SECTION 001: M 12-3:30 pm (Screenings) and W 12-2:30 pm (Discussions), HHH 323

     Four Credits

    Fall 2007, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


    Office: HHH 425, (715) 836-4369
    Office Hours: T 2:40-4:30 pm, T 9:50-10:30 pm, W 2:40-3:30 pm,
    F 3:40-4:30 pm,  and By Appointment.




    English 381, Topics in Film, Video, and Moving-Image Culture: British Cinema offers an introduction to major issues in British film production and reception with an emphasis on inquiry into the art and politics of representation vis-a-vis British, English, Scottish, and Welsh identities, in particular along lines of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and sexuality.


    English 381 is an umbrella course that changes focus from offering to offering depending upon what my colleague Professor Stacy Thompson and I decide to teach, but all sections of English 381 always concentrate on making sense of film and video in cultural context.

    Let me take a little space now to explain what that means.

    Culture includes everything that we, as human beings, have created in the course of our entire history, in distinction from what nature itself has given us.  Specific cultures (as well as specific subcultures) comprise the sum total of the particular knowledges, capacities, fields of work (and fields of play), customs and habits, traditions, values and attitudes, social roles and identities, and shared ways of thinking, feeling, acting, interacting, and behaving that characterize and, more importantly than merely characterize, that internally unify and externally differentiate, particular regions, classes, and other social groups.

    Film and video constitute principal constituents of 1.) moving-image culture (i.e., culture produced, distributed, exchanged, and consumed in the form of constellations of moving-images), 2.) human culture at large, and 3.) myriad specific national, regional, local, racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexual, generational, political, religious, artistic, philosophical, recreational, and avocational cultures (and subcultures).  (From this point forward in this course explanation statement I use, as a matter of convenience, “film” when referring to films, videos, and other similar kinds of moving-image culture productions.)

    What does this mean for how we proceed in English 381?   Here’s what.  We examine the ways that films provide pleasure for their audiences, seeking to understand how and why films produce these pleasures in the ways that they do–while also seeking to understand what else always happens, simultaneous with the provision of pleasure, as a result of the kinds of pleasures and the ways of providing pleasures films offer.  We in fact give considerable attention to the many other effects–other than providing pleasure–that films can and do achieve, whether deliberately so or not.  In particular, we inquire into films as providing us valuable knowledge about the real historical societies and associated specific cultures out of which films emerge and into which they exert their impact-even where offering this kind of insight does not constitute a conscious aim of the film makers themselves, and even when we must critique the film's representations in order to produce this knowledge.

    Let me put this last point in another context.  Throughout the history of world cinema, three principal objectives have driven forward the production, distribution, exhibition, and reception of film:

1.) the provision of entertainment, especially as diversion, distraction, and amusement;

2.) artistic expression and communication–concerned with aesthetic issues such as capturing and conveying the felt experience of the ordinary and the extraordinary, the everyday and the unusual, the familiar and the unfamiliar, and, especially, "the beautiful" and "the sublime"–in both the natural world and human society; and

3.) social critique–as contribution to, and instrument of, social change.

    Many films, as well as many cinemas, aspire to meet two or all three of these goals, often employing one as means toward the achievement of at least one of the other two (e.g., artistic expression as a vehicle of social critique).  (“Cinema” here refers to a particular institutional form governing the production, distribution, exhibition, and reception of a series of related films, especially a series of films sharing common subjects, styles, social vantage points, and cultural backgrounds: e.g., “German Expressionist Cinema,” “Classical Narrative Realist Hollywood Cinema,” “Italian Neo-Realist Cinema,” “French New Wave Cinema,” “Dogme 95 Cinema,” “1960s American Underground Cinema,” “British Free Cinema,” and “The New Queer Cinema.”)

    It is important that we examine film critically because, over the course of the past nearly 120 years, audio-visual texts, especially audio-visual texts organized around the moving image, have come to exert an extremely powerful impact upon the shape and substance of individuals' lived experience of their relationship to the conditions of their own existence.  This impact is today as powerful, if not indeed considerably more powerful, than that exerted by traditional print media.   In fact, film, television, video, and "cyberspace" have become principal sites within our contemporary capitalist societies for the production and dissemination, as well as the reproduction and reinforcement, of meanings, values, ideas, ideologies, and social modes of thinking, understanding, feeling, believing, acting, and interacting, even when presented to us as "sheer entertainment."  That means, in sum, that film and other media that comprise the constituents of ‘moving-image culture’ exert a huge shaping impact over all of our lives.  Our aim in English 381 is to seek better to understand what that impact happens to be.


    Why British Cinema?  Let me begin to answer this question with my “personal reasons.”  

    First, I have long maintained a significant interest in and appreciation for British culture, especially British film, often screening considerable numbers of British films in other film courses I have taught.  In fact, for a number of years I taught courses in “Introduction to Film” with a mini-section on “Contemporary British Cinema,” focusing on British realist, and naturalist, traditions, especially films concerned with representations of working-class lives, from working-class vantage points, as well as British films foregrounding feminist, multinational/ multicultural, and glbt/queer issues.  I personally enjoy a wealth of British films, from a variety of genres, including comedy, horror, suspense, crime, and fantasy (as well as social realism and naturalism).  And although I’ve taught English 381 with multiple different focuses in the past, and I always love teaching it no matter what our specific focus, the last time I taught this course with a focus on British Cinema, in the fall of 2004, we had an absolutely fantastic class, and it was definitely a great experience–and a lot of fun–for all of us, most certainly including me.

    Second, as one who has concentrated in the “disciplines” of “English Studies” from high school onward, and who has always found it of particular interest and value to approach the study of literary texts in historical, social, and political context, while at the same time always impatiently pressing past boundaries dividing “literature” from other kinds of texts and other areas of culture, I have been long well cognizant of a.) how closely tied, and in fact substantially indebted, American English Studies continues to be to British English Studies, and b.) the myriad close yet complicated ties (beyond the academic and intellectual fields of “English Studies”) that relate the United States and the United Kingdom.  Americans can learn a lot of incredible value about ourselves by comparing and contrasting our American cultures and subcultures with British cultures and subcultures (while the same also holds true in reverse for Britons learning more and better about themselves from studying American cultures and subcultures).  

