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."
Disheartened by anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anne García-Romero resolved to write a play that explored the intricacies and nuances of interfaith love, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. After years in the making, that work has become a reality. Paloma—which received its West Coast premiere and ran for a month this summer at the Los Angeles Theatre Center—focuses on a romance between a Muslim man and a Christian woman.
Eugene Staples has a vision: Entertainment can be more than a distraction—it can be an inspiration. It can teach kids how to be better people. It can make the world a better place. That sense of responsibility—the desire to make things that make an impact—was sparked at Notre Dame, and was recognized this spring by the Television Academy Foundation, which honored him with a Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship.
Jeff Spoonhower ’99 has been appointed assistant professor of film and digital media production in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT). A 12-year veteran of the video game and animation industries, Spoonhower shares with students the very same production techniques and tools he uses in his award-winning professional work.
Donald Crafton, who holds Notre Dame’s first endowed chair for film studies — has been awarded a 2014 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. From a group of almost 3,000 applicants, the foundation awarded 177 Fellowships this year to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.” Crafton, the Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Film, Television, and Theatre, will use his Guggenheim Fellowship to research and write about a group of Los Angeles artists who influenced the visual style of the Disney animation studio in the 1930s.
Mary Celeste Kearney, whose work focuses on gender, youth and media culture, joins Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theater (FTT) this fall as associate professor. Michael Kackman, a cultural historian and media scholar, will also join FTT as special professional faculty. Kackman and Kearney, who often collaborate, previously taught at the University of Texas at Austin.