Studies Program Up For Approval
by Hannah Elnan
If approved by the Educational Plans and Policy Committee
(EPPC), the popular film studies classes that are now scattered throughout
various humanities departments will form an independent Cinema Studies
major and be available as a formal program for students by the end
of this semester.
amazing, since Oberlin is so progressive and innovative, that there
is no film studies program here, Professor of Film Studies
Geoff Pingree said. Pingree is part of the English department but
is the first full-time Film Studies professor to be hired. Currently
integrated into different departments such as English, African American
studies, East Asian studies, Studio Art, Spanish, French and Anthropology,
Film Studies has been gradually building in prominence and demand.
For the past three or four years there has been an explosion
of interest in film, Pat Day, professor of English and chairman
of the Cinema Studies committee said. Right now we have a
good course structure for a major, though new courses will be added
with the addition of new faculty.
The new Cinema Studies proposal includes plans for a major by the
end of fall semester and a program by the end of spring semester.
If passed by the EPPC, a committee consisting of faculty and student
representatives, the proposal will then be reviewed by the college
faculty as a whole.
The major will include a curriculum with two core courses and some
upper-division electives. Production will be integrated into the
major with connections to the film scene in Cleveland, including
film festivals, internships and possibly filmmaking winter term
heard rumors and was hoping they were true, sophomore Georgia
Cool said. She says that she would like to double major in English
and Cinema Studies if it were available. The classes that
have been happening have been really good, and since theyre
so popular they get filled up really quickly, she said, adding
that students would like to see smaller classes and more of them.
Cinema Studies was chosen as the title instead of Film Studies because
the word cinema encompasses a broad spectrum of activities,
including critical analysis, the sociological aspects of how film
affects the audience and society and the production process.
envision a program that combines production with the traditional
academic dimensions of film studies, Pingree said. Previously,
Pingree was involved in building film studies programs in Washington,
D.C., as the director of the Documentary Filmmaking Institute at
George Washington University and the director of Media Studies at
Currently, Oberlins Cinema Studies faculty, along with Pingree
and Day, includes Assistant Professor of English Jeff Pence, who
is in London at the moment, and Assistant Professor of German Elizabeth
Hamilton, who is in Germany. There are hopes and plans to hire new
professors within the next two years, although concern about the
state of Oberlins budget weighs heavily on the College.