Documentary Traditions

Course Type: Seminar
Study Focus: VMC
Term: Spring

Teacher: Mitsuyo WADA-MARCIANO

Course Code: JK36001

In this lecture, we will study multiple traditions of documentary film.


The first half of the course will focus on Patricia Aufderheide’s booklet on common practices and subgenres in documentary film. The second half will focus on Japanese documentary film, using the textbook Developments in the Japanese Documentary
Mode as a foundation. Students will be required to purchase/hold the two textbooks listed below before the class begins.


Course Information

Module: Introduction to Transcultural Studies
CATS Requirements: None.

Day/Period: Tue/4-5
Location: Prof. Marciano’s Room
Credits: 2


Course Goals

The students in this course will learn the following three points.
1) To absorb new knowledge on documentary film while reading texts. — There are few appropriate texts that can provide an overview of documentary film. In addition to the two textbooks listed below, many other reading materials will be introduced in the class to make students aware of the richness of documentary film.
2) To look at the documentary’s transcultural traditions from both the English-speaking perspective and the perspective of Japanese film history. — Documentary films are not always produced in the same way around the world, and documentary film is a medium that reflect the social and political nature of a region as well as the needs of its people. We will consider this multilayeredness and flexibility by using different texts in the first and second halves of this paper.
3) To talk about film, and to practice it in class. — In this course, the emphasis will not be on finding any one right answer, but on discussing what you think about the films, or about the readings for each week. Through these discussions, students will hone their skills on how to communicate their thoughts to others.

Course Schedule and Evaluation

For a detailed course schedule, please visit KULASIS.

Evaluation is based on active participation (10%), leading discussion (on readings) (30%), presentation (20%), and final paper (30%).