As a high school student, Bella loved English literature, writing, and film, and was excited to explore where these interests might lead her. Bella graduated with a BA in English and a minor in media production in May 2017.
This is Bella’s Northeastern Story…
“I’m really interested in theory as well as media production, and I feel like Northeastern was a really good place for me to combine those two interests.”
Bella declared an English major because, in addition to film and media production, she was interested in writing and wanted to gain a theoretical perspective on media and culture.
As an English major, Bella is able to maintain her interdisciplinary interests in narrative, theory, and media while becoming a stronger writer. She has gained a theoretical perspective on media forms throughout history, learned analytical practices that are crucial for working in the industry, and explored how media production can function as an interpretive tool for communicating with—and helping—various communities.
Photo credit: Joanne DeCaro Afornalli
In the class Introduction to Shakespeare, taught by Professor Marina Leslie, Bella produced a short cinematic interpretation of Othello for her final project that retold its narrative without any of its human figures to demonstrate the roles objects play in its dramatic unfolding.
In the class Technologies of Text, taught by Professor Ryan Cordell, Bella learned about the history of various print media forms, from the printing press and Braille type to contemporary digital platforms.
In both classes, Bella examined the intersections of writing and media production. She learned how her burgeoning interest in film production could be used to interpret and communicate information in different contexts and for different communities.
“I took Multiethnic Lit with Professor Bonnie TuSmith in my freshman year, and it remains the best reading list that I’ve ever had in any class in my life. It gives attention to so many authors that are overlooked.”
Bella has found a broad audience for her scholarly work. At the 35th Annual Conference for the Fantastic and the Arts, she presented a paper on depictions of local specificity within different Asian American cultures in the series Avatar: The Last Airbender. She also published an article in the digital media journal In Media Res that examined the intersections of age and monstrosity in the television series American Horror Story.
Bella brought her interests in media production into the local community when she served as a community television production assistant for the Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) in nearby Roxbury. Bella volunteered for BNN because she was drawn to its focus on addressing the educational, cultural, and health needs of local communities. Here Bella had her first experiences working in a live television studio, where she learned the basics of operating camera equipment and directed live programming.
Bella has also volunteered with local nonprofit organizations as part of Boston’s “Love Your Block” program, helping local communities develop multimedia applications for mini-grants to support neighborhood beautification projects.
Bella brought many of the skills she learned in English department classes to her co-op with the New England Conservatory. Here Bella filmed and edited concert footage, created advertising content, and provided production support during live events. Bella also conducted an audit of the social media campaigns of the New England Conservatory’s competitors and composed a report on how its Marketing Department could enhance its digital presence. In conducting this qualitative study and presenting it to the marketing department, Bella used the skills she learned in English classes to construct and deliver complex comparative analyses.
“The co-op program gives you a chance to find these jobs that are, in my experience, more comprehensive than what you think of in an internship or entry-level job. You get to do a lot of hands-on things. And seeing if you can do it full-time and still enjoy it…. That was a good test for me.”
After graduation, Bella hopes to pursue a career in media production, either through attending graduate school in cinematography or by producing media for nonprofits.
Northeastern Department of English