Courses & Requirements

Requirements for the Film and Media Studies Minor

A minimum of 20 hours is required for the minor.  Students must take English 230 Introduction to Film Studies and English 230 Film History.  Students must choose three additional film and media studies course electives, at least one of which must be taken above the 300 level.

Required Courses

  • ENG-230 Topics in Film Study: Film as Art: Intro to Film Studies
  • ENG-230 Topics in Film Study: Worlds in a Frame: An International History of Film

ENG-230: Topics in Film Study (4.00)

TOPICS IN FILM STUDY--Approaches to film from the viewpoints of history, genre and technique. (Introduction to Film will alternate with Film History). Cross-listed with WS-229 when topic applies.

Description for "WOMEN AND FILM"--This course will focus on the history of film with primary focuses on the achievements of women film directors and on feminist film criticism. We will examine the contributions of women film directors to such film historical moments as the Silent Cinema, the Hollywood Studio System, the international art film, and contemporary independent film. Theoretical considerations will include ideology and genre, gender and spectatorship, and the cinematic gaze. Films for analysis will include the work of Lois Weber, Dorothy Arzner, Agnes Varda, Patricia Rozema, Jane Campion, Cheryl Dunye, and Catherine Breillat. Students will acquire a familiarity with current issues in film studies in addition to an overview of the development of narrative film. Students will utilize an array of critical skills to analyze film as a social/cultural text as well as an art form. Course requirements will include regular screenings, weekly essays, online exercises, weekly quizzes, and a synthesizing final exercise.

Description for "INTERSECTIONAL APPROACHES TO MEDIA STUDIES" --This course will provide a broad introduction to the critical framework of feminist media studies. We will examine film, television, music and new digital and online media platforms, considering how race,class, gender presentation, sexual identity, nation and ability impact women's engagements with these media forms. Possible topics for discussion include the historical trajectory of media representations of women in the US; the impact of post-feminism on contemporary media forms; race, class and the politics of representing women; women as producers and consumers of media forms; and, women and the rise of new digital and online media forms.

Description for "FILM AS ART: INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES" --This course will focus on the basics of film as an art. Fundamental elements of film, such as editing, sound, cinematography, and mise-en-scene will be explored in relation to the particular storytelling power of films. Emphasis will also be placed on the nature of narrative form in film. Attention will also be paid to the ideological dimension of film and to selected issues in film history and theory. Films for analysis will be drawn from both Hollywood and international cinemas. Special Unit on Irish Film for Global Study Tour: Ireland when scheduled. Counts toward post-1800 requirement.

Description for "WORLDS IN A FRAME: AN INTERNATIONAL HISTORY OF FILM"-- Film has been one of the most influential art forms since its inception over one hundred years ago. To study the history of film is to understand how film form and technique have been established and transformed over time. This course will focus on key moments in the development of cinema such as German impressionism, Russian Montage, Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and the Hollywood Renaissance. We will study as test cases the work of such major world film directors as Griffith, Eisenstein, Welles, Hitchcock, Truffaut, and Kar-wai. Counts toward post-1800 requirement.

Course requisites: ENG-110

Three Electives

ENG-230: Topics in Film Study (4.00)

TOPICS IN FILM STUDY--Approaches to film from the viewpoints of history, genre and technique. (Introduction to Film will alternate with Film History). Cross-listed with WS-229 when topic applies.

Description for "WOMEN AND FILM"--This course will focus on the history of film with primary focuses on the achievements of women film directors and on feminist film criticism. We will examine the contributions of women film directors to such film historical moments as the Silent Cinema, the Hollywood Studio System, the international art film, and contemporary independent film. Theoretical considerations will include ideology and genre, gender and spectatorship, and the cinematic gaze. Films for analysis will include the work of Lois Weber, Dorothy Arzner, Agnes Varda, Patricia Rozema, Jane Campion, Cheryl Dunye, and Catherine Breillat. Students will acquire a familiarity with current issues in film studies in addition to an overview of the development of narrative film. Students will utilize an array of critical skills to analyze film as a social/cultural text as well as an art form. Course requirements will include regular screenings, weekly essays, online exercises, weekly quizzes, and a synthesizing final exercise.

Description for "INTERSECTIONAL APPROACHES TO MEDIA STUDIES" --This course will provide a broad introduction to the critical framework of feminist media studies. We will examine film, television, music and new digital and online media platforms, considering how race,class, gender presentation, sexual identity, nation and ability impact women's engagements with these media forms. Possible topics for discussion include the historical trajectory of media representations of women in the US; the impact of post-feminism on contemporary media forms; race, class and the politics of representing women; women as producers and consumers of media forms; and, women and the rise of new digital and online media forms.

