HSEM 3076V: Children and Cinema: The Child's Mind, the Child's Eye, and the Moving Image

3 CreditsHonorsWriting Intensive

We often think that children perceive the world differently from adults. In cinema, this perceived difference has led, on the one hand, to anxiety about film's effects on youth. On the other hand, it has led to a search for cinematic forms that respond to children's visual and cognitive \"uniqueness.\" Indeed, throughout the world, childhood vision has long served as impetus and metaphor for re-envisioning cinema: for honing what it looks like, how it is produced, and how it is circulated and exhibited. This seminar examines these provocative and fruitful intersections between childhood and cinema. We will ask how the child viewer has been understood cognitively, politically, and socially, and analyze films made for children or inspired by understandings of children's minds and eyes. We will also explore how childhood and youth have sparked institutional developments in cinema, and influenced film and media studies as a discipline. Our subjects include, among others, research on children and the movies (e.g., the interwar Payne Fund Studies); the intersections between developmental psychology and children's films; childhood perception, the avant-garde, and animation; youth and postwar \"new waves;\" and children's film studios as pedagogical spaces for filmmakers. Films and readings are drawn from the United States, United Kingdom, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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