The Literature Program is home to a number of leading scholars in the field of technical media, who address the very idea of the “medium” as a complex dynamic construct that has allowed for both new experiences and new creative and social possibilities. The Film and Media concentration offers you the opportunity to study media in all of its complexity – as a social, technical, historical, and industrial process of communication that is central to the processes of modernization and globalization. This concentration provides an interdisciplinary framework for the critical study of visual, aural, and tactile media central to global culture today.
Requirements for the “Film and Media” Concentration
- LIT201 Intro to Global Cultural Studies
- LIT 301S Theory Today: Introduction to the Study of Literature
- LIT110 Introduction to Film Studies
- LIT 110 is primary to AMI and as such may be taught by faculty unaffiliated with The Program in Literature.
- LIT316S Film Theory OR LIT317 Media Theory
- Please note that LIT 316 or LIT 317 must be taught by faculty with appointments in Literature.
- 5 additional courses
- At least 2 of these must focus on the study of film and/or media, offered by faculty with or without appointments in Literature.
- At least 2 of these must be core Literature courses among three domains of inquiry taught by faculty with appointments in Literature.
Senior culminating experience completed in the senior year in one of the following three formats. The instructor/supervisor of the course/project chosen from the three options below must be faculty with an appointment in Literature.
- LIT 393 Research Independent Study, producing a significant research paper of 15-20 pages subject to review by both the study supervisor and DUS, OR
- Graduate-level Course Numbered 500-699, OR
- Completed Honors Thesis Track, including both completed seminars LIT 495 and LIT 496, along with a successful panel-reviewed defense
Domains of Inquiry
Keep in mind that of the courses listed below, only courses taught by faculty who have appointments in Literature will count as Core Courses toward our Major, Minor, or Film and Media Concentration.
The humanities investigate human existence as it is personally and collectively experienced. Human experience is always situated, always intertwined with specific historical, geographical, political, social, cultural, or economic conditions and contexts. The humanities ask what it meant to be human in a specific time and place, and try to understand how human beings have sought to make sense of their lives, and of the events and ideas in which they participate and which have been handed down to them. To explore the meanings of human existence, the humanities study everything from the intimate arenas of embodiment, selfhood, and identity to the political and philosophical dimensions of collective planetary life. This category includes courses concerned with identity, social and bodily life, and with theoretical problems arising from the attempt to demarcate agency from the broader environments out of which it emerges.
The major method of the humanities is interpretation, understood as any kind of reading, decoding or deciphering of signs, sign - systems, languages, texts, artworks, and material artefacts. Humanists ask what meaning is, how it is produced and communicated, and how meaning fails. Critical reflection on questions of language, meaning and interpretation is the central concern of a wide range of different theories and philosophies in the humanities, such as hermeneutics, Saussurean linguistics, structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, and ordinary language philosophy. This category includes courses concerned with the practice of interpretation and reading, and/or the theoretical problems arising from the attempt to understand human signs and artefacts.
Attending to the history and technicity of the media in which culture is expressed, transmitted, and inherited comprises a crucial dimension of the humanities in our contemporary moment. Humanists ask not simply what a given cultural artefact means, but how the medium of its expression and conveyance impacts its meaning and its cultural efficacy. Ranging from focused comparative explorations of different media (print, image, sound, cinema) to more philosophical considerations of the historical role of mediation, from writing to the internet and cell phone, courses in this category address the tension between meaning and materiality that stems from the inherent media specificity of every cultural expression, and range in scope from concretely situated notions of “genre,” “audience,” and “sense modality” to broader operations of “reflexivity” and “receptivity.”