Electives 2022-23

This is a list of electives in Halifax that can count toward the Film Minor during the academic year of 2022-23. They are taught in person unless otherwise indicated. Times for NSCAD classes are not yet available but will be added 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.

Summer classes

FHIS 3190: Canadian Cinema: Art and Industry
Summer 2022, May 9 to Aug 12: Tuesdays, 9:00 – 12:00 (online, synchronous)
Instructor: Stephen Broomer
Taught at NSCAD
A survey of Canadian cinema with a focus on key filmmakers and the institutional, social and economic conditions that influence film form and content, and a special emphasis on experimental and independent film.

RELS 3356: Religions in Film
Summer 2022, July 4 to Aug 15: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 – 12:30 (online, synchronous)
Instructor: Lindsay Macumber
Taught at St Mary’s
This course explores the intersection of religion and film, in terms of how film represents religious and mythological themes, issues, and figures, but also how film functions “religiously” by constructing and subverting our worldviews (with particular focus on constructions of gender, race, morality, power, etc.). We will work together to practice critical engagement with films, by considering films (including Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Suspiria (2018), and Blood Quantum (2019)) in light of critical theories in the study of film and religion (including worldbuilding, the monstrous feminine, and the colonial gaze). Ultimately, we will gain an appreciation of the way in which film reflects and shapes our reality, and challenges the distinction between its “secular” and “religious” functions.

Fall term classes

ENGL 2325: 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: Narrative in Cinema
Fall: Mondays, 17:35 – 20:25
Instructor: David Evans
Taught at Dalhousie.

Examining select films from throughout the history of cinema, this course examines various forms and conventions of story-telling and fiction-making in film. Although social, political, psychological, and other non-formal aspects of film will be discussed, the course is principally concerned with the aesthetics and visual styles at work in the films under consideration.

FILM 2346: Eastern European Cinema: War, Love and Revolutions
Fall: online asynchronous
Instructor: TBA
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 3320: Italian National Cinema: New Wave (crosslisted with ITAL 3600)
Fall: Online asynchronous
Instructor: Paolo Matteucci
Taught at Dalhousie
The focus of the course is the Italian cineastes, who received international recognition since the 1960s. It aims to investigate Italian film production within the social and cultural climate of contemporary Italy.

FILM 3350:Topics in Asian Cinema
Fall: Wednesdays 17:35 – 20:25
Instructor: Shannon Brownlee
Taught at Dalhousie

This year’s topic is Chinese-language Cinema. How have Chinese-language films from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada reflected on Chinese history, society, and politics? How have they created worlds of their own? This course brings together the history of Chinese cultures across millennia with the much shorter history of Chinese language cinemas. From silent cinema to the newest blockbusters, from supernatural wuxia to contemporary urban realism, these films offer a view of the realities and fantasies of Chinese culture.

FILM/CANA/INDG 3401: Indigenous Representation in Film
Fall: Wednesdays, 14:35 – 17:25
Instructor: Fallen Matthews
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.

FILM 4393: Special Topics in Theatre and Cinema
Fall: Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:35 – 12:55
Instructor: David Nicol
Taught at Dalhousie

This year’s topic is “Interactions Between Theatre and Cinema on Stage and Screen”. Theatre and cinema are sometimes regarded as rivals, but the two forms have a long and complex history of interrelationship. In this course, we will study many interactions between stage and screen, from the invention of cinema in the 1890s to the digital theatre innovations of today.  We will study cinematic adaptations of theatre and stage adaptations of cinema; we will study films that look like plays and plays that incorporate films. We will learn how the first movies were created by theatre professionals, and how the theatre artists of the COVID era learned to turn plays into video. Along the way, we will try to answer the question of what we mean by the words ‘theatrical’ and ‘cinematic’.

Winter term classes

ENGL 2325: Media and Everyday Life
Winter: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 – 12:45 (online)
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.

FILM 2350: Studies in Film Directors
Winter: Mondays and Wednesday, 13:05 – 14:25
Instructor: David Nicol
Taught at Dalhousie.

This year’s directors will be Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro González Iñárittu. Cuarón’s films include Y tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men, Gravity, Roma and one of the Harry Potter movies. Iñárittu’s include Amores Perros, Babel, Birdman, and The Revenant. These two directors have some shared background and characteristics (they are friends and colleagues, they are both Mexicans who work in both Mexico and the United States, and they are both revolutionizing cinema by experimenting with long takes) but there are also significant differences between them. As such, they are perfect case studies with which to examine the idea of the auteur.

FILM 2337: Russian Film II
Winter: online asynchronous
Instructor: TBA
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 3331: Film Theory II: Desire and Cinema
Winter: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1605-1725
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. It is NOT necessary to complete Film Theory 1 first.

FHIS 3840: Art Cinema Histories
Winter: Tuesdays, 18002200
Instructor: TBA
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. ln 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 3915: Stars and Stardom on Stage and Screen
Winter: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 14.35-1555
Instructor: Roberta Barker
Taught at Dalhousie.
What makes a ‘star’ actor? How do stars’ gifts and idiosyncrasies interact with the possibilities of their media and with market forces to create celebrity? This course explores stage and screen stardom as historical, aesthetic, and economic phenomena that illuminate shifting constructions of beauty, class, gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity.

FILM 4392: Point of View in the Cinema
Winter: Mondays, 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.