Skip navigation to content

FM4120 Silent Cinema

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:10.00 am - 12.00 noon Tue (Screenings: 4.30 pm - 8.00 pm Thu)

The period of silent cinema oversaw the emergence of crucial aspects that would come to characterize cinema as both an industry and an artform. At the same time, silent film was a form somewhat distinct from the sound films that came afterwards, and one whose development proceeded differently in different global contexts. This module will examine this critical period of film history by exploring the era through a variety of contexts. The first week will set out the historical period as well as key debates in film history, as well as introduce students to more recent developments in the field. As a team-taught course, the module will ordinarily be organised in three related clusters. These clusters may include, but will not be limited to: Representations of race and gender in the silent era; silent stars; Audiences and fan cultures; Historicizing Silent Cinema; Global Silent Cinema; Early documentary; Early sound practices; and Intermedial approaches to silent film.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for Film Studies

UG Pre-requisite(s):FM2001 and FM2002 – with passes at 11 or better in both


Optional for Film Studies

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2-hour seminar plus screening (up to 4 hours).
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 66
  • Guided independent study: 234

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:Take Home Examination (48-hour slot) = 100%
Postgraduate Assessment :Coursework = 100%


Module coordinator:Prof M Cowan
Module teaching staff:Prof M Cowan, Dr E Girelli, Dr T Rice