Spring 2021 - IS 105 D100

Around the World through Film (3)

Class Number: 5841

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM



Explores social, economic, and political change around the globe, through documentaries and feature films. Examines pressing issues that shape and reflect people’s lives in diverse countries and regions, from Asia and Latin America, to Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


IS 105 will introduce students to major topics in international relations through the language of film. Part intro to International Studies, part intro to visual literacy, the course will engage with the central question of how cinema can facilitate unique interpretations of imperialism, globalization and climate change. The course will examine content from around the world that provokes discussion of the experiential interstices of race, class, gender and environment ranging from the legacies of colonial racism put on trial in Ousmane Sembène's Black Girl (1966), to the ways that internal colonialism dovetails with ecological themes in Armando Robles Godoy's The Green Wall (1970) and the biting economic inequality exquisitely portrayed in Bong Joon-Ho's Parasite (2019).


Upon successful completion of IS 105, students will be able to:

  • Identify major issues associated with the legacies of colonialism, the globalization of consumer culture, and climate change
  • Distinguish how processes of colonialism, globalization, and climate change have played out in different parts of the globe
  • Interrogate the ways in which the course's main themes can be treated as distinct and interrelated
  • Analyse and interpret films as a unique narrative form that combines sound and visuals


  • One Group Module Project 40%
  • One Course Essay 30%
  • Weekly Module Quizzes 12%
  • Weekly Reading Reactions 10%
  • Participation 8%


What to Expect:
These are strange times. And the way that IS 105 is structured will reflect the type of flexibility and creativity required to respond to the trying and volatile times in which we live. This means trying out new ways of connecting and interacting remotely, which might not always be successful and may be subject to change.

In a typical week, students can expect to do the following:
• Watch the assigned weekly film
• Read between 20-40 pages of assigned reading
• Post a brief reading reaction
• Complete the weekly module on Canvas
• Attend a live discussion session via Zoom

Though not required, it is advised that students complete the weekly tasks in the order they are listed above. Details regarding weekly films and course modules can be found in the Course Schedule. Each week a new module and reading discussion forum will be posted on Canvas. Students are expected to follow along and post in the proper discussion forums, so they should be checking the Course Schedule, as well as instructor announcements, frequently.

In addition to the weekly tasks, students are expected to continually work on their Group Module Project and their Course Essay.



All readings will be provided as links or PDFs posted on the course's Canvas site. While most films are available for free on the Internet or through the SFU Library, students should ensure they have access to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video (a one-month free trial will suffice if planned properly with the course schedule).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).