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Chair's Corner: Fall 2022

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Media, Film & Journalism Studies

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Greetings from MFJS.

I hope you are well as the weather gets cooler and days get shorter. Here at DU we are in the last days of our Fall Quarter. Students are getting ready for finals, working on projects, and engaging with community members. It is an exciting, but tiring time in the building.

It is also a great time to reflect on the work our faculty do outside of the classroom. When they aren’t teaching, our faculty are writing books and journal articles, making documentaries, writing screenplays for narrative work, and raising money for important health campaigns in our community. Students, parents and alumni frequently forget that faculty are required to lead vibrant and productive lives as researchers, creative artists, and scholars. In addition, faculty in our department serve in a wide range of roles across campus. Dr. Renée Botta, for example, both serves as the President of the University of Denver Faculty Senate and helps to run an international WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) program. In addition, she has raised thousands of dollars for her work with individuals experiencing homelessness in Denver.

Along these lines, in this edition of our newsletter, you’ll be able to read about Dr. Kareem El Damanhoury’s research. This year, Dr. El Damanhoury was selected to present the prestigious Livingston Lecture in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences on October 20. In his lecture, Dr. El Damanhoury traced the evolution of “propaganda” from ancient times to modern day Instagram feeds, highlighted ISIS as an exemplar of extremist actors who have managed to build alternative, visually dominant media systems, and present China as a case study for authoritarian states expanding their targeted communication globally to promote their ideologies and undermine their rivals. Similarly, you’ll be able to read about the research and teaching of our newest faculty members in this edition. You’ll also find updates from all of our faculty in our MFJS Spotlight, where we highlight exciting announcements and projects each quarter.

As usual, our students in the MFJS department are also impressing us daily with their pursuits, both in the classroom and outside of it. We’ve included an interesting article on Michael Cox, Lila Ruppe and Ambriel Speagle, our three Lance Clem Internship Scholarship winners. The Clem Scholarships are an important funding source for our students, and I think you’ll enjoy reading about how internships have set these students up for success. We have a profile of our undergraduate Film Club, and a piece detailing the exciting new opportunities for students offered by our Journalism Capstone course.

You’ll also be able to read about the achievements of our graduates in our Alumni Spotlight. This quarter we’re featuring graduate student alum T. Michael Boddie, who uses his communications experience as an education reporter in South Carolina.



Derigan Silver, PhD
Chair, Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies