In today's digital world, moving images extend far beyond the traditional movie screen. Cinema and New Media Studies explores film as an "intellectual nexus" - a way of thinking about the world across boundaries. And because film studies at Hamilton is combined with new media, students have opportunities to see the broader context of imagery and text in the production of knowledge and culture. Courses from throughout the curriculum examine the ways religion, race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, class, the natural environment and other social and physical forces are represented and explored in cinema and new media as artistic expression. Through the interdisciplinary minor in cinema and new media studies, students pursue historical and theoretical study and/or create photochemical, electronic and digital media as they construct or express individual artistic visions and cultural identities. Students analyze the uses of technology in representing and constructing knowledge by means of performance, programming or participation in the creation of multi-media documents and hands-on experience in class assignments. Courses in the program blend film history and theory, and focus on genres ranging from avant-garde to documentary film.
Integrating classroom learning with experiences and skills necessary in the non-academic world is one of the goals of Hamilton's liberal arts program. Students have hands-on opportunities to work with a variety of media. Examples include courses in which film or Web-based assignments are required, such as Virtual Worlds, Women Filmmakers and Seminar in e-Black Studies: Race and Cyberculture. A special opportunity came recently when students participated in a recent film treatment challenge presented by Thomas Tull, a Hamilton alumnus and founder/CEO of Legendary Pictures. Tull invited students to present an idea for a film for review by Legendary's production company professionals, who came to campus to hear "pitches." One student writer was selected to visit Legendary's headquarters in California to continue discussions with the firm's creative team. Hamilton brings to campus film writers and directors who lend insight into their work. Recent guests included world-class director Mira Nair (Mississippi Masala, Salaam Bombay, Vanity Fair) who discussed her film Monsoon Wedding, in which a family travels from around the world to reunite in New Delhi for a last-minute arranged marriage; Tracy Fullerton, who presented a lecture on online video game design; critically acclaimed Devil Music Ensemble, who provided musical accompaniment during the screening of the silent martial arts film Red Heroine; Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat (Passage, Women Without Men); and Academy Award-winner and master of montage Chuck Workman (Precious Images).
Research and technical support at Hamilton goes beyond mere access to materials and equipment. Our library, audio/visual and information technology staffs contribute to the learning experience by helping students think about the possibilities and limitations of the media they use. Students and faculty members utilize Hamilton's Media Library, which has a fine collection of DVDs and VHS for study and research. Students have access to digital cameras and various computer programs such as Second Life and Final Cut Pro.