Friday, May 25, 2012

Columbia College to cut cinema studies?

Posted By on 05.25.12 at 01:07 PM

Columbia College President Warrick L. Carter
  • Columbia College president Warrick L. Carter
This past week, Columbia College president Warrick L. Carter jeopardized the future of cinema studies courses at the school by writing in his prioritization report to the film and video department, "The department should carefully consider the ongoing role of Cinema Studies, including the possibility of eliminating it. Although I understand the department’s argument for retaining it as a generalist degree, I remain skeptical of its value to student learning and to the department."

Columbia has been fortunate to employ some great minds in its cinema studies courses, among them Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa (coauthor of Abbas Kiarostami with Jonathan Rosenbaum) and Reader contributors Bill Stamets and Fred Camper. Eliminating these classes would deprive students of their invaluable guidance, and more importantly, the well-rounded understanding of cinema that comes from probing the historic, theoretical, and aesthetic foundations of the medium. Any film program that teaches all practice and no theory is simply lopsided by nature. This is an art form we're talking about.

President Carter addressed the film and video department faculty this morning in a closed meeting. More public announcements will surely follow.

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