Zimmermann and Richardson both talked about how many students at the college express the desire to complete a double major in an area in Park and another school on campus. This major will provide them that opportunity, along with the ability to study abroad or attend the college’s Los Angeles program. While many of the Park majors are credit intensive, which sometimes limit students’ ability to double major in another field, the new program addresses this.
“Students come to IC to explore very widely. We see this new program as a way to expand what a student can do,” said Zimmermann.
One such student, Queline Meadows ’23 is currently majoring in culture and communication with a self-designed film and media studies concentration, will start her double major with Screen Studies in the fall.
“After fulfilling my concentration requirement, I wanted to continue taking screen studies courses so I will be switching to the screen cultures major in the fall to take advantage of courses that better suit my own interests and goals,” said Meadows. “I hope to connect with faculty in different areas and learn more about the possibilities of a degree in screen cultures, especially as I look ahead to graduate school.”
Zimmermann believes this degree will provide students with a robust, dynamic set of skills.
“This degree provides students with the two most important skills you need if you want to be in any form of media, which are analytical reading skills (of both books and media forms) and deductive evidence-based writing,” she said. “If you can do those two very well and with rigor and insight, you can adapt to anything. I do think it will position students to enter into whatever field they choose.”
Zimmermann also explains that the major will be connected to two film festivals, the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF), of which she serves as director, and the Cine con Cultura Film Festival, directed by associate professor of modern languages Enrique Gonzalez Conty.
“These two festivals will provide students on the ground experiences and an on-campus opportunity to gain valuable experience,” said Zimmermann. “It’s an incredibly unique factor that you can actually put your critical studies, reading and writing skills, to work and have an on-campus internship.”
Andrew Utterson, associate professor of screen studies, agrees that these opportunities will be a draw for students.
“Studying film in Ithaca allows all sorts of opportunities to tap into the region’s rich and vibrant cultural capital, including opportunities to experience first-hand the exciting annual programs of Ithaca College-affiliated film festivals FLEFF and Cine Con Cultura,” said Utterson. “Similarly, the major’s courses aim to stay up to date with the very latest developments in film culture and a changing industry by collaborating with Ithaca’s non-profit movie theaters, including Cinemapolis.”
Richardson says that the screen cultures major was designed as a global major and that students will take courses that expand their horizons.
“We’re really trying to give students a sense of the diversity of media representations and how to approach it,” said Richardson. “It’s about students being able to critically engage with images and media. Especially now it’s really important to enable students to interrogate what they’re seeing and understand how these images and how this cultural production sort of shapes culture and values.”