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Models and Methods in Contemporary Documentary Film

Program(s): Undergraduate Courses, Summer College

The documentary has been undergoing a popular cultural renaissance since the 1980s, when these movies moved out of classrooms and began, more and more, to play alongside narrative blockbusters in movie theatres and as installations in gallery spaces. Unlike fiction narrative movies, these movies featured people (social actors) playing themselves in front of the camera, speaking about their lives and going about their business. Since then, more and more documentarians have sought to investigate issues around injustice, advocate for important causes, portray compelling individuals, re-examine historical events and, in the process of doing these things, question and challenge the ways mass-mediated images have been used to represent the world and its people. This course will look at contemporary documentaries in order to examine how they operate in their “creative treatment of reality,” and analyze how they make arguments by way of constructing sounds and images.

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

11th Grade
12th Grade
Undergrad / Grad


Undergraduate Courses
Summer College

Start Date

June 21

End Date

July 23

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Thomas Comerford

Academic Interest

Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology)

Class Specifics

Course Code

CMST 28203 91

Class Day(s)

Tues Thurs

Class Duration (CST)


12:00 P.M.


Session I

Course Length

5 weeks