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Vol 40  No 10
February 21, 2008



In Brief

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Film studies minor now a reality
by Janet Harron

Memorial University undergraduates now have a new option to add further depth to their field of study. The proposal for a Film Studies minor was passed at a meeting of the university Senate on Feb. 12, and will be available as a minor program to students in the 2008/2009 academic year.

The Film Studies minor gathers the existing film courses currently taught in a variety of departments within the Faculty of Arts, such as English, French and Spanish, German and Russian, History, Philosophy, Sociology, and Religious Studies.

The consolidation of these courses, all of which are film-based, is designed to help students appreciate the larger framework in which film is practised, and to encourage a more comprehensive and meaningful understanding of the subject.

“Film is an increasingly important medium for the communication of ideas and, as such, warrants critical attention by the university’s intellectual community,” Dr. Frederick White said, associate dean of graduate studies in the Faculty of Arts, associate professor in the Department of German and Russian and a member of the four-member committee which developed the new minor.

“This minor program is consistent with the Faculty of Arts’ strategy to explore new programs that benefit students and faculty alike. We are very excited about adding film studies to our list of academic programs.”

Like other programs in the Faculty of Arts, students and graduates will be prepared to engage in further social and cultural debates about the role of the film and cultural industries in promoting cross-cultural understanding and social equality. The Film Studies minor will contribute to existing collaborative relationships between the Faculty of Arts and Newfoundland’s growing film industry by giving students the critical reading and writing skills necessary to understand film (and related media) in all of its manifestations, from entertainment to industry, and everything in between.

Dr. Noreen Golfman, committee member and tireless promoter of film in Newfoundland through her establishment of the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival and the consistently popular MUN Cinema Series, was thrilled at the Senate’s decision.

“After a lot of diligent committee work and a great deal of cooperation from all interested parties in the Faculty of Arts I am delighted to see that a long-held dream to establish a film studies program is now well on its way. I am also confident that a lot of students across campus will be happy to hear about this new initiative, as well.”

For further information on the Film Studies minor, interested students are asked to contact the Dean of Arts office.

Senate approves new programs

Professor Don Nichol of Memorial University’s English department is offering a unique Literary London program in the spring semester at Memorial’s Harlow campus. Dr. Nichol will teach two courses – a special topics course on Literary London and English 4041 British Literature 1750-1790. Both courses will incorporate field trips to London landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Bloomsbury, the British Museum, and Westminster Abbey, making literature come alive for students.

Professor Nichol’s wife, actor and director Mary Walsh, will make her teaching debut with two special topics courses – Introduction to Creative Writing: Satire and British Drama in Performance. In the first course, students will write satirical sketches based on their Harlow experience and engage in collaborative projects. For British Drama in Performance students will attend plays in London and environs, write reviews, participate in seminars and keep a journal of their theatre-going experiences. For more, see

The Faculty of Business recently received approval for two new programs at the graduate level.

The EMBA (Petroleum) combines an existing EMBA program with the Master in Oil and Gas Studies. This four semester degree is intended for professionals on a fast-track in the oil and gas sector. It will give students a multi-disciplinary understanding of the oil and gas industry. Demand from professionals in this area is very high, and the Faculty has already received inquiries from potential applicants.

The PhD in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management is the second specialization in the PhD in Management. The Faculty of Business will admit its first class in September 2009.

The Department of Women’s Studies now offers a minor, major and master’s degree in women’s studies. A proposal for the major, approved by the University Senate on Feb. 12, was largely the result of the collective efforts of the undergraduate studies advisory committee and Women’s Studies Council members in the (still relatively new) Department of Women’s Studies, with support from the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts.


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