Welcome to the Alumni page for the Humanities and Cultural Studies Department. If you are a graduate of any of our programs and wish to contribute to this page please email us.

Dan Holland
MA, Film Studies, 2015

Dan HollandA high-school English teacher and adjunct faculty member at Hillsborough Community College (HCC), Dan credits his coursework at USF with his ease in moving between film and literature instruction, including a dual-credit course in film studies through his high school’s Collegiate Academy and an online film studies course at HCC. Such endeavors also give Dan the opportunity to continue learning about new media and New Korean Cinema, both topics he pursued as part of his master’s thesis: Abjection, Telesthesia and Transnationalism: Incest in Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy. In his spare time, Dan regularly contributes to a podcast reviewing independent cinema.

Morgan Jennings
MA, Film Studies, 2017

Morgan JenningsA Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Film & Media at the University of California, Berkeley, Morgan specializes in the philosophy of film, psychoanalytic theory, and representations of sex, violence, and sexual violence on screen. Since completing her master’s thesis at USF—titled 'There's a real hole here': Female Masochism and Spectatorship in Michael Haneke's La Pianiste—she has presented her work at a number of national and international conferences and participated in both the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium and Birkbeck University’s summer critical theory program. “The two years I spent at USF were integral to preparing me for a doctoral program and pursuing an academic career in film studies,” writes Morgan. “The generous feedback and encouragement I received while writing my M.A. thesis gave me a sense of the rigor and precision required for film scholarship.”

Rachel Ekblad
MA, American Studies, 2017

Rachel EkbladRachel teaches AP Literature and Composition as well as Studies in Culture at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Florida, where her integration of literature and culture builds on her training at USF. This is particularly true of Rachel’s Studies in Culture course, which not only examines materials she studied as part of her master’s program, but also incorporates the findings of her own master’s thesis: The Dislocated Spectator's Relationship to Enchanted Objects in Early Film and Modernist Poetry. A regular contributor to conferences about pedagogy, Rachel co-led a workshop titled “Uncomfortable Empathy: Teaching Incendiary Texts” at Shorecrest’s Winter Symposium. She also participates in the school’s Model UN club and a French cultural exchange with a high school in Châlons-en-Champagne.

Nicholas Orlando
MA, Humanities, 2018

Nicholas OrlandoAfter receiving his master’s degree, Nick taught courses at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) and the Judy Genshaft Honors College at USF before enrolling as a Ph. D. student in the Department of English at the University of Florida. There, he continues to study film and media studies, political economy, and information technology, all of which contributed to his master’s thesis: Failing to Move Forward: Journalism, Media, and Affect in David Fincher's Zodiac. The author of “Diving into Andrew’s Brain: Trauma and Existential Crisis” (CEA Critic) and “Deconstructing an Evil Fakeness: Digital Media and Truth in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler” (Excursions), Nick has presented his work at a number of national and international conferences and serves as Style Editor for ImageTexT, a peer-reviewed journal for comics studies and visual culture. “My time at USF was instrumental in orienting [me] toward teaching and research,” he writes. “Through graduate-level coursework, I learned how to develop nuanced and tight arguments while treating writing as an active form of thinking.”

Jonathan Hendricks
MA, Film Studies, 2015

His paper "Ontology of the Cinematic Lamella," will appear in FilmMatters, a peer-reviewed journal for undergraduate film scholars. Hendricks uses the work of experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage to complicate conventional understandings of cinematic representation. Coupling Brakhage's film MOTHLIGHT (1963) with the theories of French critic André Bazin and French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, Hendricks explores how cinema removes objects from physical reality yet also transposes them to another dimension within which it gives them new life. The result, he argues, gives us new ways to think about cinematic representation, particularly in an era when digital animation increasingly removes images from their bases in physical reality.

Janine Villot's
MA, Film Studies, 2013

Her essay "Chasing the Millennium Actress" was accepted for publication in a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND TELEVISION. The article explores the ways in which Kon Satoshi's 2011 anime, Millennium Actress, presents an analogy between filmmaking and memory. Because it is animated, Satoshi's work brings out less objective—what Villot calls "plastic"—relationships to the past, which, she argues, approaches to film and memory typically overlook. The result gives viewers new ways to think about the subjectivity of history, including Japan's relationships with its own past and its historical encounters with the West.