News and Calendar of Events

Read the latest MCJ news on the Arts and Humanities blog here.

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Department Annual Events and Celebrations


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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.


Film Screenings Fridays 5:30 p.m. Peters Education Center Auditorium (West of Save-Mart Center in the Student Recreation Center Building).

**The Feb. 22 and April 26 films will begin at 5 p.m.** All films screened on campus are free and open to the public.

Parking is not enforced after 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Feb. 8: Maborosi (2017)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

One of the finest films of Japanese cinema, Hirokazu Kore-eda's first feature film Maborosi is a story of love, loss, and ultimately, regeneration. Haunted by the mysterious loss of her grandmother many years ago, a beautiful young mother (Yumiko, played by Makiko Esumi) struggles to come to terms with the sudden loss of her husband. Yumiko remarries and with her young son moves to her new husband's home in a remote village on the wild, untamed Sea of Japan. There, she is haunted by the past, but with time and the natural wonders around her, she awakens to find love, understanding, and a sense of peace. Kore-eda's feature films reflect back on his beginnings in documentary with a regard to truth and an incredibly humane sense of his characters' strength and fallibilities. Working with almost entirely natural lighting, Kore-eda's remarkable and elegant camerawork makes Maborosi one of the most striking visual works in cinema. In Japanese with English subtitles. 110 minutes. Trailer:

Feb. 15: The Long Shadow

Discussant: Maureen Gosling (Editor, Co-Creator) and Jed Riffe (Producer)

From New Orleans to Virginia, Mississippi and Canada, The Long Shadow follows two white Southern filmmakers as they travel the roads of oppression and suppression to reveal the connections of slavery and strong-arm Southern politics to the current racial strife in America. The film is a disturbing story about the lingering human cost of ignorance, intolerance and inaction in the US, casting a long shadow over our national identity and imperfect democracy. "I am a filmmaker and journalist. On my odyssey to investigate racism in America I was stunned to discover that I was the problem. My family codified white supremacy into law. ~ Frances Causey, filmmaker
91 minutes. Trailer:

Sponsor: The Africana Studies Program

*Feb. 22: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (2017)

Discussant: Dr. Margaret Wilkerson (author of the forthcoming book, Lorraine Hansberry: Am I a Revolutionary?

*Film screening will begin at 5 p.m.

Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart is the first-ever feature documentary about Lorraine Hansberry, the visionary author of the groundbreaking play A Raisin in the Sun. An overnight sensation, this play transformed the American theater and has long been considered a classic, yet the remarkable story of the playwright faded from view. With this documentary, filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain resurrects the Lorraine Hansberry we have forgotten—a passionate artist, committed activist and sought-after public intellectual who waged an outspoken and defiant battle against injustice in 20th-century America. The film reveals Hansberry's prescient works tackling race, human rights, women's equality and sexuality that anticipated social and political movements on the horizon. Lorraine Hansberry lived much of her 34 years guided by a deep sense of responsibility to others, proclaiming: "One cannot live with sighted eyes and feeling heart and not know or react to the miseries which afflict this world." 118 minutes.

Sponsor: The Africana Studies Program

March 1: Time for Ilhan (2018)

Discussant: Norah Shapiro (Director)

On Nov. 8, 2016, a young, hijab-wearing mother-of-three named Ilhan Omar made history, becoming the first Somali Muslim woman to be elected to a state office in America. She was hailed by the New York Times as, "one of the bright lights in the post-election darkness," and the documentary film Time for Ilhan intimately chronicles her hard-fought campaign for State Representative in Minnesota's Senate District 60B, home to our nation's largest Somali community. Then, on Nov. 6, 2018, Omar became the first Somali-American to be elected to the United States Congress. A fresh take on the old story of the American Dream, Time for Ilhan offers an inspiring, stereotype-busting portrait of a rising political star as she begins a bold and powerful political career. 88 minutes. Trailer:           

Sponsors: Center for Creativity and the Arts, Department of Political Science, and Aimee Abu-Shamsieh & Muslim Spiritual Care Services

March 8: Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema (2018)

