University Bulletin 2002-03

An interdepartmental program
Film Studies

Courses of Study:
Program website:


Film Studies is an interdisciplinary liberal arts program offering insight into motion picture media. Broadly understood to encompass inquiry into the aesthetics, history, and cultural meanings of the moving image, the Film Studies Program has two primary goals: to offer an informed background in motion picture history and to develop a critical appreciation of the cultural meanings of film. It is not a preprofessional program emphasizing technical skills but a humanities-based course of study stressing inquiry into film style and content, film history, and the relationships between film and culture.

The curriculum is designed to provide a broad overview of the history of the moving image, to develop expertise in cinematic style and cultural meaning, to lend theoretical sophistication to an understanding of the moving image, and to ensure some appreciation of the practical and technical side of motion picture production. A field especially congenial to interdisciplinary inquiry, film studies is a practical complement to a range of established majors for which an expertise in visual style and motion picture history is becoming ever more important--American studies, English and American literature, fine arts, history, politics, sociology, and theater arts.

How to Become a Program Member (Minor)

The program is open to all Brandeis undergraduates. To enroll in the program, consult with a member of the film studies committee and fill out declaration forms from the Office of Academic Affairs. Students who complete the requirements of the program receive film studies certificates and notations on their transcripts.


Thomas Doherty, Chair
(American Studies)

Pamela Allara
(Fine Arts)

Eric Chasalow

Sylvia Fishman
(Near Eastern and Judaic Studies)

Erica Harth
(Romance and Comparative Literature)

James Mandrell
(Romance and Comparative Literature)

Laura Quinney
(English and American Literature)

Requirements for the Program

Students must complete six courses:

A. Core course: FILM 100a (Introduction to the Moving Image).

B. An approved film studies seminar or research project usually taken in the senior year. The senior seminar or research project, which requires permission of the instructor, is designed to function as a capstone experience to the Film Studies Program, an occasion to demonstrate a sophisticated mastery of the history, style, and cultural impact of the moving image.

C. Four additional courses from the approved film studies curriculum, which must include one course in a non-American cinema and one course in some creative aspect of film production.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

FILM 92a Internship in Film Studies
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year.

FILM 92b Internship in Film Studies
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year.

FILM 98a Independent Study
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year.

FILM 98b Independent Study
Signature of the instructor required.
Usually offered every year.

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

FILM 100a Introduction to the Moving Image
[ ca hum ]
An interdisciplinary course surveying the history of moving image media from 1895 to the present, from the earliest silent cinema to the age of the 500-channel cable television. Open to all undergraduates as an elective, it is the introductory course for the Film Studies Program (Minor). Usually offered every year. Will be offered in the fall of 2002.
Ms. Allara


The following courses are approved for the program. Not all are given in any one year. Please consult the Course Schedule each semester.

AMST 111a
Images of the American West in Film and Culture

AMST 112b
American Film and Culture of the 1950s

AMST 113a
American Film and Culture of the 1940s

AMST 113b
American Film and Culture of the 1930s

AMST 114a
American Film and Culture of the 1920s

AMST 130b
Television and American Culture

AMST 131b
News on Screen

ANTH 26a
Communication and Media

COML 135b
Sexualities and Cinema

ENG 147a
Film Noir

NEJS 190b
Jews on Screen

NEJS 191b
Jewish Life in Film and Fiction

NEJS 194b
Film and the Holocaust

SOC 116a
Sociology on Film

THA 155a
Icons of Masculinity

Courses in Non-American Cinema

FECS 157a
Topics in French Film

GECS 165a
German Film in Cultural Context

GECS 166b
Dreams and Nightmares: The Third Reich on Film

GECS 167a
German Cinema

HBRW 104a
Israeli Films

RECS 149b
Twentieth-Century Russian Literature, Art, Film, and Theater

SECS 183a
Spanish Fictions and Films of Modern Life

Courses in Creative Aspects of Film Production

AMST 196d
Film Workshop: Recording America

MUS 107a
Introduction to Electro-Acoustic Music

THA 50b
Sound for Theater, Film, and Television

THA 52b
Fundamentals of Lighting

Senior Seminars

AMST 120b
Film Theory and Criticism

COML 195a
Feminism and Film

FA 102a
American Avant-Garde Film and Video