    Third, I derive considerable pleasure, stimulus, and reward from many, many products of British culture–from music to theatre to art to language to print journalism and commentary to radio and television, to name just a few, and I have had an absolutely fantastic time when I have traveled and spent time in Britain–ten times in the last five years for a total of over twenty weeks’ stay, in England, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man.  London, Edinburgh, Brighton, and Glasgow are without a doubt some of my favorite places in the whole world.  Plus, not only have I developed good friendships with a number of British men and women over the years, but also I have had many British, especially English, students take  my classes at UWEC, and elsewhere, over the course of my now twenty-thee years’ teaching at the university level.  I have gained a great deal from these people; I am truly grateful for the background, experience, perspective, interest, and enthusiasm they have brought to my life and to the life of my classes.  I believe strongly in promoting and cultivating exactly these kinds of cross-national and cross-cultural interactions as a vital part of teaching and learning.

     Beyond these personal reasons for teaching English 381 with this focus (“British Cinema”), I find a number of other, ultimately more important, reasons for doing so as well and, in particular here in the United States, in 2007.  Allow me to explain.   

    To begin, the duration and extent of British impact across the world continues to be enormous, and cinema provides not only one significant vehicle for the exertion of this impact but also a crucial means to examine the broad range of this impact.  To take just one key example, today the United States is the world’s leading imperialist power, yet Britain, the British empire, and British imperialism represent the principal direct antecedents of this power; the U.S., and Americans, can–and should–learn a great deal of considerable value from the history of the British empire, and British imperialism, including its rise and fall, and, especially, from the history of the re-creation and re-direction of British society and culture in the aftermath of its loss of global preeminence following the end of World War II.  I hope that this “American learning from Britain” can help counter current tendencies toward uncritical pride in American imperialist hegemony as well as further dangerous tendencies toward fascism and theocracy at home.  

    At the same time, although Britain and America often seem extremely closely linked, and multiply similar (which is certainly in part quite true), I find, even in today’s age of the so-called “global village,” that many extraordinary, striking, and indeed powerful social and cultural differences continue to distinguish Britain from America (and vice-versa).  In short, to repeat myself (but I think it deserves this emphasis), Americans can learn a great deal about the United States, and about American history, society, politics, and culture by comparison and contrast with that of Britain, while Britons can learn a great deal about not only the U.S.–its history, society, politics, and culture–but also about Britain as well by studying British cultural production in the United States, taking into account diverse U.S. vantage points on “Cinematic Representations of Britain, Britishness, and the British.”  


    Britain has long faced considerable difficulties in sustaining a vibrant indigenous film production industry, as well a corresponding, substantial domestic audience for this production.  The economic power of American, especially Hollywood, film has often proven overwhelming, while, at the same time, many film scholars have often tended to denigrate the aesthetic quality of British cinema versus that of continental European–along with Central as well as East Asian–cinemas.  In fact, British criticism of British cinema, both popular and scholarly, often appears not only highly self-conscious and self-critical but also excessively defensive and pessimistic.  (Personally, I tend to strongly disagree with these negative judgments: I think British Cinema is at present perhaps the most underrated in terms of quality of production of any cinema in the world.)   As I see it, British film culture, which is hardly identical with British film industry (especially British commercial film industry, and, in particular, British film industry harboring ambitions of competing with Hollywood on its own terrain) demonstrates a continuous vitality along with, at its best, an artistic innovativeness as well as a social-political consciousness, and conscience, that quite often puts Hollywood to shame.  British films focusing on British subjects, from British vantage points, in British modes and styles, and with British sensibilities, often indeed stand equal in achievement and value, at least as I see it, to that of the (classic) repertoires of films produced from any other nation.  Britons are far too often overly self-critical and pessimistic about the cinematic achievement of their nation(s) [recognizing Britain as a multinational entity–England, Scotland, Wales, and, in complex and contested ways, Northern Ireland, as well].  Yes, government support could always be more fairly, effectively, and extensively deployed, but that’s hardly a problem limited to British cinema.   In fact, it has proven enormously difficult for me to narrow the selection of films we will screen and discuss together in this course; I started with well over 250 possibilities, and I could easily name 100 other, even more obscure, titles beyond that list I might have seriously considered as well.  So, in sum, British cinema has not yet always received due credit, even despite a vast proliferation of critical study devoted to this field over the course of the past fifteen years–along with recent upturns and creative developments taking place in both production and support for production of especially low(er) budget, and digital video, work in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  (Despite this turn toward emphasis on short film making and digital video production, most Americans who falsely imagine that little large-scale film production takes place outside of Hollywood would likely be greatly surprised to learn that hundreds of feature-length films, albeit at times small-budget ventures, continue to be made each year in Britain, by British film makers.)   I hope that this course will foster expanded interest in learning and writing about, teaching, and possibly even making, more British films and videos in the years ahead–as well as greater appreciation for what British cinema has achieved, does achieve, and will achieve.  I myself, for instance, look forward to the opportunity eventually to teach courses focused exclusively on Scottish and Welsh cinemas in the not too distant future–I know that these courses, even with these narrowed focuses, would be filled with great films.


    Because it is so difficult to narrow down the selection of films, and related topics, to study in a short course focused on this large a topic (“British Cinema”),  we will concentrate on films made from approximately World War II to the present, especially films that help us in exploring “Britishness” as a complex, dynamic, heterogeneous, and indeed often sharply contested phenomenon.  And we will do so not by proceeding in the simplest–yet most often least interesting or useful way–that is, strictly chronologically, but, rather, by exploring distinct types of related British film making in relation to continuous as well as recurrent, central issues in post-WWII British culture.  

    Many critics, historians, and makers of British film today emphasize that it ultimately makes little sense to imagine “British cinema” as a singular entity; instead, it makes much more sense to discuss “British cinemas and to do so by examining the ways these multiple cinemas reflect, refract, respond to, and engage with multiple different, distinct (albeit related) lines of British identity.  In fact, given the increasingly international dynamics of film making today, some major writers on British film propose that we not consider film in “national” terms any more, but rather conceive of it as a “post-national” phenomenon, articulated along lines that regularly and extensively cross national boundaries.  While I am myself skeptical of positions that conceive of contemporary “globalization” as having largely effaced, even erased, the significance of national boundaries, and divisions, finding this often naively utopian and dangerously blind to the ways that “the nation,” “nationality,” and “nationalism” continue to function as major crucibles of power, we will certainly frequently explore what it means to conceive of films in relation to categories other than and beyond those of nation, nationality, and nationalism.  We will inquire into what makes “British films” “British” and in what ways do these films represent “British nations,” “British national identities,” along with critical versus appreciative modes of relating to “the nation” and, in particular, its major established institutions and centers of power.  But we will be flexible here, not trying to tie ourselves down to merely  a single pathway of interpretation.   We will become familiar with a number of key debates in British cinematic history and criticism, yet we will also consider the (potential) problems and limitations of approaching the films we study by interpreting and evaluating them strictly in terms of their relation to questions of national, subnational, counternational, international, transnational, and postnational identities.

