Participating Departments

The Department of English
and Graduate Film Studies

A graduate program in film studies is available through the Department of English. Historically, the department has had a special relationship to the Film Studies Program, since its director (Lucy Fischer) has an appointment in English, as do many of the core film studies faculty (Drs. Feuer, Landy, Lowenstein, MacCabe, Majumdar, and Luckett).

The Department of English has gained national attention in recent years for its graduate curricular innovations, which seek to integrate programs in literature, media, composition, and creative writing. It has redefined its doctoral program as one in "Cultural and Critical Studies," a move away from the traditional English model. By enrolling in graduate work in the Department of English, the student interested in film studies has the rare opportunity to work within the context of an investigation of literature and contemporary theory.

To pursue graduate work in film studies, a student enrolls as an English MA or PhD student; there is no separate curricular "track." The self-designed doctoral project, as well as the dissertation, allows the student to study literary, cinematic, and other cultural discourse (for more information about departmental requirements, visit the Department of English Web site. Those interested in film studies should choose an advisor in the program and meet with the program director or other faculty members during the first year of study.

The Department of English offers qualified graduate students (with an interest in film studies) some opportunities to teach in the field. While in the first year teaching assistants (TAs) work in composition, in the second year TAs are frequently available for large undergraduate courses (e.g., World Film History, Film Analysis, Film Comedy, Hitchcock, etc.), which involve recitation sections and exam/paper grading. Students may also teach their own sections of Seminar in Composition: Film, and such courses as World Film History or Film Analysis in the summer session. Finally, a graduate student assistantship (GSA) is available to assist the program director.

Hillman Library has an excellent and up-to-date collection of print materials on film studies (books and journals). Furthermore, Hillman Library's Media Center has a large collection of films, DVDs and videotapes for use in classes or on the library premises. Media equipment is available for viewing in the Media Center (G-20 Hillman Library) during regular library hours. There is also a small media room on the sixth floor of the Cathedral, near the Department of English offices.

Film Studies Guide to Research: A guide to finding materials in the University Library System (.doc)

Interfolio: Graduate student job file service

Graduate Dean

Film in Pittsburgh

Original sign for John Harris’ historic nickelodeon (1905)

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