family through the decades; women's studies could view film representations of women; religious studies could view films as they represent beliefs and changing beliefs; psychology could study films for Freud's impact on this century; political science could study films for the evolution of political beliefs and the impact of political beliefs in certain eras—to provide just a few suggestions. The instructor, armed with a film encyclopedia, can introduce an element that he or she may have been unsure how to introduce: encountering and negotiating with a popular medium which has shaped ideas and beliefs.
Undoubtedly, there is much yet to be said about, written about, and experimented with in the teaching of film, and teaching with film. I have only made that proverbial scratch on the surface. But this scratch is an important one. Teaching with film has often been confined to the literature department as though it is a hothouse plant. Bringing it out into the curriculum liberates a powerful medium which, for better and worse, has helped shape our sociopolitical identities, beliefs, and ideals. In composition classes, and in many other classes, in which underprepared students will be increasingly challenged to question and defy hegemonic discourses, commercial film is an ideal text.