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THTRFLM 4E03 Cinema And Society

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Janice Hladki


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 405

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23942

Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30-4:30, or by appointment.

Course Objectives:

In this course, we will critically examine important contemporary developments regarding cinema and society, with a focus on developing knowledge about representation and reception in film studies.

Working with the idea of “representation” as a process and practice of representing culturally and politically, we will explore questions about spectators’ mediation and negotiation of filmic representations. We will investigate the strategies of representation that filmmakers mobilize, and we will analyze and develop understandings about the politics of representation through an examination of power relations and social issues such as gender, race, sexuality, class, disability, Indigeneity, and nation.

We will also develop understandings of the processes of viewing films and the reception practices that we engage. We will work with questions about viewing practices: How do I/we look at a film? How do I/we see myself/ourselves in its stories, fantasies, and meanings? How is it that I/we take up and know how to make sense of the products of culture? We will explore how desire and pleasure are operative in our readings of films and how we understand the interrelationship of our pleasures and our analyses.

Students will gain knowledge about a range of contemporary films, different film genres, and both Canadian and international films as well as about relevant theoretical literature. Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on developing the capacity to comprehend, discuss, analyze, present collaboratively, and write about the cinematic material, as well as to research scholarly literature and draw upon theory to develop analysis.

The course will have a seminar format. I will introduce some of the topics and students are encouraged to work in small groups, to prepare seminar presentations, and to engage in discussion of the cinematic and print materials.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Text of Readings: THTR & FLM 4E03 courseware pack

Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Evaluations:

Participation and Attendance           10%

Reflection Paper #1                          20% (due in class Week 5, Wed Oct 4)

Reflection Paper #2                          10% (due in class Week 7, Wed Oct 18)

In-Class Presentation                       25%

Research Paper                                35% (held in class Week 11, Wed Nov 15)

Please note: You will receive grades on assignments to meet the University regulations (10% of grades by Fri Nov 10).

Participation and Attendance (10%):

Participation in the class process is one of the indicators of your academic performance and potential demonstration of understanding the course material. The expectations include: regular attendance, viewing and reading the assigned materials, contributing to class discussion, respectful listening, and engaging with others’ comments to further our understandings of the materials and thematics. You are encouraged to bring materials to the class that will enhance our pedagogical practices in terms of working with/struggling over course questions and problematics.

For 10 weeks of the course, I will take a record of your attendance (Weeks 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). Weeks 6 (mid-term recess) and Week 2 and 14 will not be counted. Please note that perfect attendance will not provide an automatic 50% of the grade. However, a student will need to have near perfect attendance to receive a high grade for participation. The grade will be based primarily on thoughtful, constructive, responsive, and respectful contribution to class discussion.

Reflection Papers #1 (20%) and #2 (10%) #1: Week 5, Mon Oct 4, and #2: Week 7, Mon Oct 18:

For Weeks 5 and 7, you will not be assigned readings, but your film screening time will be more than is regularly scheduled. You will be screening two feature-length documentaries for Week 5 and one long feature film, Melancholia (135 min), for Week 7. For each of these weeks, you will need to view the films before the class. Bring your notes from the viewings outside of class time such that you can share your thoughts about the films with the class.

Week 5, Wed Oct 4: Due date for Reflection Paper #1 on the documentaries Man on Wire (90 min) and Rivers and Tides (90 min). In addition to your completed paper, bring your notes from your viewings to assist you with the discussion. During this week’s class, we will discuss the two documentary films and documentary films in general.

Week 7, Wed Oct 18: Due date for Reflection Paper #2 on the film Melancholia. In addition to your completed paper, bring your notes from your viewing to assist you with the discussion. During this week’s class, we will discuss Melancholia, based on your notes and reflection papers, and we will address contemporary art films in general.

Requirements and Focus:

--The reflection papers neither summarize a film nor describe why you “like” or “dislike” it. The reflection papers provide scholarly analysis of how the films engage/provoke/interrogate ideas/issues/problematics of the course. You are asked to discuss each film in a thoughtful, scholarly manner, addressing the social meanings generated by the cinematic text.

