Environmental Issues in Korean & North American Cinema

Course Details

Title Environmental Issues in Korean & North American Cinema
Field of Study Media
Professor hanyang (summerschool@hanyang.ac.kr)
Type Academic course
Credits 3
Contact hours 45
Schedule Morning
Course code ISS1157
Course number 18024
Description This course is a survey of the environmental issues covered by contemporary Korean and North American filmmakers who are raising our awareness of the connections between economic, social, and environmental justice. Throughout the month we will screen films, read texts, and engage in discussions that emphasize the importance of building cohesive international policies that address global issues of industrialization, climate change, environmental pollution, and antiquated energy policies. As a class, we will consider how the stylistic choices used in both documentary and narrative storytelling can help to highlight developments in technology, ethics, and taking an active role as an audience. Upon completion of the course, students will have a greater understanding of the political and social issues that confront contemporary environmental issues, and will begin to develop their own strategies for educating the public about the importance of living a more coherent and sustainable lifestyle. Week 1 Day 1 Lecture: Welcome to the course • Syllabus and Assignments • Screenings & Discussion: Rachel Carson, by Michelle Ferrari, The Story of Stuff, by Annie Leonard, and Losing Ground by Bradley Rappa Day 2 Lecture: The three primary categories of sustainability • Screenings & Discussion: The Corporation, by Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott, Home, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and A Fierce Green Fire by Mark Kitchell Day 3 Lecture: Setting the Stage: The Social & Political Landscape - Perspectives on corporate structure and the intersection between social and economic justice Screening & Discussion: Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho Day 4 Lecture: Understanding Narrative Genres & Documentary Modalities - The challenges of effective and persuasive discourse • Screening and Discussion: Manufactured Landscapes by Jennifer Baichwal Week 2 Day 1 Lecture: An Introduction to Film Responses & Developing Strategies for Researching and Planning Team Presentations • Group Assignments • Screening & Discussion: Last Call at the Oasis by Jessica Yu Day 2 Screening: Sky Blue by Kim Moon-saeng • Group 1 Presentation & Discussion – Portrayals of social and environmental issues in fantasy films • In-class group work time Day 3 Screening: Gasland by Josh Fox • Group 2 Presentation & Discussion – The externalized costs of fossil fuels • In-class group work time Day 4 Mid-Term Exam • Screening & Discussion: The House Below by Lee Kyong-mi – Addressing issues of fine dust and air pollution in Korea Week 3 Day 1 Screening: Crude by Joe Berlinger • Group 3 Presentation & Discussion – The human toll of man-made environmental disasters • In-class group work time Day 2 Screening: The End of The Line by Rupert Murry • Group 4 Presentation & Discussion – A look at the consequences unregulated sea fishing across the globe • In-class group work time Day 3 Screening: Wasteland by Lucy Walker & Marion Delannoy • Group 5 Presentation & Discussion – Artist Vik Muniz humanizes the work of men and women who work in the world’s largest garbage landfill • In-class group work time Day 4 Screening: Train To Busan by Yeon Sang-ho • Group 6 Presentation & Discussion – Social and environmental metaphors in zombie apocalypse films • In-class group work time Week 4 Day 1 Screening: If A Tree Falls by Marshall Curry • Group 7 Presentation & Discussion – An exploration into the darker side of a national environmental movement • In-class group work time Day 2 Screening: Final Straw – food, earth, happiness by Suhee Kang & Patrick Lydon • Group 8 Presentation & Discussion – Natural farming practices in Korea, Japan and the US • In-class group work time Day 3 Screening: Okja by Bong Joon-ho • Group 9 Presentation & Discussion – Addressing issues of genetically modified food and human compassion • In-class group work time Day 4 Screening: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret by Kip Anderson & Keegan Kuhn • Group 10 Presentation & Discussion – Reflections on social and political obstacles to sustainability & identifying practical and effective solutions
Objective TEACHING STRATAGIES: Throughout the month, our primary goal will be to learn how film can be a powerful educational tool in environmental advocacy as well as a motivator of positive social change. A course-reader containing excerpts by authors such as Rachel Carson, Naomi Klein, and Elizabeth Colbert will provide a greater context to the diverse collection of media that is being presented in class. Each day a topic specific film is screened, followed by a lecture and discussion. In addition, student groups (3-4) will select, research and highlight a topic-specific film of their choice, that covers a and noteworthy aspect of economic, environmental or social justice with an emphasis on achieving a more cohesive relationship between humans and the natural world. GOALS: • To gain a more comprehensive understanding of films that highlight environmental issues, and how they might impact social, political and environmental policies • To build a vocabulary of terms that help us to effectively articulate the problems, solutions and challenges to achieving local, national and international environmental advocacy • To develop a greater understanding of the three primary categories (or pillars) of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) • To learn to actively engage in the subject matter through self-directed research, writing, discussion and reading • To develop persuasive public speaking and discourse skills through panel discussions and in-class presentations • To carefully consider our own individual responsibilities as caretakers of our natural surroundings • To develop the potential to become effective social and environmental advocates ASSESSMENT: All of the above will be introduced, discussed and demonstrated through a midterm exam, journal entries, writing assignments, discussions and presentations. Students will be graded on their ability to demonstrate these objectives in their course work. Below (under Explanation of Projects) you will find the specific criteria for grading each assignment.
