The Reni Celeste Annual Lectureship
The Reni Celeste annual lectureship is a treasured graduate student event in Film Studies. It honors an inspiring young film professor who was associated with our community until breast cancer took her in 2005. Her family contributed funds to perpetuate her memory and they were gratified when we designated this to go toward our graduate program. Specifically, these funds, supplemented by the Program, bring to campus a film scholar or artist chosen by the graduate students. Thus, over the course of six years in residence, our students are able to meet and interact with a half-dozen people whose work they have admired. This also provides an opportunity for the graduate students to bring to our Program methods, topics, or films that we do not characteristically cover. The process of choosinig the lecturer inevitably involves discussions each year in which students air their interests, share their enthusiasms, and debate their values.
The event itself consists of a lecture for the larger university community, followed by dinner with some of the students, and, the following day, a three hour seminar just for the graduate students. Students prepare for this seminar by reading texts suggested by the lecturer and sometimes by having met ahead of time to discuss a good deal of their work. Launched by these texts, the discussion in the seminar delves into the lecturer’s background, values, and views on topics in the field. Invariably the Reni Celeste lecturers have found these events heartening and fulfilling.
Chosen Lecturers have included:
David Bordwell, Jacques Aumont (postponed), Vivian Sobchak, Stanley Cavell (postponed), Jane Gaines, Kaja Silverman, Akira Lippit, Philip Rosen, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Laura Mulvey, Karen Beckman (postponed)