--You do not need to use scholarly literature for these reflections. However, you are welcome to draw on such literature if doing so helps you to elaborate your ideas. 

--Reflection #1 on the two documentaries (due Week 5): Write TWO (2) pages, double spaced, maximum for each film. Avoid a longer or shorter paper. Address each film separately. Address how each film represents/thinks about a social issue. Avoid generalization by drawing from specific elements in the film to support your argument(s). You cannot address everything there is to say about a film. Be selective and keep to the point.

--Reflection #2 on Melancholia (due Week 7): Write TWO (2) pages, double spaced, maximum. Avoid a longer or shorter paper. Address how the film represents/thinks about a social issue. Avoid generalization by drawing from specific elements in the film to support your argument(s). You cannot address everything there is to say about the film. Be selective and keep to the point.


--For each reflection paper, include a cover page with your name, course name, course number, and identify the paper as “Reflection #1” OR “Reflection #2.”

--If you do not include a cover page and you put this information at the top of page 1, your top margin will be large and will contribute to the calculation of a short paper.

--Number the pages.

--Use 12pt Times New Roman font.

--Use regular margins (no more or less than 1 inch).


Reflection #1: I will provide feedback and the grade based on the following criteria:

1) Development of insightful understandings about the films. (This aspect includes considerations such as the following: Do you work with ideas introduced in the course? Are the focus and approach of the critical discussion evident? Are the ideas/arguments well developed/elaborated, and avoid generalization? Are the arguments well stated and expressed? Is the critical analysis thoughtful, insightful, and/or imaginative?)

2) Organization and grammar (This aspect includes considerations such as the following: Correct length of paper; sentence construction; word choice; punctuation; spelling; typos, etc.)

Reflection #2: You will automatically receive the full grade of 10% IF the reflection follows the requirements of sufficient length and thoughtful discussion according to the focus described above. I will not provide feedback on this reflection.

*Please be advised that I cannot accept an assignment submitted via email.

*Please retain copies of your submitted assignments.

Presentation (25%):

Individually or in a group (depending on class size), you are required to 1) introduce the readings for a particular week (one of Weeks 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13) and 2) facilitate class discussion of the readings assigned for that week. We will determine the presentation groups in the first week of class.

1) The introduction should be based on a close reading of the assigned texts that leads to an appreciation of the nature of the scholarly works under review. This could include: a grasp of the major arguments/issues/themes, the ways in which those arguments are developed, and how they might be related across the readings (e.g. points of convergence and divergence). Don’t merely describe or summarize the readings; rather, demonstrate your critical understandings of the texts. What ideas do the readings open up and how are these important? Focus on what is useful in the material rather than on what might be missing.

2) With regard to facilitating class discussion, you can use any format such as working in pairs or small groups, the full class, or any other arrangement. The activity/discussion can take place at any point in the presentation.

You are welcome to follow your creative urges in terms of how you make your introduction and how you facilitate group participation. Your presentation is to primarily balance the authority of the instructor’s own vision of what is important in the readings.

The presentation should be approximately 30 minutes in length including facilitated discussion time. Working to this time frame is an important part of the organization of your presentation. If working in a group, students should decide amongst themselves how to co-present.

You will be graded on how you engage with the material and how you facilitate class discussion. Each member of a group will receive the same grade.

Research Paper (35%) Week 11, Wed Nov 15:

Length: 10 pages. Not to exceed 12 pages.                                                                                                                                   Avoid writing more or less than the required length.

For this paper, you are asked to work with and from one of the central sets of conceptual problematics that we are grappling with in this course (more on that below) to develop a substantive analysis of a film. This paper is not one you can produce at the last minute, so you need to give yourself enough time to plan your focus and approach. The focus of the paper is on your critical analysis of the film.

Begin by determining the film you would like to focus your paper around. This will be a particular film that we have screened in the course and not one of the films you wrote about for the Week 5 and Week 7 Reflections. Note that the focus here is on a particular film and not, for example, on the action film in general. I suggest that you choose a film that engages you somehow, that you find, for whatever sets of reasons, compelling, worth a sustained consideration, rich for analytic discussion.

