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Housed in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, Film Studies is currently in the process of expanding at the graduate level. We now offer a Graduate Certificate in Film Studies, which is open to MA and PhD students. Those pursuing the certificate take one core course (ENGL 680 Film Theory or ENGL 881 Studies in Cinema), plus two electives from a cross-departmental range of options.

If you are interested in applying, you will find the practical information you need on the Department of English and Comparative Literature site under the graduate tab. See here for details regarding admission.

We already have a number of students enrolled in the department’s PhD program who specialize in cinema studies or who study film and media in relation to literature. For profiles of these students, go here.

Our graduate students also have the opportunity to be Teaching Assistants in undergraduate courses (ENGL 142 Film Analysis, CMPL 143 History of Global Cinema, and CMPL 144 Engaging Film and Media).

Our PhD students present their research in a graduate extension of the Triangle Film Salon, an annual series of lectures and colloquia. The Salon brings in internationally renowned speakers in film and media studies and gives our students the opportunity to interact with them.

Students may also undertake directed readings with our faculty, supplementing their coursework with intensive studies of a topic they choose.

Our faculty are well equipped to support the following areas of research: film and philosophy; documentary and essay film; historiography; classical and contemporary film theory; nontheatrical film; genre studies; film aesthetics; film in relation to other arts and media; international film history; classical and post-classical American cinema.

Our core graduate faculty in Film Studies:

Dr. Gregory Flaxman, author of Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy

Dr. Daelena Tinnin-Gadson, author of Emotion Pictures: Affect, Return, and Futurity in the Visual Life of Black Feminisms

Dr. Martin Johnson, author of Main Street Movies: The History of Local Film in the United States

Dr. Inga Pollmann, author of Cinematic Vitalism: Film Theory and the Question of Life

Dr. Rick Warner, author of Godard and the Essay Film: A Form That Thinks

We are currently working to broaden graduate opportunities in the Research Triangle by partnering with our neighboring institutions, Duke University and NC State University.

Below is our course list for graduate students. Note that graduate students may earn credit by taking 400-level and above courses in ENGL and CMPL. We offer small seminars as well as mixed courses with graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

ENGL 881 Studies in Cinema

ENGL 681 Topics in Contemporary Film and Media

ENGL 680 Film Theory

ENGL 665 Queer Latina/o Literature, Performance, and Visual Art

ENGL 580 Film: Contemporary Issues

ENGL 494 Research Methods in Film Studies

ENGL 410 Documentary Film

CMPL 547 Documenting Diasporas: Korean Diasporas in Films and Documentaries

CMPL 535 The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa

CMPL 520 Cinema, Painting, and the Frame

CMPL 494 The Essay Film: Adventures in Modern Cinema since 1945

CMPL 479 What is a Medium? German Media Theory from Aesthetics to Cultural Techniques

CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism

CMPL 452 The Middle Ages in Film

CMPL 420 Film, Photography, and the Digital Image


Check back soon for further information.

If you are interested in studying film at the graduate level at UNC-Chapel Hill, contact Dr. Rick Warner, Director of Film Studies,