New course offered within World Film Studies minor

Brian Day

A new course in the World Film Studies minor is now available for students at Iowa State. French 378 is the newest addition to the list of classes being offered.

The class is essentially a history of French cinema, but depending on who teaches the course, it could look at movies that are representative of a certain theme or topic chosen by the professor. The course is offered in two forms: the traditional classroom setting and online.

Stacey Weber-Feve, one of two professors for the new summer course, and faculty member in the World Film Studies minor, says that she has many goals and objectives that she wants the students to meet after having taken the class.

One of those goals is for students to learn how to read a film. Just as other types of literature can be read and criticized, films can be as well. 

“That’s what the first module in the course attempts to achieve in students: that they learn how to read film, and they become versant in the film-critical terms and can engage with some of the different theoretical concepts that are fundamental to film as a medium,” Weber-Feve said.

Weber-Feve’s second objective for the course is for students to develop a working knowledge of French cinema, including knowledge of popular directors, popular films and French cinema’s impact on Hollywood.

French Film Studies is only one of six required courses for students looking to pick up Iowa State’s new minor, World Film Studies.

Other required courses include Chinese 370: Contemporary Chinese Film and Fiction, French 326: Studies in French or Francophone Art or Film, German 378: German Film and Media Studies, Russian 378: Russian Film Studies and Spanish 326: Studies in Hispanic Art or Film.

Along with each individual language’s course, there is also a class called World Languages and Cultures 278, which is an overall introduction to approximately 15 different countries’ outlooks on foreign film.

“There are courses started specifically on one country, … but there is also a course that kind of gives this world view of cinema,” said Olga Mesropova, associate professor in the World Languages and Cultures department.

Not only does the course fulfill requirements for students majoring in French, or getting a minor in World Film Studies, but the course also fulfills general education requirements in the international perspectives, English proficiency, and arts and humanities categories.

The College of Online Learning is looking to keep the class relatively small, and is also expecting there to be a waiting list to get into the course.