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Renee Hirshfield

Adjunct Professor at Southwestern Illinois College and Webster University

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About Me

I earned a BS degree in Graphic Design and Communication Arts from Cornell University and—in fulfillment of my intense, lifelong love of film—an MA in Cinema Studies from New York University, with a concentration in Film History and Criticism. The MA degree required me to submit a final paper that was the equivalent of a Master’s thesis. Jules Furthman was the subject of the 68-page paper I wrote for the late film historian and professor William K. Everson. A few years later, an abridged version appeared (under my name at that time, Renée D. Pennington) in American Screenwriters (Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vol. 26), Gale Research Co., 1984, pp. 119–128.

For years, I focused on corporate communications instead of pursuing an academic career. In 2011, encouraged by my daughter and by friends in the St. Louis film community, I became an adjunct professor in the Film Department at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC), where I still teach Film Appreciation in the fall and Film History in the spring. Beginning in fall 2016, I started teaching Film and Television Appreciation as an adjunct professor at Webster University’s School of Communications.

Teaching involves the intangible quality of engaging students with the idea that films reflect our society as well as our vision. My editorial work pays the bills, but teaching feeds my soul.

My disciplines and areas of professional expertise include…

  • Film history, film appreciation, genre studies

Current work

I am an adjunct professor at Webster University (St. Louis) and Southwestern Illinois College (Belleville); in addition, I am self-employed as an editor through RPH Communications, LLC.

Contact me regarding...

  • Answering Professional Questions