Spring 2024 - CA 824 G100

New Approaches in Moving-Image Studies (5)

Recent Exploration in Ecocinema

Class Number: 6413

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Thu, 2:30–5:20 p.m.



Examines what are understood as the arts of the moving image: film, video, and other time based audiovisual media. A survey of emerging approaches in cinema studies relates these developments to the longer history of the discipline and the intermedial art forms that informed it, including theater, public spectacles, photography, painting, music, and sound recording. Additional topics include: how the practice, aesthetics, and reception change when cinema moves to television, both move to digital formats, and all these platforms move to handheld and social media; medium specificity in the moving-image arts in light of "media convergence"; what new forms emerge when moving images shift from the institution of cinema to museum and online contexts; new approaches to national cinemas and documentary; and cognitive and neuroscientific theories of moving images. Students with credit for FPA 824 may not take this course for further credit.


2023 marked the publication of Ecocinema Theory and Practice 2 edited by Stephen Rust, Salma Monani, and Seán Cubitt and 10 years since the publication of the first volume of the same title – which helped define the field. The intervening decade has seen an immense flourishing of work in the field of ecocinema – by both scholars and artists. It has also born witness to ever more vivid and devastating impacts of climate change and human-caused environmental destruction. Our course takes up this vibrant field of inquiry and creation at a moment when the stakes couldn’t be higher.

In this course students will examine ecocinema as a creative practice and mode of artistic engagement with questions related to resources, energy, sustainability, landscape, human-nonhuman relations, climate change, etc. We will also take up ecocinema as a critical methodology of media studies – one which offers a framework for analyzing all of contemporary and historical media culture through a materialist and ecocritical lens. In doing so students will survey major developments in the field of ecocinema over the last decade or so, including critiques from inside and outside the field that take up intersectional, decolonial, queer, feminist, and Indigenous perspectives.

By reading broadly and engaging critically with both historical and contemporary cinema, students will be able to situate their own scholarship and creative practice within the debates in ecomedia and embark on an original research project in the field.


  • Participation and Discussion 10%
  • Weekly Reading Questions 15%
  • Literature review essay 20%
  • Research project abstract and bibliography 10%
  • Research Project Peer reviews 10%
  • Research Project Draft 5%
  • Research project final essay (3000-4000 words 30%



Additional required readings will be available on Canvas and/or e-reserve at the SFU Library
Films will be made available through Canvas or on reserve at Belzberg Library.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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