MHIS 327: Studies in Animation History

This course offers students a deeper understanding of animation history. For many animation scholars and artists, a defining feature of "animation" that separates it from traditional photographic cinema is the capacity to bring to life processes or concepts that are invisible to the naked eye and to the live-action camera. This course uses that distinction as an organizing structure for thinking about the history and development of animation, by considering animation's capacity to reveal otherwise-invisible historical factors and influences, including the rendering of history itself. Topics will cover industrial and material contexts of animation production; the intersection of animation with histories of fine arts and sciences; and the central role that animation has played in rendering and evoking abstract ideas or intangible experiences. Considering the wide range of animation traditions and the proliferation of animation across all digital media, the course eschews a comprehensive chronology in favour of a series of perspectives and case studies. Examples will include commercial animation from more than one global context, as well as independent artisanal animation, scientific and industrial animation, and animation in gallery installations. Through lectures, readings, and assignments, students will develop their own ability to understand and investigate areas of interest within animation.

This course is subject to priority rules; see here.

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