Acclaimed Filmmaker to Speak at The University of Scranton

Feb 19, 2013

Matt Sienkiewicz, Ph.D., assistant professor of communications at Boston College and Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, will deliver a lecture titled “Just Strange Enough: Jews, American Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity” at The University of Scranton on Thursday, March 7.

Presented by the University’s Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute, the lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Sienkiewicz, who teaches courses in global media cultures and media theory, conducts research on the West’s investment in Middle Eastern broadcasting initiatives, as well as portrayals of race and religion on the American screen.

“Live From Bethlehem,” a documentary that he wrote and co-directed, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2009 and has been screened worldwide, including at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, Poland’s WatchDocs Human Rights Film Festival, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival and London’s Frontline Club. Chronicling the struggles, failures and triumphs of the Ma’an News Network, the only major independent news source in the Palestinian territories, the film focuses on both personal and political issues in the evolving Palestinian mediascape.

Dr. Sienkiewicz’s articles have appeared in a variety of domestic and international publications including the International Journal of Cultural Studies, Popular Communication, Journal of Film and Video, The Velvet Light Trap and Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. He is a co-editor of the soon-to-be-published book, “Saturday Night Live and American Culture,” which features essays that address issues ranging from race and gender to authorship and comedic performance in the long-running, Emmy Award-winning TV program.

The Weinberg Judaic Studies Institute was created in 1979 through an endowment funded by the local Jewish community. The institute fosters a better understanding and appreciation of Judaism, Israel and their histories. It supports visits to the University by Jewish scholars and writers, and supports library acquisitions, publications, faculty research travel and other scholarly endeavors. The work of the institute was further enhanced by a $1 million gift from Harry Weinberg in 1990.

For further information, contact Marc Shapiro, Ph.D., professor of theology/religious studies at The University of Scranton, at 941-7956.

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