News and Events

Murray Forman has two new chapters in books published this season. The chapter “‘Hood Work: Hip-Hop, Media Literacy, and Youth Advocacy” appears in “Media Interventions.” Ed. Kevin Howley. New York: Peter Lang. 2013. “Kill the Static: Temporality and Change in the Hip-Hop Mainstream (and its ‘Other’)” is published in “Redefining Mainstream Popular Music.” Eds. Sarah Baker, Andy Bennett, and Jodie Taylor. New York: Routledge. 2013. Murray was also interviewed on the International Association for the Studies of Popular Music-US website about his latest book, “One Night on TV is Worth Weeks at the Paramount: Popular Music on Early Television.”
See: Interview.

Professors Drew Ayers, Nathan Blake, Karen Petruska, Sarah Sinwell,and Joanne Morreale presented papers at the Society for Media and Cinema Studies Conference in Chicago, March 6-10.

Topics in Documentary professor Tracy Heather Strain is co-producer of  Silicon Valley, an American Experience program that aired on PBS on February 5.  Her film explores the history and culture of Silicon Valley through the story of Robert Noyce, founder of Intel who also shares credit for inventing the microchip. See Silicon Valley.

The Boston Globe ran a feature on Craig Robertson in The Insider column in the Boston Globe on January 6.  Christopher Klein interviewed him on the history and uses of the passport. See Craig Robertson.

The New York Times ran a story that featured Craig Robertson and his work on the history of the file cabinet on December 16.  ”The Paper Trail Though History,” a feature in the Books section, described a new area of scholarship called paper studies, and cited Robertson as in the forefront of this group of scholars.  See Paper Trail.

Artist and inventor Rufus Butler Seder gave a talk on “Magic, Art, and Motion Pictures” on November 29.  Rufus is a lenticular artist who is the author of the best-selling  Scanimation® books such as Gallop, Star Wars Scanimation® and the Wizard of Oz  Scanimation®.  His talk explored the history of motion picture devices, and touched on his own award-winning independent films, the optically animated art of others, and his ongoing exploration into new ways of making pictures move.  Meredith Bak, Artemis and Martha Joukowsky Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University, provided a response based on her research on technologies of vision and pre-cinematic optical toys.

The Boston Globe published an article on screenwriting professor Sandra Jaffe’s upcoming film, Our Mockingbird.  The film follows two high schools — one black, one white — near Birmingham, Ala., as they join together to perform a play based on “To Kill A Mockingbird.” Jaffe also interviewed public figures,  from television host Katie Couric, whose grandmother came from Alabama, to G. Douglas Jones, who was the US attorney who prosecuted the reopened case against two former Ku Klux Klan members charged, and eventually convicted, in the killing of four young black girls in a Birmingham church bombing in 1963.
See Our Mockingbird.

Producer Gary Foster, known for films such as Short Circuit, Sleepless in Seattle, The Amazing Panda Adventure, Tin Cup, The Score, Ghost Rider, and The Soloist, as well as for being the executive producer of the television show Community, visited Northeastern University on October 17. He attended Sandra Jaffe’s Screenwriting class, had lunch with Media and Screen Studies students, and later in the day screened his new film, Emperor.

Joanne Morreale published The Donna Reed Show (Wayne State University Press).  This book is part of the Television Milestone Series, which is dedicated to recovering television texts that were important in television history but have not been fully explored.   This book illuminates Donna Reed’s role as an early female television executive, the show’s role as a proto-feminist television text, and the series’ role as one of the first television shows where Hollywood and the television industry came together.

Craig Robertson appeared on Rick Steves’ Europe on National Public Radio on October 1.  He discussed how the passport has become the required document for international travel to and from the U.S.  His talk was based on his book, The History of the Passport, which was published by Oxford University Press in 2010.

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