English 173

The Language and Literature of Films: British Cinema

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2014 Puckett, Kent
TTh 12:30-2 + films Tues. 6-9 P.M. 56 Barrows for lectures; 166 Barrows for films

Other Readings and Media

In addition to regular film screenings, we'll look at a number of essays, which will all be available on our course site.


This course will look at the British cinema from the 1930s to the present from a number of different angles. First, we will consider British cinema as a national industry and ask how the economic and social conditions under which British films have been made, distributed, and received have affected their form, their content, and their relation to other national cinemas. What, if anything, makes British films different from what was and is happening in France, Hollywood or Mumbai? In order to answer these questions we will pay special attention to genre films: the war film, the romance, the spy film, the gangster film, etc. Second, we will look at different ways (both kind and unkind) in which the British cinema has represented Britishness at home and abroad. How does a national cinema respond to, help, or hinder shifts in the way national identity is understood and experienced? We'll look at films about the preservation of Britishness as a form of heritage, nostalgia about the passing of Britishness "as it was," and the presentation of other stories about Britishness that run against the grain of the first two. Finally, we will treat these British films as films and look very closely at them in order to develop a critical vocabulary with which to analyze and describe film at the level of form and content.

Back to Semester List