Two CHASS Departments To Start Fall Quarter with New Names

The Department of Theatre is now the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production, and the Department of Women’s Studies has become the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies

The UCR Arts Building houses the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production.

Two CHASS departments begin the fall quarter with new names that reflect a broader research agenda, curriculum and student interests. The Department of Theatre is now the Department of Theatre, Film and Digital Production, and the Department of Women’s Studies has become the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies.
Stu Krieger, chair of the theater department, said the new name reflects the evolution of the department, which now offers tracks in acting and directing, theater production and design, writing for theater, film and television, film production, and theater literature, history, criticism and dramaturgy.
“Given the celebrated multicultural composition of our campus, it is the department’s goal to continue to educate and nurture the next generation of actors, dramatic writers, directors, designers and scholars who will be a true reflection of the world they are inheriting,” he said. “The department is home to an impressive faculty of accomplished industry professionals that includes acclaimed playwrights, filmmakers, feature film and television writers, actors and directors.”
Two recent M.F.A. graduates have been prize-winning finalists in the highly respected Samuel Goldwyn Writing Competition, which is judged by major Hollywood players, and a recent undergraduate film student was one of five finalists in a national short filmmaking competition cosponsored by Canon Cameras and Ron Howard and his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.
Visitors to department events in recent years have included “Titanic” and “Avatar” producer Jon Landau, “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner, “Homeland” executive producer Howard Gordon, writer-director-producer Garry Marshall, and actors Eric Stoltz, Gena Rowlands, William Fichtner, Maxwell Caulfield, Juliet Mills, Parker Stevenson and Max Adler, among others.
The Department of Women’s Studies has changed its name to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the teaching and research being done by the faculty and to let all students know that they are welcome, said department chair Marguerite Waller.
“The roots of the department lie in the activism of the LGBT movements of the late 20th century. We are also very transnational and interdisciplinary in our approaches to human rights, sustainability, science and technology, trans and queer studies, media, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and theory. For both reasons we do not treat ‘woman’ as a stable, universal category,” Waller explained, “and remaining a ‘Women’s Studies’ department was becoming increasingly problematic.”
The department has begun working in collaboration with the School of Public Policy and faculty in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences to create a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainability and Health Studies, she added. “We are also revising our Ph.D. proposal and participating in the development of a Designated Emphasis in Queer Studies. Our new name works better in these contexts, too.”
“UC Riverside has always been a leader in the UC system and nationally, and we feel that our new, more inclusive name is in keeping with that leadership,” Waller said.

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