Discussant: Dr. Joe Hodes

A celebration of the all-singing, all-dancing history of the world's largest film industry, Shalom Bollywood reveals the unlikely story of the 2000 year-old Indian Jewish community and its formative place in shaping the world's largest film industry. At the advent of the Indian cinema industry, it was taboo for Hindu and Muslim women to perform on screen. Indian-Jewish women took upon the female lead roles, and continued to do so for decades. Using stage names, the women were obviously not identified as Jewish, and were commonly thought to be Christian or Muslim. With access to rare archival footage, Jewish-Australian director Danny Ben-Moshe's (My Mother's Lost Children, 2017) new documentary tells this extraordinary tale through the lives of Indian cinema's Jewish icons at the heart of Bollywood from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. 85 minutes. Trailer:


Sponsors: The Jewish Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Association, Center for Creativity and the Arts 

March 15: Saint Judy (2018)

Discussant: Dimitry Portnoy (Screenwriter)

Directed by Sean Hanish, Saint Judy tells the true story of Los Angeles immigration attorney Judy Wood, who single-handedly changed the United States law of asylum and saved countless lives in the process. In a 1994 landmark case, one of her first as an immigration lawyer, Judy Wood represented an Afghan woman who fled her home country after being persecuted by the Taliban for opening a school for girls. After a tenacious battle both in and out of court, Judy's efforts culminated in arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit where she fought to include women as a protected class. By winning the case, Ms. Wood single-handedly changed the law of asylum nationwide – saving the lives of not only her client, but thousands of other female refugees who would have been sent back to their home countries where they faced certain death. 106 minutes. Film website:

Sponsors: Center for Creativity and the Arts

March 22: World Water Day Film: Silent River, Sea of Troubles

Discussant: Jason Jaacks (Director and Producer)

The Santiago River, known locally as "the River of Death," flows along the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico. For 40 years, waste from one of Mexico's largest manufacturing corridors has been dumped into the Santiago. Eighty percent of the companies in the corridor – such as IBM, HP, Coca-Cola, Levi's, Honda and Nestlé – are American and Japanese. Therefore. this river has become a sewer with over 1,000 known chemicals, including dangerously high levels of arsenic, chrome, and lead. Silent River by Jason Jaacks follows a young woman and her family as they defy death threats to try and save the one of the most polluted rivers in Mexico.
Silent River Trailer:

Over the last three years we witnessed some of the strangest conditions ever seen off the West Coast of the United States. What happens next? Was this just a weird few years, an anomaly in the normal flux of ocean conditions? Or was this a shift that we will look back on, decades from now, and point to as the beginning of a different era? Join an oceanographer and a paleo-climatologist from the Bodega Marine Laboratory on the Northern California coast to ponder what's next for the world's largest ocean.
Sea of Troubles Trailer:

Sponsors: Center for Creativity and the Arts, The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

March 29: Armenian Film: Title to be announced

Discussant: TBA

Sponsor: Armenian Studies Program

April 5: Tia and Piujuq (2018)

Discussant: Marie-Helene Cousineau (Producer and script writer)

Inuk (or Eskimo) throat singer Lucy Tulugarjuk makes her directorial film debut with this lovely tale from Northern Canada. Shot in Montreal, Canada, and the island of Igloolik, in Nunavut, Canada's newest, largest and northernmost territory, where the director grew up, the film Tia and Piujuq tells the unlikely and burgeoning friendship between two 10-year old girls. Piujuq is a bored and lonely young Inuk, and Tia, a Syrian refugee whose sad life takes a dramatic turn when she finds a magical portal that transports her to Canada's Arctic tundra where Piujuq lives. Together, the two girls discover a world of magic and Inuit stories that heal Tia's spirit and her soul until their blossoming friendship is threatened by a mysterious character. "Through the eyes of these two girls, we perceive the similarities that unite them beyond their linguistic and cultural differences, their affection for each other and also their desire to be free and adventurous." This charming film is for everyone: adults and children alike who believe in the power of imagination. In French, Inuktitut, Arabic and English, with English subtitles. 80 minutes. Film website: Trailer:

Sponsors: The French Program, the Department of Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures

April 12: Violeta Al Fin (2017)

Discussant: Hilda Hidalgo Xirinachs (Director)

Directed by Costa Rican filmmaker Hilda Hidalgo Xirinachs, Violeta Al Fin tells the story of Violeta, a 72 year-old woman, who lives alone in her childhood home in the heart of San Jose, Costa Rica, after divorcing her husband of more than 40 years. She tends to her lush tropical garden and makes plans to turn her property into a boarding house. When she discovers the bank is about to take away her house, she decides to fight and breaks all the rules to hold onto her home and her freedom. In Spanish with English subtitles. 85 minutes.
Film Trailer:

Sponsor: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies

April 19: (No Film)

*April 26: The Zookeepers Wife (2017)

Discussant: Dr. Ed EmanuEl

*Film screening will begin at 5 p.m.

