Film Studies Minor

Department of English and Foreign Languages

Department of English and Foreign Languages Film Studies Minor

Film has been and continues to be one of the most influential and dominant forms of visual media. The study of film includes the study of modern culture and the study of cinematic language and visual discourse.
The film studies minor at Barry University is designed to teach you how to critically read cinematic expression and analyze film from an informed position. Specifically, the aim of this program is to:

  • Immerse yourself in the history of film and its principal techniques;
  • Explore the social meaning of the uses of film;
  • Develop visual and aural literacy through film analysis skills; and
  • Promote critical thinking about the role of images in our society.

The depth of understanding gained from the film studies curriculum is extremely valuable in whatever profession you choose. When partnered with a number of different majors, a minor in film studies from Barry University may prepare you for a career or graduate study in:

  • Film Archival Work
  • Film Directing, Editing, and Cinematography
  • Film Journalism / Criticism
  • Film and TV Production
  • Film Teaching
  • Media History, Theory, and Criticism
  • Museum Curatorial Work
  • Scriptwriting

Film Studies Courses

  • This course examines the development of the media that utilize the moving visual image. The first focus of the course will be the history of cinema from the 1890s to the present. The second emphasis will be of the history of television from the early twentieth century to the present. Through examination of the history of these two highly influential media, the student will gain an understanding of why and how the film and TV industries have arrived at their current status. In addition to class meetings, students will be required to attend one weekly screening of a classic example of the medium from the period under discussion.

  • Integration of the stylistic and technical developments in the history of photography, cinema, and painting from 1839 to the present. Emphasis upon the interrelationship of aesthetic movements and cross-fertilizing influence of the different media. Analysis of classic movies as representative examples from film history.

  • Prerequisite: COM 366, PHO 421 or permission of instructor. Introduction of terminology and methodology for critical viewing of films. Introduction to the role of theory in film analysis. Practice in reading films as reflecting social, cultural, religious, economic, and aesthetic values of the periods and countries which produce the films.


  • Examination of film history and film forms as part of a larger cultural history. Clarification and differentiation of the connections between film and literature. Exploration of the ways literary concepts are interpreted through film.


  • An advanced writing course designed for students interested in learning how to write scripts for film and television. Students learn the various forms, genres, techniques, and styles of writing for film and television. The course will require students to write both a teleplay and a full-length screenplay.


  • This course introduces the student to the many philosophical perspectives that can be found, either explicitly or implicitly, in sophisticated classical cinema. PHI 323 is designed to demonstrate that the better films can be appreciated by emphasizing their aesthetic, moral, and, above all, their metaphysical and existential dimension.


  • An analysis of works of noted film directors/screenwriters (Igmar Bergman, Woody Allen, Denys Arcand, Jack Gold, Lawrence Kasdan, Stuart Rosenberg, Brian Moor, Fraser Heston) and how their respective films provide interpretative frameworks for those perennial issues that have their parallel themes in religion: suffering, alienation, human fulfillment (salvation), mystery, morality (goodness, evil, human perfection), redemption, trust, and affinity for the Divine.


Humanities Courses

  • Courses taught under this heading focus on the way social relations of power are constructed in and by cultural practices and the workings and consequences of those relations and practices. These courses examine through verbal and non-verbal texts what seems natural and familiar in order to unmask these representations and to critically examine the implications of these cultural practices in everyday life.


  • Courses taught under this heading focus on the distinctive social, political, cultural, linguistic, and historical experiences of ethnic groups in the United States. These courses explore through verbal and non-verbal texts the ways places are represented as home, exile, or myth, and how these representations affect the sense of self, gender, family, community, history, memory, and nationalism. Additionally, special topics courses taught in this category include those grounded in postcolonial theory; i.e., examining texts as an assertion of power against colonialism and as agencies for exploring experimental or alternative forms of artistic expressions.

  • Courses taught under this category focus on the construction and role of gender in culture. These courses examine verbal and non-verbal texts which, through representations, shape gender identity by historical and cultural practices. These courses also examine gendered identities in terms of their construction, codification, representation, and dissemination within society.

  • Courses taught under this category focus on what contemporary theorists tend to call “family resemblances” or what psycholinguists would describe in terms of “prototypicality.” The courses examine texts as familiar, codified, conventionalized, and formulaic structures located within specific cultural contexts and, as such, influence and reinforce social condition

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