This is the official blog of MCS - the Media and Cinema Studies Program in the College of Communication at DePaul University (Chicago, IL). Here you will find the latest updates from our faculty members about new research and publications, conference talks, sponsored events and more.You'll also find updates from current students and alumni (including career paths, publications and media events).

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dr. Kelli Marshall writes new article for the Chronicle of Higher Education

Dr. Kelli Marshall published a new article in the Chronicle of Higher Education today about her legal struggles trying to publish a new book about actor Gene Kelly.

                                   Related image

A regular contributor to the Chronicle, Marshall describes the effects of a looming lawsuit on her work:

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Prof. Davis Edits Cinema Journal 'In Focus'

Cinema Journal Vol. 56, No. 2 features an 'In Focus' section devoted to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons's Watchmen, edited by Prof. Blair Davis.


In Focus is a regular feature of Cinema Journal in which several short essays examine a case study from multiple perspectives. In addition to writing the introduction, Davis gathered together five scholars (Mark J.P. Wolf, Aaron Taylor, Drew Morton, Kathryn Frank and Dana Polan) to look at Watchmen's role within film, media and comics studies, exploring ideas about canonization, world-building, transmedia, adaptation, digital comics, authorship and academia.

The full section can be found here:

Monday, 6 February 2017

New MCS courses for Spring & Summer Quarters

The Media and Cinema Studies Program is offering three brand new courses between the Spring and Summer quarters:

Faculty: Judith McCray
Spring Quarter 2017
Mondays/Wednesdays, 1:30-3:00pm, Loop Campus

This course explores the how, what and why of “Impact” media and “Social Justice” documentaries that are intended to inform, uplift or inspire social change.  Sourcing contemporary issues and change agents takes much more than having a good idea and preliminary vision.  This course will cover the nuts and bolts of what makes a compelling impact film—how to develop an idea into a concept; how to expand a concept into a story with a viable message; how to secure expert sources and supporting subjects; how to determine and manage the conflict that is inherent in a social issue and necessary for good storytelling; and how creativity and audio/visual elements enhance the storytelling and messaging.  Students will examine and critique Chicago-based and other long-form media, while developing a concept and structure for their own social justice film.

Crosslisted with AMS 395
Faculty: Molly Schneider
Spring Quarter 2017
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 9:40-11:10am, Lincoln Park Campus

This course will be a survey of the concept of "quality" TV, exploring the ways the term "quality" has emerged and circulated at different periods in television history. The course will begin with early discourses of quality and progress through the political wave of the 1960s, the “quality” sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s, police and legal dramas of the 1990s, the explosion of “quality” cable dramas in the late 1990s and 2000s, and, finally, the move to critically-acclaimed web-based series from Netflix and Amazon. We will address the notion of TV quality from industrial, cultural, and textual standpoints. What makes a program “quality” television, and who decides? How has the term changed and/or evolved? What textual and aesthetic strategies are associated with quality? What does it look like? What does it sound like? What are the commercial implications of quality? Who makes quality TV? Who watches quality TV, and who is depicted on quality TV? What are the limits of quality as a designation? Students in the course will address these critical questions as they explore quality as a important and complex topic in television studies.

Faculty: Jason Sperb
Summer II, 2017  (July 17 – August 20)
Tuesdays/Thursdays, 5:45-9:00pm, Loop Campus

This course will focus on the many ups and downs over the decades of Disney’s slow aesthetic, economic, and cultural growth, providing a foundation for better understanding the company today. In addition to analyzing particular Disney texts (some well-known and many not well-known), special emphasis will be paid to the many facets of the studio’s first critical and commercial success in the 1930s, its struggles with bankruptcy throughout the 1940s, and its hugely successful re-branding as a prominent component of a new post-war leisure culture in the 1950s and 1960s. Extensive attention will also be paid to the company’s considerable revival and expansion under the “Team Disney” leadership of the 1980s and 1990s, as well as some reflection on the recent investment in once-competing brands such as Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Public Talk by Prof. Davis

Prof. Blair Davis is giving a talk at the Morton Grove Public Library on Saturday January 21, 2017, 2 pm, on his new book Movie Comics. He will show and discuss clips from the 1940s film serials starring Superman, Captain Marvel, Batman and Captain America.