    And, one other thing along these lines.  We will certainly strive to take well into account regional difference, and diversity, when approaching “British Cinema.”  For instance, the vast majority of people living today in Scotland and Wales define themselves as Scottish or Welsh–and not always simultaneously as also British, while, of course, most often at the same time they do not take at all kindly to using “British” and “English” interchangeably.  (For those unfamiliar with these facts, Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales, while the United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.)   Devolution, recently establishing the Welsh National Assembly and the Scottish National Parliament (as well as even more recently reestablishing the Northern Ireland Assembly) marks the most visible, to outsiders, sign of a steadily increasing division of the United Kingdom (once again) into four distinct “nations,” yet, for most people living in Scotland and Wales (as well as Northern Ireland), the more fundamental divisions lie “closer to the ground,” in the different “cultures of everyday life,” including the different “structures of feeling,” they find prevalent within England, Scotland, and Wales (along with Northern Ireland)–as well as in the mythical and ideological uses to which distinct historical traditions are put in these different nations.  At the same time, England itself hardly exists as a singular homogenous identity either: e.g., local cultures distinguish areas of Northern, Central, and Southwestern England from Greater London to often substantial degrees, even if we accept the idea, proposed by Daniel Dorling and Bethan Thomas of the University of Sheffield in their book, People and Places: a 2001 Census Atlas of the UK (Bristol: the Policy Press, 2004) that the UK is heading in the direction of a bifurcation between “The Metropolis” (an expanded and built-up Greater London, that encompasses all of Southern England, and extends from Gainsborough in the North to Penzance in the West) and “The Archipelago” (a series of “provinces” that include Wales, the West Midlands, all of Northern England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland).   [Because Irish cinema and culture, North and South, is such a complex, vexed, and huge entity in its own right, and Ireland, again North and South, is even much greater distinct from and different versus England–historically, socially, politically, and culturally–than Scotland and Wales are, we will concentrate on film and culture in and from England, Scotland, and Wales this semester.  That’s not to shortchange Irish cinema, as I have taught that subject previously and would love to do so again too–while certainly, as one not only of 100% Irish ethnic descent but also as one who has long maintained extensive, active involvement in many Irish, and Irish-American, cultural organizations and activities, I greatly appreciate Irish cultural achievement, cinematic and otherwise.]


    I hope as we approach this course together that you will find it an enjoyable and enlightening experience.  I myself always learn immensely from my students, while I always at the same time structure my classes so that my students gain the opportunity to learn a great deal from each other as well as from me.  So far, that seems to work (at least for most of us).  Let’s aim to keep it up this semester.  Cheers.


    Students are required to purchase the following books (available at the UWEC Bookstore in Davies Center):
1.    Leach, Jim.  British Film.   Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.  ISBN#: 0-521-65419-X.

2.    Christopher, David P.  British Culture: an Introduction.  Second Edition.  London: Routledge, 2006.  ISBN#: 0-415-35397-1.

3.    Morley, David and Kevin Robins, eds.  British Cultural Studies.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.  ISBN#: 0-19-874206-1.

4.    Dave, Paul.  Visions of England: Class and Culture in Contemporary Cinema.  Oxford: Berg, 2006.  ISBN#: 1-84520-293-7.

     I will supply copies of all other required texts we will use in this course.  These will come primarily in the form of photocopied essays and excerpts scanned into electronic files that you will be able readily to access via our Desire2Learn (D2L) electronic classroom website (I will also put these up for you to access on the student-faculty shared drive, ‘the W drive’, as well.).  Beyond that, I expect that most of you also are readily able yourselves to find on-line credits information for the films we will screen together this semester, as useful to you, along with some other ready sources of helpful basic background information.   

    In addition, on my own UWEC faculty curricular website, under ‘recommended links’ (http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/recommended_links.htm), I list a considerable range of websites of relevance to this course, and I will add to this list as we proceed.

    I will supply copies of all films we will screen together this semester ( in all cases, in primarily DVD, although occasionally VHS, formats).  I will also provide students copies of all the films you will need for interview conference and final projects.  Please note well that these will all be my own personal copies, so please respect that fact–that I have spent a considerable amount of my own money on these videos so that we can make this the best course possible, including a large number of Region 2 and PAL standard DVDs, as well as on an all-region and multi-standard DVD player, which I also purchased myself for use in this course because the university doesn’t provide this facility anymore.  


W 9/5: Introduction and Orientation, and Initial Screening of Select Short Film(s).

M 9/10 : Screening: The Lady Vanishes, Night Mail, London Can Take It, and A Diary for Timothy.                    

W 9/12: Discussion, an Introduction to British Cinema; British Cinema as National Cinema/Diversity and Division in British National Cinemas; Traditions of Documentary Realism; British Cinema and World War II; and The Lady Vanishes, Night Mail, London Can Take It, and A Diary for Timothy.

    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 1, 13-17 (“Great Britain/Deep England” and “English As It Should Be Spoken”); From Chapter 2, 30-37 (“What is British Cinema?” and “The Environment in Which We Live: Grierson and Realism”), and 42-47 (“A Blistering Style of Storytelling: Hitchcock and Genre”); and From Chapter 5, 86-88 (“National Cinema as Popular Cinema”).  And, On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Chapman, “Cinema, Propaganda, and National Identity: British Film and the Second World War,” 193-206.            

M 9/17 : Screening, Saturday Night Sunday Morning, and My Name is Joe.

W 9/19: Discussion, British Cinematic Realism and Naturalism/British Free Cinema and British New Wave Cinema; Introduction to Post-WWII War Britain, in Particular British Class and Regional Differences and Divisions;  British Languages and British Culture; British Sports and British Culture; and Saturday Night Sunday Morning and My Name is Joe.

