Documentary and the Ethics of Representation
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Undergraduate Studies
Course Number: NHUM 3370
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Film & Video History, Theory & Criticism
- Documentary Filmmaking
- Ethics & Social Responsibility
This course is an investigation of documentary practices across media platforms and institutions. Students explore critical debates over the use of real-life subjects in film, visual art, and literature. Central to the course is a consideration of the ethical questions and responsibilities that arise for those who choose to center projects on individuals' lives and experiences and make them available for public consumption. Processes we consider include storytelling, image capture, and archive mining. Working closely with established documentary filmmakers and artists, students conduct a public conversation in conjunction with a film screening. Each student also develops a proposal for a documentary project in film, photography, visual art, performance, or journalism that explores the ethical questions discussed throughout the course. This course has been developed in partnership with the New York Council for the Humanities.