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HUMN 4093-3 Advanced Studies: Hitchcock and FreudHUMN 3505-3 The Enlightenment
Anne Schmiesing

By questioning long-standing assumptions and traditions, Enlightenment thinkers achieved a reformulation of ideals and values which has been of lasting influence on modern society. In the context of the Enlightenment emphasis on reason and humanity, this course examines eighteenth-century European arguments for (and against) freedom of religion, the abolition of slavery, and the emancipation of women, as well as eighteenth-century views on science, education, and government. Text by Leibniz, Lessing, Kant, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, Graffigny, Locke, Hume, Wollstonecraft, and others. Approved for arts and science core curriculum: ideals and values.

Paul Gordon
This class will apply Freud’s psychoanalytic method of interpreting works of art to the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Although Hitchcock is often self-consciously Freudian in his art (eg. in Vertigo, Spellbound, etc.), the true “latent content” of the films is only to be revealed by an application of Freud’s theories of narcissism, the Oedipus-complex, the uncanny, etc. “against the grain” of the manifest content of Hitchcock’s works themselves. For example, we will seek to explain Hitchcock’s recurrent and complicated use of “maternal super-egos” (as in Psycho), of male narcissism (as in Rear Window), of a violent “male protest” (Shadow of a Doubt) and of a female and trans-gendered violence of nature and the unconscious (Marnie, The Birds). And above all, we will examine the persistent figure of “Mother” in Hitchcock’s films as it informs all of leading female characters.

Requirements: Weekly viewing of the films will be accompanied by class presentations and discussions, culminating in a final research project involving the psychoanalytical interpretation of at least one of Hitchcock’s films.


Term A

HUMN 4093-3 Advanced Studies: The Criminal as HeroHUMN 4004-3 Film Theory
Ernesto Acevedo-Munoz

This course offers an introduction to some major topics, styles, critical currents, and research areas of classic and contemporary film theory. In this course we aim to understand the function of sophisticated types of film criticism. Why are we interested in films? What is there to “the art of the 20th century” that makes it one of the most popular arts ever? How do movies work formally, technically, socially, psychologically? Why should we care? We will analyze theoretical texts and discuss their relevance and applications in film studies and discuss the use value of film theory itself. You will be expected to read difficult materials, produce fairly sophisticated writings, and engage in mature, serious discussions about films and critical works. Approved for arts and science core curriculum: critical thinking.

Paul Gordon
In this comparative, interdisciplinary course we will examine Freud’s, Nietzsche’s, and other theories of criminality and apply those to the study of a number of films and literary works which focus on heroic figures who are also, paradoxically, criminals.

In addition to Nietzsche (The Gay Science) and Freud (“Character-Types Met in Psychoanalytical Work”), other works to be studied include: Antigone, Macbeth, Notes from Underground; A Good Man is Hard to Find (Flannery O’Conner), The Stranger, and The Executioner’s Song. Films include Herzog’s Aguirre the Wrath of God, and the films of Scorsese (Taxi DriverCape Fear, etc).