    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 3, 48-50 (“The Art of Being Realistic”), and 52-63 (“What Do You Want [If You Don’t Want Money]: The British New Wave” and “Escaping Their Own Stereotype: Mike Leigh and Ken Loach”); British Culture: an Introduction, Chapters 1-2, 1-40, and 9, 205-226.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Lay, “Social Realism in the British Context,” 5-24.

M 9/24 : Screening: If . . ., and Kes.

W 9/26: Discussion, British School Systems; Youth and Rebellion in 1960s Britain; More on British Class and Regional Differences and Divisions; and Lindsay Anderson, Ken Loach, If . . ., and Kes.

    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 10, 182-184 (“Ideology and the School Movie”) and 190-198 (“Acts of Villainy: If . . . and Kes”); British Cultural Studies, Chapter 8, 127-144.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Aldgate and Richards, “The Revolt of the Young: If . . .,” 203-218, and Leigh, “Sympathetic Observation,” 59-89.  

M 10/1: Screening: Kind Hearts and Coronets, and The Wicker Man.

W 10/3: Discussion, British Cinematic Comedy, Humor, and Horror;  Kind Hearts and Coronets; and The Wicker Man.

    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 8, 143-145 (“The British Sense of Humor”) and From Chapter 9, 169-176 (“The Visibility of the Monster: British Horror Films”).  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Newton, From Kind Hearts and Coronets (BFI Film Classics), 27-79, and From Murray and Rolston, Studying the Wicker Man, 1-18.

M 10/8: Screening: Brighton Rock, and Gangster Number 1.

W 10/10: Discussion, British Crime and Gangster Cinema and Culture; British Print Journalism and Culture; (Changing) British Masculinities; and Brighton Rock and Gangster Number 1.

    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 9, 161-166 (“British Monsters” and “Aggressive Individualism: Juvenile Gangsters in Brighton Rock and The Blue Lamp") and 176-181 (“What Do You Think You Are Looking At? Terror and the Criminal Monster”); British Cultural Studies, Chapter 24, 373-386; British Culture: an Introduction, Chapter 3, 41-64.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Chibnall, “Travels in Ladland: the British Gangster Cycle 1998-2001,” 281-291, and Chibnall, “Filming the Fallen World,"1-18.   

    * Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper #1 Assigned, W 10/10. *

M 10/15: Screening, Peeping Tom, and Blow Up.

W 10/17: British Art Cinema/British Cinema and the Avant-Garde/British Cinema and the Counter-Culture; Popular Music and Fashion in Britain from the 1960s Onward; Art and Architecture in Postmodern/Contemporary Britain; Sexual Violence and British Art Cinema; and Peeping Tom and Blow Up.

    Read for Class: British Culture: an Introduction, Chapters 8, 173-204, and 10, 227-261. On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Lowenstein, “‘Under-the-Skin Horrors’: Social Realism and Classlessness in Peeping Tom and the British New Wave,” 221-232; Bick, “The Sight of Difference,” 177-193, and a Text on Blow Up (To Be Announced).
M 10/22: Screening, The Servant, and Performance.

W 10/24: Class and British Cinema; More on British Cinema and the Avant-Garde and the Counterculture;  Deconstructing and Transforming Traditional Masculinities; British Theatre; and The Servant and Performance.        

    Read for Class: Visions of England, From Introduction, 1-4 (Untitled Introductory Section) and Chapter 5, 101-113 (Introductory Paragraph, “Old England,” and “Another Working Class"); British Culture: an Introduction, Chapter 5, 93-116.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): MacCabe, From Performance (BFI Film Classics), 8-82, and a Text on The Servant (To Be Announced).   

* Learning and Contribution Paper #1 Due, Friday 10/26, by 5 pm, either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or by e-mail, ranowlan@uwec.edu (check with me ahead of time what form of attachments I can and cannot open before turning it in the latter way) *

M 10/29: Screening, Hedd Wynn, and Solomon and Gaenor.

W 10/31: Wales and Welsh Cinema; National Identities in the British Isles Beyond ‘English’–and ‘British’; Legacies of Internal and External British Colonialism; Historic and Contemporary Conflicts Along Lines of Race, Ethnicity, Nationality, and Culture in Britain; and Hedd Wynn and Solomon and Gaenor.

    Read for Class: British Cultural Studies, Chapters 1-2, 27-56, and 7, 109-126.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Berry, “Fueling the Debate,” 411-436, and McLean, “Challenging Colonial Traditions: British Cinema in the Celtic Fringe,” 51-54.  

M 11/5:  Screening, The Ploughman’s Lunch, and My Beautiful Laundrette.

W 11/7: Television and Radio in British Culture; Changing British Cultures of Work; Gay Cultures and Straight Borders; Interconnected Class, Ethnic/Racial/National, Sexual, and Gender Tensions and Movements in 1980s British Cinema and Culture; British Cinema and Thatcherism; and The Ploughman’s Lunch and My Beautiful Laundrette.

    Read for Class: British Culture: an Introduction: Chapter 7, 145-172; British Cultural Studies, Chapters 22, 343-360, and 25, 387-398. And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Quart, “The Politics of Irony: the Frears–Kureishi Films,” 241-248; Barber, “Insurmountable Difficulties and Moments of Ecstacy: Crossing Class, Ethnic and Sexual Barriers in the Films of Stephen Frears,” 209-222; and Hill, From “The ‘State-of-the-Nation' Film,” 133-153 (Through end of section on The Ploughman’s Lunch).  

M 11/12: Screening, Chariots of Fire, and Distant Voices, Still Lives.        

W 11/14: British Heritage Culture and British Heritage Cinema; ‘Alternative’ British Heritage Culture and Cinema; More on British Cinema and Thatcherism; More on Complexities, Tensions, Continuities/Discontinuities, and Transformations in British Gender Identities, and Especially in British Masculinities; and  Chariots of Fire and Distant Voices, Still Lives.   
    Read for Class: British Film, From Chapter 1, “On the Same Side at Last: Chariots of Fire,” 22-29, and From Chapter 11, “History and Heritage," 199-201; British Cultural Studies, Chapter 16, 249-260; Visions of England, From Chapter 1, 27-32 (Introductory Section and “Ambivalence and the Heritage Film”).  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Cowrie, “On The Threshold Between Past and Present: ‘Alternative Heritage',” 316-326; Farley, From Distant Voices, Still Lives (BFI Modern Classics), 11-85; and Chapman, “The British Are Coming: Chariots of Fire (1981),” 270-298.    

