Film History: Research Methods in Paris - FILM8240

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 30 (15) 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. This will include, for example, the Cinémathèque Française, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé, Forum des Images, and Paris Diderot library. Students will 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 studies will depend upon the expertise of the module convenor.


Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

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

Reassessment methods:

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

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

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Reflect upon film historiography;
2 Explore the history of film scholarship;
3 Undertake the study of primary source material in relation to the history of film;
4 Evaluate traditional approaches to film history, incl. aesthetic, technological, economic, and social film histories;
5 Demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of the role and value of the contextual study of film;
6 Research and write on an aspect of film history.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Critically analyse and make use of reading material and conceptual frameworks;
2 Give sustained attention and concentration to examination of the details of texts;
3 Demonstrate advanced skills of cogency, structure and presentation of arguments;
4 Write and talk appropriately according to purpose; use wide vocabulary; use correct spelling, syntax and punctuation; express complex ideas, arguments and subtleties of meaning; select and shape language to achieve sophisticated effects.


  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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