Cinema & Media Studies

Cancel culture on the silver screen

Iconic films like the 1939 blockbuster “Gone With the Wind” are being scrutinized in light of the Black Lives Matter movement against racial injustice. Cinema studies’ Meta Mazaj says framing films within context is more valuable than erasure and disclaimers.

Louisa Shepard

Reality replaces virtual reality

What was supposed to be a cinema and media studies course to create virtual reality films on the Philadelphia Museum of Art collections became individual films by the students about the realities and connections to the pieces they researched.

Louisa Shepard

International film and the Oscars

Cinema & Media Studies Senior Lecturer Meta Mazaj describes Hollywood's traditional attitude toward international films and the chances of Korean film “Parasite” winning Best Picture at the Oscars.

Brandon Baker

‘13 Reasons Why’ and media effects on suicide

in a recent study, researchers estimated that an additional 195 suicide deaths among 10- to 17-year-olds occurred in the nine months after the 2017 release of the first season of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.”

Penn Today Staff

Immersive stories to spur action on climate

Organized by the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH), a two-day festival, “Environmental Storytelling and Virtual Reality” begins Friday, and will explore how virtual reality and other immersive storytelling might inspire action on climate change.

Katherine Unger Baillie



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In the News


The Washington Post

Conservative media helps Trump perform ‘law and order’ in Portland, with risks for November

Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center spoke about media coverage of the federal crackdown in Portland, Oregon. “The framing of this is dramatically different news channel to news channel, and this is an instance in which the visuals are difficult to understand because you’re seeing people in what look to be a kind of military uniform, and it’s unfolding at night,” she said.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Disney cast the Little Mermaid as a black woman. Why that unnerved some is the same reason others rejoiced

Ebony Elizabeth Thomas of the Graduate School of Education discussed the casting of a black woman as Ariel in the upcoming “Little Mermaid” remake. “Whether it’s seeing people of color traveling faster than the speed of light, or as superheroes, dragons, or even mermaids, when we see ourselves in these roles, even as kids we believe we can do anything,” she said. “These images shape our minds on a subconscious level.”

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Chronicle of Higher Education

Virtual reality comes to the classroom

Peter Decherney of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about the virtual-reality films he creates with students. “In an immersive experience, you have to give up a lot of control. I compare it to a museum visit,” he said. “Spectators have to become more active in the process.”

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BBC News

Decline of soap operas: Was OJ Simpson to blame?

Joan DeJean of the School of Arts and Sciences commented on the soap operas of the 1990s, which were immensely popular due to their narrative structure. “There is no ending prescribed; they can go on for years, decades,” said DeJean.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

She’s only a sophomore at Penn and she’s nominated for an Oscar

Sophomore Claire Sliney of Los Angeles is the first Penn student to be nominated for an Academy Award while currently enrolled. Sliney is the executive producer of “Period. End of Sentence.” It is a documentary short film about the fight against menstrual stigma in rural India.

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Miami Herald

Sex and violence were pumped up to “Americanize” Jane the Virgin, study finds

A new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that “Jane the Virgin,” like many other English-language adaptations of telenovelas, was augmented to feature more sex and violence than the original version in order to appeal to American audiences. These changes “could in turn adversely affect its adolescent Hispanic audiences,” wrote the report’s co-authors, Darien Perez Ryan and Patrick E. Jamieson.

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