Filling in Film History, Professors Find First Place

On overhead projectors, 16 mm film reels and televisions balancing on carts, the educational film played an important role in the 20th century. But while such films are abundant, they are often  overlooked by film historians and underrepresented in academic discourse.

NC State University professors of English Devin and Marsha Orgeron, along with their co-editor, Dan Streible, set out to address this disparity. In the process, Devin and Marsha Orgeron earned the Society for Cinema and Media Studies’ 2013 award for Best Edited Collection.

The award-winning collection, “Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States“, explores the ways in which educational films cataloged the preoccupations and values of the 20th century. The contents of “Learning with the Lights Off” range from case studies of specific films and filmmakers to greater historical assessments. Accompanying the book is a companion website where specific films discussed in the collection can be accessed alongside other resources.

The Orgerons will be honored at an awards ceremony during the 16th annual SCMS Conference in Chicago on March 8.

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