnational cinema, and postcolonialism. Despite the state control, the filmmakers of communist Europe were often more bold, honest and provocative than their profit-driven Hollywood counterparts. By drawing on political, cultural, and philosophical discourses, the course will offer pointed analyses of most significant East European films that touch upon issues of ethnicity, gender, and overcoming censorship.

FILM 3331.03: Film Theory II: Desire in Cinema (crosslisted with GWST 3331)
Fall: Thursdays, 5:35 – 8:25
Instructor: Shannon Brownlee
Taught at Dalhousie
This course focuses on theories of gender, sexuality and desire in the cinema. It addresses debates around the representation of gender, sexuality and desire on screen, as well as theories of spectatorial desire.

FILM 3401.03: Indigenous Representation in Film (crosslisted with CANA 3401 and INDG 3401)
Fall: Wednesdays, 2:35 – 5:25
Instructor: Margaret Robinson
Taught at Dalhousie
This course offers an overview of issues shaping the portrayal of Indigenous peoples in film. Focus will be on developing a critical understanding of Indigenous representation in political and cultural context. Films examined will span the silent to contemporary film era, and will include Indigenous cinema. Some of the videos included in this syllabus will contain sexual, violent, racist, sexist, and otherwise disturbing content.

JOUR 3662.03 The Journalist as Documentarian
Fall: Tuesdays, 17:35 – 20:25
Instructor: Sylvia Hamilton
Taught at King’s College
This course is about the journalist as a visual long form storyteller, in short, a documentarian. Students will watch, analyse, and write about curated program of Canadian and international documentaries. Discussion topics will include, research, documentary structure and approach, editorial decision making, journalistic and ethical considerations.

Winter term classes

CTMP 3305.03: Modern Film and the Theory of the Gaze
Winter: Mondays, 5:35 – 8:25 and Wednesdays, 5:35 – 7:25
Instructor: Elizabeth Edwards
Taught at King’s College
This course will develop certain aspects of the theory of the gaze in relation to a selection of films which themselves embody or express a thinking about looking. We all like to look; and we are all given over to being seen, and both these modalities have received historically unprecedented elaboration in the moving pictures. The films and theories will raise issues about visual desire, horror, paranoia, surveillance and fascination.

FHIS 384: Art Cinema Histories
Fall: Thursdays, 8:30 – 12:30
Instructor: Darrell Varga
Taught at NSCAD
Many of the most innovative works of cinema have been made under the energy and direction of collective movements that intersect with social and political uprisings such as the French New Wave, Italian Neo-Realism and the post Neo-Realist aftermath, New German Cinema, Indian Parallel Cinema, Cinema Novo in Brazil, the cinema of the Cuban revolution and elsewhere in the world. The common ground is the social and political changes emergent in the 1960s and 1970s. In a given year, this seminar course will examine a selection of films from several of these movements in order to understand the relationship between cinema, culture and society both in the context of its time and as influences on contemporary practices.

FILM 2337.03: Russian Film II (crosslisted with RUSN 2037)
Winter term: Mondays and Wednesdays, 14:35 – 15:55
Instructor: Jennifer Bain
Taught at Dalhousie.
This course will provide an overview of the most significant trends and periods in the development of Russian cinema since the 1960s until the latest blockbusters. The course will concentrate on the development of main genres and styles, major directors and productions, issues of race, gender, war and violence in Soviet, post-Soviet and new Russian cinema.

FILM 4393: Special Topics in Theatre and Cinema: East Asian Animation and its Roots in Performance and Visual Culture (crosslisted with THEA 4924 and CHIN 4010)
Winter: Fridays, 3:35 – 6:25
Instructor: Shannon Brownlee
Taught at Dalhousie.
This course will introduced students to specialized areas of Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese animation and scholarship. It will focus especially on the relationship between animation and other art forms such as theatre (shadow puppetry, bunraku, etc.), opera, and visual arts. 

FILM 4392: Point of View in the Cinema
Winter: Tuesdays, 18:05 – 20:55
Instructor: David Nicol
Taught at Dalhousie.
In this course, students engage in rigorous close analysis to understand better the ways in which filmmakers make us experience a narrative from the perspective of an individual character. The course explores the methods and purposes that underlie the manipulation of point of view in mainstream movies, art films and political cinema.

RELS 3356.2: Religions in Film
Winter: Mondays and Wednesdays, 2:30 – 3:45
Instructor: Syed Adnan Hussein
Taught at St Mary’s
Feature films and documentaries about religions and religious issues have proliferated in recent years. This course will examine a variety of topics which may include: how selected religious traditions such as Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam are presented in films; how films depict religious symbols and religious life, how religious and ethical issues are presented in the film narratives and documentary discussions.