Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes.

-Robert Altman


The Film Studies Concentration

For Majors in Communication Arts or Writing and Publishing
David Logan
Lead Faculty Writing & Publishing

The Communication Arts or Writing and Publishing major with the concentration in Film Studies enables students with a background or interest in cinematic narrative, film theory, film production, or screenwriting.  

To Vachel Lindsay, native son of Springfield, Illinois, and America's first film theorist and critic (circa 1915), moving pictures were "the great democratizer—the poor, uneducated, and vice-ridden are now able to travel to escape their world and travel to exotic lands or experience art unknown to them before….to exhibit for the first time in history a common interest on a tremendous scale in an art form." And in sharing art on such an unprecedented scale, Lindsay sees the soul in this new science: "Edison is the new Gutenberg. He has invented the new printing. The state that realizes this may lead the soul of America, day after to-morrow." 

We study film to see the human soul in action, one frame at a time, pass before us as a flip-book. Cinema is our escape, and yet it tells our stories, with or without words, and always with a mirror before us so that we cannot help but seek or perhaps stumble onto ourselves in them. It's a storytelling as ancient as the Hieroglyphs, as original as a silent picture, as transformational as the "talkies," and as cutting-edge as the next new release.    

Look for opportunities to participate in the upcoming Vachel Lindsay Film Series 


Communication Arts and Writing and Publishing majors wishing to pursue the concentration in Film Studies must choose 12 hours of coursework from the following courses:   

(Click on the course name to show description)

LITR 210 | Literature and Film

  • Selected literary texts and their representation on film; analysis of the relationship between the two genres, and differences between written texts and visual media. a>

COMM 250 | Masters of the American Cinema

  • A historical study of representative fiction film makers from D.W. Griffith to Spike Lee.

COMM 251 | History of Film

  • A cross-cultural study of the development of the cinema from its late 19th century origins to the present.

COMM 256 | International Film

  • A study of the film form as seen in the most important films produced outside the United States.

COMM 385 | Television and Society

  • An in-depth investigation of the television industry and its impact on American and world culture.

COMM 388 | Studies in Film Theory and Criticism

  • Selected topics in film theory and criticism.
To view descriptions of the other required and elective courses, visit the Writing and Publishing Curriculum page or the Communication Arts Curriculum page.