Introduction

Welcome to the spring 2024 edition of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Newsletter for the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts at The Ohio State University! Now that everyone has settled into the new building in the emerging Ohio State arts district, it is time to take stock of the department’s DEIJ efforts.

The Autumn 2023 semester was filled with DEIJ events. Indeed, the department hosted two inaugural DEIJ speakers, Nyama McCarthy-Brown and Chari Arespacochaga, who facilitated interactive discussions about equity and accessibility on and around the stage. Moreover, in their first Black Box Series Workshop of the year, The Syndicate workshopped Explicit Content for Teens, an unpublished new play by Grace Ellis that raises important questions about youth theatre, censorship, and LGBTQ+ representation. See the link on the left to view photos and read the DEIJ committee’s write-up of this workshop!

The committee is also excited to share an interview with Jackie Brady, a graduate of the department’s Film Studies major, about their publication of research developed in our undergraduate senior film studies seminar.

Lastly, please note a forthcoming public talk in March by Michael B. Gillespie, who is a scholar of film theory, Black visual and expressive culture, and popular music. His visit to The Ohio State University will be co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre, Film, and Media Arts in collaboration with other academic units.

As we begin the spring semester, the committee is happy to share some new resources. Among others, these include links to an advice column about how instructors can make their teaching more inclusive, an op-ed about how the war and humanitarian crisis in Gaza relates to academic freedom and free speech, and a column about Ohio politics and the political extremism that is exemplified by SB83 and similar bills. The DEIJ Committee has also updated the interfaith and DEIJ calendar for the spring semester. It now lists many of the upcoming holidays, observances, and other dates that are significant members of our community.

As ever, the DEIJ Committee welcomes your input and contributions for future installments of this newsletter. For it to act as a co-created resource that benefits—and reflects—all of us, it needs to be a resource that creates a community in which everyone can be heard and seen. If you are planning or participating in a DEIJ-related event, have news to announce or accomplishments to celebrate, or know of resources that should be shared with the department, please tell the committee about it by filling out this anonymous form or by emailing the committee chair John Brooks at brooks.1310@osu.edu.