William Patrick Day, Director, Cinema Studies Program; Professor of English and Cinema Studies
E. Grace An, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and French
Rian Brown-Orso, Associate Professor of New Media and Cinema Studies
Kyle Hartzell, Lecturer, Cinema Studies
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Geoff Pingree, Professor of Cinema Studies and English
Joshua Sperling, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Visit the department webpage for up-to-date information on department faculty, visiting lecturers and special events.
Cinema, modern culture’s primary art form, is also the central component of the media traditions and industries that structure contemporary society. We cannot understand fully how music, painting, literature, and other artistic practices have developed without seeing them in relation to cinema, and we cannot begin to comprehend the full significance of the media in our lives without first studying cinema. Movies, as well as novels, magazines, radio broadcasts, television shows, art installations, and the Internet (to name just a few) comprise what we think of, loosely, as media. Each profoundly influences how we understand and experience the actual world; each stands, in some meaningful way, between us and that world - past, present, and future.
Oberlin’s Cinema Studies Program encourages its students to consider cinema and media within this framework and to explore the “in between” - to think, more precisely, about what mediates the relations among authors and readers, artists and audiences, filmmakers and spectators. It encourages them to pursue the meanings of cinema and other media in the broadest, most interdisciplinary ways, considering movies, for example, as works of art, as cultural forms, and as industrial practices.
Cinema and other media are material forces that enable a global exchange of information, ideas and stories. From the Guttenberg press to Kindle wireless reading devices, from Morse Code to short-wave radio broadcasts, from magic lanterns to movie projectors, from typewriters to computer word processors, from town criers to YouTube, media have integrally shaped human history and society.
Students majoring in Cinema Studies explore not only the “how” of this influence (how, for instance, an ancient poem or a contemporary television program is composed, gains influence, and both reflects and shapes social and cultural attitudes and behaviors), but the “what” as well. They study the materials of art and communication - whether as words spoken, texts written, canvases painted, or celluloid exposed to light - that mediate their understanding of the world, of their own experience, of each other. And they consider media’s “how” and “what” in order to enrich their reflection upon its “why” - upon its moral, political, and cultural purposes, justifications, and effects.
See information about Research, Internships, Study Away and Experiential Learning (RISE).
Transfer of Credit
No more than four full courses or the equivalent of transfer credit may be applied to the Oberlin Cinema Studies major. No more than one 300-level course may be transferred for credit. For approval of transfer credit toward the major and/or toward meeting prerequisites for upper-level courses, students should consult with the Director of Cinema Studies (or his or her designate), preferably with syllabi in hand.
First-Year Seminar Program
First-Year Seminars do not count toward the major. Cinema Studies faculty teach several of these small, intensive courses, however (FYSP 128 Media and Memory, FYSP 157 The Sense of Time and Place, and FYSP 171 Media and Meaning are examples). They provide one means of preparation for the study of cinema, and are invaluable to first-year students in the College as they develop skills in critical and creative thinking, reading, viewing, analysis, writing and discussion.
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Majors and Minors
- CINE 111 - Introduction to Media Studies
- CINE 112 - Intro to American Documentary: 1960 to the Present
- CINE 116 - Film Experience: The Cinematic World
- CINE 118 - Film Noir: A Transnational Perspective
- CINE 119 - Exilic Cinema
- CINE 202 - Modern Latin American Cinema
- CINE 203 - Funny Women: Women, Comedy, and Film
- CINE 206 - Modern Chinese Literature and Film: The Art of Adaptation
- CINE 211 - What is Media?
- CINE 212 - Social Media Explorations
- CINE 244 - When Old Media Were New: Global Histories of New Media
- CINE 250 - French Cinema: from the National to the Global
- CINE 251 - New Zealand Film
- CINE 267 - Narrating and Documenting the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
- CINE 280 - Technophobia and Occult Media
- CINE 282 - Hollywood Narrative & Genre
- CINE 284F - AOI Workshop-Full
- CINE 284H - AOI Workshop-Half
- CINE 290 - Introduction to the Advanced Study of Cinema
- CINE 295 - Cinematic Storytelling Workshop
- CINE 298 - Video Production Workshop I
- CINE 301 - Sound for Moving Picture
- CINE 302 - Montage in Thought & Practice
- CINE 306 - Global Women’s Documentary
- CINE 309 - Chinese Popular Cinema and Public Intellectualism
- CINE 311 - Silent Cinema: Technology, Industry, Modernity
- CINE 312 - Experimental Ecocinema
- CINE 313 - ANIMATION WORKSHOP : Stop Motion Animation from Analog to Digital
- CINE 314 - Bardot, Seyrig, Fonda: Stardom and Activism Before #MeToo
- CINE 315 - Queer Media, Activism and Thought in France: Case Studies
- CINE 316 - Usership Media
- CINE 320 - Video Production Workshop II: Documentary Production
- CINE 321 - Contemporary World Auteurs
- CINE 322 - Experiments in Moving Image & Sound I
- CINE 323 - Theory and History of Global Cinema
- CINE 324 - Video Production Workshop II: The Short Film
- CINE 325 - Imagining Immanence
- CINE 326 - First Person Cinema: Personal Narrative
- CINE 328 - Media Networks: Interconnections of History and Theory
- CINE 331 - Docufiction
- CINE 332 - The Autobiographical Film
- CINE 335 - Advanced Cinematic Storytelling
- CINE 342 - Experiments in Moving Image and Sound II
- CINE 350 - The Poetics and Politics of French Documentary and the Essay Film
- CINE 354 - Actors, Stars, and the World Stage
- CINE 360 - Strange Cinema
- CINE 361 - Time & the Human Condition
- CINE 362 - New Issues in Documentary
- CINE 363 - Bodies of Laughter: The Slapstick Film Comedy
- CINE 364 - Advanced Film Making Projects
- CINE 372 - Contemporary Literary Theory: Post-Modernity and Imagination
- CINE 375 - Realism, 1800 to the Present: The Mirror Up to Nature
- CINE 377 - Narrative Across Platforms
- CINE 381 - Hopeful Monsters: (Mixed-)Media Studies
- CINE 398 - New Wave, New Hollywood, New Cinema Studies
- CINE 399F - Cinema Studies Practicum - Full
- CINE 399H - Cinema Studies Practicum - Half
- CINE 980 - Transmedia Storytelling in Japanese Cinema
- CINE 995F - Private Reading - Full
- CINE 995H - Private Reading - Half