SCMS 2018

UCLA TFT faculty and alumnae were honored during the Society for Cinema & Media Studies 59th annual conference


Calling it "the most rewarding of all the prizes, and the most meaningful honor," UCLA TFT Cinema and Media Studies Professor John Caldwell received the Award for Outstanding Pedagogical Achievement in Cinema and Media Studies at SCMS 2018, the Society for Cinema & Media Studies' annual conference, which took place March 14-18 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. UCLA TFT CMS Lecturer Erin Hill, author of Never Done: A History of Women's Work in Media Production, was also honored with the Best First Book prize.

Caldwell's honor recognizes his "dedicated, committed, tireless and inspired pedagogy and support for students," says FTVDM Chair Kathleen McHugh. "John's generosity and research knowledge are renowned and vastly generative. We are all very lucky to be able to work with him and certainly have him on the faculty at UCLA TFT."

McHugh described Hill's book as "a tour de force that painstakingly teases out the traces of what had heretofore been women's vital but invisible production labor in Classical Hollywood, as secretaries, assistants, and the like, from studio memos, star bios and other unlikely sources. Theoretically nuanced, accessible, and elegantly written, Hill's book not only tells a story we have not heard before, but provides examples of scholarly methodologies that enable such stories to be told."

During the conference, the UCLA TFT Cinema and Media Studies program also hosted its annual party where two alumnae, SUNY Genesco Professor Jun Okada (Ph.D. '05) and Emory University Professor Beretta Smith-Shomade (Ph.D., '97) were named the 2018 UCLA CMS Alumni of the Year. The awards recognize the work of CMS scholars' publications and influence in the field.

Professor Okada has been a member of the Geneseo faculty since 2006. Her research centers on Asian-American film and video, as well as global art cinema and film culture. She is the author of Making Asian American Film and Video: History, Institutions, Movements (Rutgers University Press, 2015) and teaches Introduction to Film Studies, Black Cinema, Connections in Film Studies and Film Theory. She is the coordinator of the Film Studies minor at Geneseo, as well as the coordinator of the Alan Lutkus International Film Series. Okada is a member of the Black Studies committee and teaches within the Black Studies minor. Her recent publications include Exploiting East Asian Cinemas: Genre, Circulation, Reception; The Routledge Companion to Asian American Media; and Cinema Journal.

"Jun is one of the first of a CMS cohort to deepen and expand research on ethnic cinemas by putting a focus on the institutional dimensions of this work in the contexts of social movements, cultural and racial politics, ethnic communities and professional networks, as well as of government, industry and civil society as 'regulatory' institutions," said Professor Chon Noriega, Okada’s dissertation director. "This work is the counterpart to the study of production cultures within the film and television industry, where few nonwhites participate behind the camera. Jun's work is important in providing a social historical framework for the discussion of Asian American expressive cultures and media, and it has served as a model for subsequent students."

After graduating from UCLA TFT, Smith-Shomade earned a series of faculty and professorial appointments, first at Spellman College, then the University of Arizona and later, Tulane University. Her current appointment as Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at Emory University began in 2016.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles and essays, Smith-Shomade has published three books: Shaded Lives: African-American Women and Television (Rutgers University Press, 2002); Pimpin' Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television (Routledge Press, 2007); and Watching While Black: Centering the Television of Black Audiences (Rutgers University Press, 2015).

In 2008, she was awarded a yearlong Fulbright Fellowship to research and teach at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ife, Nigeria.

"Dr. Smith-Shomade is known as a master teacher and mentor, someone committed to her students on-campus and to her community off-campus," said Professor Caldwell, who presented her with her award. "She has selflessly mentored younger professors and emerging scholars as they have tried make their way and find their place in the field [and] is recognized as an influential, caring, and engaged member of the Black Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. UCLA is honored to be able to continue our relationship with Dr. Beretta Smith-Shomade by awarding her as one of our 2018 UCLA CMS Alumni of the Year recipients."

Each year, UCLA TFT’s Cinema and Media Studies program has a strong presence within the annual conference organized by SCMS. In 2018, 52 faculty, graduate students and alumni presented their latest research. Founded in 1959, SCMS is the primary international and professional organization for university cinema and media studies.

SCMS 2018: (Top, from left) UCLA TFT Associate Professor Ellen Scott poses with Professor Emory University Beretta Smith-Shomade, UCLA TFT Professor John Caldwell, SUNY Genesco Professor Jun Okada, and UCLA TFT FTVDM Chair and Professor Kathleen McHugh; (inset) UCLA TFT Lecturer Erin Hill

Posted: April 5, 2018