When Kayla Cartee ’17 needs to unwind, she takes a break and watches some of her Netflix favorites, Scandal and Parks and Recreation.
For members of the Furman University women’s soccer team, the key to stress relief before a game is a silly dance to loud music in the locker room.
The Electronic Media Festival, part of the University’s celebration of Furman Engaged! this week, highlighted features of the quintessential Furman experience, including academics, athletics, friendships, and favorite role models. It also tackled more serious questions, offering suggestions for improving Furman’s Cultural Life Program, handling stress, and coping with career-changing injuries as a student athlete.
A total of nine short films were shared during the festival at Furman Hall, all final class projects produced by students in communication studies professors Dr. Janet Kwami and Dr. Emily Price’s Digital Communication course. The class focuses on the use of digital, electronic media in the cultivation of democratic society and shows students how to share information through various multi-media platforms.
Introducing the session, Kwami congratulated students on their creative works. “Video storytelling is a craft,” she said. “We are showcasing students’ talents today.”
She called for the need to expand our conceptions of what it means to be literate in today’s digital age noting “it is important for students to be digitally literate in today’s interactive and convergent media landscape. This requires a familiarity with the full range of communicative tools and media, as well as sensitivity to the power of representation.”
Cartee, a communication studies major, worked on the film, Collegiate Stress, with classmates Helen Fite ’17 and Kate Mancosh ’17.
“On certain weeks, class assignments can pile up and it can be overwhelming,” Cartee said. “We talked about it in class and decided we wanted to share some ideas for staying balanced.”
For Amanda Richey ’17, Amanda Stanley ’17 and Nick Shaw ’17, their video, Food as Culture, was the culmination of a semester focused on good eating.
As part of their semester-long assignment, Stanley blogged about local restaurants. Shaw blogged about gastronomy and cooking as an art form. Richey blogged about the sustainability of Furman’s food system.
“Because I’m an earth and environmental sciences and communication studies double major, I’m interested in how Furman gets its food, where it comes from, and what it does with food waste,” said Richey.
Their video focused on food as cultural expression and featured interviews with international students at Furman sharing their food traditions. They also included interviews with Spanish professor Dr. Ronald Friis talking about the sociology of food and philosophy professor Dr. Sarah Worth talking about the ethical implications of food and modern food production.
“So much goes into making even a simple cup of coffee, and I feel like much of what goes into a product—water and land obviously, but also labor, worry and dedication— is ignored,” said Richey, a native of Baton Rouge, La. “I hope this video challenges people to use something as commonplace as food to bridge gaps on our campus and in the broader Greenville community, whether it be a conversation about cultural food or something else.
“I said it in the video, and I genuinely think it’s true: food has the power to bring people together,” Richey said.
Learn more about FurmanEngaged!