COVID-19 Updates: Fall Semester

Christian Keathley

Professor of Film and Media Culture

 work(802) 443-3432
 Spring Term: Monday 10:30-12:00, Wednesday 2-4:00 and by appointment
 Axinn Center 211

Christian Keathley has been at Middlebury since 2002.  He teaches a variety of courses including Film History, Aesthetics of the Moving Image, Authorship & Cinema, International Cinema: The Art of Ellipsis, French New Wave, Film & Literature, and Videographic Film and Media Studies.

Keathley received his B.A. and M.A. in English from the University of Florida, followed by an M.F.A. in Filmmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Iowa.

He is the author of Cinephilia and History, or the Wind in the Trees (Indiana UP, 2006) and co-author (with Jason Mittell and Catherine Grant) of The Videographic Essay: Criticism in Sound & Image (caboose, 2016), now available in an open access form as The Videographic Essay: Practice and Pedagogy:  A BFI Film Classics volume on All the President’s Men, to be co-authored with Robert B. Ray, is currently under contract with Bloomsbury/BFI.

He has published critical articles in journals such as Framework, Screen, World Picture, The Cine-Files, and MOVIE, and in such volumes as Directed by Allen Smithee, The Last Great American Picture Show, and The Language and Style of Film Criticism.

Keathley’s current research concerns the presentation of film scholarship in an audio-visual format, and he is the co-recipient (along with Jason Mittell) of two grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to lead Scholarship in Sound and Image, summer workshops for film/media faculty that teach them how to produce videographic work.  In 2020, Keathley and Mittell received the inaugural award for Achievement in Pedagogical Innovation from the Society for Cinema & Media Studies.

He is also a founding co-editor of [in]Transition: Journal of Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, the first disciplinarily-sanctioned journal dedicated to publishing audio-visual scholarship.  [in]Transition was winner of the 2015 Anne Friedberg Innovative Scholarship Award of Distinction from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

Keathley is currently at work on an essay video titled The Signature Effect, which traces the triangulated relationship between himself, the classic Hollywood director William Keighley, and their shared ancestral home of Keighley, West Yorkshire, England.



Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

FMMC 0101 - Aesthetics of the Moving Image      

Aesthetics of the Moving Image
How do films convey meaning, generate emotions, and work as an art form? What aspects of film are shared by television and videogames? This course is designed to improve your ability to watch, reflect on, and write about moving images. The course will be grounded in the analysis of cinema (feature films, documentaries, avant-garde, and animation) with special focus on film style and storytelling techniques. Study will extend to new audio-visual media as well, and will be considered from formal, cultural, and theoretical perspectives. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films and television for assigned viewing. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART

Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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FMMC 0102 - Film History      

Film History
This course will survey the development of the cinema from 1895 to present. Our study will emphasize film as an evolving art, while bearing in mind the influence of technology, economic institutions, and the political and social contexts in which the films were produced and received. Screenings will include celebrated works from Hollywood and international cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen ART HIS

Fall 2016

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FMMC 0244 - International Cinema:      

International Cinema
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description. ART

Spring 2017, Fall 2019

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FMMC 0252 - Authorship and Cinema      

Authorship and Cinema
In this course we will focus on two of the most important international directors of the past 50 years, Terence Davies (Great Britain) and Abbas Kiarostami (Iran). Though their cinematic styles are in many ways markedly different, there is also a striking similarity: each has as its cornerstone an aesthetic of realism, but this is balanced and even challenged by other features: in Davies, by a modernist stylization, and in Kiarostami, by a postmodernist reflexivity. We will trace the course of each director’s career, exploring the features that designate each as a cinematic author, and we will use each as a point of comparison for the other. Films by Davies will include Distant Voices, Still Lives; The Long Day Closes, The House of Mirth, and A Quiet Passion. Films by Kiarostami will include Close-Up, And Life Goes On, The Wind Will Carry Us, and Certified Copy. Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. (FMMC 0101, FMMC 0102, or instructor approval) ART

Fall 2016, Fall 2020

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FMMC 0334 - Videographic Film Studies      

Videographic Film and Media Studies
Digital video technologies—such as DVDs, digital editing software, and online streaming—now enable film and media scholars to “write” with the same materials that constitute their object of study: moving images and sounds. But such a change means rethinking the rhetorical modes traditionally used in scholarly writing, and incorporating more aesthetic and poetic elements alongside explanation and analysis. In this hands-on course, we will both study and produce new videographic forms of criticism often known as “video essays,” exploring how such work can both produce knowledge and create an aesthetic impact. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0105 or by approval) 3 hrs. sem

Spring 2020

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FMMC 0354 - Film Theory      

Film Theory
This course surveys the issues that have sparked the greatest curiosity among film scholars throughout cinema's first century, such as: What is the specificity of the film image? What constitutes cinema as an art? How is authorship in the cinema to be accounted for? Is the cinema a language, or does it depart significantly from linguistic coordinates? How does one begin to construct a history of the cinema? What constitutes valid or useful film research? Readings will include Epstein, Eisenstein, Bazin, Truffaut, Wollen, Mulvey, Benjamin, Kracauer, and others. (Formerly FMMC 0344) (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or instructor approval) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen. ART

Spring 2019

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FMMC 0507 - Independent Project      

Advanced Independent work in Film and Media Culture
Consult with a Film and Media Culture faculty member for guidelines.

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021

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FMMC 0700 - Senior Tutorial      

Senior Tutorial
All FMMC majors must complete this course in their senior year, during which they undertake the process of devising, researching, and developing the early drafts and materials for an independent project in Film and Media in their choice of medium and format. Students will be poised to produce and complete these projects during Winter Term, via an optional but recommended independent study. Prerequisites for projects in specific formats are outlined on the departmental website.

Spring 2017, Spring 2020, Spring 2021

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FMMC 0707 - Senior Independent Work      

Senior Independent Work
After completing FMMC 0700, seniors may be approved to complete the project they developed during the previous Fall semester by registering for this independent course during the Winter Term, typically supervised by their faculty member from FMMC 0700. Students will complete an independent project in a choice of medium and format, as outlined on the departmental website. This course does not count toward the required number of credits for majors, but is required to be considered for departmental honors. In exceptional cases, students may petition to complete their projects during Spring semester.

Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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IGST 0702 - EUS Senior Thesis      

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Winter 2019, Winter 2020, Winter 2021

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Department of Film and Media Culture

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753
Fax: 802.443.2805