Coursework: Cinema Studies

FOCUS: The Cinema Studies program offers both a BA major and a minor. In both, students study the history and aesthetics of movies while also undertaking their own video productions. In addition to their coursework, many cinema studies students pursue internships at one of the many production companies based in Knoxville, while also participating in student filmmaking, cinema programming, or cinema appreciation clubs.

STRUCTURE: The program is one of the interdisciplinary programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, and faculty from a wide variety of departments teach cross-listed courses. Cinema studies majors earn a BA in interdisciplinary studies with a cinema studies

TAUGHT BY: Students take courses with internationally recognized scholars and filmmakers. Among many other distinctions, the faculty have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, won awards at major film festivals (including Sundance), been elected to leadership roles in the Society of Cinema and Media Studies, and won numerous teaching
awards at UT.

Iconic image from A Trip to the Moon.

Iconic image from A Trip to the Moon.

PHILOSOPHY: Those who aspire to work in film and video production will benefit from studying the history and aesthetics of movies, just as those who are more interested in studying film history and writing about cinema benefit from learning the fundamentals of video production. Therefore, all majors and minors take at least some coursework in film history and aesthetics as well as basic video production.

BROADENING YOUR EXPERIENCE: Cinema studies students are encouraged to minor or major in fields like journalism and electronic media, English, art, and theater. Those interested in working in media production after graduation are encouraged to seek out internships with local and national video production companies. Students are also involved with campus organizations focused on film, including the UT Film Committee and the UT Cinema Club.

Still from Citizen Kane

Still from Citizen Kane

NON-MAJORS WELCOME: Students with elective credits who are interested in learning more about the history and aesthetics of movies can take courses like Introduction to Film Studies and Global Cinema; courses that look at national cinemas such as American, Brazilian, Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Russian; or topically organized courses like Politics and the Mass Media or Sexuality and Cinema.

SUCCESS: Ben Murphy (’15), who was in the first class of cinema studies graduates, showed his short documentary The Merry Death Collector at the Nashville Film Festival. He also served as associate producer of Ain’t it Nowhere, a feature film directed by his older brother, which was named one of the top five Audience Winners at the Nashville festival.


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