Film Studies Minor

Film Studies Minor


Description. Film Studies engages students in the study of film from theoretical, historical and critical perspectives. A Film Studies minor thus provides coursework exploring the history and development of film as an art form, a cultural experience, a major medium of communication and a powerful social force that both impacts and reflects social and political justice. Students develop critical skills through analyzing individual films, major film movements and genres, cinematic form and style, and the national and international cultural contexts in which films emerge and are exhibited.

Learning Outcomes. Students will:

  • Understand and discuss significant developments in the history of film, which includes how films have dealt with social justice and other subject matter, as well as film technique and changes in style.
  • Write critically and coherently about narrative features and structural elements of film, using vocabulary appropriate to the field (i.e. common film terminology).
  • Speak knowledgeably about significant filmmakers, their contributions to the field and their diverse aesthetic approaches.
  • Identify the elements of film-including style, plot, theme and narrative devices-that constitute a film genre (i.e. the gangster film, film noir, German expressionism).
  • Understand and discuss trends in film criticism and varying ways of “reading” and analyzing cinema.
  • Analyze films as situated within a diverse and global cultural context.
  • Understand and discuss the relationship between film and other art forms: music, literature and visual art.


Rationale. As John Jay continues to expand its liberal arts offerings, the Film Studies minor offers students the opportunity to look critically at and write coherently about an influential medium and its cultural context. By studying film history and film criticism and engaging in close readings of films, students become strong readers of visual culture and keen analyzers of vital cultural texts.

Minor coordinator. Professor Lyell Davies, Department of English (212.237.8360,

Requirement. A maximum of two courses can overlap with a student’s major, other minors or programs.

PART ONE. REQUIRED COURSES                                                                     Subtotal: 6 credits

LIT 106 Film Appreciation: Intro to Film
LIT 275 The Language of Film
LIT 328 Film Criticism

PART TWO. ELECTIVE COURSES                                                                  Subtotal: 12-13 credits

Choose four
At least one course must be at the 300-level or above
ANT 227 Anthropology of Film
DRA 243 Black Female Sexuality in Film
ENG 221 Screenwriting for Film, Television, and Internet
ENG 261 Digital Video Production
LIT 283 New York City in Film
LIT 284 Film and Society
LIT 285 The Rebel in Film
LIT 286 The Horror Film
LIT 323 The Crime Film
LIT 324 Road Movies
LIT 325 Science Fiction Film
LIT 329 Documentary Film and Media
LIT 330 Alfred Hitchcock
LIT 331 Steven Spielberg
LIT 332 Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee

                                                                                                                                  TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 18-19
                                                                                                                                                                                                     Last Updated: 5/4/18