Since graduating from the London Film School (1990) and then the Department of Education, Oxford (1991), I have served as Deputy Manager of Expressive Arts (UK), Course Leader and Lecturer in Media Production/Screenwriting (UK), Guest Lecturer in US and British Cinema (The Johannes Guetenberg University of Mainz), and US Media and Cinema at the John F. Kennedy Institute, FU Berlin. More recently I have served as Professor of Film in South Africa where I taught screenwriting, media production, theory and analysis.
One common strand across all subjects has been an exploration of narrative. Hollywood’S Lonely Place at the JFKI-I, for example, considered the representation of the screenwriter in Hollywood film.
SOUTH AFRICA POSTS and RESPONSIBILITIES
2009 – 2014 Professor, Department of Drama and Film/Film, Arts Faculty, TUT, South Africa
The TUT is the only University institution in South Africa that offers degrees in film production.
“The appointment of Dr. Taylor is one of the strategic measures that were taken to position the Film Programme as the preferred program in this field nationally, but also to establish recognition for the program internationally. Dr. Taylor is a renowned academic and professional and he will undoubtedly play an important role in assisting the Faculty to make this dream a reality.” (TUT Vice Chancellor’s 2009 Report.)
EXTERNAL RESPONSIBILITIES and TASKS, TUT, South Africa
Evaluator for the Council on Higher Education Quality Committee, South Africa – assessments of submissions and guidance for film and media institutions across South Africa.
External Course Moderator, Department of Film Arts, Open Window, Pretoria
Project Manager, TUT Film Programme Community Film Unit covering Cancer Society of South Africa, Gauteng Branch Relay Walk, 2012
Initiating, leading and voicing successful application of Film Programme to CILECT Film School Membership, Cape Town Congress, May 2012 (http://www.cilect.org)
INTERNAL RESPONSIBILITIES and TASKS, TUT, South Africa
Film Programme Posts: Section Head; Curriculum Coordinator
Chair, Arts Faculty Research Seminars
Member: Higher Education Research and Development Committee (Drama and Film); Examination Board (Film) & Film Programme Chair at the Annual Candidate Interview Panel
Organizing and Chairing Film Programme Convocation of 2010.
Administration tasks, i.e., initiating assignment briefs with implementation of new study guides
Mentorship of new staff and part time staff
Executive Producer, i.e., Away From Keyboards (Dir. Matlaila), Film Programme Selection for MPAS Annual Student Academy Awards, 2014
Supervision of postgraduate students (ie, supporting presentation to the Swiss Society for Research and Education Conference on Integrating Formal and Informal Learning, Lugarno, 2013
Lecturer, Years 1, 2, 3 and 4: Media Theory, Media Production and Research Methodology: Cinemas of U. K., Italy, Germany, France, U.S.A, Japan, Italy, Russia, i.e.,
– Year 1: Evolution of South African cinema. Historical overview, contribution and legacy of South African film-makers on all sides of the political spectrum, political influences, propaganda cinema, censorship, African (black) cinema, television from 1975, foreigners making South African films, liberation in 1994, the National Film and Video Foundation.
– Year 3: Cinema of the Mavericks. Alternative cinema practices in the representation of the historical moment by Hitchcock, Malik, Cimino, Pontecorvo, Eisenstein, Fincher, Beatty and Sokurov. Student outcomes blended class tests and film productions that represented their own maverick plot points from South African history.
– Year 4 (B-tech): Independent Cinema from a range of countries were analyzed within a specific thematic rubric – the Knowing Eye and within that the cinematic depiction of deductive and inductive thinking (i.e., Welles, Roeg, Soderbergh, Von Donnersmarck, Kurasawa, Errol Morris, Antonioni). As such analysis was designed to complement and enable the same students’ skills and competences in the Research Methodology dissertation.
Student film essay on Independent Cinema here
J.F.K.-I Welcomes Dr. Alan Taylor, 2007
“From a ten-minute film sequence your whole life can change.” This one-liner perfectly captures Dr. Alan Taylor’s cineastic enthusiasm that pervades every seminar session of “Framing News,” his current – and first – lecture at our institute. One grasps the meaning of this, when Taylor recalls in an insightful anecdote how he, as a clueless 10-year-old, walked into Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 to be instantly blown away by the unexpected visual and acoustic magnificence. The place, “Everyman Cinema”in his hometown of Hampstead, North London, Taylor now likes to call his childhood’s “personal film school.” This is where he spent Saturday mornings, developing his love for motion pictures.
Since then he has turned a hobby into his profession. He graduated from both the London Film School and the Department of Educational Studies at Oxford and wrote his dissertation on Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate in 1990. Taylor has subsequentlyoffered courses covering Film and Media Studies, as well as American Studies. In addition, he has initiated various screenwritingprograms. He first came to Germany in 2000 when offered a teaching assignment at the Gutenberg Universität of Mainz. Now, after stints in Frankfurt/Main, England and Eastern Europe, he has found a new home in Berlin.
Taylor’s teaching approach is practice-oriented and highly interdisciplinary, which makes the Kennedy-Institute an especially good fit. He rejects the separation between academics and creative work, just like other notions of thinking-in-boxes. His seminar “Framing News,” deals with Hollywood’s representation of US news broadcasting. The course combines cultural,historical, political, and economic issues, while Taylor’s background as film scholar is still unmistakably present, e.g. through special emphasis on core sequence analysis.
The course is designed along the lines of his 2005 publication We, the Media, which Taylor first started thinking about while watching Fox News coverage of the events of 9/11. The experience prompted him to examine how news broadcasting had developed into the current dominance of Fox News in America’s media landscape.” (Tobias Jochum)
Course Title and Description
BA Course. Chalkface Rhetorics: The Politics of the Classroom in U.S Film and Social Media (FU Course)
“The practical and ideological role of American formal education has, since the nation’s inception, been a pivotal agent in articulating its democratic assumptions and in forwarding its aspirations towards equal opportunity. From Blackboard Jungle (Brooks, 1955) to The Great Debaters (Washington, 2007), the subject of schooling has, not surprisingly, emerged as a challenging and often lucrative Hollywood sub-genre that uniquely and explicitly addresses issues of hegemony, discourse, and resistance. The course will include but then advance beyond such Hollywood representations of the classroom to critically consider competing representations of education (from the Public School, the Charter School to the ‘Corporatized University’) as they have recently emerged across social media platforms. Our principle goal is to address how these rhetorical formulations are already instrumental in shaping the charged education policy debates for the coming 2016 Presidential Election. Final Student Response Papers will find support in class discussions and formal lectures as based on selected readings in rhetorical persuasion, media literacy and educational theory, and as supplemented by related class viewings.” Sample lecture: Children of Jefferson, How Did We Get Here?