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Harvard University (Visual and Environmental Studies Department (Film Studies))

Film Studies at Harvard continues its tremendous recent progress. In 2004, Film Studies found an official curricular home in VES. This year, there will be a secondary field for undergraduates. And in a first for the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, there will be a graduate secondary field in Film and Visual Studies as well. Last year, The Art of Film became the first film studies class to satisfy the Core requirement in Literature and Arts B. This year, three more courses join it: VES 71: Silent Cinema, VES 72: Sound Cinema, and VES 187x: From Postwar to Postwall German Cinema.

The integration of film studies into the Harvard curriculum has deep roots. Professor Hugo Münsterberg was a pioneer in film theory when he published The Photoplay: A Psychological Study in 1916. Since those earliest days of film studies, eminent theorists such as Rudolf Arnheim and Stanley Cavell as well as makers like Chantal Akerman, Miklós Jancsó, Hal Hartley, Mani Kaul, Spike Lee, Dusan Makavejev, and Raúl Ruiz have continued to write and teach at Harvard under the aegis of numerous departments. The tradition continues with the current faculty listed on the VES website.

The film studies courses gathered here generally fall into one of three groups. VES offers courses on the history and theory of film as a major medium of modern visual art and culture. Language and literature departments (East Asian Studies, English, German, Romance) present film as a counterpart to literary works and an integral expression of cultural formations. Cultural studies departments (Anthropology, Sociology, History) consider film’s social functions.

Any student may pick and choose from these modes, but concentrators in Film Studies must explore them all. After foundational training in film analysis and history of cinema, concentrators explore the breadth of theoretical, analytical, and historical approaches to film, to film’s place within larger histories, and to film’s relationship to other media.

Beyond these courses, Film Studies at Harvard benefits from a vibrant production scene. Newly renovated space in Sever Hall has brought makers and critics into closer cooperation. VES offers courses in film and video production, the Film Study Center supports the production of nonfiction films, and Boston remains a center of documentary and other modes of film production.

School name:Harvard UniversityVisual and Environmental Studies Department (Film Studies)
Address:24 Quincy Street
Zip & city:MA 02138-3804 Massachusetts
Phone:(617) 495-3251

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Visual and Environmental Studies Department (Film Studies) Film School Location

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