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THTR&FLM 1T03 THEATRE, CINEMA & SOCIETY

Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2014/2015

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Carla Melo

Email:

Office:

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: Wed. 4:50pm to 5:50pm



Course Objectives:

  • Ÿ   Identify key elements of production that figure in film and play texts and recognize the potential functions of those elements within a range of filmic/theatrical works.
  •    Ÿ Envision productions of play texts, recommending specific production choices that will engage a McMaster audience with central issues in those texts.
  •    Ÿ   Analyze the creative decisions behind cinematic productions in order to reveal the way they affirm or challenge values and patterns of interaction that structure everyday lives.
  •    Ÿ   Construct compelling arguments that analyze performance and the way(s) in which creative choices structure audience response. 


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • ŸCustom Courseware: 1T03: THEATRE, CINEMA and SOCIETY.
  • ŸWadsworth Anthology of Drama, brief Sixth edition.
    • Specific plays to read (all found in Wadsworth):
      • Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House.
      • Brecht, Bertholt. Mother Courage and her Children
      • Churchill, Carol. Cloud Nine
      • Padmanabhan, Manjula. Harvest
    • FILMS
      • Cameron, James. Avatar – Rentable (Look for this 2-3 weeks in advance)

      • Griffiths, DW. The Female of the Species– VHS copy ON RESERVE at the MILLS    LIBRARY : DW Griffiths collection Short Films vol. 2. – accessible on YouTube:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgs7iV9Mmyo

      • Griffiths, DW. The Battle of Elderbush Gulch – VHS copy ON RESERVE at the      MILLS LIBRARY : DW Griffiths collection Short Films, vol. 1 – accessible on YouTube:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyllv-dGLfU

      • Niro, Shelley. The Shirt – class viewing and ON RESERVE at the MILLS LIBRARY

                    Also accessible at: http://www.isuma.tv/imaginenative/shirt


Method of Assessment:

Assignments & Evaluation________________________________________

Short Essay on A Doll HouseDue Feb. 6                               5%

Multiple Choice Test: Feb. 13                                                     10%

Group Presentation in Tutorial (Sign up Jan. 19-23):               15%

Individual Essay based on the Presentation

(Due one week after oral presentation):                                      20%

Participation: (Includes attending lectures)                                 20%

Final Exam: (Scheduled by registrar’s office)                             30%

Theatre & Film Studies Productions:

Students must also attend and critique a performance from the Honors Performance Series.

Further information will be provided in class and on the course website.

You are also encouraged to attend as many theatrical productions in and off campus and to expose yourself to a variety of films, in order to further exercise the critical lens you will be using in this course.

Course Website__________________________________________________

The Avenue to Learn (Avenue) e-learning website for this course can be accessed at: www.avenue.mcmaster.ca

To log on, enter your Mac User ID and password. 

        Avenue User ID = your MAC ID User ID (eg: if your mac email id is:

        janed@mcmaster.ca; then your Avenue username is: janed)

       Avenue Password = your MAC ID password

       Click on the tab “Courses” at the top of the page and choose:

      “2015 Winter (T2) THTRFLM 1T03: Theatre, Film and Society”

The Avenue site contains many resources that will be useful for this course including a calendar, text from lecture powerpoints, links to useful web resources, which are mainly organized in learning modules.  It is the main communication site for the course and will contain all time-sensitive announcements as well as discussion forums.

Ÿ VERY IMPORTANT: Please consult the site at least TWICE a week and use it to participate in discussions of material covered in class and in tutorials.

For those not familiar with Avenue to Learn, this guide may be helpful:

http://avenue.mcmaster.ca/help/gen_index.php?typeID=2&cc=1

Please note that your TAs and I will read discussion postings weekly. Yet, we will not always respond to specific questions in Avenue to Learn discussions, though we may take these up in lectures and tutorials.  These discussions are primarily a place where you can compare notes with other students, find out what is being discussed in other tutorials and help each other master the skills necessary to succeed in this course. Your participation grade will be partly determined by the number and quality of your postings in discussion groups. Computer facilities are available in Humanities computing labs TSH 206 and TSH 209, or the CIS labs in KTH B121.