M 11/19: Screening, Trainspotting, and Human Traffic.

W 11/21: British Working Class and Underclass Lives, Struggles, and Resistant Cultures, at the End of the 20th Century and the Beginning of the 21st Century; British Youth Cultures at the Turn of the Century–versus the New ‘Cool Britannia’; and Trainspotting and Human Traffic.

    Read for Class: Visions of England, From Chapter 3, 61-62 (Introductory Section), and “Jobs Without Workers–‘Youth’” (75-81); From Chapter 4, 87-99 (“Trainspotting and The Politics of Style” and “The Politics of Black Magic Realism”).  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Smith, From Trainspotting (BFI Modern Classics): 7-83.

    * Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper #2 Assigned, W 11/21 *

M 11/26 : Screening, Last of England, and Orlando.  

W 11/28: British Post-Modern Experimental, Avant-Garde, and Counter Cinemas; Critical-Oppositional Perspectives on Issues of Sexuality, Gender, Class, and Nationality; Critical-Oppositional Perspectives on British Heritage and British Identity; Struggles, Successes, and Continuing Battles Confronting Women in Contemporary British Society and Culture; Women and British Cinema; and Sally Potter, Derek Jarman, Last of England, and Orlando.  

    Read for Class: Visions of England: From Chapter 7, 141-143 (Introductory Section) and  153-160 ("Jubilee, The Last of England, and The Visionary Atlantic"); British Cultural Studies, Chapter 23, 361-372.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Brandon, “Not Having It All: Women and Film in the 1990s,” 167-177;  Street, “Borderlines II: Counter-Cinema and Independence,” 169-196; and MacCabe, “Derek Jarman: The Lost Leader,” 26-29.  

M 12/3 : Screening, London, and Robinson in Space.

W 12/10: The Centrality of Class and British History, Society, Politics, and Culture; Intervening Versus the Pastoral; the Aesthetics and Politics of the Everyday in Late 20th Century/Early 21st Century England–and Britain; British Literature; British Cinema – Looking Backward Approaching the Semester’s End; and Patrick Keillor, London, and Robinson in Space.

    Read for Class: Visions of England, From Chapter 1, 4-18 (“The Nairn-Anderson Thesis,” “The Pastoral,” and “Beyond the National Pastoral”); and Chapter 6, 119-140; British Culture: an Introduction, Chapter 4, 65-92 and Chapter 6, 117-144.  

M 12/10: Screening, Orphans, and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.  

W 12/12: Scotland and Scottish Cinema; New Scottish Cinema–Institutions, Themes and Issues, and Impact and Potential; Problematics of ‘Family’ in Scotland–and Britain--at the Beginning of the 21st Century; Orphans, and Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself.  

    Read for Class: British Cultural Studies, Chapter 6, 97-108.  And,  On D2L or the W Drive (Scanned Photocopies): Petrie, “The New Scottish Cinema: Institutions,” 172-190; “The New Scottish Cinema: Themes and Issues,” 191-221; and “Conclusion: Into The Twenty-First Century,” 222-230.

    *  Sunday, December 16: Class Conference, Final Group Project Presentations and Discussions, Rooms and Times to Be Arranged. *    

** Tuesday, December 18, by 5 pm, Learning and Contribution Reflection Paper #2 Due, Either in my English Department mailbox, HHH 405, or by e-mail: ranowlan@uwec.edu (check with me ahead of time what form of attachments I can and cannot open before turning it in the latter way). *



    Monday afternoons we will screen films, usually two per session.  We will try to take a short (five-minutes long maximum) break in between the screening of each film (we’ll be tight for time, so please don’t stretch this beyond five minutes; if you need a break, for whatever reason, other than at this time right between the two films, feel free to take it, but try to be quick, and also try not to be too distracting as you leave–for instance, please try not to block the projection as you walk past it on your way out).  Occasionally screening sessions will run slightly longer than 3:30, although I’ve tried to fit two films into three and one-half hours each week, and we should not run past 4 any afternoon; students are expected to stay through the end of the screening when this happens (unless you absolutely must go somewhere else immediately at that time).  Screening sessions will in fact end early enough times to counterbalance the number of times they end late, and when they end early you will be able to leave early as well. You may bring cushions, pillows, blankets, fold-up chairs, and any other kind of material that you might find more comfortable to sit on during these screenings than the seats already available in the classroom. You do not need to do this, but you may if you wish. You may also bring snacks as long as you try not to make a mess and as long as you clean up after yourself.  And you may invite friends to attend screenings, as long as they respect the fact that students in the class need to pay close attention to the films, and will not be able to do so if they are distracted.   PLEASE DO NOT USE CELL PHONES DURING SCREENING SESSIONS–INCLUDING TO TEXT MESSAGE–TURN THEM OFF!  DOING THIS IS MORE DISTRACTING THAN YOU MAY REALIZE AND ALSO TO MY MIND A CLEAR SIGN THAT YOU ARE NOT ENGAGED AS YOU SHOULD BE WITH THE MATERIAL FOR THE CLASS–AND IT WILL THEREFORE NEGATIVELY AFFECT YOUR COURSE GRADE TO A VERY SUBSTANTIAL DEGREE IF YOU DO IT.

    Wednesday afternoons we will discuss readings from textbooks and other sources as well as the screenings from the previous Monday afternoon.  We will take a five-minute break during this session.  Discussion will proceed according to a variety of formats.  At times I will make relatively short, informal presentations, but I prefer not to lecture; instead I want to work directly and closely together with you so that we can together come to grips with the films, and the issues, this course addresses.  Rather than present lectures in class, as need be I'll prepare and post lectures, and lecture notes, on Desire2Learn for you to study and review on your own.

    At times students may do some short writing before or during class to help facilitate discussions, at times students will work in small groups, at times students may make short presentations to the whole class, and at times we may refer to writings you have posted on Desire2Learn.   At times as well we will watch clips from films previously screened, and we will also, on occasion, watch clips and shorts from additional sources as well as DVD extras from the films we have screened.   In short, we’ll do all kinds of things to keep it interesting.

    I will maintain ultimate responsibility, authority, and control for the direction of our class discussions, yet I will do my best to make sure we hear extensively from everyone else.  I recognize and respect that the students enrolled in this class represent differences in prior knowledge, experience, training, work, or other preparation vis-a-vis areas central to our collective focus of inquiry, and that some are more versus less inclined as well as more versus less comfortable speaking in class.  Yet I expect that these differences, along with differences in social, cultural, economic, political, and ideological affiliations all will be brought to the fore so that each member of the class can contribute to its success from both where she is at and toward where he aspires to be.


