For a talented group of students and young alumni from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the dream of having their film screened at a Los Angeles film festival was realized this summer. The showcase, hosted by the College of Arts and Letters, was held at the Directors Guild of America Theatre this summer. It featured six student films and a short documentary from the “First Time Fans” series, directed by alumni filmmakers.
In 2004, Fox’s American Idol drew 27 million viewers each week, Netflix was solely a DVD-rental service, YouTube didn’t exist, and no one at the University of Notre Dame could major in television. Ten academic years of the television major at Notre Dame later, it is now the department’s highest-enrolled concentration, and graduates can explain why the television industry has changed so much, point to previous eras in TV history that can help us predict what future developments are on the way, discuss the cultural implications of the changing entertainment landscape, and credit a growing slate of internships for allowing them to witness these developments firsthand.
Two faculty members and former chairs who were instrumental in the development of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are taking their final bows. Mark Pilkinton, who expanded the department in the 1980s and pushed for the building of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, retired this summer. Donald Crafton unified the department during his tenure as chair and expanded it to include film and television studies. He will retire after the fall semester.
From the first flicker of life in Frankenstein’s monster to the spark of unexpected connection between two high school students, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s 2016-17 theatre season features an array of diverse, compelling productions. The department will present two student-written plays, In Paradisum and The Pink Pope, followed by an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and Christ’s Passion: Medieval Mystery Plays.
Matthew Payne will join Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) as an assistant professor this fall, bringing research and teaching interests that range from the rapidly evolving field of video games and interactive entertainment to convergent media, new media literacy, media representations of war, and ethnographic audience research. His book, Playing War: Military Video Games After 9/11, examines how games like the Call of Duty and Battlefield series “transform international strife into interactive fun."
An interdisciplinary group of media critics and creators from around the world gathered at Notre Dame this summer to discuss issues related to television, video, audio, new media, and feminism. Console-ing Passions, held on campus from June 16 to 18, began in 1989 as an effort by feminist media scholars and artists to foster new scholarship on television, culture, and identity.