Film History : Research Methods - FI813

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 4)
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7 30 (15)
(version 4)
View Timetable
7 30 (15) DR L Lanckman







This course 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 students studying in Canterbury, this would include, for example, the online resources of the Media History Digital Library, as well as the British Film Institute Library or British Library. For students studying at the Paris campus this would include, for example the Cinémathèque Française, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the American Library in Paris and the Paris Diderot 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:

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
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
Biltereyst, D., Maltby, R. & Meers, P. (eds.), (2011). New Cinema History: approaches and case studies, Cambridge: WileyBlackwell

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Reflect upon film historiography;
- Explore the history of film scholarship;
- Undertake the study of primary source material in relation to the history of film;
- Evaluate traditional approaches to film history, incl. aesthetic, technological, economic, and social film histories;
- Demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of the role and value of the contextual study of film;
- Research and write on an aspect of film history.

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