Skip to main content

Film Studies

Course Descriptions

Film Studies Courses:

FS 101 Introduction to Film Studies (4 SH). This course focuses on the major language systems of film: photography, mise en scene, movement, editing, sound, acting, sets and costumes, writing and narrative structure, and ideology. Emphasis is on how formalist and realist filmmakers use these language systems to create meaning. Through lecture, reading, discussion, and screening of films, the students will become informed, sophisticated, active observers of cinema.

FS 102 History of Film: A Survey (4 SH). This course is designed for students to develop a greater comprehension of the historical evolution of cinematic art. Though the course focuses primarily on cinema in the United States, some important and representative films from other countries will be studied. In addition, emphasis will be given to films that represent the development of film as an industry and how this corresponds to (and conflicts with) artistic endeavor. Students will write analyses of both films they watch for the course and films they choose to watch on their own. In keeping with the goals of the course, these analyses will require the students to fit the films into the context of cinema as a greater whole and to demonstrate an understanding of film as both art and industry. In addition, mid-term and final exams will require students to analyze certain films and their contributions to the development of cinema.

FS 212 Film Adaptation (4 SH). Students will study the challenging process of adapting literature, drama, and true-life stories to film—what goes, what stays, and what changes. By working closely with different types of texts, students discover how the texts complement each other and how they often resist each other. (Also listed as ENG 112.)

FS 256 Screenwriting (4 SH). This workshop gives students the knowledge and tools necessary to write original screenplays from the story concept to the final draft. Students will have two or three completed short film scripts or one feature-length script by the end of the semester. Elements covered in the course include the three-act structure, main plot, subplots, scene writing, cohesiveness and momentum, transitions and turning points, conflict, character functions and development, dialogue and description, and theme. Students will also learn to use the Final Draft software program. (Also listed as WRI 256.)

FS 301-399 Selected Topics in Film Studies (4 SH). (May be cross-listed with other disciplines.) Selected topics courses study films in a more specific fashion than a survey course would do; forexample, a student might examine the work of a particular director; films united by a particular theme, philosophy, or discipline; or films produced during a specific historical period. They will help students develop strategies and skills for assessing the accomplishments of filmmakers and their films and to understand how film may fit into a larger context. Thus, the Topics courses may be taught from the point of view of any discipline or theoretical approach so as to view the infinite possibilities of film. Students will apply and further develop skills they have learned in introductory courses to achieve a higher level of critical thinking regarding their comprehension of the film text.

FS 304 War Literature and Film (Also listed as ENG 104.)
FS 305 Alfred Hitchcock
FS 306 Cultural Anthropology (Also listed as SOC 105.)
FS 307 Detective Fiction: Novels and Film (Also listed as ENG 107.)
FS 308 A Survey of Italian Film: The Southern Question (Also listed as IC 105.)
FS 309 The Sporting Spirit (Also listed as ENG 109.)
FS 310 England: The Age of Empire (Also listed as HIS 132.)
FS 311 England: The Age of Elizabeth (Also listed as HIS 242.)
FS 312 Advanced Topics in Film and History (Also listed as HIS 312.)
FS 316 It’s Monstrous (Also listed as ENG 116.)
FS 323 African American History (Also listed as HIS 223.)
FS 324 African American Drama and Film (Also listed as ENG 124.)
FS 334 Shake, Rattle and Roll: Natural Disasters on Film (Also listed as ENG 134.)
FS 336 Classic Greek Literature and Film (Also listed as ENG 136.)
FS 340 Gay & Lesbian Film and Literature (Also listed as ENG 123.)
FS 341 The Journalist in Film (Also listed as ENG 139.)
FS 342 Film Genres
FS 347 Disability in Literature and Film (Also listed as ENG 147.)
FS 348 Sexuality in Film and Literature (Also listed as ENG 148.)
FS 352 Political Films (Also listed as PS 252A.)

FS 404 Film Criticism (4 SH). This course teaches the basic concepts and critical approaches of film analysis. Some of these analytical methods include humanism, auteurism, genre studies, social science criticism, cultural criticism, semiology, structuralism, psychoanalytic criticism, Marxism, and feminism. Looking at the films through a critical lens while incorporating an analysis of its basic language systems offers students a better understanding of what filmmakers are saying as well as how they are saying it.

FS 501-502 Film Studies Practicum (2 SH). The purpose of the Film Studies Practicum is to give students an opportunity to learn more about international films, directors, and cultures. The Jake Erhardt International Film Series provides a perfect forum for the practicum since the focus is on foreign film industries and their product. Students will take charge of the International Film Series: researching films for each semester’s lineup, presenting background information for the audiences, and leading group discussions after the films. Students will also be responsible for developing advertising for the series and sending out reminders for each viewing. The practicum experience each semester will culminate in a research paper, a critical analysis of one or more of the films presented in that semester. Students will take the practicum for two semesters and receive two credits per semester.

FS 590-594 Field Experience/Internship (1-4 SH).

FS 620-624 Independent Study (1-4 SH).


What can you do with a Film Studies degree?

Imagine yourself a writer, editor, film executive, educator, a journalist, publicist, or film executive.