Below are course descriptions and sample syllabi for recent courses I have taught at Florida State.
Documentary Video Production
From the newsreel footage of the civil rights movement to films such as The Thin Blue Line, documentary film and video has played a central role in shaping the lives of individuals and society as a whole. This class emphasizes the power of documentary and the potential to address issues of social significance. Given our privileged location in the capital city of one of the largest states in the nation, this class encourages students to tap the political, social and cultural resources within Tallahassee, FL.
This class explores the contemporary world of documentary video production with an overview of the history and major trends in documentary production. The course combines critical viewing skills with practical instruction in documentary production. The class is organized as a workshop, requiring weekly participation and collaboration among the class members. Just as students would expect to read great work in a writing workshop, we view and critique a range of contemporary documentary work. Students learn to critically “read” documentaries at the same time that they learn to critically “write” documentary in the form of a final finished piece that will be submitted to a film festival and possibly aired on WFSU-TV.
Click this icon for a sample syllabus from my undergraduate documentary production course.
Media, Culture and the Environment
From global warming to species extinction, our planet is facing large scale environmental change. These ecological concerns are often in direct conflict with modern industrialization. At the same time that our scientific understanding of the global environment is increasingly detailed and complex, we are progressively dependent on mediated information for our opinions and public policy decisions. News and entertainment media play a significant role in negotiating the tension between ecological sustainability and rising consumption and resource depletion.
This course explores our mediated relationship with the natural world. Reading work from a range of theoretical perspectives - social science to post-structuralist – this graduate seminar addresses the following questions: What do we mean by the terms “nature” and “environment?” How do we come to know about the natural world? What does the news media tell use about our global environment? What does commercial culture tell us? What do environmental groups tell us and how do they get their message out? How is our relationship to the natural world shaped by these representations?
Media, Culture and The Environment explores how media influences culture and in turn how cultural practices regulate our use of natural resources. This course will address specific three content areas: 1) Current research on news media coverage of environmental issues, 2) Commercial culture’s relationship to the environment from green washing to green marketing, and 3) Media and communication strategies of environmental groups. In addition, this course will attempt to touch on the major themes currently debated within the sphere of “environmental communication.” This seminar emphasizes and encourages engaged scholarship that aims to understand and address this issue of global significance.
Click this icon for a sample syllabus from my undergraduate Media, Culture and the Environment course.
3D Video Production
This course is a workshop in 3D video production. 3D technology has expanded rapidly in recent years creating new possibilities for media makers. This course will explore a range of new 3D camera technology as well as AVID software that includes 3D post-production tools built into the non-linear editing system.
Because much of this technology is new, students and faculty alike will be learning as we go, solving problems and identifying best practices for producing, shooting, editing and displaying 3D video products.
Click this icon for a sample syllabus from my 3D Video Production course.