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Any course on this list may count as an elective for the Global Cinema Minor or the Film Studies concentration in English and Comparative Literature. Some of these courses, however, will not automatically count, and in those cases you will need to request a Tar Heel Tracker adjustment.

Also keep in mind that some restrictions may apply to production courses. Be sure to check Connect Carolina for specifications by the department offering the course.


For those following the Film Studies Concentration

Survey I

CMPL 143 History of Global Cinema (Pollmann)

Survey II

ENGL 244 Queer Cinema (Johnson)

ENGL 255 Introduction to Media Studies (Tinnin-Gadson)


ENGL 680 Film Theory (Warner)


CMPL 280 Film Genres (Veggian)

CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism (Warner)

ENGL 410 Documentary Film (Johnson)


CMPL 387 French New Wave Cinema (Melehy)

ENGL 381 Literature and Cinema (Cohen)


CMPL 463 Cinema and Surrealism (Warner)

CMPL 411 Critical Theory (Tinnin-Gadson)


First Year Seminars

AAAD 51: First-Year Seminar: Masquerades of Blackness

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45 AM

Charlene Regester


This course is designed to investigate how race has been represented in cinema historically with a emphasis on representations of race when blackness is masqueraded.


ASIA 69: First-Year Seminar: Wars and Veterans: Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Claudia Yaghoobi


In this seminar, we will explore the various ways that Iran-Iraq, United States-Iraq, and United States-Afghanistan wars have been portrayed in literature, film, and photography. We will deepen and enrich our understanding of war experienced by both veterans and civilians. We will also read articles on war criticism and psychology.


ENGL 53: First-Year Seminar: Slavery and Freedom in African American Literature and Film

MWF 2:30PM-3:20PM

Danielle Christmas


The seminar’s purpose is to explore the African American slave narrative tradition from its 19th-century origins in autobiography to its present manifestations in prize-winning fiction and film.


ENGL 57H: First-Year Seminar: Future Perfect: Science Fictions and Social Form

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Matthew Taylor


What will our world look like in ten years? Fifty? One hundred? Will the future be a utopian paradise or a dystopian wasteland? Through a wide-ranging survey of popular science writing, novels, and films, this first year seminar will examine fictional and nonfictional attempts to imagine the future from the nineteenth century to the present. We will explore everything from futurology and transhumanism to warnings of imminent environmental collapse. Our focus will be less on assessing the accuracy of these predictions and more on determining what they tell us about the hopes and fears of the times in which they were made. The course will culminate in a short research paper on a future-oriented topic of your choosing.


ECL Course List


CMPL 143: History of Global Cinema

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:20AM

Inga Pollmann

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of global cinema and, thence, to the methods of comparativist film study.


CMPL 230: Global Crusoe: The Desert-Island in Film and Fiction

MWF 4:40PM – 5:30PM

David Baker


The desert-island scenario involves a sophisticated and culturally central thought experiment in which the constraints of history and society are suspended and human nature is exposed in its essence. This course considers the permutations of this scenario in film and fiction from around the world.


CMPL 232 / KOR 232: Imagining the City in Modern Korea: Text, Image, Space

TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM

I Jonathan Kief


This course introduces students to modern Korea through the lens of the city. It explores the changing shape of urban space on the Korean peninsula as well as the central role that visions of the city and of city life have played in the development of modern Korean literature, television, and film.


CMPL 280: Film Genres

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Henry Veggian

This course is dedicated to the genre of mystery cinema, with emphasis on film noir and its progeny in American cinema, with some occasional detours to other national traditions. The course will proceed chronologically through the history of cinema, in survey form. First it will examine early cinema of the silent era, then shift attention to the sound era during Hollywood’s Golden Age. There, the influence of German expressionist cinema will be studied where it merges with the American mystery in modern cinema to shape film noir. We will then proceed to the post-war era, and shift our focus to the counter-culture and how it adapted earlier forms. We will examine the work of canonical directors such as Hawks, Huston, Altman, Polanski, the Coen Brothers and Paul Thomas Anderson, to name a few.

