On Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the America for Bulgaria Student Center (ABF) in room 6306, the Literature and Theatre department held their first department informational evening. During the event, Professor Sean Homer announced that by the next semester a new major in Film and Theatre and a new minor in Creative Writing will be introduced. Those interested in literature, film, and theatre had the opportunity to learn more about the new major and minor, and the creative writing competitions directly from the faculty members of the department.
The development of the Film and Theatre major is a student initiative of Oraz Kereibayev and Asset Janabekov. Professor Nedyalko Delchev, who teaches theatre-related courses said that the American University in Bulgaria is promoting the new major as a secondary one, so students can only enroll in it if they have another major declared.
“My friend Asset and I just looked at the courses and we realized that the university has enough capacity to create a major without establishing many extra courses,” said Kereibayev. Kereibayev and Janabekov realized that if all available courses related to film and theatre are combined and certain Journalism and Mass Communication courses are added, it would be possible to create the new major.
The two students involved in the initiative took a survey among the students to see how many would be interested. Almost 95 percent of the 200 people who voted said that they would at least like to have this major at the university. Another positive result was that there are 19 students currently pursuing Film Studies minor who would be ready to switch to the Film and Theatre major. Professor Homer also mentioned that there are some students doing self-designed majors in Film and Theatre.
“We are making it for the next generations,” Kereibayev said. “Next year it will become a major, but I believe that in three years it will become a big thing at the university.”
Faculty members also said that the Creative Writing minor would not be difficult to develop. Half of the courses related to creative writing are already available and about three more new courses will be generated.
Professor Michael Cohen, who teaches courses on fiction and screenwriting, is thinking about developing an advanced fiction writing course. Professor Vincent Kazer said he wants to develop an advanced screenwriting course. As an editor of an online journal in Bulgarian, Professor Olga Nikolova said she wants to create a course that would give students the chance to learn about how a book or a magazine should be edited. A re-writing course is about to be created by Professor Terziev, in which students would develop their skills in analyzing a literature piece and then have the opportunity to re-write it.
“Pity of any man or woman who didn’t try himself or herself in the area of arts in their 20s,” said professor Nedyalko Delchev. “You have to try and see what your artistic soul is, take these risks. Shoot in the dark and see what will happen.”
According to the faculty members, the Film and Theatre major would be helpful for students to develop their artistic talents and acquire new skills. The importance of writing is not something unknown and the new minor in Creative Writing would be helpful even to people in the corporate world. To improve their writing skills, students were encouraged to participate in the Second Annual Filitsa Sofianou-Mullen Creative Writing Competition with a short fiction story or a poem.
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