Community and creativity: Kino Club 313

While the Department of English provides many opportunities for students across the university to explore their interests and develop new skills in our courses, the department is also proud of the student organizations we support. These clubs encourage undergraduate and graduate students to connect and often provide opportunities for our students to apply their academic skills outside of the classroom.Kino Club students sword fighting with laser beams

One of the department’s oldest student groups is Kino Club 313 (pronounced “key-noh”). Founded in 2012, this film and media studies student group is named for Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov’s 1924 film Kino-eye (or “Cinema eye”) and was started as a way to build a sense of community among undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in film and media studies. One way club members have done this is through free public film screenings curated by student members.

The public screenings are not the only outward-facing element of Kino Club 313. Since 2015, the club has also sponsored an annual pop culture conference, #WaynePop. The most recent pop culture conference took place in October 2023 and included a keynote talk on “Black Horror, Uncivil Disobedience, & Reclaiming the Urban,” by Robin R. Means Coleman of Northwestern University. All aspects of the #WaynePop conference— including these keynote lectures—are organized by student volunteers. These students work hard to secure funding to support the advertising and coordination of multiple events. They also produce a call for papers, evaluate applications, organize panels and workshops, and manage volunteers for the conference.

Also under the umbrella of WaynePop are other clubs that meet monthly. Knit Lit gathers knitters, crocheters, and anyone interested in learning to work on fiber arts projects and talk about the latest books they have read. Warrior Gaming meets to play games ranging from board games like D&D to video games such as Until Dawn. Students from across Wayne State are welcome to attend, and no experience is necessary.

Kino Club 313, as well as other student organizations, provide opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students to meet other Wayne State students and engage with students and scholars from across the globe. These groups also allow our students to connect with the wider Wayne State and Detroit communities while learning valuable skills that will serve them well after graduation.

By Dr. Chera Kee, director of graduate studies

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