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September 2000, Week 1


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Tue, 5 Sep 2000 11:51:58 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (40 lines)
Jane wondered:

> can someone tell me when film studies became recognized as
a discipline in us university curriculum? also at what point cultural
studies entered the scene? dates, time frames, cites would be most

I'm sure others on this list have a keener knowledge of the
"discipline's" history, but in general the answer has to be somewhat
vague.  There have been film programs at a few campuses at least for
many years but in general the movement toward disciplinarity built up
steam in the 1960s, coinciding with the rise of auteruism in criticism
and practice. The Society for Cinema Studies was founded in 1959, which
bears comparison with the founding of the MLA (anticipating the
acceptance of English literature as a discipline) over 110 years ago and
the American Literature section of the MLA in 1921.

In general, again, "cultural studies" and its impact on film study can
be hard to measure.  American criticism tended to lag behind French and
British developments in semiotic theory, and the Cultural Studies
movement, such as it is, lagged behind other nations as well,
especially Britain and Australia.  One key development in American
cultural studies would have to be the huge conference at the University
of Illinois in 1991.  The procedings are contained in CULTURAL STUDIES,
ed. Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula Treicher, Routledge 1992.
But film is just one element in the wide scope of that conference.

Don Larsson
Donald F. Larsson
English Department, AH 230
Minnesota State University
Mankato, MN  56001

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