Feb 21, 2024
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.
Students majoring in Screen Studies enroll primarily in courses on the history, theory and criticism of film, television, and other forms of motion picture media. The major consists of 12 credits—with a minimum of 9 credits in Screen Studies. For a course to provide credit toward the major, a letter grade of C or higher must be achieved.
Three courses are required without exception:
One of three U.S. screen survey courses is required:
One of two international screen survey courses is required:
One course focusing on a national or regional cinema is required:
One course focusing on screen genres is required:
One course focusing on the theoretical nature of screen arts is required:
One course that focuses on creativity relevant to the screen arts is required. Students may choose from this list or in consultation with a program advisor:
One capstone course required:
Capstone courses require the completion of a major research project.
Two additional courses or credits related to student’s interest in Screen Studies.
These can be any two Screen Studies courses not already taken as requirements. Also eligible are elective internships; directed studies; honors thesis; transfer credits in screen fields from other schools that do not duplicate any of the students’ courses at Clark; or any select Visual and Performing Arts courses in consultation with a program advisor.
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 B+ average, may, with the program’s approval, elect the honors sequence: one advanced topics capstone course and a one- or two-unit senior 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. 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 in the second semester of the junior year.