Tutorials_________________________________________________________

Tutorials will start on Monday, January 12, 2015. All students will be assigned to a tutorial, which is an integral part of the course. Tutorials provide the opportunity for students to develop their analytical skills, test their ideas and engage in more in-depth discussion than is possible in the lecture context. Assignments, with the exception of multiple choice tests and the final exam, will be given out and presented in tutorials and will be marked by teaching assistants under the supervision of the instructor.

Assignment Descriptions & Evaluation Criteria_______________________

(More detailed descriptions of assignments will be found on the course website. Please consult these instructions before beginning work on your assignments).

All written assignments, with the exception of exams and multiple-choice tests, must be typed. Students must retain digital copies of all pieces of work submitted and graded during the term. All essay assignments must be submitted to the assigned Avenue to Learn Dropbox. Your Teaching Assistant may also ask for a hard copy of the paper to be submitted during tutorial. Papers will be automatically submitted to Turnitin from the Avenue Dropboxes. (VERY IMPORTANT: Please see University Policy on Turnitin under “Academic Integrity” in “Important Notes” below.)

Participation (20%):  

The overall participation mark for the course will reflect the quality of the student's attendance and participation in tutorials, class and on-line discussions. A high quality of participation depends on careful reading of assigned material and careful consideration of information and opinions presented by the professor, teaching assistants and fellow students in lectures, tutorials and online discussions. It also entails active participation in group discussions and activities and respect for professor, TAs and fellow students. Attendance at lectures and tutorials is compulsory. Unless the student has significant and verifiable telepathic abilities, s/he should consider that physical presence in the classroom is a necessary precondition for participation. T.A.s and I may run pop quizzes on the reading material at the start or at the end of our lectures and tutorials. These quizzes will contribute to your participation grade.

Thus, students are expected to have completed assigned readings and view assigned films BEFORE the relevant lectures and tutorials.  Lectures will not summarize the text or describe the films and students will gain more from lectures if they are already familiar with the works assigned. I will expect you to be an active participant in discussion during my (often) interactive lectures. The tutorial portion of your participation mark will be based on the extent to which you take part in discussions, group work and writing exercises. Performance in discussions won’t be graded for accuracy, but rather for thoughtful and engaged interaction.

The online portion of your participation mark will be determined by responses and questions you post on Avenue. Your TAs and I will post several questions and discussion prompts over the term. You will be required to respond to at least THREE of these. You will also need to post at least ONE question of your own and to respond to at least ONE question posted by your classmates. These posts will be marked for thoughtful completion rather than “correctness.” Please note that the last day to post is by midnight of our last day of classes.

Short Essay (5%)

A short essay will test your ability to use a particular element of dramatic performance to create the conditions in which an audience might start to think about an important theme in A Doll’s House. It will also assess your ability to make a convincing argument in favour of your proposed use of this production element. This assignment is largely diagnostic and should help you understand the expectations of the course before you complete your oral presentation and longer written assignment. The essay should be submitted on Avenue to Learn.

Midterm Test (15%)

A short multiple choice test will examine your knowledge of the material covered in the course to this point. It will also help you prepare for the multiple-choice section on the Final Exam.

Presentations (15%) A 15 to 20 min presentation will be done in groups and will consist of a proposal for the performance of a scene, or the analysis of important production elements in a film, examining how the production choices affirm or challenge social norms. These will be presented in tutorials. Students will sign up for a specific presentation date in tutorial during the week of Jan. 19. Detailed information can be found on Avenue to Learn (under “Assignments”)

Individual Essay Based on the Presentation (20%)

Following discussion of their oral presentation in the tutorial, each group member will have 5 days to edit a 4-5 page individual essay arguing for the significance of the particular use of the production element on which they concentrated in the oral presentation. When developing this essay, students should clearly identify ideas and information that were generated in group discussion or contributed by another group member and distinguish these from material they themselves have generated for the individual essay. The essay should be submitted on Avenue to Learn site.

Final Exam (30%)

The final exam will cover assigned readings and viewing, material discussed in lectures and skills practiced in the tutorial sessions. It will include multiple choice and essay questions, including a question on the assigned live performances.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Assignment Deadlines & Missed/Late Work:

Students are expected to hand in all assignments on the specified due dates. Please note that late penalties will not be waived except in exceptional circumstances and on an individual basis. In accordance with University regulations, documentation is required for circumstances of health or emergency. Exceptional circumstances do not include conflicting due dates or a busy schedule.

