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Graduate Calendar Archives: 2007 / 2008

Film Studies


St. Patrick's Building 423
Telephone: 613-520-2342
Fax: 613-520-3575
Web site:

The School

Director: Bryan Gillingham
Supervisor of Graduate Studies: Zuzana Pick

The School for Studies in Art and Culture offers a program of study and research leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Film Studies. This is a disciplinary M.A. with emphasis upon 1) the conceptual issues current in the field, and 2) the problematics of various national cinemas and other practices.

The program will develop in students a broadly based expertise in the discipline. The study of Canadian cinema is given a high priority, but provision is also made for the study of other national cinemas, and for the study of other traditions outside the mainstream, such as women's cinemas, post-colonial cinemas, and minority and regional practices.

Most work in the program is on the feature fiction film and its institutional foundations as an object of study. However, in line with the expertise of members of faculty, the study of other film forms like documentary, animation, experimental film and video is a necessary part of the course offerings.

Questions of critical and historical method and problems of theory inform all of the courses in the program. This conceptual emphasis is in line with the central developments in Film Studies as a discipline over the past twenty-five years.

Qualifying-Year Program

Applicants who lack an Honours degree, but who have a three-year degree in film studies or a related discipline with a minimum standing of B+, may be admitted to a qualifying-year program. Students who complete the qualifying-year requirements with high honours standing or better will be considered for admission to the master's program. The regulations governing the qualifying-year are outlined in the General Regulations section of this calendar.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirement for admission to the Master's program in either a full-time or part-time capacity is a B.A. (Honours) or the equivalent in film studies or a related discipline with high honours standing. Related disciplines might include mass communication, art history, literature, Canadian studies, women's studies, and history. Applicants without a background in film studies may be required to take a maximum of two full credits from designated courses in the undergraduate Film Studies program in addition to their normal M.A. program requirements.

Program Requirements

The specific program requirements for students in the M.A. program are as follows:

  • 1.0 core credit required
  • 2.0 additional credits
  • Thesis (equivalent to 2.0 credits)
  • Total of 5.0 credits required

In choosing the two additional credits beyond the core seminar and the thesis, students may take 0.5 credit outside the Film Studies program subject to the approval of the Graduate Supervisor.

Because of the strong conceptual demands of the program and the expectation that students be able to synthesize ideas in a substantial piece of written work, the research essay option will not be available in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree.


Normally, full-time students should complete their course work by the end of the second term, and part-time students by the end of the fifth term.

Thesis Proposal

Students normally will submit a detailed thesis proposal to the thesis proposal committee no later than March 1 of the first year of registration for students enrolled full-time and no later than the middle of the fifth term of registration for students enrolled part-time.

Language Requirements

A reading knowledge of french (or another language approved by the Film Studies Graduate Supervisor) is required.

Academic Standing

A standing of B- or better must be obtained in each course counted towards the master's degree.

Graduate Courses

Not all of the following courses are offered in a given year. For an up-to-date statement of course offerings and to determine the term of offering, consult the class schedule

FILM 5000 [1.0 credit]
Directions in Film Theory and Film History
Recent developments in film theory and history. Topics may include spectatorship, identity, gender, cultural studies, fan cultures, performance, reception theory, formation of taste, discourse analysis, historical method, and concepts of national and transnational cinemas.
FILM 5001 [0.5 credit]
Directed Readings and Research
Tutorials designed to permit students to pursue research on topics in film studies which have been chosen in consultation with members of faculty.
FILM 5002 [0.5 credit]
Special Topics
Selected topics in film studies not available in the regular course program.
FILM 5105 [0.5 credit]
Changing Practices
Traditional and recent developments in non-feature film forms such as documentary, newsreel, experimental film, video and television. The aesthetic particulars that distinguish these forms from the fiction feature film and their social and cultural roles.
FILM 5201 [0.5 credit]
Topics in European Cinema
Some aspect of European cinema - a particular period, movement, style, genre, narrative development or co-production practice - is the focus of this course. The problematic concept of a national cinema in the light of current debates about nation-ness.
FILM 5202 [0.5 credit]
Cinemas of the America
Examination of one or more of the cinemas of the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and Brazil. A particular period, movement, style, genre, narrative development, some relationship between these cinemas or the problematic concept of a national cinema may be dealt with.
FILM 5204 [0.5 credit]
Cultural Mediations
The processes of mediation that operate between mainstream and alternative, independent or marginal film industries and practices.
FILM 5208 [0.5 credit]
Historical Traditions in Canadian Cinema
Selected aspects of the history of cinema in Canada; with emphasis on the role of institutional bodies, government policies, economic decisions, aesthetic traditions, and related cultural practices.
FILM 5209 [0.5 credit]
Critical Perspectives on Canadian Cinema
Current critical approaches to Canadian film; the influence of Canadian and foreign cultural theory and criticism on film studies in Canada.
FILM 5401 [0.5 credit]
Studies in Authorship
Examination of the work of one or two filmmakers, with a concern for recent ideas about the concept of authorship and the formation of artistic and critical reputations.
FILM 5500 [0.5 credit]
Advanced Film Analysis
Issues and approaches to the detailed analysis of particular film texts. Work in narratology, hermeneutics, discourse analysis, psychoanalysis, deconstruction and semiotics will provide the methodological background to the study of individual films.
FILM 5501 [0.5 credit]
Gender and Cinema
The social production and reproduction of gender and gender relations through the cinema and its representations; the consequences of this work for feminist, gay and lesbian film practices and politics.
FILM 5601 [0.5 credit]
Studies in Genre
The theory and practice of film genres will be the object of study in this course.
FILM 5701 [0.5 credit]
Topics in Animation
Institutional histories, the work of individual animators, modes of production, and the social function of animation represent topics to be covered by this course.
FILM 5900 [0.5 credit]
Cinema and Modernism
Cinema's relationship to the history and theory of modernism. The concerns of classical film theory, the emergence of avant-garde, modernist film practices, and film's relationship to other twentieth-century art forms.
FILM 5901 [0.5 credit]
Cinema and the Postmodern
An examination of cinema's relationship to the history and theory of postmodern cultural practices in performance art, video, multimedia, architecture, literature, music, and other examples of artistic postmodernism.
FILM 5909
M.A. Thesis
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