Screen Studies Overview
Given the increasing centrality of moving-image media in contemporary culture, Screen Studies can rightly be considered the quintessential liberal arts major for the 21st century. Clark University’s Screen Studies program offers a range of courses on the history, theory, and aesthetics of film, television and new media. Students in Screen Studies also have the opportunity to engage in practical, hands-on, collaborative work in digital video production, participating in courses on documentary, fictional narrative, and experimental filmmaking.
One of the first programs in the nation to explore moving-image media beyond the boundaries of traditional film studies, Clark’s Screen Studies program offers both a major and a minor, providing a core of basic and advanced knowledge of the screen arts and media. Students are encouraged to explore connections to related fields and influences, ranging from the visual arts, drama, and literature to sociology, psychology, history and economics. Screen Studies classes are small (15-20 students on average) and students frequently interact with professors one-on-one. The program is well suited to students who wish to pursue study-abroad programs during their junior year, many of which feature course offerings in media studies and film production. Internships are also encouraged and supported through directed study arrangements with individual professors. Upper-division Screen Studies courses place special emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, while devoting special consideration to the study and production of moving images in an era of social media and internet distribution.
Students with degrees in Screen Studies find employment in film and television production, media marketing, theater exhibition and administration, film curatorship, film/media journalism and other positions within the entertainment industry. Screen majors also pursue advanced degrees in media production, graphic design, film studies, communications, critical theory, and law. Recent graduates of Clark’s Screen Studies program have entered Master’s and Doctoral programs at Columbia, Emerson, Emory, George Mason, Georgia State, Kent, MIT, Pratt, The New School, NYU-Steinhardt, NYU-Tisch, UCLA, USC, Wisconsin-Madison, the AFI Conservatory, and the Selznick Graduate Program in Film and Media Preservation.
One of six programs in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Screen Studies is located in the Traina Center for the Arts. All of our classrooms feature HD video projection and surround sound. Most feature-length class screenings take place in Razzo Hall, an adjacent 200-seat theater featuring state-of-the-art video projection and sound. Traina Center also houses the Fuller Resource Library, home to the program’s extensive collection of films on DVD, Blu-ray and 16mm, all of which are available for students to screen. The resource library also contains HD media stations where students may view films individually or in small groups.
For more information, please visit the Screen Studies Program’s website.
Internships, Study Abroad
In recent years, students have held internships with national, regional and local media concerns, such as Logo/MTV Networks, Legendary Pictures, Technicolor-PostWorks New York, Skyscope Creative in Worcester, and WHDH-TV in Boston, as well as independent production companies in New York and London. Majors have opportunities for study abroad, often by pursuing 3-4 units of academic course work and an internship during one semester. Perth, London, Stirling, Osaka, Seville, and Cape Town have been popular recent destinations for Screen Studies majors.
Students with a strong interest and commitment to advanced study in the program and who have completed at least six screen studies courses with at least a 3.5 grade-point average, may, with the program’s approval, elect to complete a one- or two-unit senior honors thesis. Students are expected to use the honors course to develop an extensive research project on some aspect of film history, criticism or theory selected with their major adviser. Feature-length screenplays and Video Production honors projects are also possible. Students planning to go on to graduate work in screen studies are encouraged to apply for the honors sequence.
All students interested in the honors sequence must apply to the Screen Studies program director April 1 of their junior year. A successful/passing honors thesis and defense replaces the Screen Studies capstone requirement.