First, a little history: Approximately seven years ago, Cinema Studies began its life at Oregon as a program. New fields of study often start as programs, because they require less infrastructure and allow for experimentation with classes and curriculum. In the case of Cinema Studies, the primary experimentation came in the form of our interdisciplinary major, which gives our students the opportunity to take film and media-related courses from faculty with expertise across campus—whether documentary production in SOJC, experimental animation in Design, or Korean Cinema in East Asian Languages and Literatures. This was an experiment that turned out incredibly well! Cinema Studies grew rapidly (we have over 300 students in the major) and the mix of theory, history and filmmaking that the degree offers has allowed for our young alumni to go out and succeed—at jobs across the creative industries from Boston to LA, as well as in top graduate programs in both critical studies and filmmaking.
Not surprisingly, the University took notice of this success, and last year the faculty and staff of the program have been involved in a series of discussions and planning sessions with University administration to put Cinema Studies and its students on the best possible path forward. The result was the decision to departmentalize in the College of Arts and Sciences while reaffirming our interdisciplinary structure.
What that means for our majors—and for us—is really the best of both worlds. Classes and faculty continue to be available to our majors from across the University, and the structure of the degree (and its requirements) will remain the same. We are also excited to announce that seven faculty from departments and schools outside of Cinema Studies have become official “professors of cinema studies” starting next year will begin devoting their full attentions to Cinema Studies and our students. The College of Arts and Sciences is committed to helping us achieve new levels of success and providing the resources necessary for Cinema Studies to grow and evolve into a nationally recognized department.
We’re excited for our shared next steps, which we believe will benefit our students, faculty and alumni alike.