Moving Image Studies


In fall of 2009, the Film Studies Advisory Committee of the College of Liberal Arts proposed a new graduate minor in Moving Image Studies (MIMS). The minor officially launched in fall 2010, consisting in its first year of a three-course graduate core curriculum as well as other approved graduate electives. The associated MIMS Interdisciplinary Graduate Group is intended to help establish the new minor and build a larger community of graduate students and faculty engaged in film and media studies in their broadest sense. Moving Image Studies is itself intrinsically interdisciplinary, and our community provides an institutional framework for the community of scholars at the University who wish to put their own work within a broader dialogue about the nature of contemporary media societies and their historical antecedents. The Graduate Group helps to build such a community, providing an ongoing forum for study, viewing, and discussion.


"Moving Image Studies” includes film studies, but it also recognizes that "film" has begun to seem increasingly inadequate as a description of the object of study. While film in the traditional sense continues as an important area of research and teaching, the pervasiveness of "moving images"—on billboards, handheld screen devices, televisions, and computers—leads us to that more expansive term. Moving Image Studies (a formulation now becoming common in the relevant disciplines) highlights the many technical, economic, aesthetic, formal, historical, and theoretical issues that inform the ways moving images play out in contemporary culture. The study of the moving image can significantly help prepare graduate students to position themselves for the job market in the context of this pervasive moving image culture that coincides with the globalization of capital and information in the new millennium. It can provide them with a broad knowledge base, analytical tools, and critical skills to understand one of the predominant forms of global mass communication and entertainment and the role of moving images in the articulation of knowledge and belief systems. Moving image study, as we conceive it, addresses the complexity of cultural diversity not just within the context of the US but internationally.  With the goal of spurring world-class research among both faculty and graduate students, the MIMS Interdisciplinary Graduate Group complements the new graduate minor and provides an ongoing structure for students and faculty to explore and develop interdisciplinary research projects in this broad and rapidly changing field of study. The Graduate Group pursues activities that complement the contents of the new course curriculum—including extra film and television screenings and discussions, reading and discussion of new works on the theory and history of the moving image, and collaborations with other relevant local resources, including The Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul and the Walker Art Center. The MIMS Group also provides an ongoing forum for scholars of film and other screen-based media, including graduate students who have already completed the MIMS core courses and faculty besides those currently teaching them.  Activities for the group include presentations of dissertation chapters by MIMS students as well as new works in progress by faculty, giving each the chance to get feedback from the broad community of MIMS scholars at the U.


The MIMS Graduate Group is led by Jason McGrath (Asian Languages and Literatures), Laurie Ouellette (Communication Studies), and Keya Ganguly (Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature). The primary contact for the group is Graeme Stout (Senior Lecturer and Film Studies Coordinator) who can be reached via email at


View the membership list.

View the schedule of activities.