Announcing 4Humanities@CSUN Mini-Documentary Backpack Project

By Kristin Cornelius

This project facilitates the making of short, mini-documentaries that promote humanities scholarship by giving a narrative voice to the research process. Each mini-doc will depict the process of doing humanities research through interviews with students and scholars as they work on their scholarly activities. These short, 5-7 minute films will either be: 1) about an individual scholar or student and their research (one topic or paper per film), or 2) about an event put on by a student organization or department affiliated with the humanities.

Producing short, easy-to-watch films that are accessible to students and the larger public will hopefully, in turn, promote the value of humanities research to as large an audience as possible. Making these activities more visible and less mysterious will also encourage students to engage in the same scholarly activities that are depicted in the films. In essence, these documentaries bring the “human” back to the humanities by showing real people engaging in scholarly activities and entertainingly answering the question: What do humanists do?

All MiniDocs are shot on the Sony 96GB HXR-NX30 Palm Size camera and edited in iMovie. The camera was purchased with the help of Associated Students and a few generous individual donors.

The first minidoc, featuring CSUN English Professor Ranita Chatterjee and her senior seminar class “The Trouble with Harry”: The Harry Potter Series and Critical Theories, will be released shortly. Stay tuned!


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