Thomas Zorabedian

Students of the 2023 J-Term Honors Course “Experiencing Film In Rhode Island” are photographed seated with Prof. Tom Zorabedian and the owner of South County Cinemas, Bill Dougherty.

Professor Tom Zorabedian has been teaching on the URI campus since 1994 and during that time has taught several classes for the Honors Program. Last year, Prof. Zorabedian introduced our first J-Term course, “Experiencing Film in Rhode Island.” He will be bringing it back this January and wants you to know what makes it such a hit!

Describe your course, “Experiencing Film in Rhode Island,” and tell us what makes it an “honors experience”.

This was the first-ever Honors J-term course. The newly-created course is experiential and interdisciplinary, giving students unique insights into the film industry.

What do you hope students take away from your course?

By meeting with Rhode Island film industry professionals students will learn about the history, culture, and economic impact of filmmaking in RI and theatrical film exhibition.

Also, they will be exposed to the varied and evolving theater moviegoing experience, both in a traditional, historic movie house, and in those with the newer, enhanced amenities.

What do you like about working with students in the Honors Program?

Classes are small, students are typically intellectually curious, academically talented, and engaged.

Your class will be running again in the next J-Term (January 2024). Who should register for your course?

Space is limited, but really anyone who is eligible to take a 300-level Honors course could find it worthwhile. Not only is it relevant for film/media, communication studies, and public relations majors, but also for business, history, digital media, sociology, and other students interested in exploring this topic in a unique, intensive way.

Is there anything more you’d like to add about yourself, your class or your time at URI?

The honors program is one of the best academic experiences for students (and for faculty) that the university has to offer. I particularly have appreciated being able to create several courses (“Images of Masculinity in Films”, “Rebel Images in Films”, “Politics and Protest in Films”, etc.) that students could only take through honors. Also, I have enjoyed mentoring several students for their individual honors projects.