The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (portrayed by two-time Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh, a European Film Award nominee for the Academy Award-nominated The Broken Circle Breakdown), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich's newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Golden Globe Award nominee Daniel Brühl of Captain America: Civil War). To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.
127 minutes: Trailer:

Sponsors: The Jewish Studies Program, the Jewish Studies Association

May 3: En el Septimo Dia (On the Seventh Day) (2018)

Discussant: Adela Santana

En el Séptimo Día (On the Seventh Day), a fiction feature from director Jim McKay, follows a group of undocumented immigrants living in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, over the course of seven days. Bicycle delivery guys, construction workers, dishwashers, deli workers and cotton candy vendors, they work long hours six days a week and then savor their day of rest on Sundays on the soccer fields of Sunset Park. José, a bicycle delivery worker, is the team's captain - young, talented, hardworking and responsible. When José's team makes it to the finals, he and his teammates are thrilled. But his boss throws a wrench into the celebration when he tells José he has to work on Sunday, the day of the finals. If he doesn't work, his job and his future will be on the line. But if he doesn't stand up for himself and his teammates, his dignity will be crushed. Shot in the neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Gowanus, En el Séptimo Día is a humane, sensitive and humorous window into a world rarely seen. The film's impact is made quietly, with restraint and respect for the individual experiences, everyday challenges and small triumphs of its characters. In Spanish and English with Bi-Lingual subtitles. 92 minutes. Trailer:

Sponsor: The Department of Chicano & Latin American Studies

May 10: Title to be announced


CineCulture is a film series provided as a service to Fresno State campus students, faculty, and staff, and community. CineCulture is also offered as a 3 unit academic course (MCJ 179) in the Media, Communications and Journalism Department. CineCulture fulfills General Education Integration Area Multicultural International (MI). For students entering Fresno State Fall 2018, the course satisfies a university graduation requirement.

CineCulture Club promotes cultural awareness through film and post-screening discussions.
Fresno State encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us in advance to your participation.

For further information about CineCulture:
CineCulture Club invites invite you to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter, and check the club website for film updates.
Contact: Dr. Mary Husain (Instructor & Club Adviser) at

CAH Convocation

Join Media, Communications & Journalism faculty to celebrate our graduates at the College of Arts and Humanities Convocation on  
May 17 2019.

Gruner Journalism Awards Banquet

GrunerAwardPhotoThe 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 took place March 6, 2019, in the Fresno Art Museum.

The MCJ department coordinates the awards, including the call for submissions and the judging.

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

The 2017 MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2019, Hall of Fame Inductees are available on our website.

The 2019 MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame will be held November 14, 2019.

Visit the Alumni Link to view our MCJ Hall of Fame Inductees.  

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. 


The department will host its MCJ Day on Oct. 4, 2019.

MCJ Day is designed to make high school students more aware of the department's five options. Guest speakers and panelists discuss the options and professional development.   

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. This year's symposium was "Putting Fake News in the Rear View Mirror: How the media can win back the trust of all Americans." It featured speakers from ProPublica, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press. It was held Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, in the Satellite Student Union.

War Veterans Oral History Project

Former MCJ professor Dr. Gary Rice 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.

Gary Rice and Alice Daniel

In the fall 2010 semester, students conducted more than 80 interviews. This was the second semester for the project. The new interviews were 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.

Charlie Waters

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. 

Scholarship Reception

The Department of Mass Communication & Journalism hosted its 16th Annual Scholarship Reception during the 2018-2019 school year. 

Click here to view the 2017 scholarship recipients. The 2019 scholarship recipients will be honored during the MCJ Alumni & Friends Hall of Fame event on November 14, 2019.

For more information about the reception or scholarships, contact Prof. Faith Sidlow, MCJ Scholarship Chair, at