This section of ENGL 1102 develops communication strategies through a consideration of “ecocinema,” a label that describes not only films that directly address environmental issues (An Inconvenient Truth, Food Inc.) but also a contemporary film-viewing sensibility that is attuned to the kinds of arguments that all films make—implicitly or explicitly, in realistic or fantastical, imagined worlds—about the environment and the earth’s future. Taking up both of these strands, this course invites students to explore ecocinema through the practice of film analysis and criticism. We will survey a range of films from different time periods, genres (science fiction, drama) and modes of filmmaking (documentary, animation, and narrative feature films), and consider them in the context of emergent scholarship on ecocinema and larger discussions about environmental issues.

The course will also create ecocinematic culture by organizing a one-night, campus-wide film screening. Working in groups, students will select films that will appeal to audiences of their peers at Georgia Tech and ignite discussion of issues surrounding sustainability. Producing a film screening from start to finish will foster a range of communication strategies: students will practice professional communication by writing to production companies to secure exhibition permissions and to campus offices to secure screening spaces; they will hone design skills as they  create promotional materials, including posters, flyers, and a website; and they will strengthen public speaking skills as they introduce films and moderate post-screening discussions. The course will contribute directly to Georgia Tech’s Quality Enhancement Plan on sustainability, and will seek out connections with related initiatives on campus.

WOVEN Communication

You will continue to hone the WOVEN communication skills you began to develop in ENG1101. Below are some of the highlights:

Written communication: (a) develop a recognizable critical voice and the ability to use it to make effective argumentative claims in a range of genres and subgenres of academic writing; (b) foreground the value of your contributions to the discourse; and (c) identify legitimate sources, use them to further your own argumentative claims, and cite them correctly.

Oral communication: (a) pitch a convincing argument to your peers (b) “move the conversation” in class discussions

Visual communication: (a) analyze visual style and its relationship to other filmic elements; (b) use the juxtaposition of text and image to support your argumentative claims.

Electronic communication. (a) annotate digital media using Mediathread; (b) post blog entries in WordPress; (3) use a variety of digital tools as you contribute to the screening event.

Nonverbal communication. (a) use eye contact and body language effectively in classroom presentations and discussions; (b) practice attentive and responsive engagement with others’ nonverbal communication.

Expected Outcomes

In addition to the course outcomes for all English 1102 courses, this course includes the following outcomes:

  • Critically reflect on your longstanding tastes and viewing practices, and cultivate an informed interest in how films, their creators, and their audiences act on the environment and environmental issues.
  • Develop fluency in film language and formal analysis.
  • Learn how to work collaboratively to plan and execute a screening event for a sizable audience.