Once you have determined the particular film, the next step is to research commentaries on the work. Look, for example, for film and video reviews, press releases, website remarks, and scholarly work on the specific film “text.” The idea here is that you want to be able to generate a sense of how a particular film is being situated by popular discourses; that is, how it is being “read” critically.

Alongside this research process, you also need to be researching more broadly based scholarly work of relevance to the specific film you have chosen. For example, if you were doing a paper on the film The Body Beautiful then you would need to do additional research on issues that you think are important to the film. You should search and compile, at minimum, two (2) scholarly readings (e.g. chapters, journal articles) that are directly relevant to the conceptual problematics you are discussing. These are readings that you will draw from in your paper. The idea here is that you develop a broader set of terms for approaching the specific film.

Next, you want to be able to join those scholarly readings with relevant works from the course to create a “body” of theory. Choose a minimum of two (2) scholarly readings from the course. I suggest that you approach this aspect not only by choosing texts that are relevant from a topic perspective (i.e. to continue with the above cited example, the set of readings for the week with The Body Beautiful), but also, and perhaps more importantly, from a set of conceptual considerations. You could choose, for example, to develop an analysis of how a specific film mobilizes ideas about how identity/ies are regulated in/across/through the representation of bodies (e.g. Hladki; Molina; Nixon); how normativity and otherness is constituted and repeated (e.g. Shohat & Stam; McRuer); how a film engages and produces desires, anxieties, investments, identifications, and/or fantasies (e.g. Grossberg; Weiss). What the literature says is not the focus of your paper; rather, you need to mobilize it to make evident how it supports your analysis

With respect to documentation, I do not have a particular requirement. That is, you may use Chicago, MLA, or APA, etc.: Use whichever style guide is most familiar to you and that enables you to focus on the substance of your paper. Nevertheless, your paper needs to be consistent with regard to the citation and reference practices, and you need to acknowledge all sources. Make sure that you provide a reference notation according to scholarly citation practices whenever you use an author’s idea, whether you use that idea by directly quoting or by paraphrasing. When paraphrasing, you must re-write the author’s idea in completely different language. Please see the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism:


-Your paper should be 10 pages (*maximum 12 pages), double-spaced (approximately 2700 words). Avoid writing a paper shorter or longer than the required length. Pages over the required length will be evaluated, and they will not lower the grade. However, a paper 9 pages or less will be considered underwritten and marked accordingly. The marks will be deducted as follows: 5 marks from the grade out of 100 for a paper 1 page short, etc.. *Please pay attention to the following problems that can add up to an underwritten paper: a large margin at the top of page 1 (because no cover page has been provided), oversize side and bottom page margins, spaces between paragraphs, oversize font, and numbering your cover page as page 1.  

-Include a cover page with your name, course name and number, and the title of your paper. (If you do not include a cover page and you put this information at the top of page 1, your top margin will be large and will contribute to the calculation of a short paper.)

-Number the pages.

-Use 12pt Times New Roman font.

-Use regular margins (no more or less than 1 inch).

-A reference list, with both the film and the scholarly literature, must be included. It is to be placed at the end of the paper and titled “References.” The reference list includes only those secondary sources cited in the paper and not materials you may have read to develop your thinking.

Writing Practices

Your first draft of the research paper should not be your submitted work, so allow for enough time to revise. In rewriting, pay careful attention to the clarity and expression of your ideas and to those components that can benefit or disadvantage your analysis, such as a sustained argument, overall flow and organization, sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation. Developing the habit and skill of rewriting and editing is an important component in producing a strong paper.

If you would like individual help on improving writing skills, please contact the Student Success Centre, which offers Writing Support Services through Peer Mentor and Writing Assistant appointments. The Centre is located in Gilmour Hall 110 (x24254).

Criteria for grading:

- Development of insightful understandings about the film. (This aspect includes considerations such as the following:

Do you work with ideas introduced in the course? Is the paper introduced clearly, i.e. are the focus and approach evident? Is the paper focused throughout, i.e. are all parts of the essay relevant? Are the ideas/arguments focused, well developed/elaborated, and avoid generalization? Are the arguments well stated and expressed? Is the critical analysis thoughtful, insightful, and/or imaginative?)

