2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin

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 Jay Walitalo, Department of English (212.484.1192, jwalitalo@jjay.cuny.edu)

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

Part One. Required Courses

LIT 106Film Appreciation: Intro to Film



LIT 275The Language of Film


LIT 328Film Criticism


Total Credit Hours: 6

Part Two. Electives

Choose four

(At least one course must be at the 300–level or above)

ANT 227Anthropology of Film


DRA 243Black Female Sexuality in Film


ENG 221Screenwriting for Film, Television, and Internet


ENG 261Digital Video Production


LIT 283New York City in Film


LIT 284Film and Society


LIT 286The Horror Film


LIT 323The Crime Film


LIT 325Science Fiction Film


LIT 329Documentary Film and Media


Please note: The following courses are part of the electives for the Film Studies minor but they are not currently being offered: LIT 285 The Rebel in Film, LIT 324 Road Movies, LIT 330 Alfred Hitchcock, LIT 331 Steven Spielberg, LIT 332 Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee.

Total Credit Hours: 12-13

Total Credit Hours: 18-19