FSCP81000 – Film History I
Film Studies Certificate Program
Graduate Center CUNY
Professor Anupama Kapse

This class will survey the “birth” of cinema from a number of inter-related perspectives by situating early experiments with moving images within the related fields of literary, theatrical and technological developments that coexisted with the new medium. The course will not only study cinema’s birth and development but also its ability to change perceptions of modernity, mobilize racial stereotypes (often dubiously), picture new women, invent new genres and radically enhance viewing possibilities. Discussions will also focus on the larger context of the development of national cinemas worldwide and broader questions of film historiography. Although our primary examples will be drawn from American silent cinema, we will also consider salient international examples that reveal the rapid proliferation and varied applications of the medium. Finally, we will examine the initial impact of sound on cinema though, as we will see, silent cinema almost always included an aural dimension.