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Literary Media & Communications

Pay Arts Fees | LMC Handbook

Literary Media and Communications is a unique program that builds proficiency in the integrated skills necessary for success in writing, creating, and producing creative work across an increasingly broad array of platforms. With writing and storytelling as its core, the program develops a foundation in the theory and practice of crafting fiction, non-fiction, and documentary narratives. Student-artists choose spoken word, journalism, photography, television, film, and digital media and learn through a progressive process of lecture, discussion, critical analysis, master classes, and hands-on project-based learning. By Grade 12, student-artists will have the skills to produce self-driven projects for public distribution and knowledge of the legal, financial and entrepreneurial aspects of producing creative work.

CURRICULUM APPROACH:
AN INDUSTRY-FORWARD PRE-PROFESSIONAL FOCUS

The department provides instruction using a progressive training system from fundamentals to practice to guided projects to independent production and entrepreneurship, designed to explore and build a student-artist’s capacity to develop, write, plan, and execute the concept across a broad range of platforms.

The program meets the increasing demand for professionals in media to possess multiple skills, be entrepreneurial in their creativity, understand the rapidly-changing distribution landscape for their work, and navigate the many varied ways audiences consume content.

COLLEGE AND CAREER

Student-artists who graduate from the program attend a wide range of top universities cross a spectrum of media-focused and/or media-related majors, including journalism, film, television production, screenwriting, animation, commercial photography, broadcasting, playwriting, advertising, marketing, and public relations.

The program provides a robust and industry-relevant foundation for the pursuit of content-related careers, including directors, producers, showrunners, screenwriters, journalists, photojournalists, digital content creators, musicians, media executives, media sales, advertising copywriters, ad sales, media financing and distribution, documentary filmmaking, narrative filmmaking, talent representation, editors, audio producers, voiceover artists, game developers and creators, comic book creators and more.

The dedicated focus on narrative writing and storytelling also provides exceptional foundational training and discipline for studying law, history, or other pursuits where crafting a great story is a critical skill.

Faculty
  • Eric Easter
  • Penny Hollis
  • Oscar Jamaal
  • Ellington Robinson
  • Aisha Tyehimba
  • Derrick Weston Brown
Penny Hollis, LMC Chair


Writer, director, editor, producer, professor, and storyteller. Penny T. Hollis is a complete talent and one of the film world’s rising stars. Growing up in Louisiana, she is a product of the South’s rich history of storytelling. Her writing boasts vivid descriptions and dialogue which intrigue audiences. Her words however are only rivaled by the images and moods that she is able to extract from her actors and cinematographers as a director. Hollis began her formal training as a filmmaker at Grambling State University where she obtained a B.A. in Mass Communications and later at Howard University where she completed an M.F.A. Continuing in the noted tradition of African American filmmakers, she prides herself on working with other creatives and is dedicated to guiding audiences to realize the humanity in every character she creates. Hollis’ films highlight triumphs and tragedies in society and inspire audiences to ponder long after they would have experienced her films. Perhaps what makes Hollis exceptional as an artist is her ability to entertain audiences, while forcing them to think about the messages in her work, both blatant and implicit. Her work explores a range of themes, spanning reproductive rights, mental illness, grief, homelessness to love, and sexuality. As a woman and artist of color, Hollis understands her responsibility to give a voice to those characters and stories who would otherwise be silenced.

Hollis’ savvy as a post-production editor and storyteller has been recognized by many media entities. Her credits include work with Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Travel Channel, Smithsonian Channel, PBS among others. Hollis also worked in academia as an adjunct professor teaching script-writing, editing, and production courses at Howard University, George Mason University, and the University of the District of Columbia. Currently, Hollis teaches scriptwriting and post-production media courses and will start serving as Interim Chair at DESA this school year 2021-2022.

Curriculum

YEAR 1
Mass Communications
Media
Writing for Media
Writing Workshop I

YEAR 2
Journalism I
Mass Communications II
Media II
Writing Workshop II

YEAR 3
Journalism II
Mass Communications III
Media III
Play Analysis

YEAR 4
Internship
Journalism III
Media IV
Playwriting

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Department Chair

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