While primarily a film course, CMPL 280 will include tangents into other aspects of modern media history in order to explain how mystery cinema forms part of a media constellation. Students may also adopt inter-disciplinary methodologies in this regard, as we will discuss media other than film (including literary print) as well other forms of aural/visual adaptation, and because mystery cinema draws heavily on literary source works, their relationship will be considered as well, with a small handful of selected readings.


CMPL 387 / FREN 386: French New Wave Cinema

TuTh 3:30PM-4:45 PM

Hassan Melehy

Films of the major directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s through the 1970s, including Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, and Eric Rohmer. Examination of earlier films informing these directors. The impact of the New Wave on global cinema. In English. Recommended preparation: FREN 260 or CMPL 143 or the equivalent.


CMPL 389 / FREN 389: History of French Cinema II: 1950 to the Present




CMPL 411-001: Critical Theory

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Daelena Tinnin-Gadson

Black, Queer, and Feminist Literacies

In “The Muse of History”  Derek Walcott argues that to break with a tradition, you must first hold it in awe. For Walcott, the possibilities of a break begin with language and naming – what are the stories we tell ourselves about the word, the world, and what can we do with this? Indeed, this notion of a break, with systems of knowledge and ways of being, has been theorized by scholars across the fields of Black, Queer, and Feminist Studies. In the spirit of theorists like Derek Walcott and Sylvia Wynter this course is an exploration of radical imaginations that institute a series of epistemic ruptures in our collective and political literacies that ask us to consider the relationship between language, power, and the constitutive limits of theory. Importantly, this course asks students to critically engage with intersecting Black, Queer, and Feminist theories to undertake this inquiry of/in/with “a break with tradition” and understand how these political literacies understand conceptual areas like being/the body, language and poetics, time and space, and affect. Theorists and authors we will read are Eve Ewing, Toni Morrison, Christina Sharpe, E. Patrick Johnson, Cedric Robinson, W.E.B Du Bosi, Karl Marx, Judith Butler, Hortense Spillers, and Bedour Alagraa. While this is a theory forward course, students will also engage with films and documentaries such as I Am Not Your Negro (2016) , The Pieces I Am (2019), Daughters of the Dust (1991),The Stroll (2023), and Paris is Burning (1990)


CMPL 463: Cinema and Surrealism

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Rick Warner

While focusing on film, this course will trace the emergence of surrealism as an inter-art movement between WWI and WWII. It will also examine surrealism’s continued legacy in contemporary global cinema. We will cover a wide array of genres, including experimental films, art films, animated films, documentaries, cult films, and even Hollywood feature films. We will see how surrealism continually reinvents itself, making its way into thrillers, comedies, horror, science fiction, and other popular genres. Films likely to be screened are: Luis Buñuel’s Un Chien andalou; Jean Cocteau’s Orpheus; Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face; Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon; David Lynch’s Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, and Mulholland Drive; Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche New York; Roy Andersson’s You, the Living; Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin; Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria; Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You; Donald Glover’s Atlanta; Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure; Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds ; Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away; Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night; and Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama. Content warning: some films will necessarily have disturbing (and bizarre) scenes. VP, FC-AESTH or FC-KNOWING


CMPL 535/ASIA 435/PWAD 435/ The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa

T/Th 12:30-1:45

Yaron Shemer

IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-AESTH or FC-GLOBAL.

Making Connections Gen Ed: VP, BN, GL.

 The course is aimed at undergraduate students of Middle Eastern cultures and languages, Film/Media Studies, and all students interested in the cinematic expression of national, religious, and ethnic identities in the Middle East and North Africa (ME/NA).  The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa will explore the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which films are made and exhibited. The course will employ a variety of film theories, including postcolonial, feminist, and Third Cinema to enhance our critical analysis.

