Professor: Jeanine Basinger
Associate Professors: Lisa Dombrowski, Scott Higgins, Chair
Assistant Professor: Stephen Collins
Departmental Advising Experts 2014-2015: Jeanine Basinger; Stephen Collins; Lisa Dombrowski; Scott Higgins
The Film Studies Department explores the motion picture in a unified manner, combining the liberal arts tradition of cultural, historical, and formal analysis with filmmaking at beginning and advanced levels. The Department offers a Major and a Minor.
The requirements for admission include a minimum overall academic average of B (85.0) and the successful completion by the middle of the sophomore year of two designated entry-level courses with a grade of B+ or better. Entry to the major is possible only after completion of these two courses and application to the film major. To apply, students must meet with the department chair by the first semester of their sophomore year and place their names on the list of potential majors. Students on this list will receive an application form. Students who do not meet with the department chair will not receive an application or be considered for the major. Film Studies faculty will evaluate applications based on performance in film studies classes (including but not limited to grades) and any other factors deemed pertinent.
Because of the prerequisites and major requirements, students transferring to Wesleyan beginning their junior year are not able to declare the film studies major.
- All students must take two designated prerequisite courses and earn a grade of B+ or better to be eligible for the Major.
- After entry to the Major students must take the required production course and senior seminar.
- Students must also take a minimum of SIX Film Studies Electives.
- The University limits students to a maximum of 16 credits in any single department prior to overscubscription occurring.
Selection of Options are dependent upon students not exceeding 16 total FILM credits (the maximum allowed in any department by the University prior to oversubscription).
- Students have the OPTION to take two senior theses courses for an Honors project. (one in fall, one in spring)
- Students have the OPTION to take up to three additional film/digital production courses (note that a senior thesis film counts as two additional production courses).
- Students have the OPTION to take up to three additional screenwriting/television writing courses (note that a senior thesis screenplay/teleplay counts as two screenwriting/television writing courses).
- Note that OPTIONAL COURSES count toward graduation but not toward fulfillment of the major.
Please see our departmental web site for further information regarding the specifics of our major www.wesleyan.edu/filmstudies/
Please be aware that cross-listed courses must be counted in all departments in which they are listed.
Course offerings vary from year to year and not all courses are available in every year. With prior approval by the department chair, one history/theory course from another institution may be transferred to the Wesleyan major. The department does not offer group or individual tutorials other than senior thesis projects, but uncredited opportunities to work on individual senior films are available. Consult the chair of film studies for further details. The Film Studies Department does not offer credit for internships.
Students may become involved in the Film Studies Department in ways other than class enrollment. The College of Film houses the Wesleyan Cinema Archives. The Film Board (composed of Wesleyan students) runs the Wesleyan Film Series.
- B+ or better in both designated entry-level courses is required to be eligible for the major.
Required Courses After Entry into the Major.
- FILM450 Sight & Sound Workshop or FILM451 Introduction to Digital Filmmaking in Junior Year
- A department designated seminar during Senior Year
Required Film Studies Electives. Minimum of SIX from this list:
- FILM301 The History of Spanish Cinema
- FILM303 The History and Analysis of Animated Cinema
- FILM308 The Musical Film
- FILM309 Film Noir
- FILM 310 Introduction to Film Analysis
- FILM312 The Western: History and Definition
- FILM313 Early Cinema and the Silent Feature
- FILM314 Directorial Style: Classic American Film Comedy
- FILM319 Television Storytelling; The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
- FILM320 The New German Cinema
- FILM322 Alfred Hitchcock
- FILM324 Visual Storytelling: Cinema According to Hollywood’s Masters
- FILM325 National Cinemas: Eastern Europe
- FILM341 The Cinema of Horror
- FILM342 Cinema of Adventure and Action
- FILM343 History of the American Film Industry in the Studio Era
- FILM344 Color and Light in the Cinema
- FILM346 Contemporary East Asian Cinema
- FILM347 Melodrama and the Woman’s Picture
- FILM348 Postwar American Independent Cinema
- FILM349 Television: The Domestic Medium
- FILM350 Contemporary International Art Cinema
- FILM351 Classical Film Theory
- FILM352 From Caligari to Hitler: Weimar Cinema in Context
- FILM353 Visual Effects: History and Aesthetics
- FILM 355 Newest German (and Austrian) Cinema
- FILM360 Philosophy and the Movies: The Past on Film
- FILM365 Kino: Russia at the Movies
- FILM366 Elia Kazan’s Films and Archives
- FILM367 Frank Capra’s Films and Archives
- FILM 368 Archiving the Moving Image: History and Methods
- FILM370 The Art of Film Criticism
- FILM385 The Documentary Film
Optional Film/Digital Production Courses
Maximum of THREE from this list:
- FILM140 Making the Science Documentary
- FILM150 Documentary Advocacy
- FILM386 The Documentary Film and Filmmaking
- FILM441 Video Art
- FILM453 Animation in the Digital Age
- FILM456 Advanced Filmmaking (Fall, must be taken with FILM 457)
- FILM457 Advanced Filmmaking (Spring, must be taken with FILM 456)
Optional Film/Television Writing Courses Maximum of THREE from this list:
- FILM409 Senior Thesis Tutorial (Fall, must be taken with FILM 410)
- FILM410 Senior Thesis Tutorial (Spring, must be taken with FILM 409)
- FILM452 Writing About Film
- FILM454 Screenwriting
- FILM458 Visual Storytelling:Screenwriting
- FILM455 Writing for Television
- FILM460 Scripting Series for the Small Screen
Note: The oversubscription rule limits students to a maximum of 16 credits in a single department before oversubscription occurs, at which point further credits earned in the department can no longer count towards the 32 credits required for graduation.
