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Film & Media Studies Curriculum


Six courses
One introductory course: 101 Introduction to Film OR 103 Introduction to Media Studies.  

Five elective courses:  two with different cultural perspectives, and one advanced 300-level course.  Courses which count as electives are indicated each semester on the Registrar's web site.

Students matriculating prior to Fall 2018 should contact the program Chair regarding completion of the minor.

Opportunities for off-campus study

A number of Dickinson College study abroad programs offer courses in film and media studies. Students who are thinking about taking courses for credit in these areas while abroad should contact the Film and Media Studies Chair for advice and guidance.


101 Introduction to Film Studies
An introductory study of the preeminent art form of the 20th Century. The course will focus upon the fundamentals of film study as an academic discipline, including formal analysis of film narrative and cinematic technique (the art of film), contextual approaches to film, study of various film genres, and rudimentary experience with film production. Students will be exposed to aesthetically and historically important films from a number of cultural traditions.
Attributes: AMST Representation Elective, Appropriate for First-Year, Arts

102 Fundamentals of Digital Film Production
This course provides instruction in the basic aesthetic and technical aspects of digital film production, including writing, producing, directing, shooting, lighting, recording and mixing sound, and editing. Students will learn to harness digital tools while focusing on their roles as storytellers. Each participant will write and direct a video, rotating through various crew positions as they carry out exercises designed to deepen their knowledge of the different elements of moviemaking. Ultimately, students will collaborate in teams on short movies, which will be screened at the final class. Offered spring semesters.
Attributes: Arts

103 Introduction to Media Studies
This course introduces students to the study of mediated communication or “media,” with particular emphasis placed on mass media forms, such as print journalism, radio, television, and film, as well as digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. Students will examine these or other media forms from political, industrial, and aesthetic perspectives. They will also explore how these forms have both contributed to and themselves been impacted by broader processes of social and technological change. By examining media in this manner—and by engaging with current debates regarding media’s role in contemporary society—students will develop their understanding of how media functions and become, by the course’s end, more literate consumers, producers, and critics of media today.
Attributes: Arts, Humanities

210 Topics in Film Studies
Survey or themed courses dealing with film. Sample topics might include: music in film, the ancient world on film, Hollywood, and courses focused on the cinema of various regions of the world, including the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.

211 Screenwriting
This course will familiarize students with the fundamentals of good screenwriting: structure, theme, conflict, character, and dialogue. Students take part in weekly writing exercises as preparation for their final class project--creating a detailed outline of an original screenplay, and completing the first act. Topics include plot and subplot, character development, and commercial considerations such as format and genre. Students are required to read essential books on scriptwriting and to analyze several films and the screenplays on which they are based.
Prerequisite: CRWR 218 or any film course.
This course is cross-listed as CRWR 219.

Attributes: Arts, Creative Writing Course

220 Topics in Media Studies
Topics may include new media, theories of media, audio, visual, and digital media studies and production, mass communication, journalism, and media and popular culture.
Prerequisite: dependent upon topic.

310 Topics in Advanced Film Studies
In-depth analysis and discussion of selected areas in Film Studies not normally covered in other interdisciplinary offerings. Topics may include, for example, auteur studies, genre studies, film theory, and film and popular culture.
Prerequisite dependent upon topic.

320 Topics in Advanced Media Studies
In depth analysis and discussion at the advanced level of selected areas in Media Studies. Topics may include new media, theories of media, audio, visual, and digital media studies and production, mass communication, journalism, and media and popular culture.
Prerequisite: dependent upon topic.