How do representations of cultures, places, and people circulate around the globe? Why are some representations readily produced, widely circulated, and highly visible while others are not? How have media both enriched and limited our understanding of nations, countries, cultures, and languages? What roles have media taken in the complex processes of globalization?

In order to assess these difficult questions, this course examines the history of global moving image cultures within the United States. Not only will this provide a glimpse into the global history of cinema, but more importantly, this overview will produce pressing questions about how certain media flows, exchanges of power, and negotiations between institutions have produced for American audiences particular images and ideas of global places and cultures. Through the combination of critical readings and media texts, this course will test the limits of important terms and ideas including “the nation,” “nationalism,” “national cinema,” “foreign cinema,” and “globalization.” Rather than cover a comprehensive overview of global cinema history, this course asks why and how certain moving images and representations are made available and play a role within American spectatorship, and what opportunities and limitations the domestic availability of such films entails.

This course is an introduction to the cultural debates surrounding the production, reception, and circulation of global media. In the service of this goal, C202:

  • Provides undergraduates with a conceptual overview of key issues raised by the globalization of media, including questions of national or local sovereignty, the impact of cultural flows, identity, media reception, and sites of global media circulation.
  • Utilizes moving image media screenings as a means to illustrate and explore these key issues.
  • Utilizes writing to encourage students to come to an understanding of these key issues as they work within particular cultural contexts and in relation to specific social actors and media industries.

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