Teaching is not an isolated activity, limited to the time we spend with students in the classroom (or online, or via interactive video). What we teach, and how, is shaped and reshaped by our institutional contexts and responsibilities—and also by the intellectual work we do as scholars. This short dossier presents five reflections on the intersections between teaching and research.
It begins with a provocative "mini-manifesto" by Frank Tomasulo, who argues that our teaching should drive our research agenda rather than the other way around. The following four contributors offer specific instances in which pedagogy and research become intertwined, influencing not just the individual teacher-scholar but the larger field in which he or she works. As Marsha Cassidy puts it in her essay on recent developments in Television Studies, "thoughtful" students, through their active response to the materials the teacher presents, can "become allies in redrawing the boundaries" of an area of inquiry. John McCullough shows how his research into the institutions of global cinema has led him to create assignments that prepare students for "life after film school," whether in industry or academe. Karen Orr Vered analyzes the way that geographical relocation (something that most of us experience going from our graduate institution to our first job) disrupts "cultural knowledge" and reinvigorates an individual's pedagogical and scholarly approaches. Jon Lewis, who describes just such a relocation early in his career, adapts his presentation from the 2010 SCMS workshop "Teaching the Introductory Class" to reflect on how his writing and research has grown out of the introductory cinema class he has carefully crafted over many years.
Teaching and research almost invariably get placed in separate categories when we describe ourselves professionally in curricula vitae, grant applications, performance reviews, and so on. This dossier reminds us that this separation is artificial, and it provides specific models [End Page 83] for more consciously enacting and celebrating the ways in which we can (and should) go about "researching our teaching." [End Page 84]
Ted Hovet is Professor of English and Film Studies at Western Kentucky University. His most recent publications are on early cinema and on nineteenth-century moving panoramas. He is the chair of the SCMS Teaching Committee.
Elizabeth A. Lathrop teaches Film Studies at Georgia Perimeter College and serves on the Teaching Committee of SCMS.