Critical Thought and Social Consciousness through Film


Fall 2014 quarter

Taught by

public administration, Native American studies, art

Social consciousness isn't just about issues, but about seeing other points of view. It's about your approach to humanity and how you see it.
-Laura Bickford, Oscar nominated producer of "Traffic"

Film can revolve around complex issues found in society and offer different perspectives on human and societal behavior.  Students in the all level class will view and analyze a minimum of 20 films from the big screen, small screen, and documentary categories.  The class will be divided into four topical areas: race relations, corporate influence and impacts, LGBT community issues, and a miscellaneous category.  Examples of films that may be included are: Crash, Milk, American History X, Wall Street, Grand Torino, 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days, Traffic, Two Spirits, and How to Survive a Plague.  Students will review critiques of the films, participate in seminars, use organizing techniques to identify concepts, and review competing and historical perspectives.  In addition, students will analyze each film’s individual perspectives, techniques, and impacts.  Students will produce reflections and/or film analysis, a final term paper that is a comparative analysis within one of the categories, deep reflective questions for each film, and research work associated with each film category. They will learn to apply critical modes of questioning to issues in their own communities.  They will understand the meaning of social consciousness and the value of significant dialogue. Students should be prepared to enter into difficult discussions with civility and respect. Students can expect to examine their own beliefs in light of differing perspectives.  Students can expect to receive credit in film analysis, critical thought, and social consciousness or justice.  

NOTE : students in this program must be prepared to view films that offer controversial subject matter and perspectives and may be rated R. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

consciousness studies and media studies.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

No Required Online Learning: No access to web tools required. Any web tools provided are optional for students.


Date Revision
March 11th, 2014 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Number

So - Sr (16 credits): 10193

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