Liberal Arts - 32 Campus Drive

Missoula, MT - 59812

406-243-5231

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Sean O'Brien
–  Lecturer of English (Film Studies)

Office: LA 145
Phone: (406) 243-5791
Fax: (406) 243-5313
Email: sean.o'brien@mso.umt.edu

 

Current Position:

I am currently Director of English/Film Studies, one of five options available for those majoring in English.

Description:

I received my Ph.D. in philosophy,  and discovered early in my academic career that philosophy and film make great bedfellows.  Since then, I have drawn from the best of both arenas in structuring my philosophy and film studies courses.  I rely on philosophers to help students understand the great films, and use film to help illustrate great works in philosophy.   My production courses also have a strong philosophic bent, as it is often important for students to develop or discover the philosophic principles that undergird their dramas and documentaries.

I am also a documentary filmmaker.  My most recent documentary, "Be Thou Always as Guest," a portrait of a 91-year-old Montana rancher who began an impressive painting career at the age of 78,  aired on Montana PBS in May, 2010.

Office Hours:

My office hours for the Fall 2010 semester will be Tu, Th 11:00-12:30 and by appointment in LA 145.

Field Of Study:

Film Theory

Documentary Production

Phenomonology/Existentialism

Courses:

Fall 2010 courses:

ENFM/LS 180 - Intro to Film

ENFM 195 -  The Films of David Lynch

ENFM 395 - Film Studies Practicum

ENFM 443 - Documentary:    Theory and Practice

Education:

Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado/Boulder - 1989

MA in Philosophy from The University of Montana/Missoula - 1985

BA in Philosophy from The University of Montana/Missoula - 1981

I have taken numerous courses in film production.

Teaching Experience:

I believe in the value of interdisciplinary education, and I have taught courses cross-listed in a wide range of disciplines, including Philosophy, English, Media Arts, Communication and Environmental Studies.   At present, I  am responsible for teaching the following courses in the Film Studies Program.

ENFM/LS 180 - Intro to  Film

ENFM 427 - Film Theory

ENFM 443 - Documentary -  Theory and Practice

ENFM 495/MAR 495 - Making Movies - Just Do It!

ENFM 495/PHIL 444 - The Good, the Bad and the Indulgent::   Film and Virtue

WRIT 101 - Writing about Film

Courses that I have taught in the past include:

PHIL 200 - Ethics

PHIL 202 - Environmental Ethis

PHIL 210 - Logic

PHIL 427 - Ethics and the Environment

Comm 111 - Public Speaking

LS 381 - The Films of Stanley Kubrick

International Experience:

I have taught two documentary production courses that involved overseas travel.  The first,"Stories from Ireland," was a course that resulted in five student-produced documentaries on Ireland.   The second, "The Galapogos Islands," was co-taught with then UM geneticist, Paul Spruell, and resulted in four productions, each documenting a different aspect of the islands.