Skip to main contentSkip to footer


Course Section Number:50903
Professor:Ben Sampson
Format:100% Online
Course Length:16 week
Dates and Times of Required Meetings:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:05-8:00 a.m. 8/17/20 to 12/12/20

Tool(s) Used to Meet:

Students are expected to have a computer, a good web browser (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are best), regular access to reliable high-speed internet access, and a word-processing program such as Google docs, Pages, or Microsoft Word. Students must also have both a Netflix and a Kanopy account. Kanopy is an online streaming service that is free with a LA County Library card, which is also free. Lastly, you'll need to download ConferZoom onto your computer for our teleconference classes.

Textbook Title:There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be posted in the Canvas shell.
Types of Assessments:Weekly Chapter Outlines, Zoom Discussions, 2 Written Assignments, Final Exam


Picture of Professor Sampson


Welcome to this fully online section of Cinema 123 -- American Cinema: Crossing Cultures. My name is Ben Sampson and I'll be your professor for the course. I worked in the film and television industry for 5 years before returning to school and getting my MA and PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. I have been teaching film courses full time at different colleges and universities across the Los Angeles and Southern California region for last five years, including UCLA, CSULA, Moorpark College, and College of the Canyons. Teaching and cinema are the two passions of my life and I love the opportunity to explore movies with students every day. I'm excited for this semester!

Course Description

This class surveys American motion pictures that have been made by filmmakers representing a variety of American ethnic groups. Students will analyze Hollywood's treatment of ethnic cultures throughout film history. Upon completing this course, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the rich variety of American movies written, produced, directed, and/or acted in by men and women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, classes, and lifestyles
  2. Analyze what the major filmmakers of different ethnic cultures thought and expressed in their films
  3. Explain both orally and in writing the differences and similarities among various films representing the work of different American ethnic groups and cultures
  4. Describe how films depicting various ethnic cultures have been a major part of the canon of American cinema
  5. Analyze how and why Hollywood studios and filmmakers have created and perpetuated various cultural/ethnic motion picture stereotypes -- some positive, many negative -- which have influenced generations of moviegoers' attitudes toward our country's ethnic minorities.

What to Expect in this Course


Each week there will be screenings & online class lecture & discussions. The Weekly Chapter outlines will be the main weekly work for this course and they will prep you for the forthcoming week's film screening and discussion. We will be holding mandatory Zoom lecture/discussion meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:05-8:00am each week. Both of these Zoom lecture/discussion meetings are mandatory -- you must come prepared to actively discuss assigned readings and films. In addition, there will be three Film Analysis papers throughout the semester as well as a Final Exam at the end. 

Additional Textbook Information / Link to OER Textbook

There is no textbook for this course. All readings will be posted in the Canvas shell.

Other Relevant Course Information

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore) or by clicking on . The phone number is 661-362-3259. Also, the National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800- 273-8255. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can it call when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

Larry Schallert LCSW DCSW
Assistant Director, Student Health & Wellness/ Mental Health Program College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road
Santa Clarita CA 91355

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accomodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

College of the Canyons cares about your emotional and physical health. Learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including free counseling and mental health services available during this time by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center website or by calling them at: 661-362-3259.

The National Suicide Lifeline number is 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK). Please call it if you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress - it could save someone's life.

You can also use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. It's free, available 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.

Last updated: 08/21/2020 Sub # Orig: 1633