Screen Theory

Subject SCRN90009 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 12 hours - 6 x 2 hour seminars, delivered fortnightly.
Total Time Commitment:

85 hours


Admission into 101AA Ph.D.- Arts or DR-PHILART Doctor of Philosophy in Arts.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Screen studies

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Wendy Haslem, Prof Angela Ndalianis


Wendy Haslem


Andela Ndalianis


Subject Overview:

This subject will focus on some of the major developments in film and screen theory since the turn of the last century. It will critically evaluate some of the key theoretical models that have impacted on the study of cinema and related screen media. The subject will examine the historical development of major theories, including: ideology, psychoanalysis and spectatorship; semiotics, intertextuality and postmodernism; formalism, structuralism and post-structuralism; sense and affect theory; temporality and spatiality; and film history and media archaeology. Major film theorists to be studied may include: the early writers on film (Sergei Eisenstein, Dziga Vertov, Siegfried Kracauer, Hugo Munsterberg, Maya Deren); the first and second wave of theorists associated with the emergence of film studies at university (Christian Metz, Jean Louis Baudry, Laura Mulvey, Jean Louis Comolli and Jean Narboni, Christine Gledhill, Teresa de Lauretis, Stephen Heath); and some of the next generation of film scholars who followed (Mary Anne Doane, D.N.Rodowick, Miriam Hansen, Noel Carroll, Giulana Bruno, Vivian Sobchack, Laura U. Marks, Tom Gunning). Interdisciplinarity is at the core of screen theory and, as such, this subject will also examine the work of critical theorists who impacted on developments in screen theory, including Roland Barthes, Claude Levi-Strauss, Julia Kristeva, Louis Althusser, Jacques Lacan, Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, Juri Lotman, Mikhail Bakhtin and Gilles Deleuze. This subject will appeal particularly to Screen Studies students who are interested in understanding and exploring some of the main writings and ideas in contemporary and past screen theories, and considering their practical application to the analysis of film and related screen media forms.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should have:

  • enhanced knowledge of the topic or area of scholarship taught in the module; and
  • an ability to reflect upon their own research work in relation to the content of the module; and
  • enhanced engagement with leading-edge research in Arts today.

1. One seminar presentation, equivalent to 500 words (20%), due during the teaching period.
2. One 2,000-word essay, (80%), due at the end of the assessment period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

The subjects will contribute, through teaching and discussion with academic staff and peers, to developing the skills and capacities identified in the University-defined Graduate Attributes for the PhD, in particular:

  • the capacity to contextualise research within an international corpus of specialist knowledge;
  • an advanced ability to evaluate and synthesise research-based and scholarly literature; and
  • an advanced understanding of key disciplinary and multi-disciplinary norms and perspectives relevant to the field.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Doctor of Philosophy - Arts
Ph.D.- Arts

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