Note: Jim Welsh of Salisbury State University is a pioneer in film studies
and a good friend of Film & History as well as other film studies periodicals
and organizations. As he retires, his school recognizes his great efforts on
behalf of visual literacy…….Peter Rollins
Salisbury Daily Times (May 4, 2003)
SALISBURY, MD---On Thursday, May 1, Salisbury University celebrates the 30th
anniversary of one of the most respected film journals in the United States,
To be honored are its founders and editors, Dr. James Welsh and Dr. Thomas
Erskine of the English Department, and business manager Anne Welsh. The idea
for the journal was sparked in Erskine by Gerald Barrett, a colleague at the
University of Delaware in the early 1970s. Barrett had interested Erskine in
the adaptation of literary works to film, and the pair had subsequently
co-authored three books on the subject. Shortly after Erskine came to what
was Salisbury State College in 1972, he hired Welsh, and the two, along with
Barrett, began dreaming of producing a publication that would showcase their
love for movies and adaptations. Erskine compared that dream to some of the
movies themselves. "It was like when Mickey Rooney would say to Judy Garland,
'Hey, let's start a band,'" he said. "We said, 'Hey, we should put out a
The publication began at a time when universities nationwide were beginning
to boost film programs, and huge information databases such as the Internet
were still decades away.
"It was a good time for print journals to get started," said Erskine. "You
have to be there when the interest is peaking. We were lucky."
Originally subsidized by the University in 1973, the journal was holding its
own financially after just two years. Welsh became editor about that time and
the publication continued to flourish. According to the Rev. Gene D. Phillips
of Chicago's Loyola University and a contributor to Literature/Film
Quarterly, the new venture put SU on the map in the film studies world.
"The journal has steadily become very respected," he said. "I find the
magazine extraordinarily interesting." Towson University electronic media
and film professor Peter Lev said Welsh and his wife, Anne, have been crucial
to its success. "Literature/Film Quarterly has for more than 30 years
sustained a community of scholars devoted to the humanistic study of
literature and film," he said. "I consider Jim a mentor and a friend. His
great gift is an ability to bring scholars together in fruitful ways.
Salisbury University should be very proud of Jim and Anne Welsh."
Throughout its history, Literature/Film Quarterly has provided each new
generation of SU graduate and undergraduate students opportunities to learn
about film studies and journal publishing through internships in its office.
Literature/Film Quarterly editor and proofreader Brenda Grodzicki earned her
Bachelor and Master of Arts in English from SU. "I think the University is
lucky to have Anne and Jim. They're wonderful to work for. And their
publication is remarkable on many levels, certainly educationally, but also
as a marketing tool for Salisbury University's name."
With issues featuring scholars from around the world, the Quarterly has drawn
both national and international interest and can be found in libraries at
Harvard, Yale, UCLA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,
among others. In all, circulation includes more than 30 countries. Welsh's
experiences have allowed him to rub elbows with his fair share of celebrities
- from Jimmy Stewart to Rita Hayworth to Francis Ford Coppola and John E.
O'Connor. However, the scholar said meeting those stars brought him no
particular excitement. "The prestige comes not from rubbing elbows with movie
stars and actors, but from earning the respect of other people in the film
studies field," he said.
For more information call 410-677-5357 or visit the Literature/Film Quarterly
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Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite