Jun 19, 2018  
Academic Catalog 2017-2018 
    
Academic Catalog 2017-2018

LALW229 Social Justice Documentaries 3cr


This course will introduce social justice issues
as they are represented and explored through
documentary film and video. The course provides a
conceptual overview of the forms, strategies,
structures and conventions of documentary film
and video. The class will examine documentaries
that construct arguments about the power
relations in society, while attempting to raise
awareness and motivate action for social justice.
Students will consider dominant, experimental and
emergent modes of representation; including
important documentary texts, movements,
filmmakers and selected documentary genres.
Specific topics for the course include: Mental &
Physical Disabilities, Notions of “Race”, Crime &
Punishment, Immigration, War, Gender & Sexual
Identity, Environmental Concerns, Social Class &
Workers’ Rights, Personal Narratives, Politics,
Education, and Counter Cultures.

Through this course, students should gain
knowledge of the current theoretical dilemmas and
debates in documentary filmmaking, including
questions of how to define documentaries, what
constitutes the ethical treatment of subjects and
subject matter, documentary’s construction and
positioning of audiences, as well as political
and economic constraints on documentary
filmmaking. Ultimately, the course will emphasize
critical thinking and viewing skills related to
representations of the social world through
documentaries.

Prerequisites: LALW-200

Lecture
Spring