Unless noted otherwise, late submissions of written assignments will be subject to a penalty of 5% per day and may also receive less thorough feedback. Missed presentations or tests will result in a mark of zero unless appropriate documentation is provided. No assignments will be accepted after the last day of classes.

Given that some course assignments require electronic submission, you should be sure to familiarize yourself with the Avenue to Learn dropbox in advance of the deadlines, and to ask for assistance as necessary. Problems with electronic submission WILL NOT be accepted as an excuse for lateness. 

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 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. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 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.


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 www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

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 mcmaster.ca/msaf/. 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 sas@mcmaster.ca. 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:

 

  • Specific plays to read (all found in Wadsworth):
    • Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll House.
    • Brecht, Bertholt. Mother Courage and her Children
    • Churchill, Carol. Cloud Nine
    • Padmanabhan, Manjula. Harvest
  • FILMS
    • Cameron, James. Avatar – Rentable (Look for this 2-3 weeks in advance)

    • Griffiths, DW. The Female of the Species– VHS copy ON RESERVE at the MILLS    LIBRARY : DW Griffiths collection Short Films vol. 2. – accessible on YouTube:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgs7iV9Mmyo

    • Griffiths, DW. The Battle of Elderbush Gulch – VHS copy ON RESERVE at the      MILLS LIBRARY : DW Griffiths collection Short Films, vol. 1 – accessible on YouTube:           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyllv-dGLfU

    • Niro, Shelley. The Shirt – class viewing and ON RESERVE at the MILLS LIBRARY

                  Also accessible at: http://www.isuma.tv/imaginenative/shirt

       


Other Course Information:

Inclusivity:

The School of the Arts and your instructor are committed to ensuring an environment that is free of all adverse discrimination and open to multiple perspectives and points of view. Students with diverse learning styles and needs are welcome in this course. If you have a disability/health consideration that may require accommodations, please feel free to approach me and/or Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible. Information about the Centre’s services, which include help with note taking in lectures, writing skills, study habits, time management, motivation, reading, note-taking, preparing for exams and English as a second language, can be found on their web site at http://csd.mcmaster.ca. A link can also be found on the Links page of our website.

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the services offered at Mills Memorial Library, the centre of the Humanities collection on campus.  Information on Library services can be found at library.mcmaster.ca

Changes to Course Outline:

The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term.  The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances.  If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes.  It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.

Email Communication:

It is the policy of the School of the Arts that all email communication between students and instructors (including TAs) must originate from their official McMaster University email accounts. This policy protects the confidentiality and sensitivity of information and confirms the identities of both the student and instructor.  School of the Arts' instructors will delete messages that do not originate from McMaster email accounts.  For this reason, the “Mail” function on Avenue will be the preferred method of email communication in this course.

Use of Electronic Resources:

In this course we will be using Avenue to Learn (Avenue). 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.  To protect your privacy, DO NOT include your student number on postings to the Avenue website for this class.

Academic Integrity:

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 http://www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

---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. This includes ANY internet source, such as Wikipedia.

            NEVER copy ANY work from ANY source without giving it proper credit.

            Do not attempt to copy work from students that have taken the class previously.

            Plagiarizing may lead you to automatically FAIL THE COURSE.

            All it takes is one line of text appropriated from ANY source.

2. Improper collaboration in group work. When working in group your mark will derive both from your contribution and from your ability to work in group.

3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

We will be using a web-based service (Turnitin.com) to reveal plagiarism.

When students submit their work electronically to the Avenue dropboxes, it will automatically be sent to Turnitin.com so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish their work to be submitted to Turnitin.com will be provided with a separate dropbox that is not connected to Turnitin. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to Turnitin.com. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Turnitin.com Policy, please go to www.mcmaster.ca/academicintegrity

 

______Course Schedule_________________________________________

            Note: ALL readings should be completed PRIOR to the class for which they are assigned

________________UNIT I: INTRODUCTION__________________________________

Week 1

Wed., Jan. 7: Introduction to course                                  

Friday, Jan. 9: The Myth of Realism and the Languages of Performance

______________________________________________

Week 2

Wed., Jan. 14: Linear Narrative Conventions and their Consequences

Friday, Jan.16: Culture as “Text” : Theatre and Cinema as Cultural Products and Producers of Culture