The Department offers a six-course minor that provides an opportunity for you to participate in our basic introductory courses and a selection from a large group of cross-listed courses, as well as a group of courses that we have not yet cross-listed. You can link your film minor to your primary major or pursue an entirely new area. For instance, you might focus on various cluster groups if so desired: television; cultural and media studies; international or global cinema; German Cinema; Asian Cinema; or writing for film and/or television and the media.
In accordance with the University guidelines, students minoring in Film Studies must complete six courses for a grade (no pass/fail), and achieve a B average. Tutorials, education in the field, and student fora do not count toward the minor.
Before becoming eligible for the minor you must complete Film 307, which would then count toward fulfillment of the minor. You must then see Logan Ludwig to activate a Minor Course Registration Chart. Transfer courses cannot be used as a prerequisite; nor can they count towards fulfillment. After acceptance into the minor you may submit courses taken overseas or at other universities to be considered on a case-by-case basis for credit.
Film 307 should be taken in your freshman or sophomore year. Students must meet with Minor Administrator Logan Ludwig to declare the minor. After that, you may choose as convenient to complete the five additional courses before graduation.
Naturally, all course selections are subject to prerequisites from other departments, as well as enrollment restrictions, but with such a wide list of choices (and the list will grow each year), there should be no problem in finding five classes. A Minor Course Record Chart tracks the completion of the minor through the six courses. Our departmental administrative assistant Logan Ludwig compiles your charts for faculty review.
The list of courses currently recognized as part of the Film Studies Minor is as follows. (Please note that not all courses will be available every semester.)
- FILM150:Documentary Advocacy
- FILM301:The History of Spanish Cinema
- FILM302:Italian Cinema, Italian Society
- FILM319:Television Storytelling: The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
- FILM320:The New German Cinema
- FILM324:Visual Storytelling: Cinema According to Hollywood’s Masters (Summer)
- FILM349:Television:The Domestic Medium
- FILM352:From Caligari to Hitler:Weimar Cinema in Context
- FILM360:Philosophy and the Movies
- FILM365:Kino:Russia at the Movies
- FILM441:Video Art
- FILM451:Digital Filmmaking*
- FILM452:Writing About Film for Modern Media
- FILM455:Writing for Television
- FILM458:Visual Storytelling:Screenwriting (Summer)
- FILM459:Writing for Television II
- ALIT 26:Memory and Identity in Contemporary Chinese Fiction and Films
- ALIT 57:Nation, Class and the Body in 20th Century Chinese Lit and Film
- ALIT202:Japanese Horror, Fiction and Film
- ALIT208, EAST208:City in Chinese Literature and Film
- ENGL254:Shakespeare and Film
- FRST 80:French Cinema, French Society
- GOVT387:Movies and Foreign Policy
- HEST215, MUSC 297:Yiddish Cultural Expression In Lit and Film
- HEST236:Revival of the Israeli Cinema
- MUSC113:The Study of Film Music
- RUSS234:Woody Allen and the Russian Novel
- SPAN252:Cinema, Society and Politics in Contemporary Spain
- SPAN280: Screening Youth in Contemporary Latin American Cinema
*currently in development