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James Catano

James Catano

Professor, Department of English
Director, Program for the Study of Film and Media Arts
Faculty, Women's and Gender Studies
LSU College of Human Sciences & Education

What was your previous position and where?

I was an associate professor of English at Tulane University in New Orleans.

What brought you to LSU?

My goal after earning my Ph.D. was to start an academic career at a research-oriented university. I was attracted to LSU because of the opportunity to continue my research in information science. Many of my colleagues in this field are highly regarded scholars and researchers.

What is your research interest?

My main research is in nonfiction film and prose, also known more broadly as documentary and essay, as well as in masculinity and gender studies. My current research project is ďAmerican Dream/American Drama,Ē a one-hour documentary about the Croatian community in southern Louisiana.

What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?

At the moment, Iím having a great deal of pleasure helping to build and expand the new Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts concentration in film and media arts in the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, as well as developing further research and teaching in film within the English department.

What do you enjoy most about LSU?

Given what Iím doing right now, Iíd have to say that the flexibility of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences — its openness to interdisciplinary work — and the capacities of its faculty and those of other colleges for such work are always invigorating. I like to compare that framework to Bell Labsí early campus design, where you were supposed to always be encountering people who forced you out of your personal specialty and into new areas of creative thinking and development.

What are your major accomplishments?

Iíve had the great good fortune to find ways to bring together faculty interested in developing and expanding two wonderful concentrations within two different programs: film and media arts and writing and culture, the latter in English. Those programs arenít really my accomplishments; Iíve only had an opportunity to move them forward. My colleagues seem most impressed that I persuaded a publisher to accept "Ragged Dicks: Masculinity, Steel, and the Rhetoric of the Self-Made Man" as a book title. My wife Michelleís mother always worried that I missed the double-meaning of the titleís opening words.


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