First Year Program - Film and Media Studies Skip Navigation

Film and Media Studies (FMST)

Director: M. Simonson

The film and media studies program introduces students to the critical study of film and other media. Through the study of history and theory, formal analysis, and production experiences, the program examines how film and media serve as powerful determinants of ideology, identity, and historical consciousness. Courses offered in a range of departments and programs constitute the minor, reflecting the fact that cinema and media-based research cuts across disciplines.

It has been said that the mass media collectively represent the most important and widely shared context for the receipt of information and ideas in our contemporary experience. Courses in the Film and Media Studies minor question the consequences of our passive consumption of mass media as both entertainment and information. Students learn the history and theory of film and media, analytical approaches and strategies; they also come to understand the various ways in which film and media are produced, circulated, and consumed.

The film and media studies program encompasses history, theory, and practice, with the goal of developing in students the critical skills necessary to analyze representation and experience as they are constructed by new and emerging visual technologies, and to put theoretical and historical knowledge into practice through media production courses and exercises.

The minor is comprised of one required course FMST 200 and four additional courses. Although students may take the courses in any order, taking FMST 200 early in the program is highly recommended. FMST 200 has a required film screening (FMST 200L).

Note: Video Art I, Digital Art I, and Photography I, which are included in the FMST minor, have a prerequisite FSEM 160/ARTS 100, which should be taken in the first or second year.


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FMST 200, Intro to Film & Media Studies
From the films we watch to the personal profiles we maintain online, media saturates our lives. Film and mass media can be powerful determinants of ideology, identity, and historical consciousness. This course is a historical survey of media technologies and environments, combining course readings with a required weekly film screening. The theoretical concepts introduced in this course enable students to critically approach the visual culture around them: just how immersed are we in the virtual, and what are the strategies for engaging with or disengaging from virtual worlds? Students learn to respond to film and media as proactive, critical, and articulate viewers. Students also acquire the vocabulary, conceptual strategies, and interpretive skills necessary to closely analyze the form and content of film and media, as well as the ability to set their own relation to the ideologies all representations convey.

FMST 200L, Required Film Screening
Required corequisite to FMST 200.