Muhlenberg College Spring 2019

Course objectives

Documentary Research aims to advance the liberal arts mission of the College by developing your capacities of imagination and critical thinking that make possible humane and responsible living within a democratic society. Whereas the box office and bottom line drive most media making in our culture, documentary media is typically made in the service of some greater social good (this is not to rule out commercial success, of course, only to point out that it is not the major motivation behind most documentary projects).

Your success in this course will be characterized by your ability to:

  • develop competency in digital storytelling
  • effectively practice documentary research methods
  • become competent with digital media tools (Adobe Photoshop, WordPress, WeVideo,etc.)
  • produce well-written, accurately cited papers with an original, insightful argument
  • understand the relationship between documentary and other forms of media
  • explore the possibilities and limits of documentary as a form of advocacy for social change
  • locate alternate sources of media and information
  • grasp the relationship between words and images in constructing meaning
  • explore implications of digital media for image ethics
  • analyze documentary films
  • explain core concepts in the study of documentary
  • identify landmark works in the tradition of American social documentary
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