C LIT 497 A: Special Topics In Cinema Studies

Disability in Russian Cinema

Course Flyer: 
Meeting Time: 
MW 9:30am - 11:20am
Location: 
DEN 206
SLN: 
11862
Instructor:
José Alaniz

Syllabus Description:

DISABILITY IN FILM 
WHAT IS "DISABILITY"? WHAT IS 
"HEALTH"? WHAT IS "NORMAL"? WHAT IS 
A "BODY"? THE COURSE WILL FIRST 
EXAMINE HOW THESE QUESTIONS HAVE 
HISTORICALLY BEEN ANSWERED IN 
AMERICAN CULTURE. WE WILL DISCUSS 
AND CRITIQUE DISABILITY THEORY, THE 
DISABILITY RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND THE 
REPRESENTATION OF THE DISABLED. 
ARMED WITH THESE "WESTERN" CONCEPTS 
AND INSIGHTS, WE THEN TURN OUR 
ATTENTION TO RUSSIA AND ITS 
CULTURAL PRODUCTIONS INVOLVING 
DISABILITY (I.E., WORKS ABOUT THE 
DISABLED OR MADE BY DISABLED 
ARTISTS), FOCUSING ON 19TH AND 
20TH CENTURY LITERATURE/ART. AMONG 
OUR TOPICS: THE GROTESQUE, THE 
"HOLY FOOL", THE "CULT OF 
SUFFERING." WHAT ROLE HAVE 
PAGANISM, ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY, 
NATIONALISM, COMMUNISM AND WORLD 
WAR II PLAYED IN RUSSIA'S ANSWERS 
TO OUR 
INITIAL QUESTIONS? WE CONCLUDE 
WITH A CONSIDERATION OF THE 
DISABLED IN 
LATE/POST-SOVIET RUSSIA.

Additional Details:

What is “disability”? What is “health”? What is “normal”? What is a “body”? The course will first examine how these questions have historically been answered in US culture, as reflected in film. We will discuss and critique Disability Theory and the cinematic representation of the disabled. Equipped with these “Western” concepts and insights, we will turn our attention to Russia’s film productions involving disability (i.e., works about the disabled or made by disabled artists. Among our topics: the grotesque, the “holy fool,” the “cult of suffering,” nationalism, communism and World War II. We conclude with a consideration of the disabled in late/post-Soviet Russia – a (still-ongoing historical moment in which cinematic discourses on disability have exploded – and ponder the future of disability rights in Russia.

Catalog Description: 
Varying topics in cinema studies. Offered by resident or visiting faculty.
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Status: 
Active
Department Requirements Met: 
Cinema Studies Elective
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:20am