Wesleyan University has long been a leader in undergraduate Film Studies. Since the 1960s, scholars in both the humanities and the social sciences have recognized cinema as the most important of the new forms of art developed in the 20th century–one which has had a profound and pervasive effect on all of modern culture. The growth of Film Studies as an academic discipline testifies to the importance of examining film not just as a cultural artifact, but also as an influential art form and an industry of global significance.
The model of scholarship in the Wesleyan Film Studies Department is in the liberal arts tradition of wedding history and theory with practice. All film majors study the motion picture in a unified manner, combining historical, formal, and cultural analysis with filmmaking at beginning and advanced levels in 16mm film, digital video, and virtual formats. A unique emphasis on the study of the medium, its industry, aesthetics, and technology distinguishes Film Studies courses from classes in other departments that approach film as a cultural text.