The mission of the film studies program is to foster an understanding of critical, theoretical, and historical approaches to the analysis of individual films and to the study of cinema as an institution. Our faculty are committed to teaching and research on film as a medium or aesthetic practice that uses formal strategies to shape meaning and on theoretical analysis that makes sense of those strategies in different ways. We encourage students to become critical readers of culture by investigating the impact of film on spectators, the influence of new technologies including digital cinema, and the role of film as a cultural form in different historical periods and national contexts. Through an interdisciplinary focus on diverse national cinemas, we help students become global citizens by developing their knowledge of the cultural, historical, and sociopolitical implications of cinema in specific national contexts. In keeping with a liberal arts approach, the program's teaching values are grounded in developing visual literacy, critical reading skills, and intellectual flexibility. These qualities also provide our students with a foundation for life-long learning.
Film Studies adopts a critical, theoretical, and historical approach to the analysis of individual films and to the study of cinema as an institution. Courses analyze film as a medium that produces meanings through formal strategies; they investigate wider debates about cinema as a cultural form; and they examine industry developments and practices. The textual and social implications of recent changes in film as a digital rather than a photographic medium is also addressed. In addition, a number of courses in the program focus on world cinema and the history, organization, and cultural role of specific national cinemas. The silent era to the contemporary period is covered.