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(Including the Centre for Rhetoric Studies)

Director: Professor Ian Glenn

Centre Profile

The Centre for Film and Media Studies, based in the Faculty of Humanities, was established in March 2003.

The aims of the Centre are:

· to enable students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to pursue studies in film and media (including screen, radio, print and digital media) that will extend, intensify and enrich their intellectual, creative and practical training and equip them to make key contributions both to scholarship and to the film and media industries;

· to foster cutting-edge research in film and media that has especial relevance to Africa, and to South Africa’s place both continentally and globally;

· to strengthen ties with similar institutions, scholars and practitioners locally and abroad.

The major in Media and Writing is one of the largest in the faculty. It offers courses in media and society, writing and editing for the media, the media in South Africa and advanced media theory. There is extensive focus on sociological research and the nurturing of creative writing skills across journalism and photojournalism and a range of media genres, including scriptwriting for screen and radio, feature writing and copywriting and various kinds of reporting. The major in Film Studies is also one of the largest majors in the faculty and offers courses in the history, theory and analysis of film, on film genre and on African cinema.

In addition, we offer, on competitive entry during the second year, five options for a programme in Film and Media Production, with choices between screen production, radio, scriptwriting, print and interactive media.

We offer Honours, MA and PhD level degrees in film, media theory and practice and in rhetoric. We also offer interdisciplinary Honours and MA level degree programmes in political communication.

The staff of the Centre have outstanding teaching records and engage in a wide variety of exciting formal and creative research in, for example, African and South African cinema, audience analysis, political communication, rhetoric studies, youth culture, media and the environment, new approaches to film history, film and identity, adaptation theory and practice, screenwriting and video gaming.

The research publications for 2010 reflect several trends: the importance of rhetoric in contemporary South African social and political understanding; a focus on recent developments in South African film and media and particularly in mobile media; a growing interest in copyright and counter-cultural issues.

The establishment of an African Cinema Unit during 2009 under the leadership of Associate Professor Martin Botha marks the centre’s move to a central place in the study of South African and African cinema and television, with a strong emphasis on documentary. 


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