Nikolina Dobreva
Office
Axinn Center 214
Tel
(802) 443-5881
Email
ndobreva@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
Fall 2023: Wednesday 10am-12 noon, Thursday 2pm-3pm, and by appointment

Courses Taught

Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Global Film Histories II
In this course we will survey the development of global cinema from 1960 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 representative and celebrated works from world cinema. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

HIS

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Course Description

Anime: Masterworks of Japanese Animation
How did anime emerge as a distinctive national genre in global popular culture at the turn of the 21st century? What social conditions and media industry developments in Japan promoted adaptations of manga (graphic novels) into feature-length films for both young and adult audiences? In this course students will address these questions by analyzing the forms and contexts of a number of masterworks by the most prominent directors of Japanese animation. We will examine the relation of anime to classic Disney films, live-action Hollywood cinema, and Japanese aesthetic traditions. In addition to Studio Ghibli founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, we will study the works of Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Makoto Shinkai, and other distinguished anime auteurs.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

The Anime Industry: Studios, Genres, Media Mix
What exactly is anime? Why and how did it become so popular around the world? In response to these questions, we will study Japanese anime in the context of its unique media mix industry that involves franchising across manga, movies, television series, and original video animation, as well as toys, merchandise, and video games. We will explore the establishment and development of that industry through the works of key auteurs (e.g., Osamu Tezuka, Mamoru Oshii, Rumiko Takahashi, Masaaki Yuasa), studios (e.g., Toei, Ghibli, Madhouse, Production I.G.), and genres (e.g., mecha, shojo, BL, sports). Our discussions will focus on both the politics and aesthetics of anime, and will be informed by broader historical and theoretical readings.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Contemporary East Asian Cinema
In this course we will study the contemporary cinema cultures of East Asia, focusing predominantly on the production of China, Japan, and South Korea in the 21st century. We will examine production, distribution, and (global) consumption in order to understand how these industries fit into or transcend national, regional, and global cinema paradigms. We will consider issues of superstardom and authorship, especially the ways in which prominent auteurs adapt, develop, and (re)invent genres and aesthetic techniques. We will also examine some of the more complex cinematic representations of tradition and modernity, nationalism, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality. The broader goal of the course is to think how the region’s film production can be conceptualized in terms of national/regional/global cinema, so we will use a comparative approach by analyzing similarities and unique differences within the main national industries studied. 3 hrs. lect./disc.; 3 hrs. screening

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, NOA

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Course Description

Global Auteurs: Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho
In this course we will survey the careers of prominent Korean auteurs Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho. We will analyze the films they've directed and/or produced thus far, focusing on each filmmaker's unique artistic style, the cinematic traditions they draw on, and their works' transnational appeal. In addition to delving into specific relevant topics (aesthetics of violence, genre hybridity, postcolonial cinema, stardom, adaptation, etc.), we will pay special attention to changing modes of production and distribution that have impacted the two auteurs' work process and their global reach. Films screened include Joint Security Area, The Vengeance Trilogy, The Handmaiden, Decision to Leave (Park); Memories of Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja, Parasite (Bong).

Terms Taught

Winter 2024

Requirements

ART, NOA, WTR

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Imagining a Better Tomorrow
In this class we will study some of the ways in which filmmakers, artists, activists, thinkers, and ordinary people have envisioned and/or strived to create a better future for humanity. We will watch and read fictional narratives in parallel with real-world examples of equitable societies, life-altering technology, sustainable living, and others. We will cover various aesthetic, political, and ideological frameworks and movements, such as Afrofuturism, ecofeminism, environmental activism, pacifism, etc. Texts include films (Metropolis, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind), television series (Star Trek), architecture (ecovillages and intentional communities), writers such as Marge Piercy, Samuel R. Delany, Octavia Butler, and others.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, CW

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