Q &A: Tijana Mamula, Film, 2010
Tijana (MA 2006, PhD 2010) studied Contemporary Cinema Cultures and has a PhD in Film Studies. She is now Adjunct Assistant Professor of Communication at John Cabot University in Rome.
What did you do when you graduated from King's?
I applied to teach at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy while I was still completing my thesis at King's. I wanted to go back to Italy and teaching at an American university in the centre of Rome seemed like a great way to do that, and to start my academic career. Whilst finishing and defending my thesis, I taught an introductory film studies course there – it went well, and since then I've also taught Italian Cinema, Documentary Film, and a course I designed myself called Transnational Cinemas (which covered a lot of material related to my doctoral research).
Who was your favourite lecturer / member of support staff?
Dr. Sarah Cooper, who also supervised my thesis. It was mostly thanks to her MA course 'Thinking Cinema with Emmanuel Levinas' that I got really interested in film theory and realized that I may actually have enough that I want to say about it to keep me busy for three years.
What was your favourite thing about King's?
It's in a perfect location, walking distance from the BFI Southbank, the BFI library, most of the big University of London libraries, the cinemas in Soho, the ICA... I could go on. The research opportunities in London are really amazing. In terms of film studies, King's also runs a research seminar series that's fantastic for keeping up with current work in the field.
Do you keep in touch with many people you met here?
I'm often in London for various reasons, including research, so I see people that way. I also frequently meet King's faculty, alumni and graduate students at conferences, both in the UK and abroad.
What do you wish you'd known at University that you know now?
That teaching is a lot more fun when you really engage with students, i.e. that getting people to think can be just as interesting as telling them what you think. I guess that seems obvious, but when you start teaching you're so concerned with delivering all the right information in the clearest possible way that you sometimes forget to draw your students into the discussion!
What do you do in your spare time?
I have a longstanding passion for photography and experimental video, so I do a lot of that. I've also tried my hand at a more 'videographic' approach to media studies – last year I made a kind of critical montage of the TV show 'Friends' that focused on the shifting attitudes toward homosexuality in the series. More recently, I've started writing for an Italian contemporary arts magazine called NERO, which has taken me back to a more journalistic approach to film that makes for a really fun break from academia.
What was your ambition when you were at King's?
Mostly, I wanted to turn my thesis – which was a real passion project for me – into a book. I'm currently working on the revision, and the book is scheduled to be published by Routledge in 2012. That's definitely the most exciting result I've had since leaving King's.
What is your ambition now?
To keep on teaching and to write another book – maybe a monograph on a film or a director I really love. I'm also interested in curating film programmes and film/video based exhibitions, as well as continuing with my own video work. I've got a couple of projects underway at the moment, so, fingers crossed.