Preparations TEACHING STRATAGIES: Throughout the month, our primary goal will be to learn how film can be a powerful educational tool in environmental advocacy as well as a motivator of positive social change. A course-reader containing excerpts by authors such as Rachel Carson, Naomi Klein, and Elizabeth Colbert will provide a greater context to the diverse collection of media that is being presented in class. Each day a topic specific film is screened, followed by a lecture and discussion. In addition, student groups (3-4) will select, research and highlight a topic-specific film of their choice, that covers a and noteworthy aspect of economic, environmental or social justice with an emphasis on achieving a more cohesive relationship between humans and the natural world. GOALS: • To gain a more comprehensive understanding of films that highlight environmental issues, and how they might impact social, political and environmental policies • To build a vocabulary of terms that help us to effectively articulate the problems, solutions and challenges to achieving local, national and international environmental advocacy • To develop a greater understanding of the three primary categories (or pillars) of sustainability (social, economic, and environmental) • To learn to actively engage in the subject matter through self-directed research, writing, discussion and reading • To develop persuasive public speaking and discourse skills through panel discussions and in-class presentations • To carefully consider our own individual responsibilities as caretakers of our natural surroundings • To develop the potential to become effective social and environmental advocates ASSESSMENT: All of the above will be introduced, discussed and demonstrated through a midterm exam, journal entries, writing assignments, discussions and presentations. Students will be graded on their ability to demonstrate these objectives in their course work. Below (under Explanation of Projects) you will find the specific criteria for grading each assignment. REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Professor Rappa will provide a PDF file of the required course-reader titled: Environmental Issues in Korean and North American Cinema Study Guide REQUIRED MATERIALS: A notebook and pen to keep a journal that records your responses and reflections of the assigned texts, films and in-class presentations. MINIMAL COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Be on time for class; To contribute to class discussions, and to write interesting, informed papers, it is essential that you keep up with the reading assignments and attend ALL class sessions. Chronic lateness is highly distracting, will compromise your grasp of the material, and be reflected in the attendance component of your final grade. Complete all readings and assigned material before the due date specified in the course schedule. Work handed in after the due date will be decreased one letter grade per day. Type all work written outside of class. Keep a comprehensive weekly journal of reflections and responses to the films, texts and presentations. Thoughtfully participate in discussions and activities. Be prepared to dedicate a significant amount of time for self-directed research, collaboration and discussion. All assigned work must be completed in order to pass the course; No incompletes will be given. I will give students time to work with their groups in class to prepare their presentations, so be sure to contact me before-hand if you will be late or absent. EXPLANATION OF PROJECTS: 1. Participation (100 points) Speaking and discussion may be difficult for those of us in the “shy persons” category. Yet I expect that everyone will bring to the class a readiness to speak based on their own ideas and relating to the topics at hand. If you are a “shy person” I recommend making a few notes based on the previous class or reading that will allow you to break into the discussion. However, for those of us who like to talk, grading may also represent your willingness to listen to other points of view and not dominate the discussion. 2. Group Research Presentation & Panel Discussion (300 points) Working in teams of 3-4, each group will be responsible for designing and delivering a 20-30 minute presentation & discussion on one of the films that are screened in class. The schedule of these presentations will be determined by the order in which the films are scheduled. (See the detailed outline below for screening and presentation dates.) To prepare for this presentation, each student is required to write a two-page detailed response to the film that they have been assigned. These response papers will be used to help the group outline and organize their presentations. The papers need to be submitted to me by the start of class on the due date of your presentation. Your presentations will follow the screening of the film, so the group will need to make arrangements to watch their assigned film beforehand. Upon completion of the response papers, the team will meet to determine how and what they want to cover in their PowerPoint or Prezi presentations. Each presentation should consider: What is the historical context behind the production of the film; What is intended message or purpose of the film; Who is the intended audience; Has the film oversimplified the subject or failed to consider alternate perspectives; Has the film ignored issues such as externalized social, political and economic costs; Can/should this film be used to reach a wider audience; and is this an effective/appropriate text to encourage individual or communal changes in non-cohesive or unsustainable behaviors. After each the presentation, the team will form a panel to field questions and to initiate further discussion or inquiry into the subject. An annotated filmography/bibliography of supporting/critical texts should be included with each presentation. 3. Film Journals (150 points each) To keep track of course material, you should begin a journal that includes summaries of all films screened in class, and notes on interesting or puzzling aspects of the reading. This journal will serve as raw material for your presentation assignment, so you'll never have to begin with a blank page and no ideas. You will be responsible for turning in (2) 500-word (double-spaced typed pages) critical reflections on two of the films shown in class, developed from your journal notes. See assignment sheet for details. 4. Daily Film Reflections (150 points) Each week after the screening, the students will be required to write a short reflection or response to the film that is presented. These responses are meant to be your personal and immediate opinions or questions about the quality of the work, the efficacy of the message and its relevance to you as the viewer. These responses will be handed in after each class and will not be graded for quality, but for completion. 5. Midterm Exam (150 points) I will administer a midterm exam that is designed to assess your retention and understanding of the assigned readings through class 8. The books and articles I have required are an integral component to the class, and provide a greater social, political and historical context to each of the films presented. Please take the time to carefully complete the readings by the dates that they are due.
Materials Environmental Issues in Korean and North American Cinema_Bradley Rappa
Evaluation
Lesson Plan
Last Updated April 26, 2024
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