Oct 01, 2023  
Course Catalog 2022-2023 
Course Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cinema Studies

Geoff Pingree, Professor of Cinema Studies and English, Director
E. Grace An, Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and French
Jennifer Blaylock, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
Rian Brown-Orso, Associate Professor of New Media and Cinema Studies
William Patrick Day, Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Hsiu-Chuang Deppman, Professor of Chinese and Cinema Studies
Jeffrey Pence, Associate Professor of English and Cinema Studies
Joseph Rizzolo, Media Engineer, Instructor of Cinema Studies
Joshua Sperling, Arts and Sciences Creative Media Director, Visiting Professor of Cinema Studies
TBD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies

arrow Visit the program webpage for up-to-date information on program faculty, visiting lecturers, and special events.

The Cinema Studies Program at Oberlin offers courses in both filmmaking, screenwriting, and critical studies. The major is not divided into separate tracks as we believe that knowing about how movies are made enhances critical work while a knowledge of the history and theory of cinema supports filmmaking.

Our program deals with cinema as an artistic practice and as a dynamic part of cultural and social history, placing cinema in the contexts of other media as well as cinema as part of a global network of the moving image.

As a program in a liberal arts college, we believe that studying cinema and making movies is an important way of learning about the world and how we live and act in it today. The moving image in all its forms and manifestations–from traditional theatrical movies and television to digital streaming platforms–represents, mediates, and shapes our understanding of the world, our own experience, and our experience of others. Studying and creating cinema enhances our vision–in every sense of the term–of our world.

The cinema studies major requires nine courses, up to four of which may be taken in such other departments and programs as TIMARA, creative writing, theater, studio art, English, comparative literature, Africana studies, and East Asian studies. Each student in the cinema studies major shapes their own program with the help of their advisor.

Students begin critical studies in cinema with 100- and 200-level courses which are open without prerequisites; students interested in majoring in cinema studies should plan to take CINE 290  by the end of their sophomore year, though the course is also open to students considering other majors.

While the program offers a general introductory course in film production (CINE 291 ), we also think students can begin learning to make movies by choosing the kind of filmmaking that most interests them from among the 300-level cinema workshops (CINE 313 CINE 320 CINE 324 , and CINE 326 ). These small-enrollment courses have special tutorial sessions for students with little or no experience in filmmaking. Each of these courses may be repeated for full credit.

arrow 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 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 program director, preferably with syllabi in hand.

First-Year Seminar Program

Although first-year seminars (FYSP) do not count toward the major, FYSP related to cinema studies are regularly taught by program faculty (e.g. FYSP 128 FYSP 157 , FYSP 171). These small, intensive courses 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.

arrow Explore Winter Term projects and opportunities.

Majors and Minors