Contact a Humanities Office or Academic unit.
Find your course outlines.

THTRFLM 4D03 Theatre, Soc & Early Cinema (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Joseph Sokalski


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 510

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27664

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 18:00-18:50

Course Objectives:

Course Objective:THTRFLM 4D03 is a one-term course, designed to introduce students to the study of the relationship between theatre and film. Within the last number of years this relationship has received much attention from historians and theorists investigating the distinct features of these two modes of expression. THTRFLM 4D03 is an advanced course that investigates the major issues involved in the study of this subject. It is organized by topic, highlighting those aspects on which scholarship has focused.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Required Texts:THTRFLM 4D03 Course Reader. See page four of syllabus, titled “Reading and Screening Schedule” for details. If there is a delay in the preparation of the reading package, the first few weeks’ worth of material will be made available to the students through the instructor.

Required Screenings: Each week’s assigned videos are found online as linked, as noted in the “Reading and Screening Schedule,” starting on page four. Also the video can be found under their titles at Mills Library. These digital video discs are available for viewing on two-hour loans. It is the responsibility of the student to screen these materials outside of class time. The weekly film selections are made to coincide with reading material taken up in seminar the following week. For instance, Week 4 screenings are directly connected to Week 5 articles. This allows you to have viewed the films before you read articles related to them.

Method of Assessment:

Assignments and Evaluation:

Students in this course will have received 10% of their grade by November 9, 2018.

  1. One class report of about 15-20 minutes in duration, delivered in class and handed in a week later. By November 28, 2018 =25%

      2. Two separate in-class responses to class reports, delivered in class and handed in a week later.

             First by October 24, 2018 =10%

             Second by November 28, 2018 =10%

       3. A long paper, of about 10-12 pages, dealing with a topic of your own choosing related to the concerns of the course. Due    November 14, 2018 =40%

        4. Participation & Attendance (based on entire term’s performance) =15%


Grading Scale: A+ 90-100 B+ 77-79 C+ 67-69 D+ 57-59

A 85-89 B 73-76 C 63-66 D 53-56

A- 80-84 B- 70-72 C- 60-62 D- 50-52 F 0-49

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Penalties for Late Submission: A penalty of ten marks will be imposed for every academic day assignments are late. Late assignments will receive a grade but no commentary.

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:

This is a seminar and discussion course which emphasizes close reading of filmic and printed texts. Reading the assigned texts and participation in class discussions will be essential to the course. See reading schedule for details.

Week 1 Introduction

Week 2 Melodrama

Week 3 Vardac

Week 4 Melies

Week 5 Early Cinema's "Attractions"

Week 6 Break

Week 7 D.W. Griffith

Week 8 Melodrama Crosses the Stage

Week 9: Film Melodrama

Week 10: Acting in Theatre and Film

Week 11: Representation of Women in Theatre

Week 12: Representation of Women in Film

Week 13: New Ideas