Amie Taua came to Otago with the intention of completing a double major in English and Philosophy, but taking MFCO 101 led to a change in plans.
“I ended up finishing my Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Media and Film Studies; the following year I completed a first class honours degree in Media and Film Studies.
“Both subjects broadened my comprehension of cinematic and literary texts, and provided thought-provoking challenges that helped me to not only shape my perspective, but to articulate that perspective effectively - both on paper and in discussion.
“I learned to think critically about things that I used to accept, and to also share those critical thoughts with people around me in a productive way that encourages discussion. I have more confidence to express my point of view, contribute to difficult conversations, and also constructively debate important issues.”
Amie really enjoyed her studies, particularly working towards the dissertation during her honours year, leading her to continue on to a Masters degree with the Department of Media, Film and Communication (MFCO).
“My thesis topic, which is a pilot study that looks to develop the foundation for a Bicultural Audience Reception theory in a New Zealand context, is an outcome of my honours dissertation.”
Audience Reception theory, Amie explains, suggests that the way a reader/viewer interprets a piece of creative work is influenced by the structure of their cultural background and subsequent life experiences.
“The lack of bicultural audience theory has led me to begin a study that provides a framework from which future reception research in New Zealand can develop, encapsulating one aspect of the bicultural experience as our nation continues to flourish and diversify.”
What has Amie enjoyed most about her time at Otago? The people.
“The MFCO Department is made up of a highly intelligent, engaging and dynamic group of people, the lecturers, the tutors, the support staff, my undergrad and honours peers, and the postgraduates that I am surrounded by now.
“I've also enjoyed some great opportunities, including the chance to tutor, and becoming a research assistant for the International Screenwriting Research Network Conference.”