The University Record, September 18, 1995

Film, video program ‘poised to do many different things’

By Bernie DeGroat
News and Information Services

It’s only fitting that film scholar Gaylyn Studlar, the new director of the U-M Program in Film and Video Studies, is an accomplished cellist with two degrees in music. After all, developing strong ties with other academic areas on campus and providing students with a broad-based education are among her goals for the film and video studies program.

“We’re hoping to expand the program’s profile in working with other departments and schools within the University to cross-fertilize both the creative and intellectual aspects of studying film and video,” says Studlar, who taught at Emory University for eight years.

Studlar plans to collaborate with other units on campus to develop curricular areas such as the study of screenwriting, international visual culture, interactive media, computer animation and new technologies of the moving image.

While a national reputation is important, Studlar does not envision the University’s program achieving such a reputation by becoming a narrowly focused trade school for film makers.

“I think our function is to maintain film and video as a concentration in which students receive the full range of the University’s possibilities for an excellent undergraduate education in the broadest sense,” she says. “We’re not training students to shoot them into the film industry. We’re educating them for life. We’re training their minds.”

Studlar says that she was attracted to the University’s Program in Film and Video Studies because of its balance of theory and applied courses, its connection with the community, the variety and quality of its students, and the enthusiasm of the faculty, both those officially connected to the program and those who have worked to sustain interest in film across the campus.

“The program is moving forward and growing, and is poised to do many different things,” she says. “It has a combination of strengths with which I wanted to be involved, and on which we can build an outstanding future.”

Studlar has a doctorate in communication (cinema) and a master’s degree in music from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s in music from Texas Tech University.

Studlar, whose research centers on gender issues in film, will have her third book, This Mad Masquerade: Stardom and Masculinity in the Jazz Age, published early next year by Columbia University Press.