Departments and Programs


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The Film Studies Program at Barnard was formally established in 2002 for students interested in the history, theory and practice of film and filmmaking. The educational goal of the film major is to provide a solid grounding in the history and theory of film and as well as place the study of film in relation to other art forms. Students are introduced to visual storytelling, film technology, and the economic and sociopolitical context of the film industry. While the course of study is rooted in film history and theory, all majors take workshops in screenwriting and filmmaking and produce a script and a short film.

First-Year Seminars initiate students into the academic life of the College by offering intellectually engaging experiences in which students and faculty from a wide range of home departments work through challenging material, often across disciplinary lines. Each one-semester seminar is designed to develop essential skills for college work, such as the ability to read critically and analytically, to speak clearly and effectively, and to write logically and persuasively.

First-Year Writing courses work from the belief that writing is an essential tool in every discipline – one that challenges you to develop meaningful, nuanced questions and complex ideas. Working closely with your instructor and peers, you will learn to translate those complex ideas into clear, precise, and persuasive essays. You will analyze a variety of novels, myths, memoirs, and short stories, along with other historical texts and scholarly articles that enrich your literary and cultural analyses. Readings in each course are inspired by one of three rubrics: Legacy of the Mediterranean, Women & Culture, and The Americas.

Courses in the French Department have a twofold objective: to perfect fluency in the written and spoken language, and to develop an understanding and appreciation of the literature and culture of France and French-speaking countries.