Film Minor Courses

Core Courses

The Film Studies minor requires at least one of the two core courses:

  • FIL 2001 – Introduction to Cinema Studies: Analysis and Practice
    This course introduces students to film analysis theories and techniques, including the basics of dramatic structure, genre, prevalent filmmaking theories, and film production processes. Through weekly film screenings, class discussion, and hands-on production exercises, students develop and practice skills to help them compare and interpret films representing a variety of genres, aesthetic traditions, and cultural contexts. Typically offered in the fall and spring semesters.
  • FIL 2030 – History of Motion Pictures
    This course provides a historical and critical survey of the development of narrative motion pictures. As a class, we will investigate thehistory of cinema from a variety of perspectives: as a history of technological evolutions; as an industry; as a significant medium for artisticexpression; and as a cultural artifact that both mirrors and influences society. Typically offered in the spring semester.

Approved Electives

Department of Classics:
  • CLT 3510 – The Ancient World in Film
    This course examines popular representations of Greek and Roman culture in modern film.
Department of English:
  • ENC 3114: Film Adaptation
    In this course, students study classic and contemporary theories of film adaptation, borrowing as well as breaking from the concept of fidelity to create a space to explore how the cinema engages with literature, and how literary stories are deformed and reformed through the medium of film.
  • ENG 3310 – Film Genres
    This course discusses film as a means of exploring the problems of genre studies: relationship to literary genres, historical continuity, transformation of genre in the film medium.
  • ENG 3600 – Hollywood Cinema
    This course surveys central problems in the study of mainstream U.S. cinema. Topics include major historical developments, arguments over social and aesthetic value, and close examination of critically important films.
  • ENG 4115 – Film Theory
    This course considers centrally important theories of film from the 1920s work of Eisenstein through the 1970s “gaze” theories of Metz and Mulvey, to the present. The course emphasizes what distinguishes film from other arts as well as its socio-historical causes and consequences.
  • IDS2375 – Third World Cinema
    This course will train students in the uses of analytical languages and concepts. We will seek to define useful terminologies like “colonialism,” “imperialism,” “postcolonialism,” “globalization,” and “neoliberalism.” The course will also teach students how to use such concepts to analyze visual works, and will give students the tools for analyzing visual works in relation to histories of conflict and struggles over power. By learning how seminal issues within postcolonial and film studies are framed, students in this course will be able to apply some of these languages and concepts in the construction of their own arguments, the analysis of texts, and methods of inquiry both in this field and others. **This class requires viewing of often violent and disturbing images.** Note: This class was formerly listed as IFS3107.
History and Philosophy of Science Program:
  • HPS 3320 – Screening the Scientific Life: Cinema and the Cultural Image of Science
    This course examines how cinema has provided a unique framework for wrestling with the implications of the modern scientific enterprise, examining how easily scientific rationality can be harnessed to both moral and immoral ends and what kind of world that science has produced. By probing a variety of genres – including biography, documentary, historical drama, science fiction, political satire, and horror – this course observes the cinematic and cultural desire to make sense of science. A critical element of the course is diversity in the Western culture through the lens of race, class, gender, and ethnicity.
Department of History:
  • LAH3734 – Latin American History Through Film
    This course is an introduction to Latin American history through films. Analysis of how Latin Americans are portrayed in international and national cinema. Integration of television and literature to illustrate the impact of mass media on Latin Americans.
Department of Humanities:
  • HUM 3321 – Multicultural Dimensions of Film and 20th Century Culture
    This course examines the impact of American Cinema on social relations and on the reproduction of power. Students benefit from this course by learning a matrix of movie history, movie genres, and approaches to multiculturalism by which to judge movies, cultural representation and the cultural experiences of life. The movies provide a window into middle and late 20th century cultures, which serve as comparisons and contrasts for culture in the 21st century.
  • IDS 3458 – Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Multicultural Dimensions of American Cinema 
    This course examines the impact of American cinema on social relations and the reproduction of power. Students learn a matrix of movie history, movie genres, and approaches to multiculturalism by which to judge movies, cultural representation and the cultural experiences of life. Note: This course was formerly listed as IFS3107.
Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics:
  • CHT 3391 – Chinese Cinema
    This course studies representative films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan from diverse critical perspectives and in proper historical contexts. Studies Chinese cinema as both a unique genre of modern arts and a powerful sociopolitical discourse. Taught in English.
  • FRT 3520 – French and Francophone Cinema
    This Francophone cinema course is offered in two versions: one focusing on the relationship between cinema and Francophone cultures and societies, and another taking a chronological and thematic approach to the movements and directors of metropolitan French cinema. Taught in English.
