Cinema and Media Studies
The Program in Cinema and Media Studies is an interdisciplinary unit focusing on the history, theory, and analysis of cinema and other audio-visual media.
Explore Cinema and Media Studies
Cinema and Media Studies Major
The Undergraduate Major in Cinema and Media Studies has been designed by faculty across the College of Arts and Humanities to enable students to explore the aesthetic, cultural, economic, historical, and technological dimensions of the most globally influential art forms of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. The Cinema and Media Studies major brings together courses in cinema and media from varied nations, languages, and cultures.Explore the Cinema and Media Studies Major
Graduate Field Committee
The Graduate Field Committee in Film Studies allows graduate students to study in their home department and include film studies faculty as advisors and committee members. Many Film Studies faculty are also members of the Graduate Program in Comparative Literature, which allows another avenue for graduate studies in cinema and media studies at the University.
Faculty and Research
Our Faculty represents a wide swath of the College of Arts and Humanities, including the Departments of English, History, and Art History, and the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. The Program has teaching and research strengths in world cinema, film and media theory, early cinema, feminist and women’s cinema, the history of American cinema, science and the moving image, and various national cinemas throughout the world.Meet the Faculty in Cinema and Media Studies
Cinema and Media Studies Fund
The primary mission of the Cinema and Media Studies Fund is to support the teaching and research activities in the Program of Cinema and Media Studies, and to help develop the Program’s activity as the central place for the study of cinema and one of the key sites for the critical study of media at UMD.Donate to the Cinema and Media Studies Fund
The faculty in the Program in Cinema and Media Studies represent a wide swath of the College of Arts and Humanities, including the Departments of English, History, Art History, and the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
The Program has teaching and research strengths in the world cinema, film and media theory, early cinema, feminist and women’s cinema, the history of American cinema, science and the moving image, and various national cinemas throughout the world.
The Program in Cinema and Media Studies is committed to the advancement of research and teaching on all aspects of cinema and media studies, and welcomes participation from across campus. The faculty maintain ties with colleagues across the U.S. and the globe, and regularly sponsor scholarly events at the UM campus. Cinema and Media Studies aims to promote a robust and vigorous intellectual event, and to create a scholarly home for the advanced study of cinema and media.
The Undergraduate Major in Cinema and Media Studies takes a capacious view of cinema and media studies, and allows students to choose classes among various areas: Cinema and Media Theory; Topics in National & International Cinema and Media; Documentary, Animation, and Experimental Media; and the study of Cinema Genres, Auteurs, and Movements. In addition, students can elect to add courses in digital media practice and film production.
Advising & Courses
The purpose of academic advising is to provide students with information on academic requirements needed for degree completion and to answer questions related to the Cinema and Media Studies undergraduate major. Academic advising is a shared responsibility between the student and the advisor.
For more information about academic advising in the Program in Cinema and Media Studies please click HERE.
Degree Program Requirements
Please consult the Cinema and Media Studies Undergraduate Major pages for the degree requirements.
New book by professor Mauro Resmini
Italian Political Cinema explores how films have reinvented the link between popular art and radical politics in Italy from 1968 to the early 1980s, a period of intense political and cultural struggles also known as the long ’68. The book conjures a multifaceted, complex portrayal of Italian society. Centered on emblematic figures in Italian cinema, it maps the currents of antagonism and repression that defined this period in the country’s history. Resmini explores how film imagined the possibilities, obstacles, and pitfalls that characterized the Italian long ’68 as a moment of crisis and transition. From workerism to autonomist Marxism to feminism, this book further expands the debate on political cinema with a critical interpretation of influential texts, some of which are currently only available in Italian.
Professor Resmini recently appeared on the New Books Network podcast to discuss the book. You can listen to the conversation here.
Film Festival: Il Cinema Ritrovato ON TOUR
Il Cinema Ritrovato ON TOUR film festival took place between March 9 and March 12. We celebrated world cinema with four days of screenings and discussions. The films featured at the festival came from Angola, Cuba, India, Italy, Philippines, and more, and the festival, which took place on the UMD campus and at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., was open to the public.
Click HERE for more information about the festival and this year's program.
