UPCES Film and Media Studies Courses

Here you'll find the full list of UPCES courses related to Film and Media Studies. Please note that course offerings are subject to change or cancelation based on faculty availability and student enrollment. All course subjects must be approved by your home institution for departmental credit.

Each course includes a detailed description, any cross-listed subjects, and a downloadable syllabus.

Film as a Mirror of History, Ideology, and Individual Freedom


This lively and original course is open to students who have an interest in studying the social and political transition in Central Europe through an understanding of its cinema. This is not a traditional film course: We will focus on the films’ social, political and historical contexts.

Films produced behind the Iron Curtain were not considered only commercial products. They were instruments of artistic expression and ideology, and also of protest and testimony. The stories of the postwar Czech, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian film industries – the fate and the moral dilemmas of their most talented artists and their specific and strong film language before and after the political changes in Europe of 1989 – will be a discovery for those seeing the films for the first time (as well as for those already familiar with them but who wish to enlarge their knowledge).

Global Communication


This course aims to bring together diverse issues and perspectives in the rapidly evolving and changing area of international/global communication. Through a multidimensional, historical perspective, a framework will be established for the appreciation of the immense scope, disparity, and complexity of this field. Students will be encouraged to critically assess shifts in national, regional, and international media patterns of production, distribution, and consumption in the larger context of globalization. Essential concepts of global communication will be examined, including trends in national and global media consolidation, cultural implications of globalization, international content flows, supranational communication law and regulation, and trends in communication and information technologies.

Lines of Light: Central European Cinema


Throughout Central Europe leading-edge filmmaking erupted in the 1920s. This course studies a select band of Central European directors (along with a special bonus, the Soviet bloc film-artist, director Andrei Tarkovsky) and their collective attempt to deal with and to follow their search for a medium to describe, the cultural and political region, the complexity of individual and collective political life and historical experience. In this way, the truth peeks through some of the aesthetic units of the cinematic image in our chosen films as so many lines of light. Particular attention will be paid to the Czech New Wave movement of the late 1960s. Screenings include pictures or clips from ten notable film-directors and auteurs: Věra Chytilová (Czech Republic, 1929–2014), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Germany, 1946–82), Miloš Forman (Czech Republic, 1932–2018), Juraj Herz (Slovakia, 1934–2018), Jan Hřebejk (Czech Republic, 1967– present), Fritz Lang (Germany, 1890–1976), Jiří Menzel (Czech Republic, 1938–present), F. W. Murnau, (Germany, 1888–1931), Jan Němec (Czech Republic, 1936–2016), and Andrei Tarkovsky (1932–86). No background in the study of cinema is required. All films have English inter-titles or sub-titles.

Propaganda and Society


This course explores mass persuasion and propaganda in a developmental context with an emphasis on understanding approaches and techniques. It traces the emergence of strategic persuasive communication and propaganda from its origins to the present day. The basic principles, philosophy, and techniques of mass persuasion in different periods are considered, with an emphasis on contemporary contexts. Students will learn to identify different propaganda techniques and will gain the tools to evaluate and debunk propaganda campaigns. A developmental approach is used in order to allow the opportunity to see aspects of continuity and change in approaches. A combination of classic and contemporary texts in the area of propaganda and disinformation will be studied. Various approaches to propaganda will examined across a variety of media, with an emphasis in the second half of the course on emerging computational and participatory propaganda.