Liberal Arts 133 | 32 Campus Drive | Missoula, MT | 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'


I received my Ph.D. in philosophy, and discovered early in my academic career thatphilosophy and film make great bedfellows. Since then,I have drawn from the best of both arenasin structuringmy philosophy and film studies courses.I rely on philosophers to help students understandthe 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 amalso a documentary filmmaker. My most recent documentary, "Be Thou Always asGuest," a portrait of a 91-year-oldMontana rancher who began an impressive painting career at the age of 78, aired on Montana PBS in May, 2010.

Current Position:

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

Field Of Study:

Film Theory

Documentary Production



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


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.