The Scholarly Environment

To assist students in developing a well-rounded profile in both teaching and research, the Department promotes a lively academic culture through various department activities, provides thorough and extensive education in teaching, and emphasizes the search for positions that are compatible with student skills, interests, and career plans.

Sponsored Events and Speakers

The Department regularly invites scholars from a variety of disciplines to present their research at open lectures and graduate seminars. Participants in our annual lecture in communication have included Faye Ginsburg, Robert Allen, Catherine Lutz, Dan Streible, Robert T. Craig, Janet Staiger, and filmmaker Isaac Julien. Each year, the department hosts three named lectures: the J. Jeffrey Auer Memorial Lecture in Public Communication, the James O. Naremore Lecture, and the Richard Bauman Lecture. Presenters have included Wendy Brown, Michael Warner, Steven Mailloux, David Zarefsky, Martha Watson, Michael McGee, Edwin Black, Michael Leff, William Doty, Celeste Condit, Phillip Wander, Mark McPhail, Barbie Zelizer, Jay Mechling, John Caldwell, and Diana Taylor.
Other meetings recently hosted or cosponsored by the Department include the annual American Studies Colloquium Series, featuring presentations by Wahneema Lubiano, Susan Jeffords, Lynne Joyrich, and Michael Rogin; the conference on Women, Law and Africa, which included guest presenters from several countries; the annual Crossing the Jordan interdisciplinary conference on cultural studies; "Beyond Dogma 5," a festival of contemporary Danish film; and The Conference on Visual Rhetorics. Among the filmmakers who have visited campus are Peter Bogdanovich, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Peter Greenaway, Isaac Julien, John Landis, Spike Lee, and Ettore Scola.
 The City Lights Film Series presents weekly screenings of classical world cinema for the community and university. The series draws from Indiana University's extensive 16mm-print archive, one of the largest university film archives in the country, and offers graduate students many professional development opportunities, including a weekly radio show on film.  City Lights is run by graduate students in Communication and Culture and other departments. 
 The Gunderson Forum on Rhetoric and Public Culture is a forum for faculty and graduate students who are interested in rhetoric and rhetorical approaches to public culture. Its meetings discuss work-in-progress papers, readings and issues relevant to the topos.


Graduate Research

The Department hosts a colloquium series (organized by the Lecture and Colloquium Committee) in which guest speakers, faculty and student award winners give presentations on their work followed by open discussion. The colloquium series  provides a forum for interdisciplinary discussion among department members.

The Graduate Student Committee organizes regular research events in which students present their work, in the form of work-in-progress papers, practice conference presentation panels, or rehearsals of job talks, which are excellent opportunities to receive feedback from fellow students as well as faculty.

Our students are active in presenting papers at national and regional conferences, and these papers are routinely awarded "top paper" status among competitive submissions. Both the Department and the University Graduate School provide modest financial support for travel to these conferences, where students have the opportunity to begin to build a network of personal and professional relationships.

In addition to making colloquium and conference presentations, students are encouraged to hone their essays toward publication. A partial list of journals in which students from the department have published essays – either while completing their degree or shortly after graduation – includes Argumentation and Advocacy, Cineaste, Culture, Theory and Critique, Journal of American Folklore, Political and Legal Anthropology, Quarterly Journal of Speech, Screen, and Rhetoric and Public Affairs.


Graduate Teaching

Most students in the Department are funded through Associate Instructorships to teach two sections of one course each semester. Because of the diversity within our department, graduate students with teaching appointments have the opportunity to teach a relatively broad range of courses.  CMCL provides a thorough program of preparation, training, and support for classroom teaching.  Recognizing that students on the job market today must demonstrate excellence in teaching, the Department offers opportunities that range from pedagogy seminars to summer teaching orientation programs to numerous opportunities to teach independently.  In addition, CMCL offers a Pedagogy Certificate that students may pursue to develop teaching expertise and demonstrate commitment to teaching excellence.

Advanced CMCL graduate students also have the opportunity to gain significant teaching experience in new academic environments via the Preparing Future Faculty Program (sponsored by the National Communication Association) and the Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship.

The Preparing Future Faculty Program is designed to introduce graduate students to the full range of professional responsibilities in research, teaching, and service that they are likely to encounter in academia. Students have the opportunity to participate in conferences and workshops as well as make site visits to partner colleges and universities, where they can shadow faculty mentors, visit classrooms, teach classes, or present guest lectures.

Students who have completed their graduate coursework may also apply for a Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship. Through this competitive program, students have the opportunity to teach independently for one year at other campuses of the statewide Indiana University system, under the mentorship of a faculty member from the partner institution. This program allows students to work as faculty members in new academic environments with diverse student bodies.


Campus Resources

The Department is supported by excellent campus resources. Indiana University Bloomington has the fourth largest research library in the Big Ten. Current holdings include more than 6 million books and periodicals and more than 2 million audiovisual materials. Special collections include the Archives of Traditional Music (the largest university-based ethnographic sound archive in the United States), the David Bradley collection of more than 3,000 16mm films, and the most extensive working collection of folklore materials in the world.

Most of these resources can be accessed online through the campus network. Because of its rich resources in the area of information technologies, IUB is consistently recognized in the top 10 of "America's Most Wired Colleges." IUB has also been nationally recognized by Time Magazine as a "College of the Year" among research universities.

Other important archive and research collections on campus include:
  • The African American Cultural Center Library, the Black Film Center/Archive, and the Archives of African American Music and Culture together hold more than 5,000 monographs on African American history and culture, 800 historical and contemporary Hollywood and independent films from the silent era to the present, and an extensive collection of recorded music and oral histories.
  • The Bradley Film Collection houses 3,200 16mm films that span the history of cinema in the United States and Europe.
  • The Film and Media Studies collection includes classic and contemporary avant-garde, documentary, and feature films from the United States and abroad.
  • The research collection of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction includes holdings from six continents, including books, serials, data sets, flat art and art objects, photographs, films, and biographical materials dating from 3200 B.C. to the present.
  • The Fine Arts Library holds more than 95,000 volumes and periodicals in the fields of visual art, art history, architecture, design, and related disciplines.
  • The Lilly Library is IU's principal repository of rare books and materials. Its holdings include more than 400,000 books and 6.5 million manuscripts, including the papers of Orson Welles, John Ford, Clifford Odets, and Peter Bogdonavich; annotated scripts from landmark television shows such as I Love Lucy and Star Trek; and other historically significant artifacts, such as an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and newspapers relating to the life of Abraham Lincoln.
IUB also boasts a rich array of facilities to aid teaching and research, including: numerous auditoriums equipped with 16mm projection, slide projection and advanced technologies, such as large screen video, laser disc and DVD projection; Apple and IBM computers; and compact disc and cassette players.

Additionally, the Film and Media Studies office houses a multi-standard VCR, large screen TV monitors with VCRs, laser disc and DVD players, a cinescan viewer, analyzing 16mm projectors and both 16mm and video production equipment.