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IDST 370 Cinema, Self and Other

This course explores the ways identities are presented, fantasized, manipulated and politicized in popular films. We will look at how images of self and other are constructed according to social, cultural, ethnic, and gendered meanings within film narratives through categories of race, sex, class, and gender. Students will be introduced to the vocabulary and primary theories of film analysis and focus on both sociological and psychoanalytical film theories and conduct an analysis of a film of their choice. The aim of this course is to give students the critical tools for analyzing how film both constructs and presents identities, which affects how we define ourselves, experience enjoyment, and relate to others.

Special information

Note: During this course we will be discussing and viewing films with content that may be disturbing or even traumatizing to some. In such cases, you should discuss any concerns you might have before the scheduled class discussion of a particular film (refer to the schedule for film titles).

Learning outcomes


  • Examined identities presented in film according to sociological categories of race, sex, class, and gender.
  • Identified how identities are portrayed in various film genres, theories, and in terms of formal film analysis.
  • Reflected on how films both present and construct cultural identities.
  • Analyzed films using appropriate film theories (primarily sociological and psychoanalytical).

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 6: The Humanities and Fine Arts

  • Demonstrate awareness of the scope and variety of works in the arts and humanities.
  • Understand those works as expressions of individual and human values within a historical and social context.
  • Respond critically to works in the arts and humanities.
  • Engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
  • Articulate an informed personal reaction to works in the arts and humanities.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Fall 2024

Section Title Instructor books eservices
01 Cinema, Self and Other Kunkle, Sheila L Books for IDST-370-01 Fall 2024 Course details for IDST-370-01 Fall 2024