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Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Elizabeth Coffman

Elizabeth Coffman, Ph.D.
Title: Associate Professor
Office #: School of Communication 219
Phone: 312.915.6716
E-mail: ecoffma@luc.edu

Elizabeth Coffman is an active documentary filmmaker and film scholar.  She has worked at Loyola University Chicago since 2004, serving first as department chair for Communication and as the director of the International Film and Media Studies Program from 2008-2012.  In 2004 she helped to found Loyola's Center for Global Media and Documentary Studies. In the field of cinema studies Dr. Coffman has published on the history of early avant-garde cinema and body movement, as well as contemporary video practices surrounding violence and new media.  Most recently, she published "Documentary and Collaboration: Placing the Camera in the Community" for the Journal of Film  and Video.  She writes a bi-monthly column, "Long Distance Mom" for the blog "Mama, Phd" with Inside Higher Ed. 

Dr. Coffman has co-produced documentaries and short films that have broadcast internationally and exhibited in galleries and museums.   In 2002 she co-produced "One More Mile: A Dialogue on Nation Building," a documentary covering the complex, post-war political situation in Bosnia.  Currently, Coffman is co-producing "Veins in the Gulf," a documentary based in southern Louisiana on the disappearance of Cajun culture, the wetlands and the impact of disasters such as Katrina and the BP oil spill.  See www.veinsinthegulf.com‌.  

Outside of Loyola, Dr. Coffman serves as a trustee for the University  Film and Video Foundation and on numerous advisory boards for cinema and documentary groups. 

Dr. Coffman maintains a residence in Florida, and visits it during the winter "frequently."

Veins in the Gulf

Woman of the Gulf
Courtesy of Inside Loyola
June, 2011--Dr. Elizabeth Coffman, director of international film and media studies, was recently named as one of the Audubon Society’s “Women of the Gulf” at the 2011 Women in Conservation luncheon as a result of her passionate commitment to exposing the realities of the rapidly disappearing Louisiana coastline.

Coffman was honored because of her film, Veins in the Gulf, a documentary that tells the story of Cajun culture and the environmental crisis that is threatening Louisiana’s landmass. The film exposes and explains the state’s coastal turmoil through interviews with scientists, musicians, and engineers – people who make up the heart of Louisiana’s coast.

Along with her filmmaking partner Ted Hardin, Coffman began working on Veins in the Gulf in March 2003. The film’s original aim was to raise awareness about the disappearing bayous, but when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and other coastal cities in 2005, the problems became more complex. The infamous BP oil spill in 2010 brought a slew of new troubles to southern Louisiana, and Coffman and Hardin had to once again shift the film’s focus to include the ruinous effects of the man-made disaster. More.

Environmental Documentary

July, 2010—School of Communication Associate Professor Elizabeth Coffman and filmmaking partner Ted Hardin were invited to present a section of their environmental documentary, Veins in the Gulf  at the TEDx Oil Spill Conference held in Washington on June 28. They presented alongside renowned oceanographers Phillipe Cousteau, Sylvia Earle and Carl Safina.  

In early June Ed Koziarsski interviewed Coffman and Hardin about their documentary for his story Mourning the Bayou in the Chicago Reader. The documentary, which will be completed in early fall, contunues to garner media interest. On June 28 Coffman and Hardin also appeared on the Canadian television show Connect with Mark Kelley and July 6 on WMNF Radio 88.5  Radioactivity in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla., to discuss their ongoing project.

Coffman and Hardin drove to Louisiana after the oil spill on Loyola produced biodiesel.



School of Communication · 820 N. Michigan Ave
Water Tower Campus · Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312.915.6548 · Fax: 312.915.6955
E-mail: LoyolaSOC@luc.edu

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