Graduate Program: Film and Media Studies

Director of Graduate Studies
Francesco Casetti (53Wall,

2012-2013 Graduate Course information can be found at


Professors:  Dudley Andrew*, Francesco Casetti*, Katerina Clark *, J.D. Connor*, Moira Fradinger, Aaron Gerow*, David Joselit*, Thomas Kavanagh*,John MacKay*, Millicent Marcus*, Charles Musser*, Brigitte Peucker*, Katie Trumpener*, Laura Wexler*

Associate Professors:  Karen Nakamura

Assistant Professor: John Williams

Senior Lecturer: Ronald Gregg*

 Affiliated Faculty: Carol Armstrong, David Bromwich, Rüdiger Campe, Hazel Carby, Michael Denning, Inderpal Grewal, Kobena Mercer, Christopher L. Miller, Joseph Roach, David Fisher (Visiting Professor, Spring 2014)

  *Member of the Graduate Committee

Fields of Study

Film and Media Studies is an interdisciplinary field drawing on the study of the history of art, national cultures and literatures, literary theory, philosophy, sociology, and other areas. Film Studies offers a combined PH.D. with a number of other departments and programs, currently including African American Studies, American Studies, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Literatures, French, German, History of Art, Italian, and Slavic Languages and Literatures. In addition to acquiring a firm grounding in the methods and core material of both film studies and another discipline, the candidate is advised to coordinate a plan of study involving comprehensive knowledge of one or more areas of specialization. Such areas include:

1.  Historiography, including archival history, history of technology, silent film.

2.  Aesthetics: theories of the image, adaptation, film/philosophy, avant-garde film.

3.  European film: British-Irish, French, German and Nordic, Italian, Slavic.

4.  American culture: Hollywood, independent film, African American cinema.

5.  World film: global image exchange; cinema in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

6.  Documentary as an aesthetic, cultural, and ideological practice.

7.  Cinema in its relations with other arts and other media.

8.  Screen cultures, screened images, post-cinema, theory and history of media.

Through course work, examinations, and the dissertation, the candidate links a film specialty with material and methods coming from the participating discipline. Directors of graduate studies from both programs monitor the candidate’s plans and progress.

Special Admissions Requirements

Combined-program applicants should familiarize themselves fully not only with the Film and Media Studies entrance requirements but with those of the other graduate program as well. Since combined-program applicants must be admitted by both Film Studies and the other department, candidates should make sure that the material they submit with the application clearly addresses the requirements and mission of both graduate programs.

The application for Film and Media Studies is administered by the Office of Graduate Admissions. All applications are to be completed online and can be accessed by visiting its Web site at In the “Programs of Study” section of the application, the applicant should do the following: Applicants should choose Film Studies in Step 1 and the combined department in Step 3. All applications including writing samples are read by the admissions committees in both units.

Special Requirements for the PH.D. Degree

Every student selected for the combined program is subject to the supervision of the Film Studies program and the relevant participating department. A written protocol between each department and Film Studies outlines the requirements and schedule to be borne in mind as a plan of study is worked out in consultation with the director of graduate studies of Film Studies and the director of graduate studies of the participating department. In all cases, students are required to take two core seminars in Film and Media Studies (FILM 601 and FILM 603) as well as at least four additional Film Studies seminars. Course requirements vary for participating departments but comprise a total of sixteen courses (fourteen for American Studies, fifteen for History of Art). A student advances to candidacy by completing a qualifying examination and a dissertation prospectus.

  1. Qualifying examinations follow the regulations of the participating department with at least one member of the Film Studies Graduate Committee participating.
  2. The dissertation prospectus presented to a faculty committee consisting of at least one member of the Film Studies Graduate Committee and one member of the participating department who is not also on the Film Studies Graduate Committee. Once the student and dissertation adviser deem the dissertation finished, a public defense of the completed work shall be held. At least one examiner of the dissertation must be a member of the Film Studies Graduate Committee and one a member of the participating department who is not on that committee.

The faculty in Film Studies considers participation in the Teaching Fellows Program to be essential to the professional preparation of graduate students. Students normally teach in years three and four. Every student is required to serve as a teaching fellow in two film courses such as Introduction to Film; Film Theory; World Cinema.

Master’s Degree

M.Phil. See Graduate School Requirements.