The Department of Media Study, MAH in Film Studies
Traditionally, Film Studies was based on the concept of film as a discrete medium. The advent of computational/digital technologies in the 1990’s changed this. These technologies acted as a universal solvent freeing the image from its analogous relationship to the referent and enabling formerly separate forms of media not only to morph into one another but to develop in entirely new ways.
In this environment Film Studies inevitably becomes Film and Media Studies and can embrace work on everything from the use of film and animation in gallery installation to studies on the narrative structure of games. Our MAH degree in Film Studies recognizes this by allowing participants to place their interests in film/media in the widest possible context.
The MAH in Film Studies is a 36 credit degree. Students take 12 credit hours in the Department of Media Study, 12 credit hours in the Department of English, six credit hours of electives and complete a 6 credit hour project or written thesis.
This degree can be done in 3 semesters of full-time study.
The Department of Media Study offers core courses in Film Theory, Contemporary Cinema and experimental film and video. Depending on their interests, students may also choose from a wide range of DMS courses including game design, the history of video art, and Methods of Making I and II. Methods of Making courses give students without previous work in media production the basic and intermediate skills in film/video and digital media and enable them to explore the relationship between theory and production.
For a list of current offerings in DMS see: http://mediastudy.buffalo.edu/dms-courses/graduate/
DMS faculty include SUNY Distinguished Professor and internationally recognized media artist Tony Conrad, Award-winning documentary film maker Sarah Elder, as well as faculty working in VR/game design, locative media, and media robotics.
For an introduction to DMS faculty see:
The Department of English offers core courses in film history, contemporary film and film theory. For current offerings see:
English Fall 2011 Grad Courses.pdf
In addition, this department’s various centers and interest groups offer Film Studies students a valuable opportunity to develop their interests in film in a number of theoretical contexts. The most prominent of these would be the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture which includes SUNY Distinguished Professor Joan Copjec whose work at the intersection of feminism, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and radical politics is groundbreaking. See:
The English Department also includes SUNY Distinguished Professor Bruce Jackson, Director of the Center for American Culture. Professor Jackson has worked extensively in the areas of ethnography, documentary film and photography, and narrative studies.
For details see his website at:
Other English Department faculty whose work is particularly relevant to the Film Studies program include William Solomon, who is now working on a book entitled Slapstick Modernism: Experimental Writing and Silent Comedy, 1909-1969, and Alex Reid, whose research is on social networking and educational practices [www.alex-reid.net.
Prospective students should also investigate these programs:
- The Poetics Program at: http://poetics.buffalo.edu/index.html
- The graduate group in Cultural Studies at: http://www.humanitiesinstitute.buffalo.edu/initiatives/WorkshopGradGroupCulturalStudies.shtml
- The graduate group in Gender and Sexuality at: http://english.buffalo.edu/graduate/fields_of_study/gender_sexuality/
In addition, other departments in the College of Arts and Sciences offer valuable courses in this area. Recent offerings include Women Film Directors and Gender in Mexican Films (Romance Languages and Literature), Architecture and Film and the Phenomenology of the Screen (Visual Studies) and Junk Culture (Architecture).
The MAH in Film Studies is particularly useful for several categories of applicants:
- If you received your undergraduate degree in a field other than film/media and you want to move on to a Ph.D. in Film/Media Studies but need a transition program, we offer you a chance to study with internationally recognized researchers in this area. For these students we offer special consulting on their applications to further graduate study.
- If you have been working in film/media theory and history and would like an opportunity to develop the skills to actually produce/perform these ideas as media, we are a program that values theorists who are interested in learning production as much as media artists who are interested in learning theory.
- If you have a strong interest in film/media in a specific context, having choices to navigate is an advantage. We will do everything we can to see you have the choices you need to be successful.
If you would like to discuss the program please contact:
Roy Roussel, Chair
Department of Media Study
Admissions and Applications
Please click here to fill out the application or to obtain more
information regarding admissions from the UB Graduate School. When applying through this link, make sure to select the degree program called Humanities Interdis.-(Concentration Film Studies) (MA). This is the correct application for this program.
Applications will be reviewed on arrival for Fall and Spring Semesters.
If you have any questions, please click here.