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What is the Film Minor?

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Film functions as a unique art form, a social barometer, a cultural artifact, an historical record, a political argument, an agent of change, and a good time. It's complex in construction and function, and yet directly powerful in its effect.


Because film is multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary, the Film Minor invites students from all and any majors to join in the study-and production-of film in the English department.

  • English majors can add audio and visual components to their textual analysis.
  • Music majors can consider how their music could interact with film.
  • Engineers will recognize the technology and design required at every level of filmmaking.
  • Advertising majors can explore the impact of images in communication.
  • Business majors can study the economic transformation of film industries.
  • Art and Design majors might be eager to make films to test and transform their own media.
  • Political scientists or anthropologists might want to study or make films in their capacity to preserve, document, or change culture.
  • Education majors can learn the history of cinema to order to use it as a tool to teach art, history, politics, and culture.
  • Photography majors can consider the image afresh by putting it in motion.
  • Biologists can consider film as a document of the natural world.
  • Historians can engage cinema history as well as recognize film as a document of history itself.
  • Philosophers might bring the topics of ethics, phenomenology, and meaning into their study of film.

Because the reach of film is so wide, the film minor thrives as a community when students come from varied perspectives and fields of study. To study film is to study image, sound, motion, and time in a way that can encompass all of the above perspectives and many more. Its capacity for complexity is as great as its capacity for lucidity.


Why study film? Film is often considered the only new art form produced in the 20th Century. The 21st Century has witnessed the explosion of moving images into nearly every sphere of contemporary life, and advances in technology have made film/video/audio technology widely and easily available. The question is not why study film, but why not?