'Let's Watch a Movie!': Using Film and Film Theory to Teach Theories of International Politics from a Critical Perspective

Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 7 Sep 2011

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

In this paper I argue that since our students learn in an increasingly visual culture, of which they are sophisticated consumers, film and film theory constitute a useful pedagogical tool to teach a critical introduction to International Relations (IR) theory. I build on Cynthia Weber‟s work by incorporating insights from film studies‟ structuralist and poststructuralist theories and concepts. In addition to this, I illustrate my approach by suggesting particular films and ways to analyze them that would help students visualize IR theory critically. The theories and films selected are: Nuclear Deterrence (Realism) through “Dr Strangelove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”, Wendt‟s social theory of international politics (Constructivism) through “Paradise Now”, and Gramsci‟s studies on hegemony (Neo-Marxism) through “Syriana”.

Suggested Citation

Garcia Iommi, Lucrecia, 'Let's Watch a Movie!': Using Film and Film Theory to Teach Theories of International Politics from a Critical Perspective (2011). APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1903282

Lucrecia Garcia Iommi (Contact Author)

University of Notre Dame ( email )

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