Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts (CINE) Diversity:
The Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts recognizes our increasingly media-dependent and screen-seeking society and understands the making, distribution, contextualization, and interrogation of visual media in all its forms is an everyday reality. We believe our students and faculty must understand the political nature and inequities embedded in technology, as well as in its content and global dissemination patterns. Our Department has the great opportunity and the tremendous responsibility of fostering an environment in which the creation, interpretation, analysis and engagement with the moving image will open the doors of diversity and inclusivity with every step and at every level.
Our program’s curriculum explores theoretical, historical, analytical and technical concerns in and practices of narrative, experimental non-narrative, and documentary films and filmmaking. Our faculty research, scholarship, filmmaking practice and teaching work to investigate questions of representation of class, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, ability, the environment and the female gaze, while also addressing the tensions between structures of power and social groups that seek greater equity and representation.
We believe that our success is dependent on the diversity of our faculty and student body and we value the intellectual potential of our faculty, students and colleagues to enrich our Department through differences in approach.
Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts Inclusive Excellence:
In all their manifestations, cinema studies and the moving image arts offer a literal “window on the world” (or many worlds). Cinema and media are among the most present and far reaching of social and cultural manifestations and are vehicles through which humanity can be seen, heard, understood, and interrogated. Just as readily, society may be misrepresented, repressed, and misunderstood by the same means.
We foster inclusivity by opening the eyes, minds and hearts of our students and faculty to the richness and impact of cinema culture and moving image arts in a multitude of forms, and by making them aware of the responsibilities that every image-maker and scholar has towards the creation and advancement of an educated, tolerant, anti-racist, and inclusive society.
Inclusive Excellence is central to our role as an academic and artistic community, providing opportunities for greater learning, understanding and growth for all of our students, faculty, and staff within local and global contexts.
Inclusive Excellence, as defined by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, is the “active, intentional and ongoing engagement with diversity” in ways that increase our personal and social “awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication and empathetic understanding” of one another. The Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts looks to enact these principles in our teaching, our hiring, our public programming, and our overall community engagement.
Defining Inclusive Excellence in a Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts Context:
Our Department calls for integrating inclusive excellence into its day-to-day practices of teaching and learning, researching, creating art and serving the discipline, the institution, and public.
The Department of Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts program explores diversity and inclusivity through a wide range of course offerings including A Survey of International Cinema, Contemporary Cinema: Masculinity in Crisis, Major Asian Filmmakers, American Indians in Film, Women and Film, Environmental Cinema, History of Avant-Garde Film and Race, Class & Gender in the U.S. and the Global Borderland.
We supplement courses with diverse screenings in our International Film Series, and by inviting an equally wide range of filmmakers, often ones that are underrepresented in the filmmaking canon and who address historic and contemporary inequities, structures of power, and marginality, to present their work in our First Person Cinema series, the longest running experimental film program of its kind in the country. The Department also engages guest lecturers to visit production classes on a regular basis that have included female, queer, minority, and nonwestern filmmakers.
Our Department offers a critical studies award of $1,000 to students who demonstrate inclusive excellence in critical studies; the grant is directly applied to tuition for a full academic year. We also support students who demonstrate a commitment to researching creative interests, critical film analysis, and creative production who focus on understanding issues of racial or gender inequalities.
Additionally, we hold workshops hosted by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance for faculty, staff, and graduate students to reflect on inherent biases and non-inclusive practices in academic departments. Our faculty also attends bias training for graduate admission processes, hosted by OIEC.
As we continually reflect and refine our curriculum, our department has been greatly inspired by EDIT Media (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Teaching Media), an initiative that developed out of the Gender Caucus and Diversity and Inclusion Caucus of the University Film and Video Association. EDIT Media has culled in incredible trove of teaching resources on best practices for inclusive teaching in media production that we have implemented in curricular revisions in our production courses.
As we move forward with creating inclusive pedagogies and a welcoming departmental climate, we will be looking toward additional departmental workshops from OIEC and other campus offices, expanding our BFA application essay to address inclusivity and equity in our program, and request and design faculty lines that build needed representation in our department. We will also ask that faculty strengthen the components of their courses to address issues of diversity and inclusivity and to assess their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion as part of the annual merit review. We also plan to continue to recruit, mentor and retain members of underrepresented U.S. minority groups to our faculty and student body and interrupt bias in the faculty search process, as well as utilize best hiring practices.
Our discipline must constantly evolve to respond to changing dynamics in film, television, alternative media, experimental media, social media, and integrative media art forms. For us, inclusive excellence begins by contextualizing and interrogating dominant forms of representation, exploring and defining alternative, marginalized, and resistant cultural and social media practices, and offering a space where the rigorous discussion, exploration, practice and understanding of various representations is welcomed, encouraged, and facilitated. To this end, we are committed to assess our progress at regular intervals and to revisit and update this diversity statement on an annual basis.