News and Calendar of Events
Read the latest MCJ news on the Arts and Humanities blog here.
Department Annual Events and Celebrations
CineCulture is a film series offered as a three-unit academic course in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture provides a service to the Fresno State campus students, faculty and staff, and community. Everyone is welcome to attend.
CineCulture is also a campus club. The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions. Dr. Denni Blum, formerly of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, founded CineCulture Club in Fall 2004 as a student club. It was awarded the title of Outstanding Cultural Event at Fresno State in 2007.
The Fresno State CineCulture Series kicked off its spring 2018 lineup of film screenings with “Extra-Terrestrials” at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23.
Most CineCulture screenings are at 5:30 p.m. on Fridays during the spring semester in the Peters Education Center Auditorium (5010 N. Woodrow Ave. in the Student Recreation Center). See the full list below.
All films screened on campus are free and open to the public. Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.
Feb. 23: "Electric Shadows" (2004)
- Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl
- In Mandarin with English subtitles. 93 minutes.
- "Electric Shadows" marks the directing debut of Xiao Jiang one of the few active female film directors in China. The film begins when a young woman mysteriously attacks a stranger and then asks him to care for her fish while she is being arrested. When he enters her apartment he discovers an apparent shrine to the iconic Chinese singer and film actress of the 1930s Zhou Zuan, nicknamed " the Golden voice," and that they share a love of the cinema and more.
March 2: "And Then They Came for Us" (2017)
- Discussant: Don Tamaki, the attorney for Fred Korematsu's legal team
- Sponsors: The Central California District Council of the Japanese American Citizens League, Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno
- 40 minutes
Seventy-five years ago, Executive Order 9066 paved the way to the profound violation of constitutional rights that resulted in the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. Directed by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider, "And Then They Came for Us" features Japanese-American actor George Takei and many others who were incarcerated, as well as newly rediscovered photographs by the late Dorothea Lange, a photojournalist best known for her Depression-era work. This film brings history into the present, retelling this difficult story and following Japanese American activists as they speak out against the Muslim registry and travel ban. "And Then They Came for Us" is a cautionary and inspiring tale for these dark times.
March 9: "Angelica" (2016)
- Discussant: Marisol Gómez-Mouakad, director
- Sponsors: The Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies, the Spanish program and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
- In Spanish with English subtitles, 90 minutes
Angélica dreams of a major career as a fashion designer in New York, but has not got much further than a boring sewing job. After a long absence from Puerto Rico, she returns to the island when her father, Wilfredo, suffers a heart attack. The unexpected return to the house where she grew up forces her to face herself and discover that she does not know who she is, and moreover that she does not accept herself.
March 16: "Serenade for Haiti" (2016)
- Discussant: Christy McGill, producer
- Sponsor: The Africana Studies Program
- In Haitian Creole, French and English with English subtitles, 78 minutes
Filmed over a seven-year period in Haiti, this documentary feature film by director Owsley Brown tells the story of a small classical music school, the Sainte Trinité Music School, in the heart of troubled Port au Prince, Haiti. This modest school thrives in the shadows of decades of political turmoil and natural disasters. Its story transcends poverty and political violence and shows how music can transform the lives of the children and faculty of the school and unlock the power of their own lives and imagination.
March 23: "Shadow of Drought: Southern California's Looming Water Crisis" (2018)
- Discussant: Bill Wisneski, director
- Sponsor: The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and Fresnans Against Fracking
- 42 minutes
While California recovers from the worst drought in state history, myriad impacts resulting from climate change threaten Southern California's imported water supply. As a shadow of drought hangs over the region, this documentary explores the dire consequences of inaction that lie ahead.
MARCH 30: No film (Campus closed for Caesar Chavez holiday)
April 6: "Dogs of Democracy" (2016)
- Discussant: Mary Zournazi, writer/director
- Sponsors: The Classical Studies Program, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, with support from the Phebe McClatchy Conley Endowment
- 58 minutes
"Dogs of Democracy" is a documentary film about the stray dogs of Athens, Greece, and the people who take care of them. Greek-Australian filmmaker Mary Zournazi explores life on the streets through the eyes of these dogs and their peoples' experience. Shot on location in Athens, the birthplace of democracy, the film is about how the Greeks have become the "stray dogs of Europe," and how the stray dogs in Athens have become a symbol of hope for the people and for the Greek anti-austerity political movement.
April 13: "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story" (2017)
- Discussant: Richard Rhodes, author of "Hedy's Folly," the book on which the film is based
- Sponsors: The Jewish Studies Program and the Jewish Studies Association
- 88 minutes
What do the most ravishingly beautiful actress of the 1930s and '40s and the inventor whose concepts were the basis of cell phone and Bluetooth technology have in common? They are both Hedy Lamarr, the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman and a technological trailblazer who perfected a radio system to throw Nazi torpedoes off course during WWII. "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story" brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.
April 20: "The Other Side of Home" (2016)
- Discussant: Naré Mkrtchyan, director/producer
- Sponsor: The Armenian Studies Program
- In English, Armenian and Turkish with English subtitles, 40 minutes
In 1915, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide. In 2015, a Turkish woman named Maya discovers that her great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. This documentary follows Maya as she decides to go to Armenia to take part in the 100th commemoration of the genocide. This film is a universal story of identity, denial, and how the experience of genocide creates a ripple effect for future generations on both sides.
