Academy Funds Research Into Female Screenwriters, Onscreen Depictions of Slavery

Dr. Donna Kornhaber and Dr. Ellen Christine Scott are the latest recipients of Academy Film Scholars grants

Last Updated: August 9, 2016 @ 10:44 AM


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has given $25,000 grants to scholars researching female screenwriters and the depiction of slavery in Hollywood movies, AMPAS announced on Tuesday.

Dr. Donna Kornhaber and Dr. Ellen Christine Scott are the recipients of the 2016 Academy Film Scholars grants, an annual program designed to aid research into areas of film scholarship.

The grants were made by the Academy’s Educational Grants Committee, chaired by Buffy Shutt.

Kornhaber is working on “Women’s Work: The Female Screenwriter and the Development of Early American Film,” which the Academy called “the first book-length study of the diverse group of women writers who played an outsized role in shaping the American film industry during the silent era.” She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.

Scott, an assistant professor of cinema and media studies at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, is working on “Cinema’s Peculiar Institution,” which will study “the evolution of censorship systems and patterns of representability that shaped the image of slavery onscreen” during the Classical Hollywood period.

An additional 13 Academy film scholars are currently working on projects funded by AMPAS grants, with 15 others having already published their work.

The Academy Film Scholars program is part of the Academy Foundation, which runs Academy screening and educational programs and gives $550,000 a year to scholars, cultural organizations and film festivals.