The course will explore the diversity within ME/NA and hence the “cinemas” of the course title.  But this course is also designed to explore shared intra-regional cinematic trends pertaining to discourse, aesthetics, production, and distribution. Similarly, the course will examine “national cinema” vis-à-vis intra-national religious, ethnic, and linguistic differences, on the one hand, and transnational/global media forces, on the other hand.


ENGL 244: Queer Cinema

MW 1:25 PM – 2:15 PM

Martin Johnson

In this course, we will consider the history of queer cinema and television, including its increasing visibility in mainstream, heteronormative culture, and the presence of queer themes in national cinemas, avant garde and experimental film, and cinemas of minoritized populations. Assignments include short papers.


ENGL 255: Introduction to Media Studies

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Daelena Tinnin-Gadson

This course is an introduction to the foundational theories in media studies and methods of conducting media studies. We will engage in the field of media studies through key authors, debate, concepts that in particular emphasize the relationship between media, culture, and power. As a part of this endeavor, students will situate these theories and concepts in relation to their lives as citizens, consumers, and creators in a mediated global society. Students will have the opportunity to analyze specific media texts (such as films, television shows, music videos and documentaries) and apply their own creative and critical lens through projects that ask them to create a concept for an episode of television and explore the meaning of changes that occur when narratives are adapted across different media formats, time periods, regions, and audiences. We will look at the ways in which the dynamics of class, gender, generation and race influence both the production and reception of media. Our overall aim is to develop critical approaches for examining media as both a key part of our everyday lives and as an object of scholarly inquiry.

Films and Television Shows likely to be screened: Black Mirror, You, Tiger King, Moonlight, POSE, The Problem with Apu, Queer Eye, Euphoria, Insecure, Don’t Look Up, The Social Dilemma, Bridgerton


ENGL 256: Crafting the Dramatic Film: Theory Meets Practice

TuTh 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM

Bradley Hammer


This course places students behind the camera and in front of the screen as they alternate between creative and critical approaches to cinema. They learn how to practice the basic principles of narrative film production (producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and sound design) while engaging critically with key debates in film theory and criticism (semiotic, cognitive, psychoanalytic, feminist, and phenomenological).


ENGL 288: Literary Modernism

MWF 1:25PM – 2:15 PM



In this course students will read early 20th-century poetry, fiction, films, and criticism, and consider the ways these works constituted, defined, and challenged the phenomenon known as literary modernism.


ENGL 381: Literature and Cinema

MWF 12:20PM – 1:10PM

Marc Cohen

This course will focus on the screenplay as literature.


ENGL 410: Documentary Film 

MWF 9:05 AM – 9:55 AM

Martin Johnson

When John Grierson defined the documentary as the “creative treatment of actuality,” in 1926, he was thinking only of film. But the documentary mode has long been utilized across media, from the late 19th century advocacy journalism of Jacob Riis to Craig Gilbert’s 1973 reality television series An American Family to the raw footage that circulates on social media. In this class, we will consider the persistence and pervasiveness of the documentary mode in the past century and a half. By surveying key developments in documentary film, and its historical, theoretical, and ethical implications, we will lay the groundwork for thinking critically about non-fiction media in its current and past forms. As part of the class, we will attend the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.


