Internship Needed at AV Club Philly and Volunteers Needed for Philadelphia Film Festival

Huge opportunities for students interested in writing about art/film/music at AV Club Philly:,55498/

And for students interested in film & video, a huge opportunity to get plugged into the Philadelphia film community by volunteering at the Philadelphia Film Festival:



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From a Program to a Department

Effective today, the Communications Program, 23 years of age, becomes Department of Media and Communication.

This is good news for us, bringing in more recognition and hopefully more resources.

Congratulations to all of you!

Now we have to live up to the promise!

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Internships at WHYY

WHYY would like to announce 18 internship opportunities for the coming fall semester (September – December 2011).

WHYY-FM and WHYY-TV are member stations of National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  WHYY-FM is the most-listened-to public radio station in the Delaware Valley, reaching more than 410,000 individuals, and is the proud producer of such award-winning shows as Fresh Air with Terry Gross and Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane.  WHYY-TV’s broadcast area covers almost 3 million households in the nation’s fourth-largest television market.

Below is the list of the departments offering internships for all majors, including communications, journalism, film/media arts, psychology, English, human resources, finance, marketing, and education.

Community Relations

Corporate Sponsorship and Development

Educational Programs and Services

Finance & Accounting

Friday Arts (WHYY-TV)

Graphic Design – Motion Graphics

Hamilton Public Media Commons Instructional Assistant

Human Resources

On Canvas (WHYY-TV)

Public Information

Radio Times (WHYY-FM)

Voices in the Family (WHYY-FM)



NewsWorks Web Content

WHYY Health and Science News Interactive

WHYY-TV News (Wilmington, DE)

You Bet Your Garden (WHYY-FM)

WHYY will be accepting applications for consideration for the fall beginning June 1st; the Visit our website for complete application instructions.

or contact Anna Shipp at or (215) 351-1261 with any questions .


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Media Books to Read: Girls to the Front

I’ve  started and re-started this post six times already, trying to come up with an intriguing angle on Girls to the Front, the book by Sara Marcus that occupied the coveted “first-book-Michael-will-read-after-the-school-year-ends” for 2010-2011. For the seventh attempt at writing this entry, I’m going to try a simpler approach. Read this book. Trust on this.

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Internships at the Leeway Foundation

The Leeway Foundation ( is currently looking for undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates are accepting applications for paid internships beginning this summer.

The Leeway Foundation was founded in 1993 to support women artists in the Philadelphia area, and currently provides grants and support for art, video, music and other media that promote social change, particularly work that engages issues of gender, sexuality, race and class.

You can learn more about the internship, and the work of Leeway, here:

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Natasha Mendonca Visit to CM program on April 20th, 2011

Screening of award winning film, Jan Villa

International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2011 – Tiger Award
Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2011 – Ken Burns award for best of the festival

Natasha Mendonca will be visiting Arcadia University’s communications program on April 20th, 2011.

She will screen her short film, Jan Villa, which won the top award for short film at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam earlier this year.

After the screening, Natasha will also answer student questions and discuss the process of making this short film.

Here are some sample reviews of the film:

After the monsoon floods of 2005 that submerged Bombay, the filmmaker returns to her city to examine the personal impact of the devastating event. A tapestry of images studies the space of a post-colonial metropolis but in a way that deeply implicates the personal. The destruction wreaked by the floods becomes a telling and a dismantling of other devastations and the sanctuaries of family and home.

Film notes

In its structure, Jan Villa is a vortex, drawing to its center all that surrounds it.

