Track Two: Comparative Studies in Literature and Film

The "Comparative Studies in Literature and Film" Track emphasizes the study of film not only as its own language and area of theoretical inquiry, nor only as a tradition with important ties to literature, both aesthetic and historical, but also as a field that spans multiple national and linguistic cultures, and as such requires the comparative training at the basis of our program as a whole. This major provides an opportunity for cross-cultural study of film, bringing the techniques of comparative literature to bear on cinematic texts.

Many of the film courses for this track will be offered by other departments or cross-listed with CMPL.

Ten courses are required for the major:

(1) Great Books I (CMPL 120, 121, 122, 123, or 124)

(2) Great Books II (CMPL 130, 131, 132, or 133)

(3) Either CMPL 250 or CMPL 251

(4) ENGL 142 Introduction to Film Analysis (offered every semester as well as in summer school). Film Analysis is intended to introduce students to the techniques, the vocabulary, and ultimately the "rhetoric" of cinema. The course is designed to carefully explore the formal components of filmmaking, most of which students intuitively understand, but the ultimate purpose of the class is to inquire into the effects that these formal components produce.

(5) IDST 256 (Global Cinema) or, preferably, CMPL 143 (Introduction to Global Cinema). CMPL 143 is offered once a year, sometimes twice. This course introduces students not only to a variety of national cinemas but, also, to the "global" image of cinema itself with which criticism today is increasingly concerned. Hence, this course will explore a number of specific cultures of cinema, but always in light of a cinematic culture that--aesthetically, politically, and financially--traverses those particular cultures.

(6, 7, 8, 9) Four film courses from among the listed electives. This set of four courses should include works from at least two different national traditions; at least one course should involve film studied in the student's foreign language.

(10) The research seminar (CMPL 697).

A Typical Plan of Study

FRESHMAN or SOPHOMORE
Great Books I (choose one among CMPL 120-124)
Great Books II (choose one among 130-133)

SOPHOMORE
Either CMPL 250 or CMPL 251
Complete up to level 4 proficiency in one foreign language
Consider applying for Study Abroad during the junior year

JUNIOR
ENGL 142 Introduction to Film Analysis
CMPL 143 Introduction to Global Cinema
Meet with the DUS to review progress and plan the final semesters.

JUNIOR or SENIOR
Four film courses from among the electives. (This set of courses should include works from at least two different national traditions and at least one involving the student's foreign language, if possible.)
The research seminar (CMPL 697)