Three courses combining film and social history will be offered this summer by the department of drama at Catholic University and taught by Kathleen Karr, general manager of the Circle Theaters. The first of the week-long three-credit courses. "The Way We Really Were: America and the '80s on Film," begins Monday. Classes are scheduled Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. with additional required screenings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

The subsequent courses, "Mass Communication in 20th-Century Society" and "The Silent Film," commence Monday, July 25, and Monday, Aug. 8, respectively. Detailed information about fees and registration may be obtained by calling 635-5350 or writing Fay Jennings, Department of Drama. The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. 20064.

The Magic Lantern Basement Cinema has announced a biweekly series of discussions to augment its regular program of weekend film showings during the summer. The ongoing topic of discussion is "Ideology in Film," and the first session meets tonight at 7:30 at 1940 Calvert St. NW. Registration for the five discussion groups is $15, and those interested in enrolling should contact Rich Kazis at 667-8310. The film society's summer programs being this Friday with a free double-bill program at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Summer School, 17th and M Streets NW.

The Smithsonian Resident Associates has scheduled two special film-and-lecture programs for later this month. Raymond Fielding, professor of communication at Temple University and author of "The American Newsreel, 1911-1967," will introduce and discuss a documentary production he also scripted, "Yesterday's Witness: A Tribute to the American Newsreel," on Tuesday, July 26, at 8 p.m. in Baird Auditorium. Museum of Natural History. Tickets are priced at $4 for the general public and $3 for Smithsonian members.

On Thursday, July 28, producer-director Perry Miller Adato will present her three documentary films about American women artists - "Gertrude Stein: When This You See, Remember Me," "Mary Cassatt: Impressionist From Philadelphia" and "Georgia O'Keefe." Ticket prices are again $3 and $4. The program begins at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Hirshhorn Musuem.

Michael Driscoll, a native Washingtonian and Takoma Park resident who played the lead in "Teenage Graffiti," a bucolic romance shot in North Carolina with a cast and crew largely recruited from the Washington area, is scheduled to appear at a benefit premiere of the film Tuesday, July 19 at 9 p.m. at the Wheaton Plaza. The beneficiary is a Wheaton organization, called Middle Earth Youth Services Center. Tickets may be obtained by contacting the Mental Health Association of Montgomery County weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at 949-1255. The movie begins a regular commercial run at several area theaters on July 20.