ENGL 680: Film Theory 

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Rick Warner

This course offers a rigorous survey of film theory from the 1920s to the present. We will begin by reconsidering classical debates about medium specificity as the relate to the close-up, montage, and realism. We will then range across several approaches including feminism, psychoanalysis, affect theory, critical race theory, queer theory, sound studies, phenomenology, ecocriticism, and post-cinema. We will focus on approaches that emphasize the role of the spectator. Questions of time, affect, atmosphere, and embodied engagement will frequently loom large. Theorists we will read are Jean Epstein, Sergei Eisenstein, André Bazin, Walter Benjamin, Laura Mulvey, Roland Barthes, Bertolt Brecht, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Frantz Fanon and more. The films we will study in this course will not simply be subordinate to the theories we read; we will consider films and film theories on equal footing. Films we will likely watch include Arrival (Villeneuve), Le Tempestaire (Epstein), Pariah (Rees), Paprika (Son), Dunkirk (Nolan), Vivre sa vie (Godard), Days of Heaven (Malick), Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Akerman), Two Days, One Night (Dardenne brothers), Parasite (Bong), Stalker (Tarkovsky), Memoria (Apichatpong), Three Colors: Blue (Kieslowski), Old Joy (Reichardt), Neighboring Sounds (Mendonca Filho), Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Sciamma), Aftersun (Wells), Twin Peaks: The Return (Lynch), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick). Counts for the Film Studies Concentration in ECL, Global Cinema Minor, VP, CI, and FC-AESTH requirements.


General Course List

***Please note that some media production courses may have prerequisites, be limited to majors within the department offering the course, or require the instructor’s permission to enroll.


AAAD 202: African Film and Performance 

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Samba Camara


This course studies African film and performance as two distinct, but interconnected genres of artistic expression used for negotiating a postcolonial African agency.


AAAD 250: The African American in Motion Pictures: 1900 to the Present

T 2:00PM – 4:50PM

Charlene Regester


This course will analyze the role of the African American in motion pictures, explore the development of stereotypical portrayals, and investigate the efforts of African American actors and actresses to overcome these portrayals.


AAAD 486 / ARTH 453: Africa in the American Imagination

MWF 10:10AM – 11:00AM

Carol Magee


Examines the ways African art appears in United States popular culture (advertisements, magazines, toys, films, art) to generate meanings about Africa. Addresses intersecting issues of nationalism, multiculturalism, imperialism, nostalgia, and race. Restricted to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.


AMST 265: The Black Interior

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM

Antonia Randolph


What aesthetics and politics do Black people produce when their gaze is turned inward? This course examines representations of the inner lives of African American people in media such as film, visual art, and music to understand the Black private sphere. This survey course is intended for intermediate level undergraduate students.


AMST 365: Women and Detective Fiction: From Miss Violet Strange to Veronica Mars

MWF 9:0AM – 9:55AM

Michelle Robinson


Traces the origins of detective fiction and major developments in the history of the genre with a focus on women authors and protagonists.  Examines literary texts including fiction and film, with close attention to historical and social contexts and to theoretical arguments relating to popular fiction, genre studies, and gender.


AMST 498: Advanced Seminar in American Studies

Th 3:30PM – 6:30PM

Kelly Alexander


Graduate or junior/senior standing. Examines American civilization by studying social and cultural history, criticism, art, architecture, music, film, popular pastimes, and amusements, among other possible topics.


ASIA 435/PWAD 435/CMPL 535 The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa

T/Th 12:30-1:45

Yaron Shemer

IDEAs in Action Gen Ed: FC-AESTH or FC-GLOBAL.

Making Connections Gen Ed: VP, BN, GL.

 The course is aimed at undergraduate students of Middle Eastern cultures and languages, Film/Media Studies, and all students interested in the cinematic expression of national, religious, and ethnic identities in the Middle East and North Africa (ME/NA).  The Cinemas of the Middle East and North Africa will explore the social, cultural, political, and economic contexts in which films are made and exhibited. The course will employ a variety of film theories, including postcolonial, feminist, and Third Cinema to enhance our critical analysis.

The course will explore the diversity within ME/NA and hence the “cinemas” of the course title.  But this course is also designed to explore shared intra-regional cinematic trends pertaining to discourse, aesthetics, production, and distribution. Similarly, the course will examine “national cinema” vis-à-vis intra-national religious, ethnic, and linguistic differences, on the one hand, and transnational/global media forces, on the other hand.


COMM 130: Introduction to Media Production 

M 12:20PM – 2:00PM

William Brown


Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Prerequisite for all production courses. Introduces students to basic tools, techniques, and conventions of production in audio, video, and film.


