FMMC0334 – Videographic Film & Media Studies
Fall 2017 – M/W 8:40 – 9:55am, Axinn 105

Professor Jason Mittell
208 Axinn Center, 802-443-3435,
Office Hours: Mon 10:00 – 11:00 am, Thurs 1:30 – 2:30 pm
or by appointment via

Teaching Assistant: Sinead Keirans
Axinn 015, 802-443-5034,

Digital video technologies—such as DVDs, digital editing software, and online streaming—now enable film and media scholars to “write” with the same materials that constitute their object of study: moving images and sounds. But such a change means rethinking the rhetorical modes traditionally used in scholarly writing, and incorporating more aesthetic and poetic elements alongside explanation and analysis. In this hands-on course, we will both study and produce new videographic forms of criticism often known as “video essays,” exploring how such work can both produce knowledge and create an aesthetic impact.

This course is a hybrid of critical studies and video production, requiring students to engage both conceptually and creatively. Assignments will consist of a series of specific weekly videographic exercises, a video created in response to another video, and a final video essay on a topic of the student’s choosing. Additionally, we will view and discuss many examples of video essays, working to both understand the form as it has grown in prominence in the past decade, and envision new possibilities for the future.

Videographic Film & Media Studies is an experimental workshop class. Though we will read some scholarship along the way to help form a historical and theoretical foundation, you will mostly be watching and producing short video essays in rhetorical forms that are likely new to all of you. For this class to succeed, it is important that everyone feels ready to take some chances in your work (sometimes you will not succeed) and provide feedback to others that is constructive and supportive, but also honest. In many ways, this class is a group experiment, and though you will be working and graded individually, it is best to think of the class in that spirit of collaboration.

There are no required books for the course – readings and videos will be linked to in the daily schedule. Students are required to have an external hard drive to store their video projects – recommended models are available on the Film & Media production website.