-Incorporation of course materials (scholarly literature). (This aspect includes considerations such as the following: Are the sources well chosen in relation to your arguments? Are they properly cited? Is it evident that the materials have been read and understood in your use of them? Do you engage with the ideas in the readings to inform and develop your arguments?)

-Organization and grammar (This aspect includes considerations such as the following: Correct length of paper; paragraph construction; sentence construction; word choice; punctuation; spelling; typos, etc.)

An overall grade is provided.

Plagiarism: Please see the commentary above under “Academic Dishonesty Statement” and note the following website for information on how to avoid plagiarism:

Consultation: If you have questions about the assessment of your reflections and/or your research paper and you would like to discuss how to do better in future writing projects, you may consult with me after the work has been returned to you. For such consultation, you need to come prepared as follows: 1) reread your paper with the grading criteria in mind, 2) read and think through the commentary and recommendations, and 3) bring written notes to the meeting about what in particular you would like to discuss and further understand. With these practices, you develop abilities to better evaluate your own writing and to better understand how to make improvements for future writing projects in your University studies and/or in employment contexts.

*Please be advised that I cannot accept an assignment submitted via email.

*Please retain a copy of your submitted assignment.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Missed or Late Assignments; Extensions, and Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work:

Students are expected to hand in all assignments on the specified due dates. Please note that extensions will not be granted and late penalties will not be waived except in exceptional circumstances and on an individual basis. Computer or printer problems, conflicting due dates, and a busy schedule are not considered suitable reasons for extensions. **In all cases, it is YOUR responsibility to follow up with the instructor immediately to see if an extension or other accommodation will be granted, and what form it will take. There are NO automatic extensions or accommodations.

Presentation: If you anticipate a problem with the day of your presentation, please talk to me as soon as possible. Otherwise, if you miss your presentation, you are required to provide documentation for your absence or a mark of zero will be assigned.

Reflection Papers and the Research Paper:

--I will accept the reflection papers and the research paper in person only, in class, in hard copy format. Do not slip an assignment under my door.

--Please be advised that I cannot accept assignments submitted via email.

--The assignments are considered late if they are not handed directly to the course instructor in the scheduled class.

--They should not be handed into the School of the Arts.

--Please contact me if you are submitting a late assignment.

--If the reflection paper #1 is submitted on the due date, it will be returned with commentary. If submitted after the due date, the reflection will receive only a grade.

--A late reflection paper #2 will not be penalized, but, after one week, it will not be accepted. This reflection will not receive feedback. (You will automatically receive the full grade of 10% IF the reflections follows the requirements.)

--If the research paper is submitted on the due date, it will be returned with commentary. If submitted after the due date, the paper will receive only a grade.

--A late reflection #1 and a late research paper will be penalized 1% per day or part day, seven days a week to a maximum of one week, in order to be fair to those students who submit their work according to the set deadlines. After one week, late assignments will not be accepted, as a grade of zero will be assigned.

--PLEASE NOTE: Students are advised to budget enough time to accommodate for unforeseen last-minute difficulties such as computer or printer failure. *Since computer or printer problems are not considered suitable reasons for extensions, I advise you to save your work regularly and to back-up all versions of your essay. Email yourself a copy of the file.

-Ensure that you keep copies of all submitted work. If either the research paper or the reflections are lost, you are responsible for providing a copy of the assignment.

Using the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF) on-line self-reporting tool (on MOSAIC):

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences due to minor medical situations that last up to 3 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work worth less than 25% of the final grade. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period.

You may submit a maximum of one Academic Work Missed request per term. It is your responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (normally within two working days) regarding the nature of the accommodation. Failure to do so may negate the opportunity for relief. It is the prerogative of the instructor of the course to determine the appropriate relief for missed term work in the course. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 3 days, or exceed one request per term you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office (Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean’s office.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:


Week 1: Wed Sept 6.  Course Introduction

Week 2: Wed Sept 13.  The Idea of Representation

Jhalley, Sut. (1997). Stuart Hall: Representation and the Media. England. 55 min.

