Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH)

What is MAPH?

The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) is designed to allow you the freedom to focus on one academic discipline or explore interdisciplinary interests that may not fit well within a traditional Master’s program. The flexibility and strong support network offered with this program can help you take the next step in your professional and academic life in a short period of time—more than 90% of MAPH students graduate in 9 months.

The Cinema and Media Studies Option

Although students may take all of their coursework in CMS, many expand their study into overlapping subjects like Art History, Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, English Language and Literature, Gender and Sexuality, Romance Languages and Literature, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Theater and Performance Studies, and Visual Arts.


Students who would like a more directed course of study may want to complete the MAPH Cinema and Media Studies Option. Students who complete the following requirements will receive a Cinema and Media Studies notation on their MAPH transcript:

  • The MAPH Core course
  • The following Cinema and Media Studies courses
    • Methods and Issues
    • History of International Film I and II
    • One or Two Elective courses in Cinema and Media Studies
  • A thesis on cinema/media under the supervision of a member of the Cinema and Media Studies faculty


Another track students can choose is the Two-Year Language Option (TLO) which is ideal for students interested in translation studies, in need of advanced proficiency for admission to a PhD program, or looking to pursue a language study to enhance their academic work. In addition to the regular MAPH curriculum core courses, students take additional language courses at the intermediate and advanced levels. More information on this option can be found here.


For more information on the application process and requirements, please refer to the MAPH website.

Recent Cinema and Media Studies Thesis Projects

An American Childhood: The Mother, the Veil, the Deer, and the Gaze in Jordan Peele’s Get Out

Annette Lepique, MAPH ’20

Advisor: Allyson Field


The Material and Perceptual Folds of Cinematic Space

Thomas Quist, MAPH ‘20

Advisor: D.N. Rodowick


Ghostly Camera, Recurring Banquets: Slowness in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai

Yi Liu, MAPH ‘20

Advisor: Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky


I Know You Are But What Am I: A Critical Reading of Pee-wee Herman

Nicholette Lindsay, MAPH ‘20

Advisor: James Lastra

Sample Elective Courses

40000 Methods and Issues, Salomé Aguilera Skvirsky

This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film. The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard.

67006 Cognitive Approaches to Spectatorship, Maria Belodubrovskaya

This course provides an overview of cognitive approaches to film and media spectatorship to date. It reviews theories of perception, emotion, and cognitive processing as they relate to film viewing and appropriation, and specifically: cognitive theories of human emotions; how film viewing engages body and mind; cognitive approaches to analyzing storytelling and style; cognitive games films play with us; and the theories of attention, identification, and ideological persuasion.

25503/35503 Contemporary Horror, James Lastra

This course takes the modern horror film as its object. For the purposes of this class, modern horror spans the period from 1960 to the present, although much of our attention will be directed toward the period from the 1980s to the present. We will examine key problems in the genre including, but not limited to an examination of the nature of the horrific, close formal analysis (which typically is neglected in favor of more culturally oriented approaches), questions of POV and camera movement, the articulation and construction of space, the role of gender in the genre, the changing importance of women as performers, characters, directors, and spectators, found footage/surveillance, and the genre's address to the viewer.

27911/37911 Augmented Reality Production, Marc Downie

Focusing on experimental moving-image approaches at a crucial moment in the emerging medium of augmented reality, this course will explore and interrogate each stage of production of augmented reality works. Students in this production-based course will examine the techniques and opportunities of this new kind of moving image. During this course we will study the construction of examples across a gamut from locative media, journalism, and gameplay-based works to museum installations. Students will complete a series of critical essays and sketches towards a final augmented reality project using a custom set of software tools developed in and for the course.


A complete listing of offerings is available at the Department’s course page.