Jan Villa dismantles the time-honored concept of Hasyam rasa (Mirth) by dealing with dual concepts of the architecture of Bombay city and the construction of family and home. The film explores how multiple narratives of the city intersect and collide and how myth and reality intertwine to produce meaning.,3121/NATASHA-MENDONCA-Jan-Villa

Natasha Mendonca’s documentary on Mumbai floods makes it to the Rotterdam International Film Festival

When the monsoon floods of 2005 ravaged Mumbai, bringing the city to its knees, independent filmmaker Natasha Mendonca had a hard time coping with its vagaries. Her family mansion in Borivali, Jan Villa, was completely inundated, leaving it “in a miserable state”. “There was water half way up the walls, completely spoiling the fabric of the building. We later sold it off for a pittance,” recalls Mendonca, 32. Last year she shot a 20-minute documentary, Jan Villa, based on her recollections of the floods, as part of a thesis submission for her Masters in Film and Video from the California Institute of Arts, USA. The film is one of the two Indian entries in the running for this year’s Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which carries a cash prize of euros 15,000 (approximately Rs 9 lakhs). The festival begins on January 26.

Jan Villa – Natasha Mendonca, USA/India, 2010

In Jan Villa, the filmmaker succeeds in telling a deeply moving story that is at once personal and universal. What begins as an outsider’s point-of-view imperceptibly transforms to subjective camera. Through poetic images and notably without the use of voice-over, the film maker intimately reveals to us the soul of a city after devastation.

Rotterdam Short Film Nomination for the European Film Awards 2011

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The Futures of Media Studies

(x-posted from

The October issue of PMLA, the official publication of the Modern Language Association, was among my favorite reads of the year. The special issue on “Literary Criticism for the Twenty-First Century,” however, has held top-of-the-coffee-table status for three strong months now.  One of the reasons why, aside from the general quality of the scholarship,  is what Jonathan Culler calls in the introductory essay “a motif of return.” One of my major research areas is the function of nostalgia–the much-maligned practice of mournfully looking backward that, in my work, I argue can be utilized for diverse and overlapping purposes. Far from being ahistorical, I argue elsewhere, nostalgia tells us about our affective relationships, which are always historical relationships.

It’s perhaps natural that literary studies would get a little nostalgic. Literature and literary scholarship are fascinated with the past. The discipline itself is derived from the tradition of the scribes charged with cataloging the history of their society. Consider its titanic figures–Homer, Shakespeare, Balzac, Hegel, Marx, Twain, Dickinson, Ellison — even literary studies after the age of critical theory has found itself ever drawn to the past. This is, of course, a great strength. One of literary studies’ primary functions is to retain, reexamine, and recontextualize the culture of past societies, and it utilizes its past to think through problems of the present. Retrospection does not equal regression, and many of the best works of criticism, critical theory, and literary analysis have profited from looking back over past historical developments (Foucault’s The Birth of the Clinic), past texts (Fiedler’s “Come Back to the Raft Ag’in, Huck Honey!”) or past figures (Holly Jackson’s work on Emma Dunham Kelley) . As such, the motif of return that Culler notes in his introduction comes as no real surprise.

But, I found myself wondering while reading the issue, what about media studies? For all of literary studies’ interest in its past, looking backward is much more taboo in the realm of media studies. A special issue of Screen or Cinema Journal subtitled “The Future of Media Studies” would, I’d wager, feature much less retrospection.  Whether it is the discussion on social media networks, panels at the recent Society for Cinema and Media Studies convention, or job listings for new professorships, the emphasis in media studies certainly does not seem to lay in silent cinema, the industrial history of radio, or music archivists, but rather sexy fields like new media and digital humanities. This is, after all, the same attitude that has allows so much of film and television history to go unarchived, and reflected in something so basic as the Facebook News Feed or Twitter Stream, which updates constantly but allows little easy access to past records.

So how might we think about “the future of media studies”? Frankly, I’m not sure. David Gauntlett has issued a brave attempt here, though I think the 1.0 vs 2.0 dichotomy is one that breaks down under close scrutiny, and truly, one can hardly consider 2.0 to represent “the future” when it actually more closely approximates “the present” or perhaps even “the 1990s” (and, as one of the 1990s primary advocates, I say that without malice).

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