Description for "FILM AS ART: INTRODUCTION TO FILM STUDIES" --This course will focus on the basics of film as an art. Fundamental elements of film, such as editing, sound, cinematography, and mise-en-scene will be explored in relation to the particular storytelling power of films. Emphasis will also be placed on the nature of narrative form in film. Attention will also be paid to the ideological dimension of film and to selected issues in film history and theory. Films for analysis will be drawn from both Hollywood and international cinemas. Special Unit on Irish Film for Global Study Tour: Ireland when scheduled. Counts toward post-1800 requirement.

Description for "WORLDS IN A FRAME: AN INTERNATIONAL HISTORY OF FILM"-- Film has been one of the most influential art forms since its inception over one hundred years ago. To study the history of film is to understand how film form and technique have been established and transformed over time. This course will focus on key moments in the development of cinema such as German impressionism, Russian Montage, Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, and the Hollywood Renaissance. We will study as test cases the work of such major world film directors as Griffith, Eisenstein, Welles, Hitchcock, Truffaut, and Kar-wai. Counts toward post-1800 requirement.

Course requisites: ENG-110

FRE-345: French Literature and Genre (4.00)

Prose, poetry and theatre will be considered either individually or in relation to one another.

Course requisites: 230 and one 200-level literature course

FRE-375: French Film (4.00)

Topics in French cinema from avant-garde to the present, with an introduction to film theory. Screenplays may also be studied.

Course requisites: 230 and one 200-level literature course

GER-330: Topics in German Film (4.00)

TOPICS IN GERMAN FILM--Survey of selected historical, formal, and aesthetic developments in German cinema from silent films to the present, including topics such as mountain films, propaganda and feature films of the National Socialist period, and auteur films. Taught in English. May retake for credit with permission of German Studies department. Description for "'TRASHED'-DOCUMENTARY FILMS AS VISUAL NARRATIVES FROM AND ABOUT THE ANTHROPOCENE"--This course takes a critical look as to how the documentary genre communicates information about (un)sustainable practices and promotes activism in the areas of politics, public health, and energy production. The course enables students to engage with a series of German/Austrian/Swiss documentaries such as Garbage in the Garden of Eden (Akin), Our Daily Bread (Geyrhalter), Plastic Planet (Boote), and Taste the Waste (Thurm) and comparative US and other English-language documentaries. The course examines the function and effectiveness of documentaries in environmentalist discourses. Students will be able to apply their insights in presentations as well as in a team-based project that requires them to produce their own short documentary about an environmental topic with local/regional relevance. (Taught in English. German Majors/Minors will watch films and read texts in original German language and work on German-language assignments.)

Description for "ENTERTAINING THE NAZIS!? GERMAN MOVIES BETWEEN 1933 AND 1945"--National Socialist cinema usually is discussed in the context of propaganda films such as Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will or Veit Harlan's Jew Süss, which support the perception that Hitler's regime exercised total economic and political control over Germany's media. There were, however, more than 1,000 feature-length films produced between 1933 and 1945, many of which do not seem to fit into the propaganda category. How are we to understand and read these films? Are they part of "Nazi Cinema," if that term is applicable? Can films be carriers of subversive messages in totalitarian societies, and if so, how do we decipher these messages? In our course we will pursue these questions by watching a number of films produced between 1933 and 1945. In addition, we will read articles and books by historians and film scholars in order to gain a better understanding of how the interpretations of these films changed from the 1940s to the 2000s.

HIS-354: Chinese Women on Film: History and the Cinematic Imagination (4.00)

This course examines the history of women and gender in China as depicted in film. Emphasis will be placed on the ways in which modernization, imperialism, and globalization have shaped women's roles and representations of women throughout the 20th century. Cross-listed with WS-354.

HIS-360: World War II in Asia on Film (4.00)

This course explores the history of World War II in Asia, especially as (re)presented and remembered in films. Special attention is devoted to the cross-cultural aspects of World War II and to how films shape the collective memory of different Asian countries and the United States.

POL-317: Politics of the Mass Media (4.00)

The role of mass media in political life, including the structure and decision-making processes of the media, the interaction of the media with government and other institutions, the impact of mass media in elections, and public policies affecting the media.