    This university is a liberal arts institution; education in the liberal arts (and sciences) represents the historic and central commitment of what we do together on this UW campus-not vocational training and pre-professional development.  Our university administration and faculty support this commitment so strongly that they have asked that all syllabi elaborate the official goals of the baccalaureate, as well as identify which ones the course in question will help you achieve.  According to the UWEC administration, the baccalaureate degree shall work to develop the following for UWEC students:

1.) an understanding of a liberal education.

2.) an appreciation of the University as a learning community.

3.) an ability to inquire, think, analyze.

4.) an ability to write, read, speak, listen.

5.) an understanding of numerical data.

6.) a historical consciousness.

7.) international and intercultural experience.

8.) an understanding of science and scientific methods.

9.) an appreciation of the arts.

10.) an understanding of values.

11.) an understanding of human behavior and human institutions.

    UWEC strives to help you meet these objectives in the course of the higher education you pursue here.  English 381, British Cinema aims to help contribute to you meeting goals 1-4, 6, and 9-11.

    These goals cannot be met passively by the student: each requires your striving toward it to be met.  Striving means learning actively, completing assignments in a thorough and timely fashion, participating in class discussion, and making connections (above and beyond those emphasized by us in the classroom) between what we do while meeting in class and what you do when engaged outside of the classroom.


    The English Department aims to provide you with an intellectually challenging education. This means we will often include texts and introduce topics in our courses that candidly explore adult issues, including ones offering representations that may, on occasion, prove unsettling, disturbing, and even offensive to some of you.

    The higher educational academy is not a "safe space" separate from the rest of the "real world" where you can expect to be sheltered from encountering anything you might find disagreeable or objectionable.  On the contrary, we expect you to take up the challenge to confront these kinds of texts and topics in a mature, responsible way, and that means bringing directly to bear your negative reactions-including your reactions of shock, dismay, and discontent-in class discussions and in your writings and presentations for class.  If you find a position or practice represented in a text or topic included in the assigned readings for class or screenings in class to be objectionable, it is therefore of crucial importance that you raise your objections openly and honestly, not simply claim personal exemption from having to see, hear, or talk, read, and write about these kinds of matters.  After all, disturbing positions and practices exist extensively outside of the classroom as well as in what we read, see, hear, and otherwise confront in and for class; what we confront in class exists in this institutional space as symptomatic of positions and practices that operate beyond the confines of the classroom, the course, and the university.  If and when you find any text or topic genuinely appalling, you maintain the ethical responsibility, as a mature adult and as a responsible citizen, not simply to try to hide from these positions and practices but rather to work to critique and change them.

    Students should expect therefore that you may well on occasion encounter representations that you will find troubling, in this UWEC course and in many others as well; within this Department you will receive no right of exemption from engaging with these and absolutely no welcome for simply complaining (especially to a higher administrative authority) about their inclusion.  Instead you should bring your objections forthrightly to bear in your contributions to class discussion.  

    Finally, to conclude this particular point of discussion, a professor differs from a high school teacher in many respects, but one key difference is that we maintain a principal professional, ethical responsibility forthrightly to represent the most advanced knowledges in our fields of expertise and to proceed from there to work toward their further development and dissemination.  In short, we must create, advocate for, and profess these knowledges; you should expect that your professors may from time to time take strong and indeed controversial positions on difficult and challenging issues, eschewing the pretense of disinterested neutrality.  To do anything less than assume this responsibility, and to do so with alacrity, would be to shirk our professorial responsibility and to render ourselves unworthy of maintaining our professorial position.



    I expect students in this course to strive to become sincerely interested in learning about the subject matter of this course, and to be consistently intellectually serious as well as academically diligent in their pursuit of this learning.  I expect students to bring actively and extensively to bear-in your writing and your contributions to class discussion-insights you gain through your engagement with the texts and topics addressed as part of this course, and I expect you at the same time to relate these texts and topics as closely and as fully as possible to subjects of genuine interest and concern in your own lives.  Finally, I expect students to let me as quickly as possible when and if you have any questions or problems about any aspect of how you are doing in and with the course, so that I can do everything I possibly can to help answer these questions and solve these problems.


    In evaluating all work done for this course, I will take account of how carefully, seriously, intelligently, enthusiastically, and imaginatively students engage with the concepts, issues, positions, and arguments addressed in the course and represented by the texts we read, the films we screen, by me, and by each other.


    Attendance is required at both screening and discussion sections.  Students are allowed three unexcused absences, maximum.  Other than that, except for a serious problem or a significant emergency, your grade will suffer significantly if you miss class.  If such problems or emergencies require you to miss additional classes beyond the three allowed, you need to supply me with written documentation that explains why you needed to miss class and/or arrange to talk with me in my office about what you have been dealing with.  No student who misses more than six classes total will pass this course.

    I also expect students to arrive on time and to stay through the end of class; I will not count you as present if you do not do so (unless you explain what serious problem or significant emergency requires you to arrive late or leave early).

Learning and Contribution

    What This is and Why it is Important        

    My foremost aim in teaching this course is to help you learn something of significance and value.  I will judge you to a significant degree on what you learn, how–and how hard–you strive to learn, and on how–along with how well–you contribute to the learning for the rest of the class.

    You cannot learn or help others learn if you do not contribute.  If you don't contribute to the work of this class not only will you fail to derive as much gain from it as would be the case if you did contribute, but also you will deprive everyone else of the benefit of your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, knowledge, and experience.  In fact, to remain passively silent in class exploits the work of others who actively engage.

    Class Participation

     Class participation represents an important opportunity to learn, not just a place in which to demonstrate what you have learned.  By raising questions, testing and trying out ideas, taking risks and making mistakes, you learn a great deal–and help others learn a great deal as well.  You learn through talking, not just talk to show what you have learned.  Don't ever hesitate to speak forth in class if you have anything at all to throw into the mix.

    At the same time, just talking a great deal does not necessarily mean that you are making a quality contribution to the class by aiding the learning that we aim to accomplish.  Quality of participation is much more important than quantity, although a sufficient quantity is indispensable to insure quality.  Still, I want to emphasize here that I perceive talking for talking's sake, especially talking which pulls us off on far-fetched tangents, which remains disconnected from and disengaged with the readings, the screenings, and the focus of class, or which effectively silences others, to be negative participation.

