Syllabus/achievement requirements

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MEVIT 4700 – Screen Histories & Theories
Course Literature


week 34: Pasi Väliaho: What are screens? (part of the Introductory week)

week 36: Pasi Väliaho: Mapping theory / doing history

  • Charles Acland, “The Crack in the Electric Window,” Cinema Journal 51, no. 2 (2012): 167-171. 
  • Anne Friedberg, The Virtual Window: From Alberti to Microsoft (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006), 1-22.
  • Erkki Huhtamo, “Screen Tests: Why Do We Need an Archaeology of the Screen?,” Cinema Journal 51, no. 2 (2012): 144-148.

Part 1: Screens before screens

week 37: Pasi Väliaho: Camerae obscurae and the art of observation

  • Hans Belting, Florence and Baghdad: Renaissance Art and Arab Science (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011), pp. 90-128.
  • Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990), pp. 25-66. 
  • Svetlana Alpers, The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth Century (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1983), pp. 1-25.

week 38: Pasi Väliaho: Magic lanterns: from the Jesuits to phantasmagoria

  • Marina Warner, Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media into the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006) 131-143.
  • Terry Castle, “Phantasmagoria: Spectral Technology and the Metaphorics of Modern Reverie,” Critical Inquiry 15, no. 1 (1988): pp. 26-61.

week 39: Pasi Väliaho: The long 19th century: from panoramas to optical toys

  • Jonathan Crary, “Géricault, the Panorama, and Sites of Reality in the Early Nineteenth Century,” Grey Room 9 (2002): 5-25.
  • Erkki Huhtamo, Illusions in Motion: Media Archaeology of the Moving Panorama and Related Spectacles (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), 139-167.
  • Wanda Strauven, “The Observer’s Dilemma: To Touch or Not to Touch,” in Media Archaeology: Approaches, Applications, and Implications (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), 148-163.

week 40: Pasi Väliaho: Interlude: the concept of the apparatus/dispositif

  • Giorgio Agamben, What Is an Apparatus? And Other Essays (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), 1-25.
  • Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology (New York: Harper & Row, 1977), 3-35.


Part 2: The movie screen

week 41: Jon Inge Faldalen: Images start moving

week 42: Ove Solum: The birth of narrative

week 43: Annie Fee: Architectures of spectacle

  • Bruno, Giuliana. “Site-Seeing: The Cine City.” In Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture and Film, 15–53. New York: Verso, 2018.
  • Szczepaniak-Gillece, Jocelyn. “Chapter 1: Nostalgia for the Dark.” In The Optical Vacuum: Spectatorship and Modernized American Theater Architecture, 19–60. Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Kracauer, Siegfried. “Cult of Distraction: On Berlin’s Picture Palaces.” New German Critique, no. 40 (1987): 91–96.

Recommended reading:

  • Elcott, Noam M. “Dark Theaters.” In Artificial Darkness: An Obscure History of Modern Art and Media, 47–75. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Llamas-Rodriguez, Juan. “A Global Cinematic Experience: Cinépolis, Film Exhibition, and Luxury Branding.” JCMS: Journal of Cinema and Media Studies 58, no. 3 (May 14, 2019): 49–71.
  • Wild, Jennifer. “Chapter 4: The Vertical Gaze: Cinematic Beholding in the Age of War.” In The Parisian Avant-Garde in the Age of Cinema, 1900-1923. Oakland: Univ. of California Press, 2015.

week 44: Kim Wilkins: Interlude: What cinema can show

  • Cavell, Stanley. "Sights and Sounds" and "Photograph and Screen" in The World Viewed : Reflections on the Ontology of Film Enl. ed. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979.
  • Rodowick , D. N.,. "What was Cinema" in The Virtual Life of Film Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2007.


Part 3: Digital screens

week 45: Tim Vermeulen: Whither television?   

  • Lynn Spigel, ‘Installing the Television Set: Popular Discourse on Television and Domestic Space, 1948-1955’, Camera Obscura Vol. 6 No: 1 (1988): 10-46.
  • Paul Frosh, “The Face of Television.” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 625, 2009, pp. 87–102.

Recommended reading:

  • Roger Silverstone, Television and Everyday Life (London/New York: Routledge, 1999): 24-77.

week 46: Taina Bucher: Archaeology of the computer screen

  • Gaboury, J. (2018). The Random-Access Image: Memory and the History of the Computer Screen. Grey Room, 24-53.
  • Nakamura, L. (2014). Indigenous circuits: Navajo women and the racialization of early electronic manufacture. American Quarterly, 66(4), 919-941.
  • Nooney, L. (2013). A pedestal, a table, a love letter: Archaeologies of gender in videogame history. Game Studies, 13(2).

week 47: Bülent Somay & Steffen Krüger: The gamer’s dilemma

  • Winnicott, D. W. (2006 [1971]). Playing and Reality (chapter: “Creative activity and the search for the self”, pp. 71-86). London & New York: Routledge.
  • Franks, Mary Ann (2011). “Unwilling Avatars: Idealism and Discrimination in Cyberspace,” 20 Columbia Journal of Gender & Law. 224-261.

Recommended reading:

  • Overmars, Mark (2012). “Brief History of Computer Games” (TO BE SUPPLIED).

week 48: Kim Wilkins: Interlude: from screen to interface

  • Wasson, Haidee. “The Networked Screen: Moving Images, Materiality, and the Aesthetics of Size” in Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema, edited by Susan Lord and Janine Marchessault, 75­-95, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007.
  • Dallow, Peter. “Future Sense: Screen Metaphors in the Digital Age.” Movement: A Media Studies Journal, 1.1 (February 2009), http:// cinema/01_future_sense_dallow.html


Published May 24, 2019 4:10 PM - Last modified May 27, 2019 9:23 AM