Opening scenes from the following films. These are screened in class; you do not need to view in advance.

Baichwal, Jennifer. (2006). Manufactured Landscapes. Canada. 90 min.

Tarkovsky, Andrei. (1988). The Sacrifice. Sweden. 101 min.

Welles, Orson. (1958). Touch of Evil. USA. 101 min.

Sturken, Marita, & Cartwright, Lisa. (2009). Images, Power and Politics. In M. Sturken, & L. Cartwright, Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture (pp. 9-48). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hall, Stuart. (1997). Discourse, Power and the Subject. In S. Hall (Ed.), Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (pp. 41-64). London: SAGE Publications.

Week 3: Wed Sept 20.  The Spectator as Subject

Scott, Ridley. (1991). Thelma and Louise. USA. 130 min.

Jenkins, Henry. (2000). Reception Theory and Audience Research: The Mystery of the Vampire’s Kiss. In Christine Gledhill & Linda Williams (Eds.), Reinventing Film Studies (pp. 165-182). London: Arnold.

Grossberg, Lawrence. (1992). Is There a Fan in the House?: The Affective Sensibility of Fandom. In Lisa A. Lewis (Ed.), Adoring Audience: Fan Culture and Popular Media (pp. 50-65). London: Routledge.

Week 4: Wed Sept 27.  Challenging Eurocentric Discourses; Indigenous Intervention

Kunuk, Zacharias. (2002). Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. 172 min. 

Shohat, Ella, & Stam, Robert. (1994). The Imperial Imaginary [excerpts]. In E. Shohat & R. Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media (pp. 100-109; 114-121). London and New York: Routledge.

Stam, Robert, & Shohat, Ella Habiba. (2000). Film Theory and Spectatorship in the Age of the ‘Posts’. In Christine Gledhill & Linda Williams (Eds.), Reinventing Film Studies (pp. 381-401). London: Arnold.

Week 5: Wed Oct 4. Documentaries as Visual Poetics and as Explorations of the “Truth”


Marsh, James. (2008). Man on Wire. England. 90 min.

Riedelsheimer, Thomas. (2004). Rivers and Tides. USA. 90 min.

Week 6: Wed Oct 11.  Mid-Term Recess; No Class

Week 7: Wed Oct 18.  The Visceral Art Film




Von Trier, Lars. Melancholia. (2011). Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany. 135 min.

Week 8: Wed Oct 25.  Sexualities


Mitchell, Allyson. (2000). My Life in 5 Minutes. Canada. 7 min.

Fung, Richard. (2000). Sea in the Blood. Canada. 26 min.

Jenkins, Barry. (2016). Moonlight. USA. 111 min.

McRuer, Robert. (2006). “Introduction: Compulsory Able-Bodiedness and Queer/Disabled Existence.” In R. McRuer, Crip Theory: Cultural Signs of Queerness and Disability (pp. 1-32). New York & London: New York University Press.

Weiss, Andrea. (1994). “A Queer Feeling When I Look at You”: Hollywood Stars and Lesbian Spectatorship. In Diane Carson, Linda Dittmar, & Janice R. Welsch (Eds.), Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism (pp. 330-342). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press

Week 9: Wed Nov 1.  Feminist Approaches to Discourses of Difference

Onwurah, Ngozi. (1991). The Body Beautiful. England. 23 min.

Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey. (1997). Ngozi Onwurah: A Different Concept and Agenda. In G. A. Foster, Women Filmmakers of the African and Asian Diaspora: Decolonizing the Gaze, Locating Subjectivity (pp. 24-42). Carbondale & Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Press.

Hladki, Janice. (2001, Winter). Making a “Difference” in/with/for “Autobiography”: Film Spectatorship and The Body Beautiful. JAC: A Quarterly Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Rhetoric, Literacy, Culture, and Politics, 21(1), 33-70.

Week 10: Wed Nov 8.  Constituting Multiple Subjectivities

Campion, Jane. (1993). The Piano. Australia/New Zealand. 121 min.

