Editor’s Note: This article contains excerpts from a profile originally published on Sept. 8, 2019 as part of UGA Today’s Focus on Faculty series. To read the full profile, visit UGA Today’s site here.
Kate Fortmueller, assistant professor of Entertainment and Media Studies in Grady College, helps prepare students for careers in the growing Georgia media industry and beyond.
What are your favorite courses and why?
I teach courses in media theory and media industries. I love teaching both, but they are very different courses. In the media industries course, my goal is to give students an overview of the history, hierarchies, key debates and developments in the screen industries – it’s a lot to cover in a semester, and we are always talking about current issues facing the industry. Most recently, we have spent time talking about changes to streaming platforms, production centers outside Los Angeles—including the growing Georgia media economy—and the ongoing negotiations between the Writer’s Guild and Hollywood talent agents. In media theory, we watch and discuss television shows, films and music videos, and I help students explore how people have studied, written and thought about media. My hope in that class is that the aspiring media makers will take all of those big ideas and critiques of media and apply those to their own creative practice.
What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?
Many of the students I teach want to make a living making media, whether that means film, television or branded content. Regardless of their professional aspirations, I want students to develop strong critical thinking skills, which includes understanding the relationship between industrial practices, media makers (and their working conditions) and media texts.
The one UGA experience I will always remember will be …
I am consistently impressed by the generosity of UGA alumni. One of my favorite Grady LA memories is sitting in on a “Simpsons” table read with alumnus Chris Edgerly (ABJ ’91). After the table read he walked students around the Fox lot and spent a lot of time talking with students before bringing us in to watch him rerecord some dialogue and songs for an episode. Experiences like this one, where I get to spend time with current students and alumni, give me a sense of being part of a larger UGA community.
September 11, 2019