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"In front of the movie theater. Chicago, Illinois" (Detail)
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The University of Chicago offers strong and unique resources for the study of Black cinema and media.
Located on the South Side of Chicago, the birthplace of African American filmmaking, the campus is situated near a number of key sites in the history of Black film culture. The city also occupies a central position in the development of related African American media as vehicles for political activism, economic advancement, and cultural expression -- from the flagship African American newspaper the Chicago Defender to the legendary radio station WVON-AM (Voice of the Negro); from the magazines of the Johnson Publishing Company (Negro Digest, Ebony, Jet) to Oprah Winfrey’s television and film production house, Harpo Studios.
For students, The University of Chicago offers innovative historical, theoretical and critical approaches to exploring the issues raised by Black cinema and media in particular, and by the intersections of race and mass culture more broadly (production, aesthetics, representation, reception). Graduate and undergraduate students can concentrate in Cinema and Media Studies, or incorporate Black film and media into a host of related programs of study (such as English, particularly its program in the American Field; History; Music; Sociology; Political Science; Art History; and interdisciplinary programs such as Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities and the Committee on the History of Culture).
The University also presents screenings and programs that are open to the public, such as the Oscar Micheaux Lectures on Race and Media and Doc Films, fostering dialogue about race and media among diverse participants.
This site provides an overview of University of Chicago resources in Black film, as well historical information, research sites and exhibition venues beyond campus, and a calendar of local news and events. The site also features a description of faculty and student research projects, and a guide to resources on the Web, Black Film Research Online.
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