Thornley, Davinia. (2000, Spring). Duel or Duet? Gendered Nationalism in The Piano. Film Criticism, 24(3). 61-76.

Adele, Deborah Ann. (1995/1996). Separation and Invitation: Maori Representation in The Piano and Once Were Warriors. trans/forms: Insurgent Voices in Education, 2, 61-65.

Molina, Caroline. (1997). Muteness and Mutilation: The Aesthetics of Disability in Jane Campion’s The Piano. In D. T. Mitchell & S. L. Snyder (Eds.), The Body and Physical Difference: Discourses of Disability (pp. 267-282). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Week 11: Wed Nov 15. 



Bar-Lev, Amir. (2008). My Kid Could Paint That. USA. 83 min.

Week 12: Wed Nov 22.  Masculinities, Colonialism, and Desire

Denis, Claire. (1999). Beau Travail. France. 90 min.

Nixon, Sean. (1997). Exhibiting Masculinity. In S. Hall (Ed.), Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices (pp. 304-314; 327-330). London: SAGE Publications.

Robinson, Sally. (2001). “Emotional Constipation” and the Power of Damned Masculinity: Deliverance and the Paradoxes of Male Liberation. In Peter Lehman (Ed.), Masculinity: Bodies, Movies, Culture (pp. 133-147). New York: Routledge.

Week 13: Wed Nov 29.  Gender, Action, and Viewing Relations

Cameron, James. (1984). Terminator 2: Judgment Day. USA. 139 min.

Vares, Tina. (2001). Action Heroes and Female Viewers: What Women Have to Say. In Martha McCaughey & Neal King (Eds.), Reel Knockouts: Violent Women in the Movies (pp. 219-243). Austin, TX: University of Texas Press.

Rushing, Janice Hocker, & Frentz, Thomas S. (1995). The Terminator: Future-Perfect Tense. In J. H. Rushing & T. S. Frentz, Projecting the Shadow: The Cyborg Hero in American Film (pp. 165-181). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Week 14: Wed Dec 6.  Concluding Remarks

Other Course Information:


Dr. Janice Hladki

Office: Togo Salmon Hall, Room 405

Telephone: (905) 525-9140, Ext 23942

Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30-4:30, or by appointment

Meeting Times:          Wednesdays 12:30-2:20 pm

Required Screenings:

The films are central to the course. *It is the responsibility of the student to screen the films outside of and before the Wednesday class time each week. You will also need to review them for essay preparation.

Films are on Course Reserve. They are housed at the Library Services desk, Mills Memorial Library, and may be borrowed for review and assignment preparation. The loans are for 4 hours. DVDs can be played on most personal laptops and any iMac computer in the Library (Learning Commons and the 2nd floor). VHS can be played on the TV systems on the 4th floor lobby. These computers and TVs are open access, i.e., first-come first-serve. Students may also book a room in Lyons (L-416) for VHS and DVD using the on-line booking form on the Lyons' home page, If you have any questions about access to the films, please direct them to the staff at the Library Services desk.

Class Etiquette and Electronic Devices:

Overall, respect should guide your participation in class. Please arrive on time for lectures. If you have to leave the class early, do so quietly. Refrain from leaving or starting to pack up your things before the class ends, as this is disruptive to other students. Please show consideration for your fellow students by listening attentively during discussions.

Be prepared to focus on the readings and the films. Bring your course readings to class.

Students are required to turn off all personal electronic devices. You should not be on the internet, email, Facebook, or text messaging during class. This is distracting to your colleagues. Handwritten notetaking is recommended. If you require a device for notetaking, please explain to me in advance. If you need your cell phone on because you have children or need to remain in contact with someone because of a medical emergency, please inform me at the beginning of the class and please leave the cell phone on vibrate. Students who consult non-course related content on laptops during class will be required to close their laptops for the duration of the class. 

