UCL Teaching and Learning Network (TLN)

Programme for 2010-2011

Note all sessions will take place from 1.05pm - 1.55pm in Cruciform Lecture Theatre 2.

Round the lighthouse and back in time for ...Casablanca! Using feature films in the classroom

Dr Melvyn Stokes - Department of History

To many scholars, feature films - films telling a story - are just entertainment. This session will suggest that they can be analysed as historical source materials in an analogous way to printed matter. Most people will not have noticed the lighthouse shot from Casablanca (1942)-they can be forgiven for this because it takes less than three seconds. But the shot is present in the film for a very specific purpose and it emphasises what could not be shown on American screens for much of the twentieth century. Feature films shed considerable light on the social, cultural and at times political make-up of the society in which they are produced. They have diverse origins, often in other art-forms such as literature or the theatre. They may or may not follow more conventional written analyses of an event or a personality. They are criticised or praised by critics and commentators on their release - and this reception often changes over the years as social and cultural outlooks change. Some are produced by biased film-makers and are later praised or, more probably, blamed for this. The companies producing films are themselves subject to a range of restraints: bureaucratic, financial, or imposed by censorship regimes. This talk, with clips, will demonstrate the varied uses of feature films in the classroom.

Monthly Meetings

Other TLN Events

We hope to host some TLN events at UCL venues away from the main campus this year.  Details will be posted here and on the TLN Moodle pages.