CFP: Revisiting the Film History Survey – Cinema Journal Teaching Dossier Vol 4 (4)

Film history surveys, be they one-course introductions or more extensive two- or three-course sequences, form an important foundation of many film studies programs, even as the disciplines from which we borrowed the idea (literature, art history, and history itself) are moving away from surveys in favor of topics courses. At the same time, many film programs are interdisciplinary minors or majors that operate without historical surveys, where the intersections of disciplines and discourses can complicate the teaching of history. Some of these programs find innovative ways to provide students with historical frameworks, whether by integrating film history into larger media history contexts or by including historical research practices in the curriculum. Meanwhile, others are more contemporary or thematic in their approach.

This teaching dossier will consider the possibilities of the film history survey from all angles, neither presupposing that a film history survey is easily dispensable, nor that it is absolutely essential. We seek proposals for articles that offer innovative teaching methods for film history surveys, ideas for how to live, or even thrive, without a survey, and accounts of how programs have adapted to adding, removing, or reformulating their historical courses. Can film history be better integrated with other media histories or cultural history? Can students be better served with a different range of courses? Are there innovative pedagogical models we can borrow from other disciplines? How can history surveys enhance (or impede) students’ understanding of diversity?

Please send proposals of 250 words and a brief teaching biography to Paul McEwan and Allison Whitney by July 15, 2017. We will send notifications of acceptance by July 30. Completed essays of between 1300 and 1500 words will be due September 15.

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