College explores new film minor

November 5, 2009

After spending over a year evaluating options for a minor in film and media studies at Georgetown, a group of professors has started to craft a proposal.

“It is important to emphasize that this is a work in progress,” said Associate Dean Bernie Cook, who is drafting the proposal. “Nothing is going to happen immediately. What we hope and plan to do this year is to have an actual minor proposal.”

Once the minor proposal has been finalized, it will follow a long trail from the Dean of the College, to the College Curriculum Committee and the Executive Committee of the College, back to the Dean of the College, and then onto the Provost.

“There’s momentum and interest and effort, but there’s also a process that takes all this time,” Cook said. With the proposal in its early stage, it is still uncertain whether the minor will be approved. An advisory group for Georgetown’s Film and Media Studies Initiative has met on a regular basis during the past year to discuss a curriculum for the minor. The group is evaluating possible funding sources in addition to defining its curricular niche, according to Dean of the College
Chester Gillis who wrote in an email that he would be delighted to see the minor approved.

The Film and Media Studies Initiative took shape with the help of Dean Jane McAuliffe during her tenure as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The first tangible outcome from this initiative was the creation of the New South film-screening classroom, which features tiered seating, a booth with film capabilities, and superior sound and projection systems. Built with funds from an anonymous donor alumnus and contributions from the Georgetown Entertainment & Media Alliance, which aims to strengthen ties between the University and alumni in these fields and provide resources to both alumni and current undergraduates, the film-screening room is the first of its kind at Georgetown.

Professor John Glavin, who is part of the advisory group and teaches screenwriting classes, said that a film program would benefit from Georgetown’s extensive alumni network.

“The advantage comes from our large, growing and very prominent alumni base within the entertainment community,” Glavin said. “It helps guarantee that students who concentrate in film here will be able to enter a welcoming network after graduation.”

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