Published: July 28, 2020
Kate behind a film camera

Kate E. Hinshaw, MFA, recently graduated from the Cinema Studies and Moving Image Arts program. She works as a tactile filmmaker and cinematographer interested in using the cinematic gaze to render visible the interiority of the feminine. Tactily, she works with 16mm and super 8mm film through bleaching, scratching, painting, and burning the emulsion in order to tell stories through color and texture. Kate was recently awarded a Teaching Excellence Award based on her teaching philosophy and dedication to her students. We asked Kate a few questions to learn more about her as a teacher and get to know her better. Read more below!

What is your favorite part about teaching?

My favorite part about teaching is cultivating space that exists for the sole purpose of engaging ideas. For 2.5 hours it's not about making money or getting a job. It's about creative exploration, testing out new concepts, and bouncing ideas off of one another. It's a unique and wonderful thing.

Please tell us a little bit about your pedagogical philosophy.

As a teacher, I am committed to promoting accessibility in the arts and encourage my students to situate their films within their complex and challenging worlds, and in relation to their own lives and other practices. As a former film student myself, there were many times in my undergraduate career that I felt limited by the way I was taught to embrace a traditional Hollywood male-centric and singular gaze. For this reason, I ensure that the films I present in class are by BIPOC, women-identified, and gender queer filmmakers. Additionally, I emphasize hands-on learning within the classroom, encourage my students to learn by trial and error, and embrace obstructions as creative challenges. After establishing foundational techniques in camera, lighting and audio, I encourage students to break rules with intention and bring their perspective and personal experience to the forefront of their work above all else. Throughout the semester, I meet with students individually to ensure that they feel heard and empowered to continue when their work feels overwhelming or challenging. Above all else, I hope that my students walk away from my class with the feeling that they can express themselves visually no matter what.

Do you have a favorite teaching resource you would like to share with other graduate teachers?

Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks is a great read and should be required reading for all graduate teachers.

Do you have any recommendations for continuing or increasing student advocacy and engagement?

Schedule lots of one on one meetings. Often students just need to verbally process ideas or vent in order to get on the right track. Ask follow up questions and let them lead the conversation. Check-in on students who fall behind with an open mind. Students juggle a lot on top of being fresh out of the nest. Sometimes they just need someone to hear them out.

Tell us a fun fact about you that is not related to your teaching and research.

Since the pandemic started I've become obsessed with roller skating. It's a really fun way to shake off the pandemic ickiness and easy to do social distancing. Knee pads are a must!