This course introduces students to the study of media with particular emphasis on film/TV studies and representations of crime in film and on TV. Crime drama & thrillers are among the most popular film and TV genres and we will critically investigate audiences’ fascination with violence, mystery and crime. Our examples will come (among others) from the film Fargo (dir. Joel and Ethan Coen, 1996) and the TV series Fargo (since 2014) and True Detective (since 2014). This course will provide students with a tool kit to critically analyze different media productions and investigate how media productions are shaped by current discourses in society while they at the same time add to these discourses. Students will be introduced to foundations of film and TV studies, for example film narrative, cinematique techniques, serial narration, adaptations, approaches to contextual interpretation, genre analysis as well as analysis of different modes of production for different media channels like cinema, TV or digital platforms. Furthermore, we will explore how media productions are shaped by historical and social contexts on the one hand, while they contribute to and influence discourses in society at the same time.
Readings/materials: A selection of relevant essays and materials will be made available via moodle.
Course requirements: Completion of reading assignments, a short (oral) presentation and a written assignment at the end of the course. Regular attendance and active participation in seminar discussions is expected. Students are expected to watch (excerpts) from films and series before we discuss them, screenings are planned (details to be announced).