April 27: "The Suffragettes (Las Sufragistas)" (2012)
- Discussant: Ana Cruz Navarro, director
- Sponsors: The College of Arts and Humanities, the Consulate of Mexico in Fresno, Aeromexico, the Spanish Program, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures and the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies
- In Spanish with English subtitles, 78 minutes
"The Suffragettes" by Mexican filmmaker Ana Cruz Navarro tells the story of Eufrosina Cruz, an indigenous woman from the Zapotec community of Santa María Quiegolani in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2008, her right to vote and run as Municipal president of her community was denied on the grounds that indigenous customary laws prohibit women from participating in electoral processes. In Mexico, women won the right to full suffrage in 1953. Today, after a long battle, Eufrosina Cruz is a representative in Mexico's federal government, and the first indigenous woman to be a member of the Congress of Oaxaca. "The Suffragettes" details her political struggle, as well as Mexican women's long fight for political power.
May 4: To be determined
CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State students, faculty and staff and the community. CineCulture is also offered as a three-unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department.
The CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions. Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.
Media, Communications & Journalism Celebration
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 | Satellite Student Union | 5-7 p.m.
The MCJ Celebration will include a keynote address by MCJ alum Brandi Hitt, special awards for outstanding graduates, option highlight videos which include recognition of those graduating, and the MCJ Showcase of Excellence.
Gruner Journalism Awards Banquet
The George F. Gruner Awards for Meritorious Public Service in Journalism annually recognize outstanding community service in newspaper journalism in the central San Joaquin Valley. The awards, which honor Mr. Gruner, a former executive editor of The Fresno Bee, rank among the top journalism honors in the state.
The McClatchy Company established the Gruner awards in 1989. The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism administers the competition and co-hosts the awards banquet with The Fresno Bee, which provides a grant to make the awards possible. The banquet takes place each April.
The MCJ department conducts the contest by selecting a three-judge panel and a fourth, nonvoting judging coordinator. Veteran outside newspaper journalists comprise the panel. Up to one award is given in each of the following categories: weekly newspapers; daily newspapers under 50,000 circulation; and daily newspapers over 50,000 circulation. A fourth “at large” award is sometimes also given. Winners receive cash prizes.
About Mr. Gruner
George F. Gruner retired in April 1988 after a career in journalism covering 46 years, including 33 years on the news staff of The Fresno Bee. Before joining The Bee, he worked for 10 years as a reporter for the Oakland Tribune and two years as a copy editor on the civilian staff of the European Edition of The Stars and Stripes, the armed services newspaper published in Germany.
After a year on the copy desk at The Fresno Bee, Gruner was named assistant city editor in 1956 and city editor in 1961. He served as assistant managing editor in 1970, became managing editor in 1971 and executive editor in 1981.
Gruner was a figure in a Freedom of the Press issue in 1976 when, as a member of the “Fresno Four,” he was jailed for contempt of court for refusing a judge's order to reveal a confidential source of information used in The Fresno Bee's news stories concerning a city official. He and three other members of The Bee's staff refused to reveal the source and spent 15 days in custody before being released. The “Fresno Four” received wide support from journalists and many other individuals and organizations throughout the United States for upholding the right to maintain confidential sources.
Since his retirement, Gruner has written two books, a history of the battleship USS California and another on the coastal passenger liners Yale and Harvard.
Hall of Fame Induction
Kappa Tau Alpha Induction
Kappa Tau Alpha is the only journalism/mass communication society recognized by the Association of College Honor Societies.
KTA is the seventh oldest national honor society and was founded at the University of Missouri in 1910.
There are over 93 KTA chapters in colleges and universities throughout the country, including the Dayle Molen chapter at California State University, Fresno.
Membership must be earned by excellence in academic work. Only those students who rank in the top 10 percent of their classes are considered for membership.
During some spring semesters the public relations students in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department host MCJ Day.
MCJ Day is designed to celebrate the Department's five options and connect current students with alumni. Guest speakers and panelists provide professional development, and networking opportunities are available.
Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposium
Periodically the MCJ Department will host Roger Tatarian Journalism Symposia. These events bring in top-notch national and international journalists to share with the campus and broader community about important issues of the day. The Roger Tatarian Journalism Chair coordinates the symposia.
War Veteran's Oral History Project
Dr. Gary Rice, MCJ professor of print journalism, started the War Veterans’ Oral History Project in 2009-2010 and is the director of the project. The project gives veterans an opportunity to preserve their stories in their own words while students learn history from the people who made it. MCJ journalism lecturer Alice Daniel is the co-director.
In the fall 2010 semester, students conducted more than 80 interviews. This was the second semester for the project. The new interviews will be added to the first group, already cataloged and available to scholars, researchers and the public in the library's Special Collections Research Center.
Interviews with more than 50 veterans of conflicts from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan were presented on Dec. 9, 2010 to the Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno as part of the Central California War Veterans’ Oral History Project.
The veterans and the 28 mass communication and journalism students of Dr. Gary Rice's class who interviewed them were honored at a reception in the Table Mountain Rancheria Reading Room of the library.
At the ceremony, Charlie Waters, state judge advocate of the American Legion, praised the project for bringing together veterans and students.
The project will continue in 2011, involving mass communication students as well as 15 students from the Smittcamp Family Honors College.
The oral histories — transcripts and audio recordings that meet accepted historical standards and guidelines — will be kept permanently in a special collection at the library.
Veterans include survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Battle of the
Bulge and a bomber crew member, who was one of the first Americans to fly against a German-built jet during World War II. Other interviews are with former prisoners of war; participants in Korean War events like the Battle of Heartbreak Ridge and the POW riots at Koje-do; a Vietnam War bugler and soldiers involved in fierce fighting during the Tet Offensive; and several recent veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
“Every veteran has a story to tell, and our students are doing their part to ensure the stories get told,” Rice said.
The Department of Mass Communication & Journalism will host its 16th Annual Scholarship
Reception during the 2018-2019 school year.
Click here to view 2017 Scholarship Recipients
For more information the reception or scholarships, contact Prof. Betsy Hays, MCJ Scholarship Chair, at email@example.com.