Clark offers one of the few undergraduate programs in the nation that specializes in screen studies, which deals with arts and artifacts of the moving two-dimensional image, usually combined with sound. It is concerned, in other words, with the study of film, television, video and evolving forms of digital visual media. The program offers both a major and a minor and stresses the importance of a liberal-arts background, for the screen arts touch upon and are affected by all sectors of contemporary culture and society. Screen studies provides a core of basic and advanced knowledge of the screen arts and media while encouraging students to explore diverse connections and influences, ranging from the visual arts, drama, literature and aesthetics to sociology, psychology, history and economics.
Nonmajors take screen-studies courses to acquire knowledge that relates to their interests in other disciplines, to gain a better understanding of the roles film and television play in their everyday lives or to understand the importance of the screen media as cultural and artistic forms. Those considering careers in the screen arts or related areas usually major in screen studies. In addition to being of special benefit for those planning graduate study or a career in the communications fields, the major also may be of interest to those seeking a liberal-arts education that speaks directly to questions of contemporary life, culture and the arts. Students interested in film and video production may take the program’s sequence of production courses and gain production experience through professional internships.
Internships, Study Abroad
As an elective, one unit of internship credit (SCRN 298 ) can be counted toward the major. In past years, students have held internships with local and regional media concerns, such as WCCA-TV in Worcester and WHDH-TV in Boston, as well as independent production companies in New York and London. Students have also interned at a large, local archive of historic film posters and advertising. Majors have opportunities for study abroad, often by pursuing 3-4 units of academic course work and an internship during one semester. Clark’s London Program has been the primary sponsor for study abroad in the major.
All of the courses, seminars and activities in the screen-studies program are open to qualified nonmajors. Students who have a strong interest in screen studies but whose major lies in another discipline can declare a minor in screen studies. The minor consists of six courses.