Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Film Studies

(Media and Film Studies)

Director, 2014-15: William Sonnega (Theater), theater, media studies

Faculty, 2014-15: Karen Achberger (German), German cinema (on leave); Brian Bjorklund (Theater), design and production; Kari Lie Dorer (Norwegian), Norwegian language, applied linguistics (on leave); Dona Freeman (Theater), acting (on leave spring semester); Carlos Gallego (English), literature and film; Steve Hahn (History), early America, Native American history; Karil Kucera (Art and Art History/Asian Studies), Asian visual culture; Judy Kutulas (History), 20th-century American history, American women’s history, media history; Justin Merritt (Music), music and film; Linda Mokdad (Film Studies and English), film history and theory; Diana Neal (Nursing), wellness and media; Thomas Pope (English), screenwriting; Rebecca Richards (English), writing; Anthony Roberts (Dance), dance and multi-media; Matthew Rohn (Art and Art History), art history, environmental studies (on leave Interim and spring semester); Mary Trull (English), 16th- and 17th-century literature; Karen Peterson Wilson (Theater), theater, voice/phonetics, oral interpretation

Art, history, cultural studies, and technology come together in the interdisciplinary study of film: text meets sound and image, art meets science, economics meet aesthetics. Film studies addresses the inherently collaborative nature of a medium where directors, cinematographers, editors, actors, musicians, and set designers work together to create works of art. Films invite analysis and evaluation both as self-contained works of art, and as reflections of the historical and cultural circumstances in which they are created and consumed.

overview of the concentration

The film studies concentration equips students with basic skills of visual literacy (how to "read" the moving image), and the ability to understand the cultural, historical, and commercial contexts of films.


requirements for the concentration

The Film studies concentration consists of five courses, at least three at level II or III, including:

(1) Film Studies 101: Introduction to Film Studies.

(2) Studies in the history, theory, or cultural meaning of film. Two elective courses focus on the history, theory, or cultural expression of film within the United States or in a global context. These courses examine the production, critical evaluation, cultural history, and reception of film. Students take two courses to develop fluency with the critical and theoretical methods of the discipline (see list below).

(3) Practical film studies. One elective course that focuses on practical aspects of film creation or criticism. These courses emphasize modern film as professional practice, asking students to master at least one of the main creative or technical skill sets used in film-making (see list below).

(4) Integrative film studies. One more elective class drawn from (2) and (3) above, or an integrative film topics course approved by the program (see list below), or a contract course worked out in consultation with the program director and the instructor. This course challenges students to synthesize their previous study of film in ways consistent with their own needs and interests, emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of film studies. Students must present to the program director a brief explanation of how their work in this course synthesizes previous interests.

Note: no more than one course from another institution may count toward the concentration.

101 Introduction to Film Studies

This course provides an overview of film studies by focusing on three areas: history of film, production (the basic tools of film-making), and theory (the basic vocabulary of film analysis). Students develop visual literacy through engagement with the primary structures, methods, practitioners, history, ideas, and vocabularies of film studies.

201 American Film History

This course explores both classic and contemporary Hollywood cinema in its artistic, cultural, technological, and economic contexts. Students study films ranging from silent movie classics, screwball comedy, film noir, and the Hollywood musical through the work of Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg. In addition to assigned reading and writing, students are required to watch two films per week, one of them at a formal screening on Monday evenings. Offered periodically. Counts towards American studies major.

215 American Film Realism

This course uses genre criticism and film theory to introduce students to the history of cinematic realism and to examine the works of contemporary American filmmakers who have returned to realism in an era dominated by special effects and computer generated images. Students learn about the historical antecedents of present-day realism, including neorealism, cinema vérité, and 1970s American independent film; they then explore the work of contemporary filmmakers such as David Greene, Sofia Coppola, and Kelly Reichardt. Offered occasionally.

225 Documentary Film: The Challenge of Representing Reality

This course explores the relevance and influence of documentary films by closely examining their aesthetic concerns, ethical implications, and real-world impacts. The course offers a condensed historical overview along with an examination of recent works. It combines screenings, readings, and discussions with the goal of preparing students both to understand and to analyze documentary films. This course does not have a production component. Prerequisite: FILM 101 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.

294 Internship

298 Independent Study

310 Filmmakers/Film Theorists

What is the relationship between film criticism and fimmaking? How is analysis a critical practice that informs the art and craft of filmmaking? In Filmmakers/Film Theorists we will consider these questions by focusing on film artists who also write film criticism or theory. Some case studies that may be explored include: the American, Soviet, and French avant-garde; the European New Waves; the Dogme '95 collective; and filmmakers Pier Paolo Pasolini, Agnes Varda, and Robert Bresson. Prerequisite: FILM 101 or permission of instructor. Not offered 2013-14.

394 Internship

396 Directed Undergraduate Research: "Topic Description"

This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: determined by individual instructor. Offered based on department decision. May be offered as a 1.00 credit course or .50 credit course.

398 Independent Research

courses that count toward the film studies concentration

The following courses are offered annually or biannually: Additional courses that count for film studies may be offered on a periodic or one-time basis. Students interested in having a course approved for film studies should consult the program director.

Courses that may fulfill requirement 2 (studies in the history, theory, or cultural meaning of film)

Asian Studies 144: Japanese and Korean Cultures Through Film
English 275: Literature and Film
Film Studies 201: American Film History
Film Studies 310: Filmmakers/Film Theorists
German 249: German Cinema
Norwegian 130: Nordic Film Today
Russian Language/Area Studies 265: Introduction to Russian and Soviet Film (in English translation)

Courses that may fulfill requirement 3 (practical film studies)

Art 104: Foundation New Media
Art 228: Animated Art
Art 229: Digital Filmmaking
Dance 150: Movement, the Camera, and the Creative Process
English 296: Screenwriting
Theater 130: Introduction to Acting
Theater 275: Writing for Performance

Courses that may fulfill requirement 4 (integrative film studies)

Asian Studies 156: Contemporary China through Film
Asian Studies 230: Philosophy of Anime
French 250: Speaking of French
History 290: Reel America: U.S. History in Film
Media Studies 160: Mass Media
Media Studies 260: Media and Contemporary Culture
Nursing 120: Images of Wellness
Philosophy 260: Kant's Moral Theory in Literature and Film
Religion 121: The Bible in Culture and Community: "Bible as Screen Play"
Writing 111:"Writing about Film" and "Page, Stage, and Screen"