College of Humanities and Sciences

Multi-Year Grant Creates International Degree in Cinema and Language

The College of Humanities and Sciences has received nearly $950,000 to develop an innovative, first-of-its-kind graduate program in the humanities, a Transatlantic Dual Degree in Cinema and Language.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, will allow VCU, the University of Messina, and the Universidad de Córdoba to weave existing graduate courses into an innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum in cinema studies that explores issues of identity, globalization, and intercultural relations.

The funds will be shared between the three universities over a four-year grant period. Primarily, the funds will cover student and faculty mobility, allowing VCU students to pursue an entire academic year of study in Spain and Italy as part of their graduate program.

All students will work as interns in the film festivals that are affiliated with the respective universities: VCU’s French Film Festival, the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily, and Córdoba’s Filmoteca de Andalucia.

At the end of their two-year program, a group of six EU students and six VCU students will have spent their semester in Spain, their second semester in Italy, and their full 2nd year at VCU.  They will graduate with a Master’s Degree that prepares them for work in the film industry in the US or abroad, or for doctoral programs and careers in education.

The idea for the Atlantis Project was developed during the annual meeting of the Center for Integrative Mediterranean Studies.  Dr. McKenna Brown, Executive Director of VCU’s Global Education Office, and Dr. Oliver C. Speck, Asst. Professor of Film Studies in the School of World Studies, coordinated the grant proposal with colleagues from the University of Messina and the Universidad de Córdoba.