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August 2000, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Aug 2000 10:20:42 -0400
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without attempting to offer a "final" answer to this question let me offer a
couple of observations . . .

first, in at least some respects teaching film today is akin to [and an
outgrowth of] the teaching of novels a generation or two ago . . . there were,
at the time, arguments that only those who read a novel in the original
language can ever really "know" it;  nevertheless, the tradition of teaching
novels in translation has a long and respectable history . . .

second, the reason for this repsectable history has to do with the way
cultural wealth crosses boundaries . . . most of us would, i suspect, imagine
that the bible is part of our own cultural heritage, though few of us read
hebrew or greek . . . similarly sophocles, cervantes, dante, flaubert,
dostoevsky, and kafka in some way belong to all of us . . . would a department
that lacked speakers of all of these varied languages be prohibited from
teaching works in those languages?? . . . i would hope not . . . i hope too
that i would not be kept from sharing bertolucci with my film students simply
because i most likely am missing elements in his films that would be avialable
to a speaker of italian

mike frank

>===== Original Message From Film and TV Studies Discussion List
<[log in to unmask]> =====
>From: Thomas Morsch <[log in to unmask]> on 08/07/2000 02:00 PM CET
>Please respond to Film and TV Studies Discussion List
>      <[log in to unmask]>
>To:   [log in to unmask]
>Subject:  Teaching Foreign National Cinemas
>Dear all,
>this is a question to all of you who teach film at universities:
>Do you consider it legitimate to teach a course on national cinemas of
>countries whose language you don't speak so that you will not be able to
>give any attention to the dialogues in their original language? Or do you
>consider this a violation of academic standards? So, as an example, would
>you teach a course on New German Cinema only if you speak german or would
>you dare to just rely on english subtitles in your own understanding of
>the films?
>I am asking because I think about teaching a course on asian cinemas but
>I am very unsure about this project as I do not speak nor understand any
>asian language.
>Thomas Morsch
>Film Dept.
>Freie Universitaet Berlin
>Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite