The Department of Film & Media Arts welcomes new leadership

June 24 2019

By Molly Powers 

The College of Fine Arts is pleased to welcome Andrew Patrick Nelson, PhD, who will join us as the new chair of the Department of Film & Media Arts. Nelson comes to the U from the School of Film & Photography at Montana State University, where he served as associate professor of Film History and Critical Studies as well as film option coordinator. Nelson served on the advisory board of the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the North American West and is the series editor of “The Popular West” at the University of Oklahoma Press. 

“We are thrilled to have Nelson joining the College of Fine Arts,” said Dean John W. Scheib. “He is a prolific and innovative scholar, an award-winning teacher, skilled administrator and provides a dynamic vision for the department. We’re looking forward to seeing how his passion and enthusiasm will lead us into the future.” 

A leading authority on the Western genre, Nelson is author and editor of numerous books and essays on the subject, including Still in the Saddle: The Hollywood Western, 1969-1980 (Oklahoma, 2015)—called “essential reading for fans of Western films” by First Blood author David Morrell—and Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990 (Scarecrow, 2013).  

He regularly lectures on Western film, art, and culture at venues around the United States and internationally. He has also published on other topics in American cinema ranging from silent cinema to slasher films, and is coeditor with Matthew Carter of The Films of Delmer Daves (Edinburgh, 2016). Nelson is committed to sharing his research with wider communities through public lectures, museum curation, and media commentary. 

In the classroom, Nelson has taught a wide range of cinema and media studies topics and has been honored with both the Montana State University College of Arts & Architecture Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award and the School of Film & Photography’s Teacher Appreciation Award. 

“It’s an honor to join the Department of Film & Media Arts, especially at this exciting moment in film and media history,” Nelson said. “We live in an age when different media are converging in unprecedented ways, and when media-makers are expected to have skills that transcend longstanding divisions and boundaries. I’m especially impressed with the department’s commitment to a holistic understanding of cinematic and media arts, and to introducing students to a broad range of moving image practices. I look forward to working with my new colleagues as we build on the department’s considerable achievements and continue to prepare our graduates to be active participants across the 21st century media landscape."