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Doctoral dissertation establishes new film subgenre

'Napoleon Dynamite' inspired CU communications professor Jason Garrett to write paper on 'Social Outcast Cinema'

By Ashley Zsedenyi, CU staff writer

Campbellsville University recently added to its growing number of professors with doctorate degrees, according to Dr. Michael V. Carter, president.

Jason Garrett, assistant professor of mass communication, received his Ph.D. in communications from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, in May 2008, after successfully defended his doctoral dissertations in March.

Garrett's dissertation, titled "Social Outcast Cinema: Generic Evolution and Identification in early 21st Century Teen Film," establishes a new subgenre of teen film, the social outcast subgenre, by analyzing three recent films: "Donnie Darko," "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Thumbsucker."

He said it also focuses on how "geek love" has become a cultural phenomenon.

"I knew I wanted to do my dissertation on this topic after seeing 'Napoleon Dynamite' on the big screen in the summer of 2004. That film was an exact mirror of my high school experience and I had never before experienced anything so close to home while watching a movie," Garrett said.

Garrett has been a mass communication professor at CU since 2003. He received his master's degree in communication from Regent University in 2001 and his bachelor of arts in theater arts from Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC, in 1998.

Garrett resides in Campbellsville with his wife, Starr, instructor in theater and director of the theater program, at CU, and they have one son, August.

For more information about Campbellsville University or the mass communication department, visit or call (800) 264-6014.

This story was posted on 2008-10-06 04:34:46
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