PATRICIA WHITE, Eugene Lang Research Professor
CATALINA LASSEN, Administrative Assistant
BOB REHAK, Associate Professor
SUNKA SIMON, Professor1
RODNEY EVANS, Visiting Assistant Professor
Timothy Burke (History)
William Gardner (Modern Languages and Literatures, Japanese)1
Haili Kong (Modern Languages and Literatures, Chinese)
Maya Nadkarni (Sociology and Anthropology)3
Carina Yervasi (Modern Languages and Literatures, French)
1 Absent on leave, fall 2019.
3 Absent on leave, fall 2019 - spring 2020.
Film and media are crucial and pervasive dimensions of contemporary culture. The development of formal understanding, historical knowledge, and critical literacy about media texts, technologies, and practices is central to a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century. The Department of Film and Media Studies offers classes that explore the history, theory, aesthetics, and social and cultural aspects of media forms including cinema, television, online video, digital games, and media art. The program teaches research and analytical methods as well as digital production skills and approaches and encourages cross-cultural comparisons as well as attention to audiences and institutions. Our hybrid curriculum blends critical studies with critical making, often within the same course.
The Academic Program
The Film and Media Studies Department offers a range of courses in critical studies and production and awards credit for majors and minors taking approved offerings from other departments, programs, and institutions, including Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania. Students may major or minor in film and media studies, including in the Honors Program. FMST 001 is the prerequisite for advanced work in the major or minor and is recommended preparation for any course in the department except first-year seminars. In addition to class meetings, most courses require weekly evening screenings. Production courses are limited to 10 students and may not be taken pass/fail.
First Course Recommendations
First course recommendations
FMST 001. Introduction to Film & Media Studies presents forms and histories of film and other moving-image media, as well as key concepts, theories, and methods in the discipline of film and media studies. We begin with analysis of the elements of film form; explore narrative, documentary, experimental and genre formats; and conclude with perspectives on authorship, national cinema, and other topics in film and media theory. Emphasis is on developing critical viewing, writing, research, and multimedia authoring skills. Required weekly evening screenings of works from diverse periods, countries, and traditions. FMST 001 is the prerequisite for most other FMST classes.
Film and Media Studies Courses
Majors must take a minimum of 10 credits, among which the following are required:
FMST 001 Introduction to Film and Media Studies
FMST 020 Critical Theories of Film and Media
FMST 090 Senior Capstone
1 production course. The department strongly suggests FMST 002: Digital Production Fundamentals. Students may also take FMST 011: Advanced Digital Production; FMST 015: Screenwriting; a hybrid critical studies/production class numbered 30-39; or an approved course taken at another institution or in another department).
1 course that offers historical depth in a national or transnational cinema tradition (generally: any class numbered 50-60, FMST 21, FMST 22, or approved abroad courses).
Remaining courses and seminars should be selected to achieve breadth and depth in the discipline and balance between critical studies and production courses. Courses in a major may include no more than four approved credits drawn from film and media offerings at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or the University of Pennsylvania; courses in the discipline taken abroad or at other U.S. institutions; or approved offerings from other Swarthmore departments and programs.
To be accepted as a major, students must have completed FMST 001 and have completed or be currently enrolled in at least one additional FMST course. Haverford students may apply for the Swarthmore major after consulting with advisers at both colleges.
Bryn Mawr students cannot major or minor in FMST at Swarthmore and should consult with their advisers about options available to them at Bryn Mawr College.
Students may add a minor in Film and Media Studies to any major.
All minors must take a minimum of 5 credits, which may be selected from the courses and seminars listed or from approved courses taken abroad, at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or University of Pennsylvania. The 5 credits must include FMST 001: Introduction to Film and Media Studies and FMST 090: Capstone, normally taken in the senior year. No more than two credits taken outside FMST can be counted toward the minor.
To be admitted to the minor, students must have satisfactorily completed one film and media studies course. Haverford students may apply for the minor after consulting with advisers at both colleges and supplying a rationale explaining why their intended plan of study can only be completed in FMST.
Students in the Honors Program may major in Film and Media Studies by meeting the requirements for the major and by preparing for and taking three external exams. The exam preparations should include FMST seminars numbered 100 and higher, if offered, and FMST 090 plus a 1-credit honors attachment. Other 2-credit honors preparations may incorporate a 1- or 2-credit thesis or creative project or other course or seminar work with the approval of the film and media studies chair. Senior honors study (SHS) consists of a revised essay and/or short film submitted for a course or seminar in the preparation. No SHS is required for a thesis or creative project.
Students in the Honors Program may minor in film and media studies by meeting the requirements for the minor and by preparing for and taking one external exam. The exam preparation usually consists either of a 2-credit FMST seminar or FMST 090 plus a 1-credit honors attachment; however, the 2-credit honors preparation may incorporate a 1- or 2-credit thesis or project or other course or seminar work with the approval of the film and media studies chair. Senior honors study (SHS) consists of a revised essay or short film submitted for a course or seminar in the preparation. No SHS is required for a thesis or creative project.
Students wishing to complete the honors minor must have received a grade of B+ or better in all film and media studies courses.
Thesis / Culminating Exercise
FMST 090: Capstone is considered the culminating exercise for majors and minors. Occasionally senior majors may be permitted to write a 1- or 2-credit thesis or to make a thesis film in addition to their work in the capstone; applications must be submitted and approved in the semester before the project is to be undertaken.
Advanced Placement/International Baccalaureate Credit
Consult with the department chair to determine eligibility of AP or IB work.
Students may apply two approved transfer credits to their FMST major.
Students in any major may apply to receive film and media studies credit for courses in critical media studies or production taken abroad or on other campuses. Please consult with your adviser as you plan your study abroad for recommended programs. Two approved credits may be applied to the FMST major or minor.