Introduction

The film studies minor teaches students about the history, interpretation, and creation of film as an art form that enables personal and cultural expression as well as a documentary form that allows people to comment on the world around them. A film studies minor prepares students well for a wide variety of careers that will require them to design, write, produce, and analyze films for multiple markets and audiences. As film studies minors, they will be knowledgeable in the traditions and conventions of this art form so that they can be savvy writers, directors, producers, and critics. Students will learn the history of filmmaking, the techniques of film analysis, and the process of filmmaking among other valuable skills so that they think critically about films that they encounter in the world and are active rather than passive consumers.

Requirements

The film studies minor consists of three required courses that offer a grounding in key areas: history, analysis, and filmmaking. Students can then choose one of two tracks for their remaining courses. To complete the minor, students must take a total of at least eighteen (18) credit hours in approved film studies courses. (See Academic Offerings for details)

Film studies minors also will be required to give a public presentation of their work in the spring of their senior year as part of the Annual Juried Student Art Show or spring film festival (in development). Minors may show a clip from an original film, read an excerpt from a screenplay, or read from an analysis written in one of their film studies courses.

Learning Objectives

Students in the film studies minor will:

  1. Develop an understanding of the historical evolution of film as an art form and medium of expression and its impact as a cultural form and force for social change;
  2. Identify key technical elements involved in filmmaking;
  3. Distinguish the major features and expectations of film analysis;
  4. Identify the role of film as a dominant contemporary medium of communication and the ways in which visual communication impacts our perception of the world;
  5. Recognize the conventions of film and its cultural elements and moments when those conventions are being subverted;
  6. Implement a variety of filming and editing techniques;
  7. Become active viewers and interpreters of visual and verbal media in a range of works, styles, and cinematic traditions;
  8. Create complex time-based works in a range of styles and cinematic traditions;
  9. Create original analyses and interpretations of films and other visual media that demonstrates a complex understanding of the evolution of film and its role in modern society.

Faculty

Kirsten L Parkinson, (2001) Professor of English; Director of the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature; Coordinator of Gender Studies Minor; Co-Coordinator of Film Studies Minor
A.B., Harvard University;
M.A., Ph.D., University of Southern California;
Graduate Certificate in Gender Studies, University of Southern California
parkinsonkl@hiram.edu

Christopher T Ryan, (2003) Associate Professor of Art; Co-Coordinator of Film Studies Minor
B.A., John Caroll University;
M.A., University of Virginia;
M.F.A., Bowling Green State University
ryanct@hiram.edu