About the Graduate School Film Studies Field Committee

From its very beginnings, cinema has been major agent in the international sharing that undergirds the "globalization" of the twenty-first century. An interdisciplinary approach to the study of cinema from around the world offers a critical view on films from varied traditions, languages, and cultures, providing the necessary analytical tools and historical background to interpret diverse cinematic traditions.

The Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies has been formed in response to student demand for academic support and official recognition of their interest in the field. The Committee brings scholarly and curricular coordination to the University's treatment of the most important art and entertainment medium developed in the twentieth century. It also gives coherence and synergy to the substantial existing faculty commitment and library resources in the field. Faculty expertise in Film Studies has been drawn together from various units of the College of Arts and Humanities.

The Graduate School Film Studies Field Committee formalizes the numerous links established by University of Maryland scholars with local organizations and institutions dedicated to the promotion, distribution, and preservation of film. Film studies faculty have also developed strong links with their counterparts holding similar positions in graduate programs throughout the country and in the world (Freie Universität Berlin, Tokyo University, King’s College, University of Otago, University of Buenos Aires, etc.). They will encourage students to establish contact with international institutions and present their own research in specialized conferences listed by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

The curriculum focuses on advanced research in the theory and history of cinema, while emphasizing the development of methods and skills of critical analysis. Particular attention is given to the interaction of film with literature, art, photography, and language. Students are encouraged to address complex issues such as trans-nationality, social context, and cultural, racial and gender identity in relation to film as well as the place of cinema in popular culture.

Participating students must complete the MA or PhD degree requirements of their respective departments' programs while taking as many courses as possible from the Film Studies Curriculum. This coursework includes the one-credit Graduate Colloquium in Cinema and Theory, which students are strongly encouraged to attend. The final decision on course selection is reached in coordination with the student, his/her advisor and the respective department's graduate director.

To learn more about how to become an affiliate of the GSFC in Film Studies, please click here.