Film and Media Studies seeks to understand the moving image—something that, in its totality, we are very familiar with, engage with, use to communicate, and are entertained by, almost every day. Simply watching lots of media does not teach us how media works, and how media works on us—as individuals and as a culture. Film and Media Studies encompasses the study of the moving image in everything from cinema to television to video art to the Internet to video games and well beyond—any moving image that can be seen on any kind of screen. Our goal is to understand how moving images are made and why, and to become very powerful analysts and critics of moving images and their contexts. The initial task is to become aware of the moving image, something we know so well that we typically forget to ask questions of and about it. Coming to this greater critical awareness involves knowing what's in the frame, literally, and also what surrounds the frame—what are the formal, historical, cultural, technological, industrial, ideological, political and social contexts that make any moving image—and the whole idea of the moving image—meaningful to us. Seeing is a culturally learned set of processes, and Film Studies helps us come to understand more fully how meaning is made by moving images and by their makers, and how meaning is made by us, the spectators. The world is only getting more mediatized, and students need to understand how to navigate that world, as consumers, critics, and makers of media.
In October 2016 the faculty approved a stand-alone major in Film and Media Studies. For the requirements of the new major, see The Major.
If you are finishing a Five College Major in Film Studies, the requirements can be found on the Five College Major in Film Studies website.
5C Film and Media Studies Undergraduate Conference
Hosted by Smith College Film & Media Studies Program
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Seelye Hall 201
For more information, see our News & Events page.