Serious film scholars take note: students may minor in cinema studies at Colby starting next year.
In 2004, with an institutional initiative to bolster teaching of visual arts underway, faculty members from departments that incorporated film studies in their curricula met to discuss a formal program. They found more than 50 courses, many with high enrollments, that used film study. “What was missing,” said Christian A. Johnson Associate Professor of Integrative Liberal Learning Margaret McFadden (American studies), “was some introductory and core theory course. There was plenty of interest, but we still needed to bring that foundation to the program.”
The College's first Introduction to Film Studies course was offered by NEH/Class of 1940 Distinguished Professor of Humanities Laurie Osborne (English) four years ago, and Assistant Professor Sarah Keller, who focuses on film, joined the English faculty in 2008 to teach that course and others. This year saw the arrival of Associate Professor of Cinema Studies Steve Wurtzler, who said, “I am excited to see the minor grow.”
Jena Hershkowitz '12, a member of the first class eligible to declare the minor, said, “Friends and I have worked on films as part of clubs for the past few years, but we are so excited that we now have a way to study film academically.”
“Film is an incredible art form that's often discredited of its serious scholarship. But it truly is an amazing nexus of artists that fits perfectly into the liberal arts,” said Keller.