Collage film strip-style image including video stills from the films: In the Mood for Love, Man with a Movie Camera, and Rear Window.

Film Concentration in the English Major

In addition to courses on American, British and international literature, the English Department offers a film studies curriculum devoted to the history, aesthetics and theory of film. Film courses can be used to satisfy a number of English major requirements in genre, international study, and representations of race, class, and gender. English majors are able to study a range of directors, genres, movements, national cinemas and historical periods as part of their degree work in English.

Students with a particular interest in the interconnections between film and literature are encouraged to pursue a film concentration within the English major.  The film concentration is a 12-credit program that allows English majors to explore the aesthetic parallels between film, drama, poetry and novels. Those who study both film and literature have a more comprehensive understanding of modern cultural history and questions of representation. The film concentration may NOT be combined with the BA/MA, teacher certification programs or the creative writing concentration.

Who should pursue a film concentration?

  • Students who want to learn more about the increasing influence of visual culture in contemporary literature.
  • Students with a special interest in modern American fiction and its relationship to Hollywood and American independent cinema.
  • Students with a special interest in transnational themes and narratives in both literature and film.
  • Future English teachers who plan to show films in the classroom.

What are the benefits of studying film and literature together?

  • In a world dominated by visual media, it is essential to be able to analyze and understand the power of moving images.
  • Theories of voyeurism, the male gaze, visual perspective, montage and mobile framing pioneered in film studies can be used to analyze the increasingly visual language of contemporary literature.
  • Film and literature are both primarily fictional storytelling forms, so their study depends on similar foundational concerns with narrative structure, narrational style, authorship, genre and identification.
  • The historical movement from modernism to postmodernism, nationalism to transnationalism, and realism to reflexivity cannot be fully understood without attention to the aesthetic histories of both film and literature.

What courses will I take?

  • Everyone takes Introduction to Film, a course that provides an overview of film language and history.
  • You can then select at least three other courses that suit your interests in the following areas: 1) historical surveys of American and World cinema, 2) studies of major film directors, genres and movements, 3) courses on cinematic representations of class, race, gender and sexuality.

ENFL 208: Introduction to Film (required)
ENFL 251: Special Topics in Film Studies
ENFL 255: Major Film Movements
ENFL 260: Major Film Genres
ENFL 265: Major Film Directors
ENFL 294: World Film before 1945
ENFL 295: World Film after 1945
ENFL 356: The Contemporary Film
ENFL 357: American Film to 1945
ENFL 358: American Film 1945 to the Present
ENFL 365: Gender and Sexuality in Film
ENFL 370: Class, Race and Ethnicity in Film
ENFL 496: Seminar in Film

View course descriptions here

How do I sign up for a film concentration?

  • Email Dr. Art Simon at
  • Visit the English department office at Dickson Hall 468.