'Lives of 007' offered for first time in Maymester

May 9, 2013 •

James Bond is playing a lead role in CU-Boulder’s Maymester course titled “Topics in Critical Film Studies: Lives of 007.”

Known for versatility and an iconic main character, the 007 films are the primary example of a complex, popular cinema phenomenon, said Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz, associate professor of film studies and the course instructor.

In “Lives of 007” students will explore, from a scholarly perspective, the ways in which the James Bond movies reinvent post-World War II British history and how they have adapted to shifting historical contexts, political landscapes and social anxieties while still appearing fresh, he said.

“We're less interested in James Bond as a ‘character’ and more as a political and cultural ‘construct,’ ” Acevedo-Muñoz said. “The James Bond movies are not a franchise, they're a brand name that has stubbornly defeated its past due date by being repackaged, every few cycles, into a slightly different bundle.”

Often a popular course, “Lives of 007” is being offered for the first time during Maymester, an intensive session that allows students to earn up to three credits in three weeks. Acevedo-Muñoz thinks Maymester’s immersive structure may help students better understand the course concepts.

“We will be watching 14 movies in 14 days, so it'll be like watching a time-lapse photography effect on five decades of cinema technique, cinema history, cultural politics and gender politics. I hope it works,” he said.

“Lives of 007” is one of more than 140 Maymester courses offered May 13-31. Maymester commences Summer Session, which offers a wide range of courses throughout a series of flexible terms.

Student Steven Gordy is taking one course over Maymester and two other courses during Summer Session. The ambitious double major in ethnic studies and sociology believes the courses will help him stay on track to graduate.

“I enjoy summer classes because it allows me to focus my energy on classes individually as compared with the semester with three or four other classes,” he said. “This is particularly beneficial when taking difficult classes.”

Many of CU-Boulder’s most popular, core courses are offered during Maymester and Summer Session. Students can enroll via myCUinfo until the first day of class. The Maymester and summer course lineup is often dominated by core courses that help students fill major requirements, but there are many courses that are both versatile and unique, much like a James Bond film.

Other featured summer courses include:

-- “Hacking in Practice”
explores the technical underpinnings of the rapidly growing field of computer security with a special focus on reverse engineering and the mindset of a computer hacker. Maymester

-- “Appreciation of Music” allows non-music majors to explore Western music literature and develop discriminating listening habits. June 3-July 5

-- “Introduction to Theatre” is taught by visiting scholar and master director Jane Page as part of the FIRST (Faculty-In-Residence Summer Term) program. As part of the class, students will attend Colorado Shakespeare Festival rehearsals and will hear from guest speakers. June 3-July 5

-- “Hazardous and Industrial Waste” is an online course that will evaluate the various processes used for treatment of wastes requiring special handling and disposal, and the environmental impact of such processes. June 3-Aug. 9

-- “Our Changing Environment: El Niño, Ozone and Climate” discusses the Earth’s climate, focusing on the role of the atmosphere, oceans and land surface, and describes the water cycle, atmospheric circulations and ocean currents, and how they influence global climate. July 9-Aug. 9