Schedule subject to change, please check back regularly
BOOK – check here for notes about the book and questions about readings
Jan 29/31: Week 1
review syllabus, schedule, book, UBlearns,
watch Abuela Grillo, The Animation Workshop, vimeo, info
Q 1. Think of an example of a frame/mental model.
Q 2. Give an example of a frame/mental model you saw in Abuela Grillo.
Feb 5/7: Week 2
Never Alone – we will start playing in class then buy it and play
Reading 1: Haraway, (SWTT),Chap 3 p 58 -69 – stop at “Science Art Worldings for Staying with the Trouble” and p 86-89 on Never Alone
Topic: How Media Represents: focus on Games
Assignment: Journal Post: Question – In your own words what are autopoeisis and sympoeisis? Try and give an example of each.
Assignment: Group Video Blog: Topic – introduce your group
Feb 12/14: Week 3
Media: Gasland, 2010, Josh Fox (102 mins)
Reading 2: Haraway, (SWTT),Chap 3 p 72 -76 – “Four critical Zones” focus on Black Mesa, and p 89-97 “Navajo Weaving…”
Media: Gasland (cont)
How media represents: focus on Documentary
Assignment: Journal Post: Question on Gasland: How could you use the Haraway’s concept of weaving to analyze Gasland? OR Can a film be a model: if so what is Gasland a model of, and how?
Assignment: Group Video Blog: Topic : Visualize ideas/thoughts from your journal entries OR find out the current state of the Frack Acts in NY state and report.
Feb 19/21: Week 4
Media: When the Levees Broke, Part I, 2006, Spike Lee, (~ 1 hr)
Reading 3: Haraway, (SWTT),Chap 2 p 44 -57 – “Anthropocene,” “Capitolocene”, “Chthulucene” AND Chapter 4 p 100 – 103
Media representations of Environmental Disasters
Assignment: Journal Post: Question on When the Levees Broke: What most struck you about the movie? story, image, frame, person, information, camera style – be as specific as possible.
Assignments: Group Video Blog: Topic: Is the climate of Buffalo changing? Are the winters on average less severe? Find out and report. Include some kind of representation of the data.
Feb 26/28: Week 5
Media Art, Oddkin, Animals and Environmentalism
Reading 4: Haraway, (SWTT),Chap 1 p 16 -29 – “California Racing Pigeons,” “Pigeon Blog”, “Reliable Voyageurs”
Cognition, psychology, media
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: Which of the art projects you saw this week could or could not be analyzed using Haraway’s concept of oddkin?
Assignments: Group Video Blog: Visualize the concept of oddkin.
Mar 5/7: Week 6
Media: Deseret (~1 hr 20) by James Benning, 1995
What did you see/think/feel? Any formal qualities detected?
Reading 5: MacDonald , “The ecocinema experience,” part 1 chapter 1 pp 18-20 AND David Ingram, part 1 chapter 2 (entire chapter) , both in “The aesthetics and ethics of eco-film criticism.” in Ecocinema Theory and Practice, electronic version available on library course reserve:
Devastation and Beauty : Reattuning the Mind
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: Scott McDonald argues that retraining our perception is a precondition for environmental consciousness but David Ingram suggests that the films McDonald promotes are only accessible for trained viewers and can never be popular – who do you agree with and why?
Group Video Blog: Using the “retraining perception” style that Scott McDonald identifies shoot a video that draws attention to the environmental damage done by vehicles that burn fossil fuel.
Mar 12/14: Week 7
Media: BBC Beautiful Minds: James Lovelock, 2011, (60 minutes)
Reading 6: Haraway, (SWTT), Chapter 5 p 105 -116 (all)
Role of Media in Earth System Science, Geoengineering,
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: What connections can you make between the biopic of James Lovelock and Haraway’s chapter 5.
Assignments: Group Video Blog: Upload link to a song or piece of music that addresses environmental issues.
SPRING BREAK 19-24
*** REMEMBER Keep Playing: Never Alone ***
Mar 26/28: Week 8
Media: Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015, George Miller (2 hours)
Reading 7: The Ecofeminism of Mad Max by Sarah Mirk: AND Mad Max Fury Road: A Savage Masterpiece of Eco-feminist Violence by faustusnotes.
Mad Max (cont’d)
Ecofeminism. Mass Media and the Environment.
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: Pick an example of Mass Media (Movie, TV, Game) that has an environmental message/theme/slant and explain how the media work constructs this theme both in terms of content and form. You cannot use Mad Max Fury Road.
Assignments: Group Video Blog: Using a quick cutting, consume-as-many-images-per-second-as-possible style, to shoot 15 seconds that demonstrates mass consumption is an environmental problem. You can use found footage, but the cuts have to be yours.
