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Film and Media Studies

This guide provides an introduction to resources that support research in film and media studies, primarily through a humanities lens. It includes links and tools for articles, books, films, dissertations, and more!

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Scholarly Resources & Trade Publications

Published bibliographies, handbooks, and encyclopedias aare excellent starting points in the research process. Not only will these help you dig deeper by providing you with reliable bibliographic resources to consult, but the language and writing style of these types of information sources are meant for a novice learner and are less esoteric and jargon-y than scholarly articles are. Starting here will help you effectively navigate a new topic, develop understanding and vocabulary, and find resources to continue reading more in-depth on that topic.

Annotated Bibliographies via Oxford Bibliographies Online - Cinema & Media Studies
Oxford Bibliographies Online is an authoritative bibliography resource compiled by leading scholars in the field of Cinema and Media Studies. Using this library resource, you can fast track your research and compile critical resources on your topic

Handbooks, Overviews, Encyclopedias

Why bother with books? While it's easy to shy away from long, detailed scholarly books, these can actually be incredibly helpful resources to consult as you do your research! Just like academic articles, scholarly books undergo a rigorous peer-review process, are written by experts, and are published by reliable and trusted publishers such as university presses. In most cases, you'll be consulting what is considered a scholarly monograph or an edited work when you consult books at the library. 

Feeling overwhelmed? Don't be intimidated: you do not have to read these kinds of books from cover-to-cover! Instead, identify the most interesting & relevant chapters, read closely, and highlight other sources that are cited throughout that chapter to dig a little deeper. This strategy of "tracing footnotes" is an excellent way to follow the scholarly dialogue taking place in the area you are exploring.

Search Tools to discover books at UCI Libraries:

Examples of Scholarly Books:

There are many peer-reviewed, scholarly journals that you can consider citing/learning about for your final paper. There is a longer list available here ( that leads you to academic journals that UCI Libraries provides online or print access to, but a shorter list is below. Consider browsing the issues for these journals for your 2 required scholarly sources!

The Velvet Light Trap (1971-Current)

  • This journal examines independent film production within and outside Hollywood in its historical contexts. It is collectively edited by graduate students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and The University of Texas at Austin, with the support of media scholars at those institutions and throughout the country. Each issue provokes debate about critical, theoretical, and historical topics relating to a particular theme.

Film Quarterly (1958-Current)

  • Film Quarterly, a journal devoted to the study of film, television, and visual media, publishes scholarly analyses of international and Hollywood cinema as well as independent film, including documentary and animation. The journal also revisits film classics; examines television and digital and online media; reports from international film festivals; reviews recent academic publications; and on occasion addresses installations, video games and emergent technologies

Journal of Film and Video (1984-Current)

  • The Journal of Film and Video, an internationally respected forum, focuses on scholarship in the fields of film and video production, history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics. Article features include film and related media, problems of education in these fields, and the function of film and video in society.

Jump Cut (1974-Current)

  • Frequently discusses independent cinema in its articles and essays on film, video, television, and new media. Operates from what the editors describe as “nonsectarian left, feminist, anti-racist and anti-imperialist” perspectives. 

Millenium Film Journal (1978-Current)

  • Published semiannually by the Millennium Film Workshop in New York City, this journal concentrates on the theory and practice of independent and experimental film, video, and new media.

These databases are excellent resources for getting started. Try running a few keyword searches in more than one to see what articles and results show up! Some are specific to a field of study while others cover all disciplines.

A trade publication is a regularly published collection of articles that address topics of interest to members of a particular profession. These are variously referred to as trade magazines or trade journals.  Inside these publications you may also find editorials, letters to the editor, photo essays, and advertisements that target members of the profession. 

Trade/Industry Publications

News & Newspaper Databases

If you are in need of a re-fresh on research skills, these (short) tutorials can be very helpful to do at your own pace! They cover the basics of navigating the library's online resources and tools, how to effectively search on library databases, and contexts of understanding how to evaluate resources.