Film Studies Program

Film Studies


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The Film Studies program provides students the opportunity to study the formal components of cinema (e.g. narrative, cinematography, editing, mise-en-scene, and sound) within aesthetic, ethical, cultural, socio-political, and historical contexts.  Within these frameworks, study of film enhances not only students' perceptual sensitivity to the cinematic medium but also their analytical sophistication regarding cinema's changing role in the world.  

Film Studies courses share the following learning goals: 

  • To learn about the formal components of cinema (narrative, cinematography, editing, mise-en-scene, sound)

  • To situate these formal components of cinema within aesthetic, cultural, socio- political, and historical contexts (in other words, students will be sensitive to how films and audiences make meanings)

  • To enhance students’ perceptual sensitivity to the cinematic medium (such that students see/hear a film with keener attention)

  • To increase students’ analytical sophistication (in oral and written expression) regarding cinema’s changing role in the world 

Students can pursue a minor in Film Studies or can pursue a concentration in Film Studies through the English department, which offers an English-Film major.  Interested students are encouraged to contact program chair Dr. Kristi McKim for more information.

Film Theory, May 2013


On Studying Film

 In what ways do photographs and films call us to a qualitative self-examination?  How and why do they spark ontological questions by raising for us conundrums of being, of our placement with respect to ourselves and the world?  In this manner, revisiting classical film theory today is also a way of revivifying a kind of questioning that explores our sensuous contact with images and recharacterizes their (visible and outward) perceptual density in a way that also leads us inward—a self-examination of our relation to time, memory, and history. (D.N. Rodowick, The Virtual Life of Film, 75)