April 5, 2016 | Deaf Jam | Newport News, VA
Christopher Newport University’s campus sparkles with brand new buildings and landscaping. Along with the brilliant campus façade is a student body of inquisitive and vibrant minds. I had the pleasure of beginning my day at the University with a visit to Dr. John Nichols’ Film Studies Class where we discussed interdisciplinary collaboration and diversity in media. The students asked perceptive and interesting questions about Deaf Jam’s structure. We also discussed finding ways to approach storytelling when entering an unfamiliar community.
In the evening, I headed to the majestic Ferguson Center, a former high school that has been transformed into an arts complex with two theaters and studio space for dance, music, and theater studies underneath.
Our post screening discussion reflected a line in the film by poet, Bob Holman: “Sign Language Poetry needs to be seen in order for it to take its place in the world of poetries.” Dr. Nichols led a discussion about the relationship of sign language poetry to written poetry. There is a Center for Digital Humanities at Christopher Newport University. One of the participating professors in the Center who joined the Q&A was Nicole Emmelhainz who is developing course work that will include digital poems. https://dwilicnu.wordpress.com
It was interesting to note that It was an entirely hearing audience at this screening. I was thrilled to see that everyone remained engaged until the end of the talk.
Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Judy Lieff.