As one of six programs within the OSU English Department, the Screen Studies program incorporates film studies, television studies, and studies in new media. The program’s most distinctive feature is the special emphasis that we give to theoretical questions about the moving image—questions that do not in any way abandon historical reflection, but instead understand history and theory as necessarily related enterprises. The interdisciplinary nature of the program emphasizes scholarship and coursework across disciplines, and encourages diverse research approaches to film and media, whether avant-garde or genre, American or international, classical or contemporary.
Housed in historic Morrill Hall, Screen Studies offers courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Undergraduate students may elect the Screen Option as part of their Bachelor's degree in English, while graduate students may pursue both the Master's degree and the Ph.D. in English with emphasis in Screen Studies. Courses cover a wide array of moving image productions and contexts—both American and international, ficton and non-fiction, narrative and avant-garde—and focus on the history, theory and aesthetics of screen-based representations, as well as their cultural and political impact.
At the graduate level, we seek students who want to immerse themselves in critical theory as a way of opening up new ways of thinking about the moving image. In turn, we take seriously the idea that moving image theory itself should be better recognized as a form of social and philosophical reflection. We invite you to look at some selected recent graduate course offerings in Screen Studies.
Recent or ongoing theses and dissertations by graduate students in the Screen Studies program include:
• A theory of cinematic quotation
• Queer representation in global cinema
• Artaud, the subjectile and the cinematic cut
• Cinephilia and radical politics
• Torture and the contemporary horror film
• Feminist appropriation of masculine genres across media
Graduate students teach courses in the popular undergraduate Screen Studies track. Teaching assistantships and other forms of support (including tuition waivers) are available; they are awarded on a competitive basis.
OSU undergraduate English majors may elect to pursue the Screen Option, which provides students with a broad knowledge of film history, theory, genre, international cinema, and television studies. For further information on the Screen Option, contact Jules Emig, undergraduate advisor for the English Department.
The course of study for an M.A. in English with a concentration in Screen Studies includes 30 hours of coursework. Students are required to take an introduction to graduate study and an introduction to the teaching of composition; six hours are for the writing of a thesis. The remaining coursework is determined by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor and/or advisory committee. Students take comprehensive exams after completing their coursework.
The course of study for a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Screen Studies includes 60 hours of coursework (at least 40 credits of coursework, 15-20 dissertation hours). Students are required to take an introduction to graduate study and an introduction to the teaching of composition (unless they have already done so as part of our M.A. program); 15-20 hours are for the writing of a dissertation. The remaining coursework is determined by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor and/or advisory committee. Students take comprehensive exams after completing their coursework.
Jeff Menne, Assistant Professor and Director of the Screen Studies Program (Ph.D. Vanderbilt), specializes in postwar American cinema and political economy, with interests including Hollywood, the exploitation industry, Latin American cinema (Cuban and Mexican in particular), and the avant-garde. He is working on Art's Economy: Post-Fordist Cinema and Hollywood Counterculture, 1962-1975, a study of business culture in poststudio Hollywood. His work has appeared in such journals as Representations, Cinema Journal, and Post Script. He has taught a graduate seminar on Cuban cinema and offers courses in film genres, film and media theory, and critical theory.
Stacy Takacs, Associate Professor of American Studies (Ph.D. Indiana), is an associate of the Screen Studies Program. Her research focuses on the role of television in the mediation of power relations, especially in the context of globalization. She has published in journals such as Feminist Media Studies, Cultural Critique, Spectator, and The Journal of Popular Culture. She is also the author of Terror TV: U.S. Television in the Post-9/11 Context, and has taught graduate courses on Convergence and Cultural Studies.
Graig Uhlin, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. New York University), specializes in film theory. His dissertation examined rhythm and time in classical film theory, utilizing philosopher Paul Ricoeur's understanding of the "aporetics of temporality" to analyze the films of Jean Epstein, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Andy Warhol. His work has appeared in Cinema Journal, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, and Hitchcock Annual. His research interests include the intersection of environmentalism and moving image culture, contemporary world cinema, and the filmmaking of Andy Warhol.
Robert Mayer (Ph.D. Northwestern), teaches film history as well as early modern British literature and critical theory. He is the author of essays on the history of history, the early English novel, and screen adaptations of eighteenth-century fiction including "Robinson Crusoe in Hollywood." He is the editor of Eighteenth-Century Fiction on Screen (Cambridge 2002) and the author of History and the Early English Novel: Matters of Fact from Bacon to Defoe (Cambridge 1997). He is currently writing a book on Walter Scott's literary correspondence as a key event in the history of reading and authorship
Jeffery Walker, Professor (Ph.D. Penn State), teaches courses on film comedy and film adaptation. His primary research area is colonial and early ninetenth century American literature; he has published a book on Benjamin Church, an edition of Cooper's The Spy, and an essay on film and Cooper: "Deconstructing an American Myth: The Last of the Mohicans." He has won the Phoenix Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching and two Fulbright Lectureships. Two books, Reading Cooper, Teaching Cooper, and Leather-Stocking-Redux: Or, Old Tales, New Essays, are in press. He co-edits a new journal, Literature in the Early American Republic.
Seth Perlow, Assistant Professor (Ph.D. Cornell), researches and teaches courses on the history and theory of new media, alongside his primary work in postwar and contemporary American poetry. His interests include new media poetics, human-machine interfaces, video game studies, and the politics of visual culture. His writing about new media has appeared in Convergence and In Media Res. He current book project, The Poem Electric: Technology and Uncritical Thinking in American Verse Cultures, explores how electronic devices have helped experimental American poets and their readers to distinguish poetry from discourses of rationalism and critique.
Find out about course offerings at the Course Offerings Page.
Community and FIlm Series
The Screen Studies program is also home to a lively film series, exciterbulb, which is strictly devoted to screening avant-garde films and videos in their original formats. In conjunction with the series we regularly bring in avant-garde film and video artists to screen and talk about their work. Our graduate students are thus in a relatively unique position to work on avant-garde media and to cross the theory/practice divide by engaging in conversations with artists such as Michelle Citron, Ken Jacobs, Mary Beth Reed, and Phil Solomon.
CRAS (Claude Raines Appreciation Society) is the official student organization of the Oklahoma State University Screen Studies Program. CRAS meets monthly during Spring and Fall semesters and is dedicated to unearthing obscure and hard-to-find narrative films, while providing a forum for informal discussion and cooperative research within OSU's Screen Studies community.