Critical Thought and Social Consciousness Through Film

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Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by

This introductory program uses film that revolves around complex issues found in society and that may offer different perspectives on human and societal behavior. Students will view and analyze popular and documentary films that include the topical areas of race relations, corporate influence and impacts, LGBTQ community issues, gender study, and student selected topics. Films may include: Crash, Milk, American History X, Wall Street, Grand Torino, Blackfish, Traffic, Missrepresentation, and How to Survive a Plague. Students will review critiques of the films, participate in seminars, use organizing techniques to identify concepts, review competing and historical perspectives, and study foundational books. In addition, students will begin to understand the roots of social and activist movements. Students will produce reflections, comparative analyses, a substantial research paper on the topic of their choice, deep reflective questions regarding the films, and research work associated with each film category. Students will produce a short introductory film within the framework of their research topic. They will understand the meaning of social consciousness and the value of significant dialogue. Students should be prepared to enter into difficult discussions with civility and respect and are expected to critically examine their own beliefs in light of differing perspectives. Students have the opportunity to earn credit in political science, critical thought, social consciousness, media studies, or social justice.  

NOTE : students in this program  must  be prepared to view films that offer controversial, uncomfortable, emotional or trigger subject matter, and may be rated R. Students need to be able to access assigned films on sites such as Netflix or Amazon.

Program Details

Fields of Study

consciousness studies media studies political science sociology

Preparatory For

social services, politics, social justice, media


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 9:30am (Lib 1540)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

Special Expenses

Students will be required to watch films on their own and should expect to pay (approximately $9-60) for the expense of renting them or streaming films via Netflix, Amazon, or other sites.


2016-04-11New spring opportunity added.