About the Film and Media Studies Major

A man stands behind a video camera

Our contemporary world is awash in moving-image media. We turn to screens of all sorts to find information, to seek entertainment, to connect with family and friends. Films, television series, even TikTok videos broaden our imaginations. The Film & Media Studies (FAMS) program invites students to engage with just such a range of media forms through a combination of historical, philosophical, technological, and aesthetic practices.

FAMS “critical studies” courses investigate the analytical and historical study of various media, multiple national cinemas and eras, and writing practices specific to this field of study. Our classes in film and video production offer introductory and advanced workshops in which students will have the opportunity to work with digital video as well as analog film in the production of documentary, essayistic, and narrative work.

While exploring the major, students will discover that “practice” is central to FAMS, for our program is a hybrid one that ultimately involves the integration of critical and creative practices. Indeed, working with moving-image texts and tools, students will find that analytical writing can be as much of a creative, imaginative act as making their own original films. And film and video production is also a critical practice, which draws on a rich history of images and ideas and engages all of our senses as artists and thinkers.

Whether we view in a movie theater, our home spaces, or on the move, moving images have become part of the air we breathe. Our goal in FAMS is to look at and listen to these images and create our own with fresh eyes and ears, in order to better understand the world we live in and to actively participate in that world.

Major Explorations: Film and Media Studies

Welcome to FAMS

Our courses engage a range of media forms, combining historic, philosophic, aesthetic and technical approaches. For instance, you'll consider how films tell dramas about looking, whether that means looking at one another and ourselves, or at subjects and spaces beyond us.