April 2/4: Week 9
9.1 Indeterminacy Festival
Reading 8: Haraway, (SWTT) Intro 1-4 AND Chapter 1, 9-16
9.2 Applied String Games
Assignment: Journal Post:
Assignment: Group Video Blog
April 9/11: Week 10
Media: The Yes Men Fix the World, 2009 (1:25 start at 8.59)
Media: The Yes Men Are Revolting 2015 (1:57) from $2.99 on youtube
Reading 9: Haraway, (SWTT), Chapter 2 p 30 – 44
Song Presentation: Video Groups 1, 3, 4
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: What do you think of the Yes Men’s activist tactics? Frame your answer with specific reference to a scene in the movie, citing the minute you are referring to.
Assignment: Group Video Blog: Research “degrowth” – make a persuasive video explaining this movement
April 16/18: Week 11
Media: Chasing Coral, Jeff Orlowski (1 hr 33) – movie will play out for a few minutes past class time – stay if you can
Reading 10: Haraway, (SWTT), Chapter 3 67 – 73, and 76 – 81 “The crocheted coral reef”
Crocheted Coral Reef
Song Presentation: Video Groups 5, 6, 7
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: We have watched and experienced a variety of media works with very different tactics for bringing environmental issues to an audience. Compare and contrast the pros and cons ofraising awareness about ecological problems using: mass media, traditional documentary, art projects, experimental forms, games (choose 2).
Assignment: Group Video Blog:Topic: The importance of oceans was a major topic in the documentary we saw this week and in your reading. Make a short video that addresses issues around climate change and water . You MAY NOT use talking heads.
April 23/25: Week 12
Media: Tambien La Lluvia, 2010, Icíar Bollaín (1 hr 42)
Reading 11: Andrew Hageman, “do ecocritics dream of clockwork green,” Ecocinema Theory and Practice, electronic version available on library course reserve: focus on “the case for dialectical ideological critique” p63 – 66 AND “Fiction is Truer than Strange” and “Drawing from the Well,” p 72 – 82
Media: Tambien La Lluvia (cont)
Environmental Justice, Media
Song Presentation: Video Groups 8, 9, 10
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: Tambien La Lluvia is constructed of films within a film: describe the different films briefly and talk about why you think the director choose this structure.
Assignment: Group Video Blog:Topic: Make a short video about an environmental issue that effects people locally. Go out into the field to capture footage and/or to interview people.
For this week only the video can be from 15 -60 secs long and you will have an additional week to complete the assignment. It is therefore due on May 7th at 11:59 PM.
April 30/May 2: Week 13
Media: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, 1984, Hayao Miyazaki, (1 hr 58)
Reading 12: Haraway, (SWTT), Chapter 6 118 – 1125
Media: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (cont)
Song Presentation: Video Groups 11, 12, 13
microbes, food, soil
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: In what ways can Nausicaa be considered an environmentalist film? What parallels can you draw between the film and some of Donna Haraway’s ideas?
Assignment: Group Video Blog:Topic: see week 12
May 7/9: Week 14
Media: Never Alone, E-line Media (2015)
Media: We Made Ourselves Over, Blast Theory (2017) download app and start it – it will download additional material. We will play in class.
Reading: Background on “We made ourselves over.”
“What happens when human exceptionalism and bounded individualism those old saws of Western Philosophy and political economics, become unthinkable in the best sciences, whether natural or social?” Donna Haraway, Chapter 2
Assignment: Journal Post: Question: In what ways do (or don’t) Never Alone OR We Made Ourselves Over address Haraway’s contention that human exceptionalism and bounded individualism are unthinkable?
We will not have an exam, but you can review the material you have submitted to get maximum points. Check through your journal:
- add any posts you missed
- check your posts answer my questions AND provide a comment/question of your own
- revise any posts that I commented on for full points.
******************* RELEVANT MOVIES AND EVENTS ON CAMPUS ***********************
Thursday, March 8 at 6pm in 305 Capen – Koyaanisqatsi (1982, 1hr 26 min, documentary) directed by Godrey Reggio.
Mar 10-12 Environmental Film Festival
– curated by Professor Adam Rome from the UB Department of History
Saturday, March 10
UB Center for the Arts, Screening Room
3 p.m. | The Age of Stupid, Dir. Franny Armstrong (2014)
5:50 p.m. | A Sea Change, Dir. Barbara Ettinger (2009)
Sunday, March 11
UB Center for the Arts, Screening Room
3 p.m. | Merchants of Doubt, Dir. Robert Kenner (2014)
5:30 p.m. | The Age of Consequences, Dir. Jared P. Scott (2016)
Monday, March 12
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
341 Delaware Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14202
7 p.m. | In the Air: A Work in Progress Screening with Dir. John Fiege
******************* END OF MOVIES AND EVENTS ***********************