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Film Studies Graduate Field Committee

The Graduate School Field Committee (GSFC) in Film Studies is a cooperative effort by film faculty across the College of Arts and Humanities to promote the study of cinema at the University of Maryland.

The GSFC supports student research through its Graduate Colloquium in Cinema and Theory each spring and film-related events such as symposia, screenings, and seminars throughout each year. GSFC faculty are also available to advise graduate students on their research in Film Studies. Members of the GSFC in Film Studies include faculty from the School of Arts and Humanities and other campus institutions. Departments represented include the School of Languages, Literature and Culture (SLLC), English, History, Comparative Literature (CMLT), Art History, American Studies, Classics, Ethnomusicology, and the Non-Print Media Services Library.

The Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies is supported by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Graduate School

About the Graduate School Field Committee in Film Studies

Committee Overview

The Graduate School Field Committee (GSFC) in Film Studies has been formed in response to student demand for academic support and official recognition of their interest in the field. The Committee brings scholarly and curricular coordination to the University's treatment of the most important art and entertainment medium developed in the twentieth century. It also gives coherence and synergy to the substantial existing faculty commitment and library resources in the field. Faculty expertise in Film Studies has been drawn together from various units of the College of Arts and Humanities.

GSFC in Film Studies formalizes the numerous links established by University of Maryland scholars with local organizations and institutions dedicated to the promotion, distribution, and preservation of film. Film studies faculty have also developed strong links with their counterparts holding similar positions in graduate programs throughout the country and in the world (Freie Universität Berlin, Tokyo University, King’s College, University of Otago, University of Buenos Aires, University of Toronto, etc.). They will encourage students to establish contact with international institutions and present their own research in specialized conferences listed by the Society for Cinema and Media Studies.

The curriculum focuses on advanced research in the theory and history of cinema, while emphasizing the development of methods and skills of critical analysis. Particular attention is given to the interaction of film with literature, art, photography, and language. Students are encouraged to address complex issues such as trans-nationality, social context, and cultural, racial and gender identity in relation to film as well as the place of cinema in popular culture.

Participating students must complete the MA or PhD degree requirements of their respective departments' programs while taking as many courses as possible from the Film Studies Curriculum. This coursework includes the one-credit Graduate Colloquium in Cinema and Theory, which students are strongly encouraged to attend. The final decision on course selection is reached in coordination with the student, his/her advisor and the respective department's graduate director.

How to Become an Affiliate

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at the University of Maryland who have research interests in the study of film are encouraged to apply to be affiliates of the GSFC in Film Studies.
The benefits of affiliate status include:

  • facilitated access to any class listed on the film studies web site.
  • special access to visiting speakers.
  • access to GSFC faculty as members/outside members of dissertation committees.
  • being listed on our website.

Affiliates will be expected to attend field committee events, report at the end of each year on their activities and provide us with up to date information about themselves and their research for the website. Additionally, all students participating in the GSFC are encouraged to attend the one-credit Graduate Colloquium in Film Studies held each spring.

To apply, send a letter of request, accompanied by a letter of support from your primary research mentor to:

Elizabeth Papazian - Co-convener
Graduate Field Committee in Film Studies
SLLC – 3215 Jimenez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742

Please include your full name, program/status, department, email address and your advisor’s name.

Graduate Programs and Courses

While most graduate courses in film studies are offered in individual departments, the Graduate School Field Committee (GSFC) in Film Studies oversees the one-credit Graduate Colloquium on Cinema and Theory each spring. All students participating in the GSFC are encouraged to attend this course. The course meets for four sessions throughout the semester, with a professor from a different department leading each session. This is an excellent opportunity for students from various departments to interact with each other and gain new perspectives on the study of cinema.


There are a number of graduate programs that offer courses and training in film studies. Prospective students should apply to the program that most closely matches their research interests and training goals. A good place to begin is to follow the links provided below. Students within these programs have access to the activities and resources of the GSFC in Film Studies.

American Studies
Art History and Archaeology
Comparative Literature
English Language and Literature
French Modern Studies
Germanic Studies
Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures

Seminars and Graduate Courses

The courses listed below have been identified by the GSFC faculty as providing foundational training in film studies across disciplines. In principle, these courses are open to any graduate student affiliated with the GSFC. Additional information is available in the Graduate Catalog as well as on Testudo and Department Websites.

AMST 629D Documentary Film in American Culture (Lounsbury)
AMST 698Y Cinema and the City (Lounsbury)
CMLT 679C Selected Topics in Comparative Studies: History/Theory/Practice of Documentary
CMLT 679L Selected Topics in Comparative Studies: Cinema of Liberation (Robinson)
ENGL759C Literature and the Other Arts: Cold War Culture: American Literatures and Film of the 40s and 50s (Auerbach)
FREN 699F Film Theory and Criticism (Eades)
GERM 838/CMLT 678P Film Analysis (Beicken); conducted in German
GERM 669L/838L 20th Century Literature: The City in Literature and Film (Beicken); conducted in German.
GERM 838 Adaptation (Beicken); conducted in German
HIST 619 Special Topics in History related to Film
SPAN 698E Alter-Natives: Film and Indigenous Peoples in the Americas (Harrison)
SLLC 699A Document, Narrative, and the Real in Cinema (Eades and Papazian)
SLLC 698F/CMLT788/HIST 819V Colloquium in Cinema and Theory (Various)

Faculty Areas of Expertise

Cinema in the Middle East
Documentary Film: History, Theories, Practices
Film Theory, Genre Theory
Issues of Gender and Film
Film and Oral Tradition
Post-Colonial Studies and Film
Silent Film: USA, USSR, France, Germany
Sub-Saharian and North African Cinemas
The History of American and European Cinemas