As a media industry scholar who studies labor issues, Kate Fortmueller brings a unique perspective to the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Fortmueller joined the entertainment and media studies department this fall as an assistant professor after previously teaching at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts and Fairfield University. Her work centers on media industry labor with an emphasis on actors and below-the-line workers—people who are essential to the production but not visible on screen.
“Dr. Fortmueller’s research in motion-picture production studies with an emphasis on labor issues provides the department and college much-needed depth in key areas,” said Jay Hamilton, EMST department head. “In the current times of increasingly contractor and project-based employment in media industries, her blend of historical and contemporary research helps make better sense of why this kind of employment is so pervasive, how it shapes the kinds of entertainment
media made today and how it will shape the media work and products of tomorrow.”
“Given the growth in media production in Georgia, UGA was a particularly exciting place for me to study some of the key changes in the contemporary media industries,” said Fortmueller, whose work appears in Television & New Media and is forthcoming in The Journal of Film and Video and Film History. “My research is not strictly contemporary, so access to the Peabody Archives and UGA’s Special Collections was tremendously appealing.”
In addition to research, Fortmueller is enjoying her time in the classroom. Though classes began only weeks ago, she said she already is impressed with the caliber of student work.
Fortmueller looks forward to teaching the Business of Media Entertainment course this spring, a class related to her research that “will also help give students a much clearer understanding of the complicated industry that they plan on entering after graduation.”