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Please see in this document: “Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities”

In addition, please note:

Students with disabilities receive accommodations to assist them in completing their programs successfully. Please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as soon as possible and then follow up by providing me a copy of your accommodation letter. Appointments can be booked online, in person at the SAS office (MUSC B101, Student Wellness Centre reception area), or by phone, ext. 28652. ( Note that students must register annually. Self-identification is voluntary, all information is treated confidentially, and access to information must be approved by the applicant. Please consult the following policy, “The McMaster University Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities,” which recognizes that the University has an obligation “to make its services available in a manner that does not discriminate.” StudentsWithDisabilities.pdf.

*I am in full support of accommodation arrangements, so please make sure I receive a copy of your SAS accommodation letter, preferably by the second week of classes.

Student Wellness and Student Success:

The Student Wellness Centre (MUSC B101) emphasizes the importance of “wellness in mind, body, and spirit” for realizing one’s academic potential. The Centre offers medical and health services as well as personal counseling. (

The Student Success Centre provides services to assist students in terms of “academic support,” “personal growth,’ and “professional development.” The Centre is located in Gilmour Hall 110. (x24254)

Avenue to Learn:

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn. In the week following the class, the lecture notes will be posted on Avenue. Details about assignments and any necessary announcements will also be posted. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.


If you have a question about the class or assignments, don’t hesitate to ask for my assistance. But please remember to review the course outline, which provides considerable information about the course. If you wish to speak to me outside of class time, please feel free to drop by during my office hours. I will try to arrange another time with you if these hours do not suit. I prefer to discuss important matters in person and in the exchange of conversation. This includes questions about assignments and evaluations. I am happy to handle brief, logistical questions via email, but I cannot provide an in-depth response. If you have a question that may be helpful to other people in the course, such as a general query about course requirements, I encourage you to ask that question during class time.

If you need to email me (, please note that your email must originate from your official McMaster University email account. See the Faculty of Humanities policy above. I will do my best to respond to email within 48 hours. Messages received Friday to Sunday will be answered no later than Tuesday. Please note that consultation emails need to follow professional protocols: compose your email using professional language and avoid informal language and casual modes of address.

Course Evaluation:

Your feedback is important. You will have the opportunity to complete an online course evaluation near the end of the term. Information about when and how to complete the evaluation will be shared in class. I encourage you to take the time to complete evaluations for all of your courses.

Note-Taking and Critical Analysis:

Take notes on your readings, the lectures, screenings of the performance material, and post-screening discussions. Keep a record of your critical understandings. This record will assist you with assignments and with participation in class discussions. The establishment of note-taking practices and a written vocabulary of your understandings will contribute to the development of critical analysis skills.

Expectations and Guidelines:

The course is designed as a participatory seminar. Our discussions will focus on both the readings and the visual work. In addition to taking notes on issues raised in readings, please keep a record of your reactions to, and your critical understandings of, the films. Thus, you will come to class prepared with remarks/notes you can use for discussion purposes. In addition, this record can form a basis for your reflections and the research paper. The establishment of note-taking practices and a written vocabulary of your understandings will contribute to the development of critical analysis skills.

It may be that you find yourself struggling to comprehend particular readings or films – as I do. You do not have to understand everything you read and view. Even though I may be familiar with the course materials, I still puzzle over aspects of them. Think of the class as a study group in which we are collectively working through analysis of the material in a supportive environment.

I ask you to be aware of the construction of a respectful working environment and the politics of working together, by considering, for example, how the possibility of speaking or not speaking may be differently shaped for different students.

I encourage you to share ideas. Don’t worry about your ideas not being fully formed. It is good practice to pause, to hesitate, to rethink something in the process of talking. As you participate, you will become more and more comfortable sharing your ideas. When someone else is speaking, encourage them through active listening. Be open to and respect the ideas that are being offered. Try to build upon one another’s engagements and reflections. The way to disagree is to build a counter-argument, calmly and respectfully. Be mindful of the ways in which you articulate your ideas; be sensitive to the diverse sexualities, ethnicities, classes, and so on from which your classmates might come. Keep the conversation academic and not personal; if someone offers personal information that may be sensitive, treat that information with care.  If you feel you have spoken up a lot in class, sit back and open up space for others to participate.