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Olivia DrakeFebruary 15, 20225min
As the recipient of a Chicken & Egg Pictures award, lauded filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain will continue telling the stories of ways underrepresented people experience life in the United States. Strain, the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, associate professor of film studies, and co-director of the Wesleyan Documentary Project, is one of only six documentary film directors to receive the Chicken & Egg award in 2022. The honor comes with an unrestricted $50,000 grant. "The Chicken & Egg Award makes bold investments in the personal and professional wellbeing of visionary women and gender nonconforming documentary makers,” said Chicken & Egg Pictures…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 24, 202215min
  It is not every day that an academic history book inspires a film by one of the world’s leading directors, especially when its author is former provost and professor emerita of history, Judith C. Brown. Brown’s widely-praised book, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (Oxford University Press, 1986) was recently adapted into a film, Benedetta (2021). The book tells the story of Benedetta Carlini (1590-1661), an abbess in Tuscany, who was imprisoned for claiming false visions and for allegedly having sexual relations with one of her nuns, Sister Bartolomea. Benedetta’s story remained undiscovered until Brown,…

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Olivia DrakeApril 6, 20213min
A film written, directed, and produced by College of Film and the Moving Image faculty Randall MacLowry and Tracy Heather Strain explores the life and times of author L. Frank Baum, the creator of the beloved classic American narrative, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. MacLowry is assistant professor of the practice in film studies and Strain is associate professor of film studies. Together they direct the Wesleyan Documentary Project. Titled American Oz, the documentary depicts how Baum continued to reinvent himself—working as a chicken breeder, actor, marketer of petroleum products, shopkeeper, newspaperman, and traveling salesman—while reinterpreting his observations through films,…

Olivia DrakeMay 31, 202010min
Wesleyan's Board of Trustees recently announced the promotions of nine faculty members, effective July 1, 2020. Five faculty were conferred tenure with promotion. They join six other faculty members who were awarded tenure earlier this spring. Joslyn Barnhart Trager, associate professor of government Anthony Keats, associate professor of economics Andrew Quintman, associate professor of religion Michael Slowik '03, associate professor of film studies Takeshi Watanabe, associate professor of East Asian studies In addition, four faculty members are being promoted. They join one other faculty member who was promoted earlier this spring. Erika Franklin Fowler, professor of government Barbara Juhasz, professor…

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Cynthia RockwellMarch 30, 20202min
Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith, together P’22 and founders of Firelight Media, joined the Wesleyan Documentary Project co-directors Tracy Strain and Randall MacLowry ’86 for an online forum with the Wesleyan community to discuss Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, for which Nelson was director/producer and Smith was consulting producer. (more…)

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Lauren RubensteinFebruary 13, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News 1. Hartford Courant: "Jeanine Basinger, the 'Professor of Hollywood,' Is Wesleyan University's Homegrown Screen Legend" Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Emerita Jeanine Basinger, whom this article notes has been dubbed “the professor of Hollywood” and “an iconic figure in American cinema, one of the most beloved and respected film history professors in the history of film studies” by The Hollywood Reporter, is interviewed on the occasion of her 60th year at Wesleyan, and the 50th since she created its film program. She talks about her next book on American film comedy, shares some of her favorite things,…

Lauren RubensteinFebruary 6, 20204min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline “Academic rigor, journalistic flair.” In this article, Assistant Professor of Film Studies Michael Slowik '03 writes about how film scores can "convey and amplify a film's emotional landscape" by considering two films nominated for 2020 Oscars for best score. The secret to the success of two Oscar-nominated scores Every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards an Oscar to the film with the best original score. The best scores—like those from Lawrence of Arabia and Black Panther—convey and…

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 16, 20202min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. The Washington Post: "How One College Is Helping Students Get Engaged in Elections—and, No, It’s Not Political" President Michael Roth writes about Wesleyan's initiative to engage students meaningfully in work in the public sphere ahead of the 2020 elections, and calls on other colleges and universities to do the same. He writes: "Now is the time for higher education leaders to commit their institutions to find their own paths for promoting student involvement in the…

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Olivia DrakeJanuary 16, 20203min
On Jan. 12, several creatives gathered in Mumbai, India, to share valuable insights on liberal arts and the impact of Indian cinema on global entertainment. The event, Liberal Arts + Film and Storytelling: A Wesleyan University Forum, brought together Wesleyan faculty, distinguished alumni, aspiring students and their parents, and the wider Wesleyan community across the globe. Speakers included Wesleyan President Michael Roth '78; Scott Higgins, Charles W. Fries Professor of Film Studies and director of Wesleyan’s College of Film and the Moving Image; and acclaimed global film- and entertainment-industry personalities Matthew Weiner '87, P '18, and Navdeep Singh. Weiner is…

Lauren RubensteinDecember 17, 20193min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News NPR: "Book Review: 'The Movie Musical!' Is a Symphony in Praise of the 'Razzmatazz' of the Genre" "Encyclopedic in scope, but thankfully not in structure, The Movie Musicals! is a downright delightful read," this NPR review of Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Emerita, Jeanine Basinger's new book proclaims. The Movie Musicals! truly "dazzles" for its insight into the roles these films have played over the 20th century and into the 21st, the review states, noting, "And throughout the…

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Lauren RubensteinNovember 14, 20193min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. Marketplace Tech: "Twitter Bans Political Ads, But Is That All Good?" Associate Professor of Government Erika Franklin Fowler, co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project, is interviewed about Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's announcement that the platform would no longer run political ads. Fowler says implementing this ban is likely to be more complicated than it sounds, and she is skeptical that it will help to reduce the impact of disinformation and improve political discourse. Fowler was…

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Cynthia RockwellSeptember 29, 201910min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News The Hill: "Analysis: 2020 Digital Spending Vastly Outpaces TV Ads" The Hill reports on a new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project, which finds that 2020 presidential hopefuls have spent nearly six times more money on Facebook and Google advertising than on TV ads. President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee lead the way in digital advertising, having spent nearly $16 million so far. All told, Facebook and Google have raked in over $60 million…