REL-128: Suffering in Non-Western Film (4.00)

Wisdom in most traditions across the globe converges on the idea that suffering brings clarity and illumination. For Buddha, suffering is the first rule of life. Zen scholars posit that suffering is a privilege because it moves us towards thinking about essential things and shakes us out of our complacency. In this course, we will explore the concept of suffering through non-Western films that focus at answering the question: "Is there at the heart of suffering a powerful, redemptive, and transformative idea?"

REL-233: Constructing Tibet Through Film and Literature (4.00)

This course examines the construction of Tibet as a mythic object of fantasy in the Western imagination. Close attention will be given to the way Tibet has been portrayed in a variety of literary and film genres.

REL-235: Jesus in History and Culture (4.00)

An examination of the quest for the historical Jesus, with an analysis of literary and cultural sources (especially from film, music, art, literature, and popular culture), and also the ethical implications of Jesus' life and message, from the first century to contemporary times.

REL-261: Race & Racism Through a Buddhist Lens: A Multimedia Exploration (4.00)

RACE & RACISM THROUGH A BUDDHIST LENS: A MULTIMEDIA EXPLORATION--This multimedia course will offer an intensive exploration of how a social construct ("race"), when used as a tool of discrimination that advantages one social group over another ("racism"), inflicts tremendous harm and suffering. What insights can ancient Buddhist teachings provide to help us to recognize, and to transform, the challenges of racism, inequality and other social justice issues we face today? Participants will read important pieces, watch films and documentaries, listen to diverse contemporary music as well as do exercises and meditations aimed at helping them to gain insight into the origins and manifestations of the challenging and thorny issues of race and racism in our lives and in our world. Cross-listed with AS-261.

REL-316: The Politics of the Apocalypse (4.00)

An interdisciplinary course that includes biblical studies, politics, ethics, literary criticism, philosophical and critical theory, social movements, history, art, music, dance, and film studies. We will consider the apocalyptic imagination and representations in religion, politics, and culture.

Course requisites: One course in religious studies

SOC-370: African Am.Images in Pop.Cultr (4.00)

Emphasis given to the influence of race on U.S. culture and the interplay of race and culture with politics. Pervasive attention paid in this course to representations of women and to the intersections of race, class, sexuality, and gender. Cross-listed with AS-370/WS-377.

Course requisites: SOC-101 or ANT-101

SPA-480: Topics in Hispanic Themes (4.00)

A detailed critical analysis of a specific topic, genre or period in Spanish or Latin American literature and other media. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

Course requisites: SPA-323

THE-303: Dramatic Writing II-Screenwriting (4.00)

DRAMATIC WRITING II: SCREENWRITING--Principles of the craft of the screenwriter with an emphasis on film structure and format through the reading of screen-plays and the writing of a feature-length scenario. Cross-listed with ENG-303.

Course requisites: 203 or English 205 (if in dramatic writing)

THE-304: Dramat Writ III-Writing for Television (4.00)

DRAMATIC WRITING III: WRITING FOR TELEVISION--Television has long been a dominant cultural and commercial force. Increasingly, it has become a significant artistic endeavor as well. With the advent of cable and "post-cable" networks and a bewildering array of viewer platforms, its ubiquity is undeniable. Giving our students the opportunity to write a television script will enhance their ability to understand the nature of the form, appreciate what goes into good television writing, and potentially begin to prepare themselves for a career. Cross-listed with ENG-304.

Course requisites: THE/ENG-203 -OR- THE/ENG-303 -OR- permission of instructor

WS-277: Sex, Gender & Digital Identity (4.00)

This course will take an intersectional approach to the examination of sex, gender, and the evolution of digital identity. Topics may include profile generation, gaming cultures, the "Online Disinhibition Effect," online misogyny, harassment, and well-being. Course counts as an elective in the Film & Media Studies minor.

WS-366: Queer & Trans Film Theory (4.00)

This course provides an introduction to LGBTQ+ film theory through contemporary cinema. Students will draw on foundational film concepts (such as shot, scene, editing, sound, and mise-en-scene) to analyze queer and trans film cinema. Attentive to the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, class, disability, regionalism, nationalism, and other axes of oppression, the course content may include topics in HIV/AIDS activism through film, queer-of-color critique, post-colonial and Third Cinema, and disability film studies, among others. Cross-listed with ENG-366.

Course requisites: WS-110 (Intro Queer Studies) or ENG-230 (Intro Film Studies)

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