BA Art History and History

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Travel and Migration in Arab Cinema

Unit code MEST10911
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course unit will introduce students to the contemporary cinema of the Arab world specifically in its representations of the timely and much debated issues of Travel, Migration and Dislocation from the homeland. The unit will include both feature and documentary films by male and female filmmakers who live in the Arab world and in the diaspora. The focus will be on auteur filmmakers who have challenged the Western stereotypical images of migrants from the Arab world, and have depicted a more realistic and humane visual illustration of the dilemma of migration and dislocation of Arab travellers/migrants. The unit will introduce students to various cinematic approaches and aesthetics in Arab filmmaking. We will discuss cinema as a creative medium which has a key objective of communicating socio-political issues to a world audience. One important question which we will consider is: to what extent does cinema have an impact on shifting world perspectives about Arab populations? Thus, cinema will be analysed as an aesthetic medium and a product of the societies it aims to influence.

Aims

  • To enhance the students’ ability to analyse films and introduce them to the theoretical and aesthetic approaches found in contemporary Arab cinema;
  • To raise the students’ critical awareness of themes and issues about travel, migration and dislocation in the Arab world through cinematic representations;
  • To develop the students’ skills in group work, discussion and presentation of ideas in a cinematic context.
  • To enhance the students’ skills in writing academic essays in English on cinema, and engaging with scholarly works.

Learning outcomes

 

    Knowledge and understanding

    By the end of this course students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate understanding and analysis of selected films, as well as engage with scholarly works on the set themes.
    • Develop a conceptual framework for the understanding of issues of travel, migration and dislocation in the Arab world through the cinematic lens.
    • Demonstrate skills in analysing and appreciating Arab filmmaking and its role in advancing World Cinema.
    • Demonstrate skills in identifying key theoretical and aesthetic approaches to contemporary Arab filmmaking and its influence in society.

    Intellectual skills

    By the end of this course students will be able to:

    • Apply critical tools of analysis to selected films by Arab filmmakers.
    • Write advanced academic essays in English on cinema.
    • Apply basic cinematic terms and stylistics to the analysis of selected films.

    Practical skills

    By the end of this course students will be able to:

    • Apply critical and analytical thinking skills to films and academic texts.
    • Understand and reflect on political and historical arguments and cultural debates through their study of filmmaking in the Arab world.
    • Actively participate in group discussions and presentations, and the ability to work as part of a team/group of students.
    • Use library resources such as JSTOR and other databases and electronic journals.
    • Apply time management skills to their studies, and meeting deadlines.
    • Effective verbal and written communication and presentation of ideas.
    • Effective skills in writing essays in English.

    Transferable skills and personal qualities

    By the end of this course students will be able to:

    • Apply critical and analytical thinking skills to the textual analysis of films and engage with scholarly works on the topics of travel, migration and dislocation.
    • Actively participate in group discussions and oral presentations.
    • Present written ideas clearly.
    • Use library resources such as JSTOR and other databases and electronic journals.
    • Apply time management skills to their studies, and meeting deadlines.
    • Effective verbal and written communication.

    Effective skills in writing essays in English.

    Employability skills

    Analytical skills
    develop the students¿ skills in critical thinking and writing in English about cinematic and cultural topics
    Project management
    effective time management; team work and the ability to express ideas clearly in front of a group of colleagues.
    Written communication
    effective verbal and written communication
    Other
    organisation of ideas in a structured and clear manner

    Assessment methods

    Method Weight
    Written exam 50%
    Written assignment (inc essay) 40%
    Oral assessment/presentation 10%

    Feedback methods

    Written feedback on essays within 14 working days of submission

    Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)

    Feedback on outline/plan of presentation and essay

    Final revision session and advice on the preparation for the final assessment task.

    Recommended reading

    • Armes, Roy, New Voices in Arab Cinema (Indiana University Press, 2015).
    • Dönmez-Colin, Gönül (ed.), The Cinema of North Africa and the Middle East (Wallflower Press, 2007).
    • Gugler, Josef (ed.), Ten Arab Filmmakers: Political Dissent and Social Critique (Indiana University Press, 2015)
    • Hayward, Susan, Cinema Studies: The Key Concepts (Routledge, 2006 – 3rd edition)
    • Shafik, Viola, Arab Cinema: History and Cultural Identity (The American University in Cairo Press, 2007).
    • Stam, Robert, Film Theory: An Introduction (Blackwell Publishers, 2000).

    Study hours

    Scheduled activity hours
    Lectures 22
    Seminars 11
    Independent study hours
    Independent study 167

    Teaching staff

    Staff member Role
    Dalia Mostafa Unit coordinator

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