The festival was organized by the Italian Program and the Program in Cinema and Media Studies, with the help of the Arts for All initiative at UMD, the Department of French and Italian at UMD, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UMD, the School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UMD, the School of Music at UMD, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
New book by professor Hester Baer
Acclaimed as postwar Germany's first feminist film, Ula Stöckl's The Cat Has Nine Lives disappeared from view shortly after its 1968 premiere when its distributor went bankrupt. Although it laid the groundwork for the flourishing feminist cinema that emerged in West Germany and beyond during the 1970s, Stöckl's vibrant film long remained largely unknown. Yet it is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it debuted half a century ago. Stöckl's film follows the intertwined stories of five characters to explore the possibilities for and limitations on women's subjectivity, desire, friendship, work, and artistic expression in a society defined by gender inequality. Restoring this singular film to its rightful place as a German film classic, Hester Baer argues that The Cat Has Nine Lives forms an important aesthetic and theoretical precursor to the unfolding cinefeminism of later decades.
Professor Caroline Eades receives Residency Fellowship at the Camargo Foundation
Dr. Caroline Eades, professor of Cinema and Media Studies and French, has won the prestigious Residency Fellowship at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France. Dr. Eades will spend time at the Camargo Foundation during the Spring 2023 semester. The residency will support her current research project, "Habib Benglia: An Invisible and Omnipresent Figure of the Other in French Cinema," which consists in examining the contributions of the first actor of African origin in French Cinema and puts Benglia's career in parallel with the history of live performance and modern theater on the French stage from 1912 to 1960.
News View All News
Winter Session January 2-22, 2024
Film Festival - Rediscovered Cinema on Tour
Students unpack the legacy of colonialism through the lens of an Italian Ethiopian community
Professors Arsenjuk, Federici and Resmini interviewed about Cinema Ritrovato On Tour
World-Class Film Festival Brings Historic Films to Maryland For One Night.
Recent Cinema and Media Studies Research
The Problem of Political Art: Notes on Red Aesthetics
An essay published in online journal Nonsite (issue #41: Socialism or Moralism)
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Cinema and Media Studies
"“Don’t start with the good old days but the bad new ones.” -- Bertolt Brecht
The Audio-Visual Nonrelation and the Digital Break
An essay published in The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory (2022)
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Cinema and Media Studies
In the most widely accepted narratives about the recent history of cinema, the introduction of digital technology typically figures as a significant break, in which the loss of cinema’s analog photographic basis brought about a profound transformation of its nature or ontological status. This essay proposes to revisit this rather straightforward and vision-centric narrative of the digital break in order to question it from the perspective of a more rigorous understanding of cinema as an audio-visual discourse. Drawing on the work of Michel Chion and the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, the essay develops a concept of audio-visual discourse as something structured around a constitutive nonrelation between image and sound. Following this, the essay interrogates what consequences such a discursive and non-relational conception of audio-visual phenomena might have for our understanding of cinema’s historicity, in particular when the latter is derived from some kind of figuration of a historical break.
Luka Arsenjuk, ""The Audio-Visual Nonrelation and the Digital Break," in The Oxford Handbook of Film Theory, ed. Kyle Stevens (Oxford University Press, 2022), pp. 359–375
Italian Political Cinema | Figures of the Long ’68
An exploration of how film has made legible the Italian long '68 as a moment of crisis and transition
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Cinema and Media Studies, Italian
Traditionally, the definition of political cinema assumes a relationship between cinema and politics. In contrast to this view, author Mauro Resmini sees this relationship as an impasse. To illustrate this theory, Resmini turns to Italian cinema to explore how films have reinvented the link between popular art and radical politics in Italy from 1968 to the early 1980s, a period of intense political and cultural struggles also known as the long ’68.
Italian Political Cinema conjures a multifaceted, complex portrayal of Italian society. Centered on emblematic figures in Italian cinema, it maps the currents of antagonism and repression that defined this period in the country’s history. Resmini explores how film imagined the possibilities, obstacles, and pitfalls that characterized the Italian long ’68 as a moment of crisis and transition. From workerism to autonomist Marxism to feminism, this book further expands the debate on political cinema with a critical interpretation of influential texts, some of which are currently only available in Italian.
A comprehensive and novel redefinition of political film, Italian Political Cinema introduces its audience to lesser-known directors alongside greats such as Pasolini, Bertolucci, Antonioni, and Bellocchio. Resmini offers access to untranslated work in Italian philosophy, political theory, and film theory, and forcefully advocates for the continued artistic and political relevance of these films in our time.