Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maura Grady Brings Film Studies to AU English

Maura Grady poses with her collection of Mad Men figures.

New English faculty member Maura Grady is piloting Ashland University’s screenwriting course, which replaced playwriting in the creative writing major.   She also teaches ENG371 Literature and Film, and is developing new courses in film history, theory, and production, with the goal of offering a major in film studies in conjunction with Ashland’s Journalism and Digital Media (JDM) department.  She earned a Ph.D. in English with a film studies dissertation from the University of California-Davis, and taught at the University of Nevada-Reno before coming to Ashland.   Her most recent publication is on the television show Mad Men, and she is revising her book about women in films about the workplace, a study that goes from the early film serial Hazards of Helen to The Devil Wears Prada (2006).  A big fan of film genre, such as film noir, science fiction, screwball comedy, westerns, melodrama, and slasher films, Grady teaches films such as James Cameron’s original Terminator in addition to more canonical film.  In her screenwriting class she is having students analyze Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, famously produced on a shoestring budget of $7000, to learn how to make a successful feature film without breaking the bank.  While a major in film studies is still probably a few years away, current AU students can major in English and creative writing, study screenwriting and adaptation, and make their own films using the state-of-the-art digital equipment.