History on Film/Film on History

Victoria University of Wellington

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History on Film/Film on History

  • Host University

    Victoria University of Wellington

  • Location

    Wellington, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Film Studies, History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    40 pts from HIST 200-299 (or 20 pts from HIST 200-299, one of CLAS 207, 208)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This course explores the relationship between History and the Moving Image. Drawing from case studies from four different continents, the course will engage with the theory and practice of cinema's dual role as mirror and catalyst of social trends, as well as with the medium's ability to shape historical consciousness.

    Learning Objectives
    The primary objective of ?History on Film/Film on History? is to offer a thorough analysis of the
    theories surrounding the relationship between history and the moving image and provide students
    with the critical means to assess these theories. In order to achieve this, the course uses a diverse set of case studies, designed to give students a sense of the complexity of this relationship and, at the same time, to expose them to less familiar forms of cinema.

    Students will be expected to become familiar with the key concepts of ?Film and History? and with
    some aspects of filmmaking (camera movement and angles, colour, editing etc.), in particular to
    develop the ability to assess how aesthetic and stylistic choices affect the political and historical interpretation offered by a given film. Students of HIST 339 will become familiar with the empirical study of film as a primary source. As they become familiar with these theoretical and practical issues, students will be expected to identify a topic of investigation and develop it into a research essay, using primary and secondary sources in a manner appropriate to 300-level History courses.

    Students passing the course should be able to:
    1. state the different ways in which History and film interact;
    2. demonstrate the strengths and limitations of existing approaches;
    3. apply the extent to which film has contributed to popular understanding of history in specific
    4. analyse primary materials, including moving and still images;
    5. judge conflicting arguments and make reasoned judgements about their relative merits; and
    6. formulate a high level of competency in written and oral communication and historiographical

    in-class contribution- 10%
    histographical essy- 25%
    research essay- 40%
    in-class test- 25%

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.