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HNR 340 – Good Film, Bad People

Course Schedule:

MW 2:15 – 3:35 p.m. M 6:45 – 8:45 p.m.

Location:

*Class times and locations are subject to change.
Please verify your class schedule in MySlice.

Instructor:

W. G. Osborne III

Counts toward:

HNR Hum, Interdisciplinary, Collaboration

MySlice Info:

Class #: 15816
Section: M008
# Credits: 3

Course Description:

Good Film, Bad People uses selections from the history of film as a site for examining moral and aesthetic value judgments. A chief premise of this course is that film narratives draw their dramatic power from our ethical intuitions. Students will learn to parse films philosophically, using the aesthetic language of film theory and criticism to do so. In the process they will articulate the inherent moral arguments underlying the story, plot action, and dialogue. These critical skills are transferable beyond movies or the classroom: the student as “actor” or “director” in his or her moral and aesthetic world. Ethics: Structured as an introductory ethics course, the class will foster an understanding of the ought and ought nots of human actions, and the praise and blame that accompanies these actions—all through the lens of film. Students will examine traditional and contemporary theories of ethics (consequentialism, deontology, autonomy theory, etc.) by engaging with select films and select readings from the cinematic and philosophic traditions. Aesthetics: While exploring the deeds and misdeeds of villains and heroines, students will simultaneously enhance their visual literacy skills, as applied to multiple genres of film. Students will hone their ability to evaluate film as aesthetic object, gaining the necessary understanding of film’s formal elements in order to sufficiently analyze the ethical component. Sociocultural: A significant ethical component of the course will be an investigation into the social responsibility of the film medium itself, in relation to authorship and intent, and how films speak to and shape audiences and ideologies. Requirements: Good Film, Bad People will engage the student with hands-on, collaborative, project-based learning: students will write reviews and analyses; participate in classroom discussion; work independently and in groups; and complete a semester project (optionally a creative student film or script, accompanied by an ethical analysis of its contents). Counts toward the Critical Reflections and the Writing Intensive requirements in the Arts & Sciences Liberal Arts Core.

Notes about this course:

Monday evening time is for required film screenings.

Notes about this section:

Class times and locations often change. Please verify your class schedule in MySlice as these will not be updated after their initial posting.