The Cinema Studies Concentration for English Majors and Minors is designed for students who enjoy watching and talking about movies and want to learn more about how they entertain us, why they move us, and how they both influence and reflect the attitudes and values of our culture. While many of the courses in the Cinema Studies Concentration and the FMS Minor overlap, the emphasis in Cinema Studies is to examine the ways in which visual style, sound, music, editing, and acting help to shape a movie’s meaning.
An English major or minor with a Cinema Studies Concentration ideally prepares students for careers in film publicity, journalism, screenwriting, script evaluation, or for curatorial work in film repertory theaters, museums or arts councils—all careers that demand skilled writers and perceptive readers with a strong knowledge and understanding of film, as well as background in literature and writing. The Cinema Studies Concentration will also prepare students for the many premiere graduate schools offering advanced degrees in both the study and the production of film. For English Education majors, a Cinema Studies concentration ensures comfort and competence in using and teaching films in the elementary or secondary classroom.
The English Department Cinema Studies Concentration offers courses exploring varied film genres—like science fiction, the western, the musical, the romantic comedy—along with courses delving into the unique style and themes of specific filmmakers—like Kubrick, Welles, Hitchcock, the Coen brothers, and more—as well as courses devoted to the history and characteristics of various national cinemas. A course in film adaptation draws upon the close relationship between film and literature, and Cinema Studies seminar courses will provide an in-depth look at such topics as race, gender and ethnicity in film; film censorship; and special trends or movements in cinema history such as Italian Neo-realism, blaxploitation, and the French New Wave. The concentration also offers interdisciplinary courses in a number of departments across the University, many of which are also part of the Film and Media Studies Program. (Please see course checklists for both the English Major and the English Minor with concentrations in Cinema Studies).
English majors and minors concentrating in Cinema Studies will take ENG 284 Language of Film Analysis as the core cinema requirement, along with requirements in literary analysis and history—all of which provide complementary knowledge and approaches to the study of film and literature.
Cinema Studies students can take advantage several exciting writing-based internships with the internationally known film magazine Cineaste and with the Trenton Film Festival, among others. Students are also invited to participate in a number of activities that have grown out of the concentration: The Alternative Film Club, the Movies in America Guest Speaker Series, the all-day Cinematheque that, on one Saturday each semester, presents must-see movies for film-literate students.