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First-Year Interdisciplinary Seminar: Fear and Loathing: Documentary and Subjectivity

Semester and Year FA 2012
Course Number FIRST-UG81
Section 001
Instructor Rahul Hamid
Days Tue,Thu
Time 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Open to Gallatin first-year students only.


Through an examination of Cinema Verité, Direct Cinema, and ethnographic film this course will examine the ways in which filmmakers, writers and social scientists have sought innovative ways to account for cultural difference and bias. We will explore how “the other” is represented, and how such representations always mirror the one doing the observing. By Focusing on the 1950s and 1960s, we also trace how readings and films shift away from master narratives and colonialist discourses. Class readings include Franz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks ; classic ethnographies by Marvin Harris, Clifford Geertz, and Bronislaw Malinowski; Elizabeth Warnock Fernea’s Guests of the Sheikh , and Norman Mailer’s Armies of the Night . Films include Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North , Robert Gardner’s Dead Birds , Jean Rouch’s Les maîtres fous, Chronicle of a Summer by Edgar Morin, Chris Marker and Jean Rouch, Frederick Wiseman’s Titticut Follies , David and Albert Maysles’s Gimme Shelter , and Maya Deren’s Ritual in Transfigured Time. Class assignments will also include visits to the Museum of Natural History, Anthology Film Archives, and Union Docs.

Course Type

First-Year Program: Interdisciplinary Seminars (FIRST-UG)

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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