For several years students in Dr. Kyle Dickson’s Eighteenth-Century British Literature have produced research projects as a way to share key texts from the Enlightenment with a broader audience. It’s easy to complete academic research for an audience of one–the professor–so this assignment has attempted to ask students to communicate research from an upper-level course to general audience.
Jonathan Swift and Ireland – Victoria Stowe
Coffeehouse Chatter – Chander Gum & Lauren Shrader
The Collier Controversy – Ashley De Pree
Satire: From Swift to Colbert – Julia Curtis
Last fall we had a chance to work with a number of students from the Honors College taking HON 401: Short Film Production. Wanted to make sure we took the opportunity to share the remarkable work, produced in teams within a short 5-week semester. They tackled technical challenges using LS checkout equipment, many of them for the first time. At the same time they kept their eye on the the shape of compelling stories. Really proud of their work.
Over the last two years, students in Dr. Mark Hamilton’s honors sections of BIBL 211: Message of the Old Testament have produced short films in teams. Groups of four develop short 4-5 minute video projects that reflect on themes such as lament, sacrifice, atonement, among others.
Once groups have selected biblical texts they consider how they respond “to the historical background, literary shaping, theological purpose, and interpretive history (i.e., the understanding of the text on the part of later readers) of the given text.”
Here are a few examples of their work.
Here are a few other elements of the assignment:
1. The video should not use footage created by other people. (So, no Lego Bible stories or similar things.)
2. The video should include appropriate voice work by all the team members and should show some measure of creativity.
3. The team should produce a script for the video and submit it along with the video.
4. The video should be well-informed by deep reflection on the biblical texts and themes on which students have been working.
In 2011 shy, unassuming Writing Center director Dr. Cole Bennett stunned audiences with his riveting portrayal of a shmarmy boss in their first promotional parody of The Office. This fall he returns in a more ambitious role inspired by the hoity grammarians at Downton Abbey.
The shorts were written and directed by Christina Johnson and Learning Studio alum Ben Weaver and feature student tutors from the Writing Center. Christina has been working with Dr. Bennett since she was an undergrad, finishing a BA in English in 2011. This last spring she was the first Masters candidate to defend a screenplay thesis to complete her MA in Creative Writing.
Christina is now an Associate Producer and Researcher for AMS Pictures in Dallas, working on a number of television and documentary projects including shows for HGTV.
Congrats Christina and Ben, and we’re looking forward to seeing bigger things in the near future.