Film and Digital Media

101 Communications Building
(831) 459-3204

For Social Documentation

(831) 459-3445

Programs Offered

Film and Digital Media B.A.

Film and Digital Media Minor

Social Documentation M.F.A.

Film and Digital Media Ph.D.

Film and Digital Media Designated Emphasis

Social Documentation Designated Emphasis

Undergraduate Program

How do I translate my ideas into images and sounds? What is the role of media in an era of climate crisis? Are documentaries real? Does social media change democracy? How does listening inform our understanding of culture and environment? How can we move toward an algorithmically ethical future? Who and what has been left out of the history of cinema and television? Do streaming services make film history more or less accessible? Who should be responsible for caring for historical media? How can the study of media contribute to forging a more just and sustainable future?

Sound, images and code shape today’s reality and our perspectives on the world. Students from diverse backgrounds join our program for its inclusiveness and the opportunity to explore media’s past, present and future in relation to race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, intersectionality, community, place, and environment, among others.

The Film + Digital Media general major is neither strictly a theory program nor a production program; it is both—a liberal arts program using a rich toolbox of practical skills and collaborative strategies (writing, research, coding, editing, image making, recording, cinematography) to ask questions critical to our shared future. The major prepares students to analyze and contribute to an ever-evolving and interconnected landscape of film, TV, animation, games, software, social media, and other media forms. Courses in the major connect students with faculty research strengths in nonfiction media, screen representation and race, feminist media, queer theory, experimental and avant-garde movements, animation, games and playable media, global cinema, video and computer art, personal media, and collections and archives. Students in the program have many opportunities to work with one another and to work closely with faculty members as mentors, critics, and sponsors of independent studies. Together, we share the excitement of remaking the study of film and other media for the 21st century, equipping students to critique and produce in ways that will create a more just, inclusive, equitable, and environmentally sustainable world.

Our curriculum reflects an understanding that intellectual and creative work are related forms of production and inquiry. Undergraduates in Film + Digital Media may enroll in both critical studies and production-focused classes, and some of our classes incorporate overlapping skills and knowledge. Each of our pathways through the major equips our students with a foundation in historical and theoretical concepts, and exposes them to global and cross-cultural perspectives on a constantly widening media spectrum.

Graduate Program

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program in film and digital media challenges the traditionally conceived borders between creative and critical practice. The program enables dialogue between creative practice and theoretical knowledge as related forms of intellectual work and provides the conditions for students to realize a wide range of possible projects, including those that exist across the traditional divides of critical studies and production.