About FMS

Media’s omnipresence in our daily lives has changed the landscape of our innovation, understanding, and communication.  Indeed, it’s changed the way we live, and that’s not without complications.  How does one navigate our overwhelming media landscape?  How does one make sense of it through theoretical interpretation and understanding?  How does one participate in it by producing work that can be distributed in the media firmament?  How can the ability to parse modes of media help one to compete in the information economy?  How can critical media literacy help one succeed in our changing technological and multicultural world? These questions and more can be answered by taking courses in Film & Media Studies, an intellectually challenging and richly diverse mode of academic inquiry that’s flashpoint at which elements from across the disciplines converge.

Film & Media Studies is an indispensible element of a twenty-first century curriculum that helps students learn to make sense of and positively influence the world in which we live by fostering various forms of critical media literacy that are an essential component of a contemporary liberal arts education.

At Whitman, Film & Media Studies (FMS) is an interdisciplinary program that enriches understanding of the complexity of global media culture by providing a solid grounding in the theory, history, production, interpretation, and criticism of a wide variety of media texts—including but not limited to film, television, video games, graphic novels, online video, and social networks—thus preparing students to better understand, analyze, create for, and participate in contemporary society.

Learning Goals & Outcomes:

Students completing a major in FMS will demonstrate an understanding of the histories, technologies, and social and cultural contexts of a range of media.  Specifically, FMS pursues a broader, liberal arts approach to film and media studies so that students will:

  1. Be exposed to a broad range of media across historical eras and international borders so they will be familiar with major trends in media within specific historical and national contexts.
  2. Learn research skills and methods, disciplinary vocabulary, and an array of theoretical perspectives and be able to apply them so as to convincingly write and speak about media from a range of academic approaches.
  3. Understand the relationship between varying media and its creators, audiences, representations, and industrial and cultural contexts and be able to write essays or participate in discussions connecting media texts to these concepts.
  4. Acquire the skills necessary to take part in creative, effective, technically competent, and insightful media production.
  5. Have the knowledge to write intellectually grounded essays and engage in informed discussions about the role of media in contemporary global culture.