University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Film and Television Studies


Spring 2016 Courses – Film & Television Studies

FTS 008                 Dev Motion Pct II: 1930-1960      CRN: 11986         Section: A                           Instructor: McGowan, T.

This course will explore the rise of the classical Hollywood system and the development of international film during the corresponding historical period.  We will examine the philosophical and political contributions that the major films of the era make and gain practice in film analysis.  The class will focus on films such as Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Open City, and Breathless.

FTS 009                 History of Television     CRNs: 11987 / 15793        Sections: A / ZRA             Instructor: Jenemann, D.

Television is a complex cultural form. At once an electronic medium and an institution, TV marks a terrain in which subjectivity, technology, power, and aesthetics are persistently reconfigured. While the history of television programming is well-known and documented, the history of the institution of television itself is less widely considered. FTS 9 attempts to examine the development of television both as an aesthetic medium and as an industry, and in so doing, to understand how television transforms modern culture. Using primary sources, contemporary criticism, and analyses of certain programs, we will learn how television works, who it works on, and who benefits. Since television touches on so many aspects of contemporary existence, the history of television is also necessarily a history of the last 100 years.

FTS 096                 Disney Travel                    CRN: 15761         Section: A           Instructor: Nilsen, S.

Note: Registration for this class is already closed. For information go to Walt Disney Travel Trip.

FTS 096                 IFA: Film Begets Film     CRN: 15762         Section: B            Instructor: Ellis, D.


This course will examine films and videos created from existing materials. We will look at films that re-purpose archival footage in documentary form, and investigate the historicity of such work. And, we will examine films that use archival and/or "found footage" as the basis of an experimental approach to filmmaking. We will consider the difference between film outtakes (found film) and film cataloged in film archives. Particular attention will be focused on an examination of the appropriation of meaning as the footage is woven into new contexts. The course will consist of a combination of lecture, discussion, screenings and creative work. Some of the films we screen will be available for review in the library. Some of the films may be rented for a specific screening, and will not be available outside of class. Many are available in lower quality on YouTube. The content of the course will include a survey of technical and critical movements in film history. Creative work assigned during the course is designed to engage you in the philosophical and aesthetic questions being raised. Written work (typically in the form of a journal you will maintain on-­‐line) is designed to encourage you to consider the films you see in relation to the assigned reading.

FTS 122       Lane Series Shakespeare and Film        CRN: 15764        Section: B        Instructor: McGowan, T.

This course will conceptualize the auteur as adapter and will use film adaptations of Shakespeare plays as the specific site for this investigation.  We will both read Shakespeare plays and watch films based on those plays, in addition to reading about the theory of adaptation as a form of repetition.  Film adaptations that we watch will include Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, and Henry V.

FTS 142 Film & Video Production II          CRN: 15767         Section: A           Instructor: Ellis, D.

Students will engage in an in-depth investigation of a particular aspect of media production. This spring the course topic

will be film and video producing, covering topics that will include budgeting, scheduling, locations, casting, licensing music and footage and post-production options. Students will gain skills in assessing a project idea in relation to audience, distribution potential and distribution venues, and learn how to break a project down into a “produce-able” state discovering the relationship between capital, talent, unions, economic incentives, and what we see on the silver screen... or iPod or phone or computer screen... The primary text for this course will be a script developed in an FTS scriptwriting course. The class will adapt and produce the script. NOTE: If you are looking for an Intro Production class, please check out ARTS 148 - Motion Picture Production. This course counts as an FTS credit if you're a major/minor, and is an alternate pre-req for the FTS142 Advanced Production Course. FTS 142 can be taken multiple times, so if you've already taken one section and are interested in this section, you may register for it. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Deb Ellis at

This course combines lecture and discussion formats - and team production of a 20-30 min. narrative video produced through collaboration by all members of the class. Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours a week on coursework outside of class, with additional time for the semester-long project.

FTS 272                 Walt Disney and American Childhood   CRN: 11991         Section: A           Instructor: Nilsen, S.

The Walt Disney Company is the world’s biggest media corporation.  In 2012, its revenues were $40.8 billion and its profits $4.9 billion with over 560 million viewers watching the Disney Channel worldwide.  This course will examine the centrality of Walt Disney to the development of American media culture and its eventual global spread.  Disney’s biography will form the starting point for our exploration of how the Disney Doctrine became the centerpiece of the American way of life and how this Doctrine has been maintained, altered or expanded upon during the years following the Walt Disney family’s control of the company.  A particular focus of this seminar will be on the Disney Princess franchise, and the fairytales that remain a centerpiece of the Disney brand.  A major purpose of our exploration of Disney culture is to develop a historical understanding of and appreciation for Disney media products and their impact on American childhood and culture over time.

AS 196                   Internships in Fine Arts                                CRN: 15465         Section: A           Instructor: Ellis, D.

Internships are an opportunity for students to receive academic credit for arts-related work outside their normal curriculum and coursework. AS 196--Internship: Visual and Performing Arts is designed to help students clarify their career goals, and offer them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with arts organizations, media providers, and museums. While the internship is the primary learning experience of this 3-credit course, AS 196 strives to integrate that experience with the student's professional interests and previous academic experiences.

A primary goal of the Visual and Performing Arts Internship course is to consider the relationship between the practical experience of an arts professional and the critical and theoretical discourses that spring up around those professions. The academic component of the Internship course encourages students to consider how their internship fits within the broader network of the visual and fine arts, and affords students the opportunity to consider questions regarding the role of art in society, the institutional homes of artistic production and display, and the artistic marketplace. Students will be assigned readings, assignments, discussion topics, and projects designed to give them the opportunity to reflect on and discuss the place of their internship sponsor within the larger world of the arts. Weekly meetings with the class and instructor will be supplemented by a once-per semester meeting with each student's internship sponsor.

Students should arrive in class having secured an internship either on their own or with the assistance of Career services and/or the CAS internship coordinator. Students are responsible for fulfilling the terms and requirements of their internships in consultation with their internship supervisors. In class, students should expect to participate in classroom discussion, do course reading, write short essays, and create a final report about their internship.


•To be able to apply skills, expertise and knowledge from your studies to a professional setting and deal with real-world issues

•To work collaboratively with a cohort of peers to explore challenges and possibilities relevant to multiple organizations in the non-profit and public sector worlds

•To develop strategies, capabilities, and knowledge for succeeding as a professional committed to public service

Last modified November 05 2015 12:55 PM