- Through a comparison of contemporary and historical readings, students
will develop the ability to recognize how the meanings of cultural artifacts are dependent
on socio-historical context.
- Through clip analyses and editing exercises
that invite students to re-edit Griffith's footage, students will strengthen skills in
"reading" film as an artistic and narrative medium.
- Through an unraveling of the film's ideological work, students will
develop an understanding of how
articulations of national, regional, racial, and sexual identity can become "wedded" and
take on the appearance of inevitability.
- Through a study of the film's expressive power and its attempt to redefine
national identity, students will develop the ability to
recognize narrative displacements of political discourses onto the emotional and visually
stylized terrain of filmic melodrama.
- Through an elucidation of the racialized discourse of radicalism and its
social and political consequences, students will develop a comprehension
of racism as a complex discursive construct.
- Through revealing a structure of recurrent themes within Griffith's films and Dixon's
novels, students will strengthen their ability to recognize themes in an individual text
and in subsequent adaptations of the text.
- Through exposure to African American activists' and filmmakers' responses to The
Birth of A Nation, students will develop an understanding of how alternative
articulations of historical events may expose the ideological implications of
- Through providing a library of photographic and textual artifacts
on the CD-ROM, students will better understand of the methods of historical
scholarship and develop their ability to work with primary research materials.