Prof. Aine O'Healy with Associate Prof. Danielle Hipkins

Successful teaching exchange with Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Last semester Dr Danielle Hipkins, Associate Professor of Italian Studies and Film at the University of Exeter, took part in a teaching exchange with Professor Aine O’Healy, Professor of Italian and Director of the Humanities Program at Loyola Marymount University.

With research interests in Italian cinema, contemporary Italian literature, and transnational film studies, Professor O’Healy’s teaching duties at Exeter included giving final year students the opportunity to study a module on the representation of immigration in contemporary Italian cinema. (She is currently completing a monograph on this topic for Indiana University Press entitled 'National Cinema in a Transnational Frame: Filmmaking in Italy since the 1980s'). During the visit Professor O’Healy also presented her most recent research, both at the Centre for Translating Cultures at the University of Exeter and in the Italian Department, University College Cork, Ireland. She also talked to Exeter staff who might be interested in publishing with Palgrave Macmillan Global Cinema series, of which she is a co-editor.

Exchange counterpart Associate Professor Danielle Hipkins taught Italian film and language at Loyola Marymount University’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. She had been in the US on study leave since January, visiting the Universities of Miami (Ohio), Ohio State, Oregon and UCLA to deliver talks on various aspects of postwar Italian cinema. Whilst in LA she also worked on a HASS-funded research collaboration with documentary filmmaker, Dr. Aparna Sharma, at UCLA, as part of a pilot project on girlhood led by Fiona Handyside. This involved research into media consumption and filmmaking pedagogy at the John Marshall High School, Los Angeles.

Commenting on the teaching exchange, Prof. Hipkins said, “I would say that for me the exchange represented a really valuable opportunity to experience higher education from a new perspective, and to learn more about the opportunities and challenges in teaching Modern Languages in the US context. Colleagues and students at LMU were really welcoming and supportive as I got to grips with a different system. Although the education system and institutions were different, it was interesting to find out how much we have in common. I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences with colleagues in Exeter, but I hope to keep in touch with the students and staff I got to know there, and to keep that dialogue between our institutions open".

Prof. O’Healy and Prof. Hipkins met at an Italian Studies conference over ten years ago, and have collaborated on several projects since then, delivering papers at one another’s universities. The similarity of their research interests and teaching profiles provided them with this welcome opportunity to learn more about teaching in different university systems, and to expand their international research networks. 

Date: 6 January 2015

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