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Once Were Warriors (1994)


The Film and Media Studies major at Smith College comprises ten courses:

No more than three courses in the major can be production courses.

Four courses must be taken at the advanced level. Two must be 300-level seminars.

Introduction to Film and Media Studies is the prerequisite for any production course, and for Methods and Theories of Film and Media Studies.

One course must centrally address alternatives to commercial media (e.g., documentary or experimental/avant-garde work.)

Only one component course may count for the major. (A core course is one in which the moving image is the primary object of study; a component course is one in which the moving image figures significantly but is not the central focus of the course).

The Focus

The three-course focus allows Film and Media Studies majors to concentrate in a particular area, as designed by the major in consultation with the adviser. Normally the focus should be chosen by the second semester of junior year. At least one course in the focus must be at the advanced level. Focus areas include, but are not limited to:

Learning Goals in Film & Media Studies

The learning goals for Film and Media Studies (answering the question "What abilities should a Film and Media Studies major have upon graduation?") are:

  1. The ability to critically analyze works from a wide variety of moving image media (e.g., cinema, television, video art, streaming video, mobile apps, video games, GIFs) and artistic modes (e.g., narrative, documentary, experimental)
  2. A keen awareness of moving images' contexts (political, historical, cultural, technological, industrial, and social) and how these evolve over the life of their circulation
  3. Research skills that cover a range of types and levels—basic Internet research, in-depth scholarly research, archival research—and an understanding of how to use different kinds of research appropriately
  4. An ability to make creative media, at least an introductory production level, with a critical eye and reflective mindset
  5. Proficiency at sharing ideas effectively through three types of communication:

a. Written: majors will be able to write clearly and persuasively in a range of formats and for a range of audiences (e.g., blog posts, short response papers, conference abstracts, in-depth research papers)

b. Spoken: majors will be able to present ideas orally in a range of settings (e.g., one-on-one with the instructor, in small discussion groups, in large classroom discussions, through in-class presentations)

c. Media: beyond the form of creative media-making majors learn in their production classes, they will also learn to communicate scholarly ideas about media through media (e.g., by making websites, video essays, podcasts, GIS mapping projects)