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Faculty Profiles

Department: Media and Film Studies

David ReshaNo Photo

Assistant Professor of Media and Film Studies


121 Berte Humanities Building

Contact Information:

Birmingham-Southern College
Campus Box 549028
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-7841
Office Fax: N/A

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Brief Career Background:

David Resha is the director of the Media and Film Studies program and has been a member of the Birmingham-Southern College faculty since 2010. He is the author of The Cinema of Errol Morris (Wesleyan University Press, 2015) and has published articles in The Velvet Light Trap, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Screening the Past. Dr. Resha serves on the board of directors for the Alabama Moving Image Association.

Educational Background:

BA Vassar College 2001
MA University of Wisconsin-Madison 2004
PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison 2010

Areas of Academic Interest:

  • Documentary Film
  • Film Exhibition
  • Television Advertising
  • Film Production

Courses Taught:

MFS 64 Screenwriting Workshop

MFS 100 Introduction to Media Studies
An introduction to critical analysis of mass media in the context of contemporary culture and social institutions, including an examination of how mass media, such as film, television, advertising, the Internet, and others, affect and reflect cultural values, political attitudes, personal identity, and behavior. Students learn basic media literacy by developing conceptual tools for thinking critically about mass media, with a special emphasis on (1) how various media shape and convey meaning; and (2) the impact that the form, function, and institutional production of media have on local, national, and global communities. Offered yearly in the fall.

MFS 110 James Bond Across Media
An exploration of the evolution of James Bond from the Ian Fleming novels to a variety of art forms, such as Hollywood and international cinema, television, comics, music, and games. Includes analysis of James Bond as a character in the context of post-war spy literature, and examines the influence of factors like storytelling conventions, special effects, and stardom on the franchise.

MFS 150 Introduction to Film

MFS 210 Film Analysis
An introduction to the fundamental concepts and tools of film analysis. The course focuses on learning to isolate, describe, and analyze stylistic elements of film, as well as film narrative and narration. This course serves two purposes: to provide the necessary descriptive and analytic tools to excel in upper-level film courses; and to deepen the student's appreciation of cinema by encouraging the viewing of films as richly textured works of art.

MFS 220 Film Production I
An introduction to narrative video production. The course asks students to employ the conventions of classical storytelling to produce projects that are clear, coherent, thoughtful, and emotionally engaging. Students will also learn how to properly use video production equipment, including HD video cameras, professional audio and lighting equipment, and Final Cut Pro editing software.

MFS 221 Film Production II
An examination of non-fiction video production. Through production work, screenings, readings, and discussion, we will explore various styles and strategies for making artwork that draws upon the richness of the world that surrounds us. The course will focus on employing observational filmmaking techniques to capture people and places in the Birmingham area. Prerequisite: MFS 220.

MFS 222 Screenwriting
An examination of screenwriting using classical narrative structure. The course focuses on conventional storytelling elements like goals, conflicts, development, and resolution and how these are employed to clearly tell a story, engage the viewers' attention, and elicit emotions from the audience. There will be an emphasis on using classical storytelling devices in a coherent and creative manner.

MFS 250 History of Documentary Film
An introductory survey of documentary film. The course will focus on some of the major developments in documentary practice, while also considering a number of theoretical issues in the documentary tradition, including the problem of objectivity, the relationship between the documentary image and reality, and the mixing of fiction and non-fiction modes. The goals of this course are to introduce students to the important historical trends and concepts and to help develop the critical and analytical skills needed to understand the structure, style, and rhetorical strategies of documentary film (a Leadership Studies designated course). (Also listed as HON 250.)

MFS 299 The Sundance Film Festival: Independent Cinema and the Festival Circuit
This winter term course will examine the intimate relationship between independent cinema and films festivals, with a focus on the Sundance Film Festival. In the first three weeks of interim, the class will study the history of film festivals and the ways in which they have influenced the landscape of contemporary cinema. The class will then travel to the Sundance Film Festival for the last week of e-term and watch movies, attend panels and workshops, and examine the current relationship between film festivals and independent cinema.

MFS 310 Film and Media Theory
A survey of film and media theory from the silent era to the present. The course focuses on several key theorists and their ideas about the nature and function of cinema/media, as well as the relationship between texts, spectatorship, and culture. Throughout the semester, we will properly situate these theories in their historical context and examine the influence they have had on subsequent theorists and practitioners. Prerequisite: MFS 100, 201, or consent.

MFS 470 Seminar and Senior Conference
An interdisciplinary seminar in a special topic designed to engage all three areas of concentration.

MFS 490 Independent Project or Internship
A directed study that involves either an independently designed project or a media-related internship. Students design, plan, and implement their project or internship in consultation with the instructor.