    Quality class participation does not, moreover, involve merely asking questions of me and responding to my questions; quality class participation requires you to work as assiduously as you can to advance a serious and substantial discussion with your peers as well as with me about the texts and topics subject to discussion.  Students in this class should, therefore, be prepared to engage with and respond to each other in class discussion, and I will take particular note of how well you do so.

    I would like you to come to class with strong opinions on the topics of discussion, to be ready to share your opinions with the class, and to be open-minded enough to debate your thoughts and to push them as far as they will go.  This last aspect will at times involve what some may think is overanalyzing things, or pushing the envelope to the point where meaning may even seem to break down, but this process is often absolutely necessary to understand a topic fully.

    In evaluating class participation, I find the following grade scale useful: A = Nearly daily response, but always with consistently useful, insightful comments and questions; B= Daily response, with regular comments and questions; C = Less frequent, occasional questions and comments; D= Usually or entirely quiet, or, F=Engaging in behavior that disrupts the learning processes for you and your fellow students, such as by talking while others are speaking.

    Alternative Forms of Contribution

    Contribution to the class certainly can extend far beyond mere speaking in class: it may include a variety of ways in which you can bring to bear your insights to help yourself as well as the rest of us gain from the experience of this course.  Excellent writings for and in response to class can help make up for limitations as far as participation in class goes.  At the same time, listening carefully, respectfully, and thoughtfully in class discussions is an important contribution to class as well.

    Learning and Contribution Reflection Papers/Learning and Contribution Reflection Grades

    Learning and contribution will constitute 40% of the overall course grade.  A significant component of this will involve you writing two learning and contribution reflection papers.  The assignments for these papers will each involve two parts.

    First, I will ask you questions that will require you to engage with issues concerning some of the films and readings we have been studying for the immediately preceding portion of the semester, as well to demonstrate what you are learning from working with these texts.  These questions will change from the first to the second paper, and you will most likely have multiple options from which to choose, with each option involving somewhat different kind of work on your part.

    Second, I will ask you questions that will require you to assess how, and how well, you have been contributing to your own learning, and that of others in the class.

    As I see it, these papers provide you a useful opportunity to communicate with me how you believe you are doing with the course, as well as why so, and to demonstrate your critical self-reflexivity, the hallmark of a liberal arts education.  As you are assessing your own learning and contribution, you may include thoughts in reaction to issues raised in class discussion that you did not have the opportunity or did not feel comfortable enough to share in class; these additional reflections will help me get a better sense of what you have been thinking about and how you have been responding to class discussions, as well as to the readings and screenings.  I will take into account what you write in determining your learning and contribution grade for the preceding semester period; performance on these papers represents a vital component of your learning and contribution grade.

    These papers should be typed, double-space, on single sides of standard white letter-sized (8" X 11") typewriter, computer printer, or photographic paper.  All pages should be numbered, and you should place your name at the top of each page.  You may use any standard font you wish, yet you should keep your point size between 10 and 12 points.  Papers must be stapled, and you are responsible for doing so, not me. You should try as best possible to follow all rules and conventions of Standard Written English and MLA format (or any other well-established, conventional format) for citation and documentation of sources.

    I recommend an approximate average maximum target range of 2000 to 2500 words (roughly eight to ten double-space, typed pages) for each learning and contribution reflection paper.  

    Each learning and contribution grade (including each learning and contribution reflection paper) will be worth 20% of the overall course grade (for a total of 40% of the overall course grade).  Late papers will lose 1/3 of a letter grade for each day they are turned in after the deadline, unless you arrange with me ahead of time for an extension due to some kind of serious problem that prevents you from completing your paper on time.        

Desire2Learn Postings (Reflections, Comments, Critiques)

    I am creating a Desire2Learn electronic classroom website for this class.  Beyond me posting materials here for you to read, I am also asking you periodically to post short reflections, comments, and critiques on this site that engage with readings and screenings so that you can use this as opportunity to pursue further dialogue and debate with your fellow classmates.

    In writing these reflections, comments, and/or critiques I suggest an approximate target average of 500 to 750 words.  These are “semi-formal,” which means you should try to write as clearly and cogently as possible, but I will not be a stickler for minute kinds of fine points of style in evaluating what you write.  

    I expect a minimum of three initial posts and a minimum of six response posts during each half of the semester, for a minimum total of six initial posts and twelve response posts.  Posting beyond these minimums, and especially by pursuing extended, quality discussions with your peers will boost your grade.

    I will let you know the last date you can post for a particular post assignment when I put up the assignment.  Aim to keep up with this task so that you are not cramming responses in at the last moment, and so that what you post does contribute to (your own and fellow students’) significant learning, reflection, discussion, and debate–the more your posts do so, the better your grade will turn out to be.   Please do feel free to argue with and critique each other (focusing, of course, on positions represented by and practices supported by your peers, not on denigrating persons).  

    I expect the opportunity to engage in this kind of supplementary, informal dialogue will help you in your learning and contribution, as well as make the course more interesting and meaningful for you.  It will also give you the chance to test out and receive potentially helpful feedback on ideas you might want later to pursue in class discussions, in papers, with your interview conference assignment, and as part of the final project.  In addition, this will give you a chance to share ideas that you thought of after class discussion, or that you needed more time to think out and formulate effectively in your own mind before sharing these, while Desire2Learn postings should also help students who are shy about speaking forth extensively in class discussion.  I know everyone in class has much of value to offer, including those who do not feel as readily inclined or as comfortable to voice this in class discussion as some others.

    The Desire2Learn postings will be graded twice, once half-way through the semester and once at the end of the semester.  Here, my evaluation will be quite succinct, focused, and holistic.  The grade for your Desire2Learn postings will contribute the following percentages of the overall course grade: 7.5% for the first half of the semester, and 7.5% for the second half of the semester.

 Interview Conference

    Approximately one-third of the way through the semester, I will ask you to meet in conference outside of class with me to engage in an extended, serious, critical discussion of one British film we have not yet previously screened together this semester.   I estimate we will talk together for approximately one hour.  You will work on this assignment as part of a group of three to four students from our class.  

    I will give you a copy of the film sufficiently ahead of time so you can screen it, review it carefully, and prepare to offer an incisive reading of it in our conference.   I will also give you the specific questions ahead of time that I want you to come to the conference prepared to address.