COMM 140-001: Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism

MW 10:10AM – 11:00AM

David Monje


An introduction to the critical analysis of film, television, advertising, video, and new media texts, contexts, and audiences.


COMM 140-002: Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism

MWF 1:25PM – 2:15PM



COMM 140-004: Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism

MW 11:15AM – 12:05PM

David Monje


COMM 140-005: Introduction to Media History, Theory, and Criticism

MWF 12:20PM – 1:10PM



COMM 230-001: Audio/Video/Film Production and Writing 

TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15PM



Prerequisites, COMM 130 and 140; Grade of C or better in COMM 130; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites. The material, processes, and procedures of audio, video, and film production; emphasis on the control of those elements of convention that define form in the appropriate medium. Lecture and laboratory hours.


COMM 230-002: Audio/Video/Film Production and Writing

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM



COMM 330: Introduction to Writing for Film and Television

MW 11:15AM – 12:30PM

Michael Acosta


An introduction to screenwriting for film and television. Restricted to first year and sophomore students only.


COMM 331: Writing the Short Film

TuTh 9:30AM – 10:45AM

Joy Goodwin


Students practice and learn the craft of narrative, short film writing by conceptualizing, outlining, writing, and rewriting three short film scripts. They include one three-minute silent, one five-minute script with dialogue, and one 15-minute script with dialogue.


COMM 430: History of American Screenwriting

W 4:00PM – 6:30PM

Howard Craft


Permission of the instructor required for non-WSS minors.

The Screenings for this course will now take place on Mondays, 3:15- 5:15 in Swain Hall Room 01A. This viewing and research-intensive course examines the history of American narrative film through the screenwriter’s experience, using a decade-by-decade approach to examine the political, social, global, psychological, religious, and cultural influences on the art, process, and careers of screenwriters.


COMM 433: Intermediate Screenwriting

TuTh 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Joy Goodwin


Prerequisite, COMM 131. Open only to students in the writing for the screen and stage minor. Conceiving and outlining a feature-length screenplay.


COMM 450: Media and Popular Culture

MW 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM



Prerequisite, COMM 140. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Examination of communication processes and cultural significance of film, television, and other electronic media.


COMM 535: Introduction to Screen Adaptation

M 3:30PM – 6:05PM

Michael Acosta


Course is reserved for WSS minors for the first two weeks of registration. Prerequisite, COMM 131, 330, ENGL 130, or 132H. Students practice the craft of screen adaptation by conceptualizing, outlining, and writing scenes based on material from another medium (both fiction and nonfiction). Work is presented, discussed, and performed in a workshop environment.


COMM 564: Performance and Popular Culture

TuTh 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Tony Perucci


Prerequisite, COMM 160.  Critical examination of the operation of performance as a cultural phenomenon, with an emphasis on meaning, power,  and resistance in cultural events, social practices, and media spectacles.


COMM 638: Game Design

TuTh 11:00AM – 12:15PM

Joyce Rudinsky


Prerequisite, COMM 150. Permission of the instructor for nonmajors. Studio course that explores gaming critically and aesthetically. Practice in game design and production including 3-D worlds and scripting.


COMM 644: Documentary Production: First Person Filmmaking

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45 PM

Julia Haslett


Prerequisite, COMM 230; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Students create documentaries emphasizing the filmmaker’s personal perspective and experience: essay, diary, and autobiographical films, and pieces in which the filmmaker performs a role for expressive or political ends. Significant class time is devoted to work-shopping student films.


HIST 130: Modern African History

MWF 11:15AM – 12:05PM

Abbey Warchol


An overview of major developments in sub-Saharan African history since the late 19th century, focusing on colonialism, nationalism and decolonization, social change, and current issues, and drawing upon fiction, film, and primary sources.


PHIL 381: Philosophy and Film

TuTh 3:30PM – 4:45PM

Rory Hanlon


Prerequisite: 1 PHIL course.

An examination of how philosophical issues are explored in the medium of film.