Film History : Research Methods - FI813

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 4)
Autumn 7 30 (15) DR M Cinquegrani checkmark-circle


This module examines film history and historiography through case studies. In carrying out this investigation students will be encouraged to work with archive and primary sources held in libraries, museums and archives, for example, the online resources of the Media History Digital Library, as well as the British Film Institute Library or British Library. This will help them to evaluate and contest received histories, which may be based on an aesthetic, technological, economic, and/or social formations. Through this investigation students will be better able to understand the role and value of the contextual study of film, while giving them the opportunity to research and write on an aspect of film history. The choice of case study will depend upon the expertise of the module convenor


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 50
Private Study Hours: 250
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

• Essay 1 (2,500 words) – 40%
• Essay 2 (3,500 words) – 50%
• Seminar Participation – 10%

Indicative reading

Allen, Robert C. & Gomery, Douglas, (1985). Film History: Theory and Practice, New York: McGraw Hill
Biltereyst, D., Maltby, R. & Meers, P. (eds.), (2011). New Cinema History: approaches and case studies, Cambridge: WileyBlackwell
Bordwell, David & Thompson, Kristen, (2009). Film History: an introduction, New York: McGraw Hill
Grainge, P. et al (eds.), (2007). Film Histories: an introduction and reader, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Staiger, Janet, (1992). Interpreting Film: Studies in the Historical Reception of American Cinema, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

- Demonstrate a systematic understanding and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights into the theory and practice of film history;
- Demonstrate a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret film historical knowledge;
- Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how primary source material can be made use of for their own film historical research;
- Critically evaluate current film historical research and advanced scholarship;
- Evaluate film historical methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses;
- Research and write on an aspect of film history.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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