2021-2022 Course Catalog

Media Arts: Film and Digital Technology (BA)

The Media Arts major provides the opportunity for students to develop creative, conceptual, and technical skills across coursework in film, photography and graphic design – fostering a critical awareness of contemporary, convergent media practices. The major explores the creative tension between individual expression and the social and political forces that shape global, mediated networks within culture. Students are asked to become agents for change within the context of their discipline, asking critical questions of the impact of media in an increasingly global arena. Graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles in media arts production industries or to pursue graduate programs in related fields.

Students must earn a C- or better in all major courses. Failure to earn this minimum grade will result in the need to repeat the course thereby possibly extending the student’s course of study beyond four years.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the Film and Digital Technology major will be able to:

  • examine constructions of self and other as they have been perpetuated socially, historically and textually
  • identify the particular experiences of one or more cultural groups
  • describe theoretical paradigms for studying culture, such as colonization, institutional racism, intraracism, ethnocentrism and passing
  • synthesize and apply theoretical concepts to cultural texts, including literature, film, media and public spaces
  • write insightful journal entries and homework assignments on various Cultural Studies topics
  • write 3-4 page formal papers on questions assigned by professor
  • write longer essays on self designed topics
  • generate a thesis and sustain an argument by using secondary sources and criticism relevant to topic
  • develop knowledge of terms of cultural analysis
  • apply terms of cultural analysis to primary texts
  • apply terms of cultural analysis to primary texts in the service of a coherent argument
  • apply terms of cultural analysis in conjunction with cultural theory in the service of a coherent argument
  • recognize standard cultural representations and their role in creating societal truths and norms
  • historicize representations of one or more cultural groups
  • identify overt and inferential representations of cultural groups in varied textual expressions
  • articulate the relationship between cultural representation and material practices
  • frame a research question
  • locate and evaluate scholarly sources
  • evaluate theoretical positions of sources
  • articulate views in class
  • give informal presentation of critical positions
  • give formal presentation of critical positions
  • present and defend own critical position in formal arenas

Chatham University Film/Digital Video-Making

Coolidge Hall • Woodland Road • Pittsburgh, PA 15232


+Major Requirements for Media Arts major

Must take either ART 103 OR CST 183.

ART141 Media Literacy

This course introduces students to the Macintosh computer interface and related media practices. Students explore digital foundations, media related histories, theoretical frameworks and critical examination of production elements as they discover how computers are radically changing the way image makers create and present their work. Cross listed as COM 141. Additional Fee(s): Course Computing Fee.

ART103 Intro to Visual Culture

Visual Culture can be understood as the practice of scrutinizing visual items in both elite and popular culture; of determining how and what they mean to a variety of audiences; and of examining how those meanings might slip, change, or be changed according to both context and audience. Students examine a broad range of visual materials - from paintings to films - through the term of study.

CST183 Representations of Race and Gender

This course introduces students to the methodology of cultural studies. In this survey students learn those skills essential to analyzing social constructions of identity. Specific attention is paid to diverse texts, including film, in order to locate how representations of race, gender, ethnicity, and "otherness" are culturally produced and disseminated.

FDT161 Introduction to Film, Video and New Media Art

This course is an introduction to critical and aesthetic perspectives on film, i.e. the rules, codes, and strategies by which film represents reality. Students will be exposed to a variety of movements and moments in film history, but history will not be an explicit focus for the course. The course will map out the major conceptual areas in film studies using new methodologies in the areas of narrative comprehension, new vocabulary in film semiotics, and multiculturalism and the media. Issues explored in this course include questions of history and memory, self and other, and identity in both the Western and non-Western contexts.

ART210 History of Photography

This course will examine the relationships between photographs and audiences from the early nineteenth century to the present. A variety of themes will be discussed, including fashion photography, war, fine arts, advertising, portraits, landscapes, and social documentary. Within this structure, we will consider fundamental questions about photography, vision, and meaning, such as finding truth in images and discovering the relationship between image-making and power.

ART313 Special Topics

Special Topics

INTART303 Internship - Art

Internship - Art

ART490 Integrative Capstone

The integrative capstone, undertaken by the student during the senior year, is an extended project that helps the student complete their transition from an undergraduate student to a world-ready professional. The study usually centers on the student's major and may be conducted, at least in part, in the context of a group experience. Such programs are crafted to meet the unique needs of each major, and could include, for example, fieldwork, theater production, creative work in the arts, independent research, or independent readings. The integrative capstone in an interdisciplinary major must have the approval of both academic programs.

For additional required coursework for undergraduate students, please review the General Education /Core Requirements section of the catalog.