Faculty Highlights

Updated: Jun 4

Spring 2021

FMS Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spring 2021

Tasha Oren was named Director of Undergraduate Studies for Spring 2021. Tasha is an associate professor in Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and has taught a number of FMS courses over the years. You can check out her profile here. We welcome her as the new FMS DUS!

FMS Part-Time Faculty for Spring 2021

We are thrilled to have Dr. Catherine Martin teaching again this spring! She will be bringing back Audio Storytelling: From Old Time Radio to Podcasting (FMS-0194) -- this upper level version of the course explores the history and theory behind audio storytelling. Catherine recently received her PhD in Film & Television Studies from Boston University. Last fall, she returned to Tufts for her virtual talk "I Want to Have Some Fun Too: Gender, Genre, and Marriage in the Postwar Crime Sitcom". Click here to read The Tufts Daily interview with Catherine from September 2019.

Gustavo Rosa will be teaching Screenwriting I this semester. Gustavo is a writer, director, and producer who was born in Tubarão, Brazil, and raised in Boston, MA. He has worked on a number of films, including producing THE RESTORATION a feature-length dark-comedy set in Lima, Peru which deals with issues of rapid urbanization. The film had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in 2020. Learn more about Gustavo by visiting his website.

Screenwriting II will be taught by Gabrielle Demeestere. Gabrielle holds a BA in Literature from Yale and an MFA in filmmaking from NYU. Writing credits include her first feature film, YOSEMITE, starring James Franco and Henry Hopper, and THE LAST CIGARETTE. To learn more about Gabrielle's work, click here.

Don Schechter

TEDx Tufts: FMS Professor of the Practice Don Schechter "Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Storytellers, Sci-Fi, and Unreliable Mirrors"

Friday, April 9 | 6:00 pm EST

This spring, Don Schechter participated in TEDx Tufts giving the talk "Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Storytellers, Sci-Fi, and Unreliable Mirrors". Don is the Owner of Charles River Media Group, LLC, a Part-Time Professor of the Practice in the Film and Media Studies Program at Tufts University, and Creator of Ascendants.

At Charles River Media Group, Don oversees all projects and has worked as a director, producer, and editor for television, film, and corporate endeavors.

Ascendants is a multi-platform science fiction project that includes both a series of short films (The Ascendants Anthology) and novels.

Don is currently a Part-Time Professor of the Practice at Tufts University from which he holds a Master’s Degree (Music Composition and Theory) and a Bachelor’s Degree (Media Arts and Technologies, Music.) He has taught classes including “Making Movies,” “Producing Films for Social Change,” and “The History of Documentary: From Nanook the Real World.” He currently teaches “Fundamentals of Film and Media Production” and “From Script to Screen.”

Jennifer Burton

Origin of the Species Released

FMS Professor of the Practice, Jennifer Burton produced the film Origin of the Species, which was released in June 2020. The film explores the contemporary world of android development with a focus on human/machine relations, gender and the ethical implications of this research. The film provides an insider look into cutting-edge laboratories in Japan and the USA where scientists attempt to make robots move, speak and look human. These scientists and their discoveries are contextualised with cinematic and pop culture references to underline the mythic, comic and uncanny aspects of our aspiration to create machines that are eerily similar to ourselves.

View the website

Watch the film:



Jennifer Burton

Tufts Women's History Month!

Professor of the Practice Jennifer Burton was featured on Tufts Instagram for Women's History Month. Woot! View the post here.

Susan Napier

Hayao Miyazaki: Children Entrusted with Hope

Thursday, April 29

The Japan Foundation, New York hosted a special “Studio Ghibli series” as part of thier Pop Culture Series!

For the first episode on Studio Ghibli, they took a closer look at the life of Hayao Miyazaki, the director of Studio Ghibli, and how it influenced his work, especially the children characters he created.

The event included two anime experts, Susan Napier and Helen McCarthy. Susan Napier is the Tufts Goldwaithe Professor of Rhetoric. In this talk, Napier introduced the story of Miyazaki’s life and works based on her latest book, Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art, taking a closer look at how children characters guide us to deal with an increasingly uncertain future. Following the presentation, they had a live discussion between McCarthy and Napier about their perspectives on Miyazaki’s various characters.

The discussion was followed by a live Q&A.

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