A big welcome to Courtney Brannon Donoghue, global media industries scholar and new assistant professor in UNT's Department of Media Arts!
Why did you decide to teach at UNT?
UNT's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive learning environment and long history of supporting the arts and humanities is incredibly exciting to me. Exploring issues of equity, power, and access are central to my research and teaching in media industry studies. I am excited to join the Media Arts' stellar faculty and contribute to the department's strong foundation in media theory and practice that integrates critical cultural studies, industry studies, and media production.
On a personal note, my parents both attended UNT in the 1960s and were the first in their families to graduate from college. I wouldn't have achieved my dream of earning of PhD and becoming a professor if it wasn't for their hard work and a journey that began back in Denton. I am honored to give back to the university that gave my family so much and empower the next generation of students towards achieving their educational dreams.
What are you most excited to teach your students? What are you bringing to UNT that is new and different?
I teach courses that analyze the contemporary media industries, specifically the business of media production and distribution in Hollywood and globally. We find ourselves in a transformative moment in the film and television industries where globalization and digital technologies are rapidly changing the way media is produced and consumed. I'm excited to explore these issues with students in my fall classes through a mix of hands on projects and experiential learning components.
With the emergence of the #metoo and Time's Up movements, industry conversations about equity and inclusivity increasingly call into question the lack of opportunities and access for women and people of color both in front of and behind the camera. These movements, and similar ones happening worldwide, have immense potential to slowly begin to dismantle a century old male-dominated culture. I am writing a book about gender inequity in the film industry based on interviews with female filmmakers in the U.S., Europe, and Brazil. I look forward to developing a course on equity, inclusivity, and the media industries where together with students we can follow these issues as they unfold and work together to explore solutions for lasting change.
What do you tell students or parents of students who are concerned about finding a career after graduation?
An immense amount of time, money, and hard work goes into completing a college degree. I absolutely understand concerns that students and their parents may have about a career path after graduation. A media studies education can prepare students for opportunities across the media industries, creative arts, education, and business sectors. In addition to the department's foundation in media literacy, critical thinking, and production skills, I work to help students develop flexible soft skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity. The broad education students receive at UNT will help them not only navigate a diverse range of professional settings and cultures but develop into more resilient and thoughtful citizens ready to navigate an increasingly mediated world.