For more information:

Thursday, 8 December 2016

New Book by Prof. Davis - Movie Comics

New Book by Prof. Davis - Movie Comics

Prof. Blair Davis has recently published a new book, Movie Comics: Page to Screen/Screen to Page, from Rutgers University Press. Examining the ways in which movies and comics adapted each other between 1900 and 1960, Movie Comics is the first book to closely examine the relationship between the film and comics industries between 1930 and 1960, as well as how films and television programs were adapted into comic books in the Classical Hollywood era.

Publisher's Weekly calls Movie Comics "an enlightening, scholarly history. Davis treats his topic seriously while also celebrating the pleasures of these two lively arts." Comics scholar Scott Bukatman says "Movie Comics makes a crucial contribution to media studies not only by unearthing and exploring the very long history of comics adapted for the screen, but also by simultaneously covering the myriad ways that comics presented material originally produced for film and television. The real subject of this book is the never-ending saga of media mediating one another, and in Blair Davis’s most capable hands, it’s a tale meticulously researched and engagingly told." Film scholar Dana Polan says ""His proven talent for trenchant research well on display, Blair Davis not only chronicles comics' influence on cinema but shows innovatively the movies' frequent adaptation into comics. A masterful study."

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Chicago Film Seminar at DePaul, Thurs Oct 20th

The Media and Cinema Studies Program is the host of the Chicago Film Seminar, which returns this month. Please join us for the first event of the 2016-2017 season of the Chicago Film Seminar on Thursday, October 20th, at 7:30 PM, to welcome Professor Amyar Jean Christian (Northwestern University) for his talk, "The Art of Scale: Production Value in Networked Television." A reception will follow.

The event will be held in our Communication Theater, LL102 Daley.

You will find more detailed information about the talk and Professor Christian through this link:

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

MCS Graduate Student Jacob Oller writes for

This summer, current Media and Cinema Studies graduate student Jacob Oller had an article published on Roger Ebert's website,

Image result for

 His article, "A Gamer Defends Warcraft," offers an alternative reading of Duncan Jones' 2016 film Warcraft, an adaptation of the popular video game. Oller credits his work in Prof. Davis's Spring 2016 course on Adaptation as a launching pad for some of the ideas explored in the article, in which he compares the role of visual fidelity and narrative fidelity in how the film has been received by audiences and critics.

"Ultimately," concludes Oller, "'Warcraft' is the best video game adaptation we’ve gotten so far because it understands itself. “Warcraft” is a broad, goofy, trope-embracing soap opera that isn’t trying to be more—it’s pro wrestling if a spellslinger turned heel and the absurdly muscular heroes carried battle axes—and it’s a definite step in the right direction for the future of video game films."

Congratulations, Jacob!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

New Book From Prof. Paul Booth

Prof. Paul Booth's new book, Crossing Fandoms: SuperWhoLock and the Comtemporary Fan Audience, is now out from Palgrave Pivot.

               Image result for booth crossing fandoms

In the book, Booth "examines the fan-created combination of Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Supernatural as a uniquely digital fan experience, and as a metaphor for ongoing scholarship into contemporary fandom" and "explores the fan-created crossover universe known as SuperWhoLock—a universe where Sherlock Holmes and Dean Winchester work together to fight monsters like the Daleks and the Weeping Angels; a world where John Watson is friends with Amy Pond; a space where the unique brands of fandom interact. Booth argues that SuperWhoLock represents more than just those three shows—it is a way of doing fandom. Through interviews with fans and analysis of fan texts, Crossing Fandoms: SuperWhoLock and the Contemporary Fan Audience also demonstrates how fan studies in the digital age can evolve to take into account changing fan activities and texts."

Friday, 26 August 2016

Prof. Davis part of an Award-Winning Anthology

The Blacker the Ink: Constructions of Black Identity in Comics and Sequential Art, an anthology which features Prof. Blair Davis's essay "Bare Chests, Removable Afros and Silver Tiaras: The Visual Design of Black Comic Book Superheroes," recently won a Will Eisner Comics Industry Award  for Best Academic/Scholarly Work. Congratulations to editors Frances Gateward and John Jennings, and to Prof. Davis.

              Image result for blacker the ink

The "Eisners" are the top award given by the comics publishing industry, and they give one annual award for comics-related scholarly work. For further information, see:

               Image result for eisner awards winner

Monday, 11 July 2016

Paul Booth Giving a Public Talk on Game Play

 Prof. Paul Booth will give a free public talk about his recent book Game Play at The Gaming Goat in Oak Park on July 23rd at 1 pm. A book signing will be held following his talk.


Fore more details: