FAMS Bruss Seminar Fall 2021 Final Project

postcards hanging as a mobile in the library
postcards hanging as a mobile in the library
postcards hanging as a mobile in Keefe Campus Center
students assemble postcards while wearing masks

During their Fall 2021 seminar, the students in Professor Amelie Hastie’s Bruss Seminar Writing Together: Film and Feminist Collectivity practiced collaborative and collective writing. The students’ final project included an epistolary exchange between members of the class in which the students sent postcards to each other via campus mail. On one side of the postcards were images chosen from films they watched over the semester, and on the other side, discussions of the films and readings they studied.  “These postcards are our way of combining images, the written word, and the seminar’s theme of collectivity”, said the students.  “Each of us, with our own images, ideas, and perspectives, interact with one another in order to create an exchange of experiences and to produce one unified piece of work: this is what collectivity means to us.”  In Writing Together, students learned the importance of having multiple perspectives when analyzing a text, and these multiple perspectives allowed them to develop their ideas as a group and in conversation with existing ideas, ultimately generating a collective conversation.  During the study period that follows the end of the semester, they created mobiles with the postcards and displayed them in the Frost Library, in the Keefe Campus Center, and in the Valentine Dining Hall.

Images came from the following films: One Sings, The Other Doesn’t (Agnès Varda, 1977), News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1976), Song of the Exile (Ann Hui, 1990), 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis, 2008), Atlantics (Mati Diop, 2020), A Death in the Gunj (Konkona Sen Sharma, 2016), A Girl at My Door (July Jung, 2014), But I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit, 1999), Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985, Passing (Rebecca Hall, 2021) Night Cries (Tracy Moffatt, 1989)

Tucker Meijer '19 FAMS Thesis Project: "Swiping Right: The Queer Virtualities of Cinema and Gay Dating Apps"

Tucker Meijer's primarily critical thesis project "Swiping Right: The Queer Virtualities of Cinema and Gay Dating Apps" puts gay dating apps like Grindr, Scruff, Tinder, and Bumble in conversation with a selection mainstream queer movies to examine how cinema can offer a more inclusive, positive, and transformative digital future for gay men. Part examination of the new digital media that shapes the sociality of gay men, and part close-reading and textual analysis of films featuring gay protagonists, this project seeks to uncover the pitfalls, potentiaities, and capabilities of virtual queerness. Tucker's thesis was accompanied by a creative component: an audio-visual art installation that traveled to various locations on campus (described in Appendix A of the thesis). 


Lena Lamer ‘22, Sam Hood ‘21

Lena Lamer (with Sam Hood ‘21 and Lee-Won Fulbright ’21 from Smith) recently produced Whiptail, an award-winning short film that tells the story of lizards interrupting a woman’s desert vacation.  The link to that film can be found here: https://vimeo.com/483686893.  The film’s awards are as follows: Alternative Film Festival, Quarantine Semi-Finalist. Boston Student Film Festival, Best Picture. Lesley University Independent Film Festival, Best Short FilmShenandoah Youth Film Festival, Official Selection. Filmfest.net, Official Selection.


Student Work


10 Helens Way by Taylor Thomas ’17


In Different Lights by Robyn Farley ’17

Elision: A 2017 Self Portrait by Hunter Whitaker-Morrow ’17
Learn more about this film on Hunter’s blog: substanceprojectblog.wordpress.com


Presentiments, a film by Miranda Dershimer ’15E

PRESENTIMENTS - Found footage, hand-drawn and rayogram techniques are used in a narrative comparing the lives of fig wasps and humans

Award: Best Experimental, Five College Film & Video Festival 2015

Exposure (Thoughts Occasioned by) by Jose Rodriguez ’15E

Exposure tells the story of a woman with retrograde amnesia.  States Jose, "It is here that I take stalk of my story and realize that there isn’t much of a story at all. I’ve failed to actually introduce a character but I’ve succeeded in bestowing upon it— whatever it is— humanity".
Award: Best of Amherst College, Five College Film & Video Festival 2015


The Locals by Anthony Andrews ’13

Amherst College Film and Media Studies Senior Honors Thesis film

The Locals is a documentary following six men who brave wave inconsistency and harsh winter conditions in pursuit of their passion: surfing. This is the story of the surfing subculture in Newport, Rhode Island. These are the Water Brothers.