Elizabeth Coffman

Elizabeth Coffman is a documentary filmmaker and film scholar. She's published work in Camera Obscura, Journal of Film & Video and other places. Her film work has been broadcast and screened at festivals in Europe and the U.S. Elizabeth maintains messy homes in Chicago and in Tampa, where her two children live with their father during the week, and stay with her on the weekends. Elizabeth and her filmmaking partner have a media production company -- Long Distance Productions.

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Most Recent Articles

May 7, 2009
For the last three months a German film student has been living in the basement of my Chicago home. David is a foreign exchange student, but he is also an intern who is assisting my partner and me with completing our latest documentary.
April 22, 2009
While on sabbatical and spending more time with my kids, my thirteen year-old daughter, Katie, has opted to spend evenings with me, while her fifteen year-old brother prefers to stay with his dad (my ex-husband). Their dad and I are working hard to let the children initiate these choices, and not to fall into the trap, as Katie tearfully accused us, of laying on a ‘guilt trip’ for choosing the other parent. We do not allow any more statements such as, “But I’m cooking your favorite chicken pot pie tonight! Can’t you go over to your Mom’s house some other night?”
April 16, 2009
“If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked accountable? Nay, why do we call men wicked at all? Evil is inevitable, but is also remediable." –Horace Mann
April 1, 2009
  The worst-case scenario if you are a long distance parent is that a medical emergency will happen when you aren’t home to comfort and treat your injured child. This scenario happened to me, only it wasn’t my child who was injured. It was me.
March 19, 2009
 Journalism is in crisis. Or, to be more specific, the funding for journalism is in crisis.What does this have to do with being a long distance mom? Not much, except this crisis is part of what I think about when I am away from my kids. Plus, my son Nick wants to be a writer, so I worry about careers with writers in them.
March 4, 2009
 I have vague memories of reading Seventeen magazine upstairs in my attic bedroom, alone and sequestered from my parents. Even though I was already enthralled with more ‘serious’ literature, I was never able to completely shun the cultural images that play on a young girl’s darker desires to be thin, mysterious and desirable. Brains are better than beauty, right?
February 18, 2009
Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were both born on Feb. 12th, 1809. Why is celebrating their birthdays important? Why should we take this opportunity to talk about them with our students or our children?
February 5, 2009
For many of us, the political, social or cultural gaps we experience with our students may feel at times like the gaps we sense with our children.
January 22, 2009
Technology is supposed to help long distance commuters bridge many kinds of gaps—personal, intellectual, financial, and physical, to name a few. But does it really help?I joined Facebook initially to connect with my teenage son, Nick. Nick was spending a lot of time on Facebook, ‘chatting’ with male and female friends, posting photos, commenting on friends’ photos, linking to YouTube videos, etc…
January 7, 2009
Well, it is interviewing time and, for many of us, it means that we have moved beyond the phone interview stage and are now facing an on-campus interview. Perhaps this interview will be in Hawaii? Perhaps in D.C. or some other place far away from your current home? Perhaps your partner has just started a local business and doesn’t feel like moving 5 hours away? Perhaps your son loves his baseball coach and his grades have finally improved?

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