          Required reading: “Film as Cultural Practice” from the Course Reader

Tutorials Jan. 12-16: Questions regarding course & Languages of Performance

_____________________________________________

Week 3

Wed., Jan. 21: Continue previous discussion: Work in groups and debate

________________UNIT 2:  REALISM, EPIC THEATRE & FILM LANGUAGE__

Friday, Jan.23: Cultural Context for A Doll House – Social Realism

          Required reading: A Doll’s House

Tutorials Jan. 19-23: Performance Analysis: Preparing for Short Essay assignment;

          Sign up for Group Presentations

_____________________________________________

Week 4

Wed., Jan.28: A Doll’s House: “Perfect” Form & Subversive Content

Friday, Jan.30: Cultural Context for Mother Courage – Brecht’s Epic Theatre

          Required reading: Mother Courage and her Children

Jan. 26-30: Tutorials:. Crafting an Argument: Preparing for Short Essay assignment

_____________________________________________

Week 5

Wed., Feb. 4: Mother Courage: Replacing the “AS IF” with the “WHAT IF ?”

Friday, Feb. 6: Formal Elements of Film I: Narrative, Mise-en-Scene & Cinematography

A Doll’s House Essay due. Submit on Avenue to learn.

Feb. 2- Feb. 6Tutorials: Midterm Review

  • (Materials covered: Everything up to A Doll’s House – Epic theatre and Formal Elements of Film topic are NOT included)

___________________________________________

Week 6

Wed., Feb. 11: Formal Elements of Film II: Editing

Friday, Feb. 13: Midterm exam (Multiple choice)

Feb. 9-13Tutorials: Analyzing Mother Courage

  • Anonymous Student Evaluations of the Course

______________________________________________________________________________

Week 7                    MIDTERM RECESS                                             

________________UNIT 3: PERFORMANCE, FILM & CULTURAL VALUES_

Week 8

Wed., Feb. 25: Analysis of The Female of the Species as a model for creating group presentations for this class;

          View before class: The Female of the Species

Friday, Feb. 27: Cultural Contexts: Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Early Cinema and Canadian Video Art

          Required reading: Fanon, "The Fact of Blackness," Worthen, pp. 1047-1057

          Required Viewings: The Battle of Elderbush Gulch (before class)

          In class viewing: The Shirt      

Feb. 23-27: Tutorial: Formal Elements of Film & Reflection on the Midterm

_____________________________________________

Week 9

Wed., March 4: Continue discussion of both films through postcolonial lens.        

Friday, March 6: Review of Presentation assignment: Format & Expectations

March 2-6: Tutorial: Preparing for Long Essay on Presentation

_____________________________________________

Week 10:            GROUP PRESENTATIONS BEGIN!

Wed., March 11: Cultural Contexts: Challenging Colonial Legacies and Gender Norms      through Devised Theatre

          Required reading:  Cloud Nine 

Friday, March 13: Performative analysis of Cloud Nine

March 9-13: Tutorials: GROUP A PRESENTS: Elderbush Gulch and The Shirt

_____________________________________________

Week 11

Wed., March 18: Cultural Contexts: Theatre, Mediatization & Globalization

          Required reading: Harvest

Friday, March 20: Performative Analysis of Harvest

March16-20: Tutorials: GROUP B PRESENTS: Cloud Nine; Group A essays DUE

_____________________________________________

Week 12

Wed., March 25: Cultural Contexts: The Appeal of the Hollywood Blockbuster: Special Effects and Ideological Affects

          View before class: Avatar

Friday, March 27: Discuss Avatar: What is the source of its success?

March 23-27 : Tutorials: GROUP C PRESENTS: Harvest; GROUP B essays DUE

________________UNIT 4:  ANALYSIS OF LIVE PERFORMANCE____________       

Week 13

Wed., April 1: Performance Creation as Problem Solving: Discussion with members of Honor’s Performance Series production teams (Bring at least one question for discussion)

Friday, April 3: NO CLASS: (Good Friday)

March 30 - April 2: Tutorials: GROUP D PRESENTS: Avatar; GROUP C essays DUE.

_____________________________________________

Week 14

Wed. April 8: LAST CLASS: Reviewing and Rehearsing FINAL EXAM!