  • GET 3524 – German Cinema
    This course covers the contextual and stylistic features of German cinema from its classical period, in the 1920s, to the New German Cinema, through the present. The course focuses on methods of film analysis and on film criticism. Taught in English.
  • IDS 3188 – German Society through Film: The Legacy of Nazi Crimes Against Humanity 
    This course explores cinematic responses to Nazi crimes against humanity in German society. Drawing on the perspective of victims, perpetrators, bystanders, helpers, resisters, as well as preceding generations, the course investigates how cultural memory is created to reveal a multiplicity of voices and to reflect the indelible mark of the Nazi past in Germany. Taught in English. Note: This course was formerly listed as IFS3043.
  • IDS 3450 – Through an Arabic Lens: The Intersection of Film and Culture 
    This course explores Arab cinema from the colonial period to the present, examining the cultural personifications that distinguish it from Hollywood cinema. It provides an in-depth exploration of cultural identity and politics in the Arab World. Through cinematographic images and readings, students engage in the history of cultural, political, and religious diversity within dynamically changing Arab societies. Taught in English. Note: This course was formerly listed as IFS3009.
  • ITT 3523 – Italian Cinema
    This course offers an introduction to Italian cinema: history, practices, and protagonists. Taught in English.
  • JPT 3391 – Japanese Film and Culture
    This course is for students interested in Japanese film and culture, and culture in translation. Students learn the skills of analyzing films and come to understand the development of Japanese film and culture. Taught in English.
  • PRT 3391 – Brazilian Literature and Film in Translation
    This course explores literary and film studies of the Portuguese-speaking world. Taught in English or Portuguese.
  • RUT 3523 – Russian Cinema
    This course consists of viewing and discussion of Russian classics and contemporary films. Knowledge of Russian is not required.
  • SPT 3391 – Hispanic Cinema
    This course is a study of the films, movements and directors of Hispanic cinema. Taught in English.
  • IDS3459 – East Asian War Films
    This course studies major war films produced in China, Japan, and South Korea. The modern histories of these East Asian countries have been shaped by military conflicts, ranging from civil wars to regional and world wars. These wars have profoundly affected these countries in each of their own nation-building struggles, their relations with one another, and their positions in the world. Over the past several decades, memories of such wars have been invoked over and over again on the silver screen in these countries. In this course we will explore issues and topics essential to the making of war films, including representations of history, nationalism, gender politics, East Asian war ethics, and aesthetics/cinematics of violence. More importantly, we will analyze and evaluate these war films not only in the sociopolitical contexts of each nation but also from transnational and comparative perspectives.
Department of Philosophy:
  • IDS 2675 – Philosophy and Film 
    This course uses movies as a vehicle for discussing philosophical issues, such as, the nature of existence, the problem of knowledge, the existence of God, and the rules for proper conduct. Note: This course was formally listed as IFS2047.
  • PHI 2016 – Philosophy through Film
    This course is an introduction to a broad range of philosophical topics using film as a vehicle for discussion. Philosophical topics may include issues in Ethics, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Religion, and/or Political Philosophy. A variety of films are used to raise important philosophical questions and to help in understanding primary philosophical texts that seek to answer these questions.
Department of Religion:
  • REL 1001 – Cinematic Courage
    This course focuses on the virtue of courage, making use of films, historical and literary accounts, and religious and philosophical analyses of the concept. We ask questions like “What is the nature of courage?”, “How is it expressed?”, and “How is courage related to other virtues—for example, to justice, or to hope?” Special attention is given to the role of courage in military and political life, as well as in relation to situations that call for resistance to evils like slavery, genocide, and discrimination.
College of Communication:
  • IDS 2452 – Documentary Film: History, Theory and Practice
    This course examines the major trends in the documentary film tradition, beginning with the first efforts in the early part of the 20th century and moving up to the present while providing students the opportunity to learn the basics of documentary practice. Note: This course was formerly listed as IFS2103.
  • RTV 3001 – Media Techniques
    This course introduces students to basic principles and terminology associated with the aesthetics of filmmaking and television production.
College of Motion Picture Arts:
  • FIL 3884 – Special Topics: Human Rights in Film
    This course explores issues concerning international human rights using film as the key medium. Students will learn basic cinematography concepts and techniques as well as the history and terminology of the human rights movement. Course lectures and weekly film viewings will examine how film directors have explored human rights themes through commercial Hollywood films, independent films, and documentary films.

Please note that courses on this list may not be offered every semester. Contact the specific college or department for information on when a course is being offered.