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FILMSTUD 423: Seriality

In this seminar, we will think about serial forms and serialization processes across a range of media and investigate their relations to our aesthetic experiences, media-technological apparatuses, and sociocultural formations. We will focus especially on the popular, commercial forms of seriality that have emerged since the nineteenth century and dominated large sections of popular culture in the forms of serialized novels, film and radio serials, and television series. But this investigation will be relevant as well for the study of high art, or art forms situated outside the realm of the popular. This is true not only for movements, like Pop Art, that engage explicitly with popular culture, but also for a wide range of artistic practices that are affected or informed by industrial processes and utilize for their expressive or aesthetic purposes the formal techniques of seriality. Ultimately, we may inquire whether there is a deeper relation between seriality and mediality more genera more »
In this seminar, we will think about serial forms and serialization processes across a range of media and investigate their relations to our aesthetic experiences, media-technological apparatuses, and sociocultural formations. We will focus especially on the popular, commercial forms of seriality that have emerged since the nineteenth century and dominated large sections of popular culture in the forms of serialized novels, film and radio serials, and television series. But this investigation will be relevant as well for the study of high art, or art forms situated outside the realm of the popular. This is true not only for movements, like Pop Art, that engage explicitly with popular culture, but also for a wide range of artistic practices that are affected or informed by industrial processes and utilize for their expressive or aesthetic purposes the formal techniques of seriality. Ultimately, we may inquire whether there is a deeper relation between seriality and mediality more generally whether media rely for their conceptual definition or practical efficacy upon a serial interplay between repetition and variation. On the other hand, however, we will attend also to the possible differences between industrial, pre-industrial, and digital forms of serialization and think about the role of seriality in media-historical shifts and transformations.nThe course seeks to illuminate forms and phenomena that are central to our cultural and aesthetic experience of the world. In addition to engaging with a wide range of readings and viewings assigned by the instructor, participants are invited to contribute actively to the courses comparative focus with materials, projects, and presentations of their own.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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