    This assignment will be worth 20% of the overall course grade.  I will give you individual grades for this assignment (although they most likely will turn out to be the same, unless different members of the group clearly put in substantially different amounts of work on this assignment), and I will give you all copies of a written form after the conference providing each of you an opportunity individually to evaluate (in confidence) each other member’s contribution to the group’s work–as well as to evaluate yourself.  I will take into account these evaluations in determining your individual grades.  

 Final Group Project

    Once again, you will work together with a group of two to three fellow students from our class on this project.  Groups may consist of three to four students.  I will give each group three British films we have not screened together as part of the course.  Your task will be to prepare a presentation that uses these films as a point of departure, reference, and return in order to help illuminate, as well as stimulate, thinking and discussion, in relation to a.)  a significant issue in British cinema studies, as well as b.) a significant issue in British history, society, politics, and/or culture.  You yourselves, in your groups and in consultation with me, will determine, based upon what the films you are working with suggest, precisely what these specific issues will be.  At the end of the semester you will present what you have come up with as part of a public class conference; you will have approximately 45 minutes time to present, followed by approximately 30 minutes time to engage in–and lead–discussionThis class conference will take place on Sunday December 16 in rooms and at times to be arranged.  It will be open (and advertised) to the public to attend as interested and able.

    These projects may involve incorporation of original creative work, depending upon the interests and talents of the members of your group.  For instance, you may create and present a.) your own short video (or film); b.)  an exhibition of visual or plastic art; c.) a music, theatre, dance, and/or spoken word performance; and d.) other kind of collages or montages from multiple, mixed media.  You certainly should incorporate use of clips from the three films into your presentation, including into the creative portions I have just described as possible forms this presentation may take.  You do not need to create and present any of this kind of material, however, if you do not wish to do so, as long as you can find a way successfully to illuminate and stimulate (as I described in the preceding paragraph).  In other words, you can present the results of research and critical analysis to us, together with the screening of illustrative clips, along the lines of what you would commonly find at a professional academic conference (and you may prepare the same kind of poster or array of posters that many academic conferences often include at “poster sessions,” or that UWEC features at its annual ‘Student Research Day[s]’ in April). [I mention the ‘creative’ options here solely because past 381 students have wanted to make these kinds of additional contributions to their final group projects, not because I myself necessarily expect them–and I’m not one to stifle creativity and enthusiasm, so if you want to do something like that, I’ll support you, but if not, hey, no problem whatsoever.]

    I will make more specific suggestions to you for this project as part of the assignment, and when you receive the assignment it will describe the goals, parameters, and criteria for evaluation in greater detail than I do here.   Also, we will, each group and I, meet in a conference sufficiently ahead of the time of the presentation so I can help assist you in your planning and preparation.  I do recommend, however, that you right away start paying attention to ideas addressed in the readings and screenings for the course that particularly interest you, so that you may well be able to pursue these further with your final group project.  I will give you some choice over what films you will use to launch and anchor this project, but this will be limited to titles which I own copies of and which I think will prove especially stimulating for our purposes, including supplementing and extending beyond what we were able to cover together in class.

    Just to give you some initial idea of what might be areas in which to focus with this project, consider production, distribution, and exhibition as each separate areas, and imagine you might inquire into a specific issue in any one of these areas, or think about the prospect of looking into a particular issue involving the representation, reception, influence, impact, or engagement a specific kind of film provides versus one specific aspect of British, English, Scottish, or Welsh identity–such as one specific question of class, race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, or sexuality.

    This assignment will be worth 25% of the overall course grade.   Once again, I will give you individual grades (although they may well turn out all the same), and once again I will give you all copies of a written form after your presentation providing each of you an opportunity individually to evaluate (in confidence) each other member’s contribution to the group’s work–as well as to evaluate yourself.  I will, as with the earlier interview conference, take into account these evaluations in determining your individual grades.          

    Finally, presentation besides your own.  You will receive each student is required to attend and participate actively in discussion for one other group’s project2.5% extra credit for each additional group project presentation you attend and engage with in discussion beyond the one required of you.

    Class Field Trip/Additional Extra Credit

    I will work together with you to organize a class field trip to the Twin Cities related to the focus of this course.  I want to make this a fun occasion that expands beyond what we do in class as well as enhances it.  Students who help organize the field trip will receive 5% extra credit for so doing.   All students who participate in the field trip will also receive 5% additional extra credit.  I will pay for a significant percentage of the cost of the field trip, i.e., all transportation costs.  I welcome suggestions, although I can tell you right away that most likely whatever we do will involve us traveling on one Saturday ranging from mid-October through early November.   I hope to plan this fairly early in the semester.  Friends will be welcome to join us.  If you can’t make the field trip, but would like the opportunity for extra credit, I will find something else that you can do.

    And, while I’m on the subject of outings, we will have a class party at my house.  Help in organizing it, as well as participating in it, likely will offer additional opportunities for yet further extra credit.  Tentatively, I’m planning on either Tuesday evening December 18th or Wednesday evening December 19th.  More later on that.  


    I encourage you to meet with me in conference during office hours or at another mutually convenient time to discuss any issue of interest or concern that you develop as a student in this course and as a member of this class.  I recognize the value of learning that takes place in conferences; I know this can at times be equally as important, and in fact occasionally even more important, than what takes place in class.  It also provides you an opportunity to contribute beyond what you say in class and write for class.  So please do not hesitate to meet with me at any time you think this might be helpful to you.  I want to help you in your understanding of issues addressed in readings, screenings, and discussions, as well as in your writing and participation.  And you may certainly also feel free to contact me by e-mail or by (my campus office) phone as well.   

     * Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom accommodations, please contact the instructor and the Services for Students with Disabilities Office. *


    In the interest of accountability–me to you–I am here providing you links: 1.) to my statement of philosophy as a college teacher: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/philosophy.htm; 2.) to my autobiographical profile: http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/PROFILE_.htm and http://www.myspace.com/insurgentseanmurphy (if you too are on myspace feel free to contact me to become myspace friends); and 3.) to my professional vita (the academic equivalent of a resume): http://people.uwec.edu/ranowlan/VITA.htm.  I encourage you to check these sites out; it is useful for you to know who your teacher is, what he’s about, and where he’s coming from–and I like to be very open, honest, and forthright with you about all of that.  I look forward to a great semester working together with you!