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School of Languages, Cultures, and Race College of Arts and Sciences

Film Studies


Film Studies

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Program Description

Welcome to the Film Studies Program at Washington State University! We offer courses and a Minor in Film Studies degree program for anyone who is interested in the history, theory, and criticism of films.

The Film Studies Minor introduces students to the critical study of cinema. It explores how cinema both reflects and influences the facts, ideas, and activities of any given society, and how film allows us to travel to most places in the world and become familiar with diverse cultures, traditions, and ways of thinking.

The film studies minor also teaches students how to discern the cinematic and narrative features that are used in cinematography and how culture can influence them. The study of film encourages critical thinking, respect for cultural diversity, and detailed knowledge of film as a text of facts and ideas.

Learning Goals

The learning goals for the film studies minor are as follows:

  • To enhance knowledge of the history and practice of film production,
  • To analyze the nature, history, and function of film in an interdisciplinary manner that broadens and enhances critical thought.
  • To enhance the perception of and respect for the diversity of cultures in this country and around the world as exposed through this medium,
  • To enhance technical understanding of how filmand related-media work.
  • To enhance understanding of the societal and cultural roles and impact of film and other media.
  • To enhance media literacy skills.

Learning Outcomes

Depending on their program of studies, after completing the minor students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic conceptual vocabulary used in the study of film—i.e., the ability to define and use terms appropriate to cinematic genres and techniques, critical and theoretical approaches to film.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of national or international film and/or some of the major filmmakers and works.
  • Analyze film in an interdisciplinary manner.
  • Appreciate film as a medium for intercultural understanding.
  • Recognize cinematographic features that enhance film viewing and demonstrate the ability to analyze a film in terms of its formal dimensions.

Core Courses- 2 courses/ 6 credits

  • The core courses provide the foundation for the study of film based in the Humanities and constitute an introduction to various disciplines in which film analysis is anchored..
  • FORLANG 110 [DIVR] Introduction to Foreign Film
  • Philosophy 210 [HUM] Philosophy of Film or Sociology 372 Sociology of Film or DTC 208 [ARTS] Introduction to Digital Cinema

Electives- 4 courses / 12 credits

All elective courses offer a multidisciplinary approach to film studies and foster analysis from various perspectives: historical, philosophical, social, and cultural. Some courses, in addition, offer a global perspective on cinema by focusing on the cinematic production of a specific country or geographical area.

  • Electives should preferably be chosen after completion of the core courses.
  • No more than two courses with the same prefix or content area (as in cross-listed courses) may be applied towards the minor. The intent of this minor is to broaden and enhance knowledge and/or incorporate additional skills in the student’s academic preparation.
  • Courses marked with an “*” require prerequisites; please check the course catalog for more information.

List of Electives:

  • CES 222 Race in Sport Films
  • CES 338 Cinematic Images of Blackness
  • CES 358 [M] US Latino/as in Film
  • CES 379 Indigenous Film
  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE / POLITICAL SCIENCE 381 Crime and Justice in the Movies
  • DTC 354 [ARTS] [M] Digital Storytelling
  • DTC 491 Advanced Digital Cinema*
  • ENGLISH 339 [ARTS] Topics in Film as Literature
  • ENGLISH 340 Science Fiction Film
  • HISTORY 320 [HUM] Modern History Through Film

Electives with a Global PerspectiveCourses Taught in English

  • CHINESE/ ASIA/ JAPANESE 111 Asian Film
  • CHINESE 311 (M) Great Asian Directors
  • ENGLISH 316 South Asian Film
  • FRENCH 110 [HUM] French/Franco Film
  • FRENCH 410 [CAPS]
  • FORLANG 410 [CAPS] French Film in Translation
  • GERMAN 110 German Film
  • SPANISH 110 [ARTS] Peninsular Spanish Film
  • SPANISH 111 [ARTS] Latin American Film
  • WOMEN STUDIES 340 Third World Women and Film

Electives with a Global Perspective – Courses Taught in Other Languages

  • FRENCH 310 French and Francophone Film (In FRENCH)*
  • GERMAN 310 German Film (In GERMAN) *
  • SPANISH 310 [ARTS] Peninsular Spanish Film (In SPANISH) *
  • SPANISH 311 [ARTS] Latin American Film (In SPANISH)*

Other requirements for the minor

  • 18 credits must be completed
  • All core courses must be taken at WSU.
  • Half of the credits required for this minor (9 credits) must be in upper division courses.
  • 9 credits must be at the upper level, 3 of which must be taken in residence at WSU.
  • After consultation with the film studies advisor, a maximum of two elective courses(6 credits) may be transferred to the film studies minor from accredited study abroad and other university/college programs.
  • All courses taken for the minor must be passed with a grade of C or better.
  • Courses counting toward the Film Studies minor may not be counted toward a major or minor in a language, unless approved by SLCR advisor.