Paris: Cinema and Media Studies

Photo: “Double Take” by Sima Shah, ’18 (This is an image of my peers interacting with a piece of contemporary art in the Jeu de Paume museum, entitled Anamnesis by Peter Campus. In standing before the piece, they viewed their own image, overlaid with their image a few seconds prior, creating a video of doubled selves and blurred actions.)
Early App Deadline: 
Monday, April 23, 2018
Final App Deadline: 
Monday, October 22, 2018
Language Requirement: 
None
Coordinator: 
Dana Currier
Quarter(s): 
Winter
Core Credits: 
Arts Core

The College’s Winter Cinema and Media Studies program in Paris provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to explore the study of film and related media at the University of Chicago’s Center in Paris. This program is open to students of all majors and includes two courses that can be used to satisfy the general education arts requirement (arts core). Any student with an interest in film, particularly French cinema, is encouraged to apply. The program courses will make use of the rich cultural resources of Paris and the French film-making tradition to enhance the educational experience of learning to analyze and interpret films as works of art. Program participants will also take a French language course, which runs at a normal pace through the quarter and is designed to help students connect with French (and Parisian) culture.

Apart from classroom work, the Cinema and Media Studies program offers a series of excursions to sites of artistic and historic interest within and in the vicinity of Paris. Indeed Paris itself, with its wealth of cinemas, museums, libraries and theaters, its lively art, film, and literary scene, its rich traditions of creation and critique, plays a central role in the program and students will be expected to make full use of its cultural resources.

WINTER 2018 FACULTY & COURSES

Jennifer Wild (Cinema and Media Studies, Romance Languages and Literatures) – CMST 14400 Film and the Moving Image
This course seeks to develop skills in perception, comprehension, and interpretation when dealing with film and other moving image media. It encourages the close analysis of audiovisual forms, their materials and formal attributes, and explores the range of questions and methods appropriate to the explication of a given film or moving image text. It also examines the intellectual structures basic to the systematic study and understanding of moving images. Most importantly, the course aims to foster in students the ability to translate this understanding into verbal expression, both oral and written. Texts and films are drawn from the history of narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary or non-fiction cinema.

D. N. Rodowick (Cinema and Media Studies) – CMST 14503 Cinema in Theory and Practice
The course proposes an introduction to audio-visual creation and understanding through the analysis of films, selective readings, and short film exercises focusing on fundamental cinematic elements such as shot, framing, point of view, camera movement, editing, and relations of image and sound. Assignments will consist in creating three 1-3 minute single-shot movies based on the works seen and discussed in class, as well as a collective final project. Close attention will also be paid to questions of theory and experimentation in film and video.

Dominique Bluher (Cinema and Media Studies) – CMST 23406 Contemporary French Cinema
This course proposes an overview of the contemporary auteur cinema in France. After examining the legacy of the New Wave and their concept of the auteur, we will screen works by a new generation of filmmakers who have been instrumental in creating innovative approaches to cinematic narrative, form, and style. We will study feature films by Leos Carax, Claire Denis, Alain Guiraudie, and Philippe Grandrieux among others. Course readings will include interviews with filmmakers, analyses of their films, as well as contributions providing theoretical frameworks for considerations of authorship, gender, sexuality, post-colonialism, ethnicity, and ethics.

Center in Paris

Headquarters for the College’s study abroad programs in Paris is the University of Chicago Center in Paris, the University’s research and teaching arm in Europe. Situated in the thirteenth arrondissement, the Center in Paris is part of an ambitious intellectual project along the river Seine, including the Bibliothèque Nationale and a new home for Université Denis Diderot (University of Paris VII). The Center in Paris features classrooms, offices for faculty and graduate students, computer facilities, a small library and an apartment for the faculty director. For participants in Chicago’s programs, the Center in Paris provides a focus for academic activities, a central meeting place and a continuing Chicago “presence” within one of the major capitals of Europe.

Housing

Students in the Paris Cinema and Media Studies program are housed in a residence hall within the Cité Internationale Universitaire (Cité). The Cité, a park-like residential complex in the fourteenth arrondissement, is the international student campus in Paris, though French students also live there. Students reside in single rooms with a private bath and have access to Cité facilities, including a library, theater, laundry and athletic facilities. Students will have access to common kitchens in the residence halls and can purchase inexpensive meals at the Cité’s restaurant universitaire.

Credits and Registration

Participants in the Paris Cinema and Media Studies program remain registered as full-time students in the College. They receive one credit for each of the four courses offered through this program. The first two courses can be used toward the College’s general education requirement in the arts (arts core), while the third course may be used as either an elective or within the Cinema and Media Studies major. The first two courses may also be eligible for credit within the Cinema and Media Studies major if the arts core requirement has already been fulfilled and with approval from the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies. The use of these courses in related or interdisciplinary majors may be possible, though students will have to submit a specific petition to the appropriate undergraduate program chair. The language course will normally count as an elective. Course titles, units of credit and grades are placed on the College transcript.

Finances

Study abroad students pay regular College tuition, a program fee and a non-refundable study abroad administrative fee. The tuition and program fee are paid in conformity with the home campus payment schedule, and the non-refundable study abroad administrative fee is submitted when accepting a place in a program. Precise figures for the Paris Cinema and Media Studies program during the 2017-18 year are listed below:

Winter tuition: as set by the Bursar’s Office

Study abroad administrative fee: $650

Paris Cinema and Media Studies program fee: $4,700
 

Program fee includes: Out-of-pocket expenses include:
accommodation round-trip airfare to and from the program site
instruction transportation on site
student support meals
program excursions course materials
cell phone (device only) personal entertainment and travel
  communications (including cell phone usage)
emergency travel insurance (ISOS) health insurance and upfront payments for care
  other miscellaneous expenses

Previous program participants report spending in the range of $200 to $250 per week on meals and incidentals while on the program, though frugal students may spend less, and others could spend much more. Bear in mind that the cost of living in Paris is relatively high and that, while it is possible to live frugally, it is also possible to run short of money if you are unwary. It is therefore essential that you budget your funds prudently, apportioning your resources so that they last for the duration of the program. If you are planning to travel before or after the program or on weekends, you should budget accordingly.

Study abroad students retain their financial aid eligibility. For more information about financial aid resources, please see our general Tuition, Fees, and Funding section.

Eligibility and Application

The Paris Cinema and Media Studies program is open to University of Chicago undergraduate students only. Applications from outside the University are not accepted.

The program is designed for undergraduates in good standing. While the program stipulates no minimum grade-point average, an applicant’s transcript should demonstrate that they are a serious student who will make the most of this opportunity. Because the Cinema and Media Studies courses are taught in English, there is no language prerequisite, although students are encouraged to take French on campus before the program begins.

Each application is examined on the basis of the student’s scholastic record, personal statement and academic recommendation. If you are interested in applying for this program please fill out the online application.

Further Information

To discuss the Paris: Cinema and Media Studies program and the possibility of participating in it, please contact Dana Currier.

Learn more about the
Center in Paris.

What you’ll see: 

Photo: “Double Take” by Sima Shah, ’18 (This is an image of my peers interacting with a piece of contemporary art in the Jeu de Paume museum, entitled Anamnesis by Peter Campus. In standing before the piece, they viewed their own image, overlaid with their image a few seconds prior, creating a video of doubled selves and blurred actions.)Photo of the Louvre at sunsetPhoto of students at the LouvrePhoto of Paris Metro staircases