Starting in January, the College will offer a new film and media studies minor to its undergraduates.

“The Faculty Working Group determined that a minor program would best provide students in the College with the opportunity to add the serious study of film and media to their existing interests, expanding learning in other fields by adding work on media,” Dean Bernie Cook (COL ’90, G ’91), who has been a force behind establishing the minor over the last 10 years, said in an email.

The minor consists of FMST-100: Gateway to Film and Media Studies, four minor electives and FMST-400: Capstone in Film and Media Studies.

According to professor Robynn Stilwell, an instructor in the program, the gateway course will serve to introduce students to three major aspects of the minor: film analysis and theory, hands-on experience with cameras and an exploration of social justice through media representations.

For the four electives, one must be Media Creation (Filmmaking Studio or equivalent course) while another of the electives emphasizes Film/Media History or Theory. Another elective deals with media and social justice, and students are encouraged to choose a community-based learning course for that elective. The final elective will be a free elective with a focus in media creation.

To designate a set course as a film and media studies course or elective, the core faculty of the program will seek out courses that centrally consider film and media from historical, theoretical and creative perspectives.

In its first years, the minor will be offered to 15 to 18 students. According to Cook, as the program grows with the help of external donations, it may be extended to more students within the College and eventually to all four undergraduate schools of the university.

For students eager to pursue film, the program opens doors.

“When I first became interested in film, I hoped to use it creatively to promote issues that were important to me, and I know of many other Georgetown students who feel similarly,” Lauren D’Souza (COL ’14) said. “With the new film and media studies minor, I feel like I will be able to broaden my appreciation for the media arts in both an aesthetic and intellectual sense, and I am very excited to get involved with such a program,” said.

Stilwell says that the program will round out Georgetown’s academic offerings nicely.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting addition to the College’s curriculum – although in some ways, it’s not a radical addition, many of these courses have been out there for a while, but the minor will make its presence on campus more focused, and students will have a coherent cohort for the first time. And by integrating the Georgetown ethos of social justice, we will be creating a film and media studies minor that’s unlike any other of which I am aware,” she said.

As the chair for the faculty working group on the project, Cook will assume the directorship of the program for its official launch in January.

Cook said his love for cinema goes back to when he proposed an independent film study class to professor John Glavin in 1990 as a senior at Georgetown. With the minor’s establishment, Glavin will now serve as a faculty member in the program.

Although Cook proposed the minor a decade ago, the plan gained traction after former Dean Jane McAuliffe inaugurated the Film and Media Studies Initiative in the College with the goal of developing resources for a program in 2005.

The Film Screening Classroom, located in New South Hall, was the first accomplishment in the push for expansion of the program. With the support of an anonymous donor and members of the Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance, the first classroom at the university geared for teaching and learning with film and media was created; the New South classroom will serve as home base for the minor program.

Current sophomores and juniors may apply for the program, and are asked to write an essay of no more than 500 words on their desire to minor in film and media studies. Preference will be given to those students with a cumulative GPA at or over 3.3. Applications are due Oct. 8 by noon to filmandmediastudiesgeorgetown.edu.

An information session about the program will be held Thursday, Sept. 16, from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., in the New South Film Screening Classroom.

ore information can be found on the major’s website at http://filmandmediastudies.georgetown.edu.

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