PhD student Paul Monticone wins 2014 SCMS Student Writing Award
Ph.D. student Paul Monticone won first-place in the 2014 Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Student Writing Award competition, for his essay, “Useful Cinema, of Limited Use?: Assessing the Role of Motion Pictures in the Largest Public Relations Campaign of the 1920s.”
Monticone’s essay analyzes the 1920s National Electric Light Association’s (NELA) public relations campaign to persuade Americans that private ownership of utilities was in their best interests. The essay considers the way that films interacted with other promotional materials in order to examine the usefulness of film as a medium for the NELA campaign.
The competition selection committee reported:
“This essay is an impressively thorough, insightful, and beautifully written account and analysis…[Monticone] does an excellent job of engaging and building on the emerging scholarly strain of ‘useful cinema.’ Through rich historical research this essay probes precisely what conditions make cinema useful, or of limited use, in certain contexts and with important socio-historical implications.”
The award comes with an honorarium of $500 as well as publication in Cinema Journal. SCMS officially recognized Monticone on March 21st at an awards ceremony during its 2014 annual Conference, held in Seattle, WA.
For more on Monticone's award, see The Daily Texan article.
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