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

March 10, 2010
March 8th was International Women’s Day (IWD), which seems appropriate after watching Kathryn Bigelow make Oscar history last weekend (rock on …). The IWD celebrations first started in 1910-11 and were recognized by the United Nations in 1975. Many countries around the world — China, Russia, Vietnam (not the U.S.)--celebrate IWD as a national holiday. Not surprisingly, Nicholas Kristof’s N.Y.
February 24, 2010
I hesitated to write on this topic because of the pain all of the affected families feel right now, including Amy Bishop’s. Unlike Libby Gruner’s reaction to the Bishop case -- “how unusual…for a woman on the tenure-track to have that many children” (perhaps my second thought…) -- my first reaction came after hearing that Bishop had shot her chair as well as other faculty members at a department meeting. (I’ve served as department chair at two universities for over a decade).
February 11, 2010
The reviews of Avatar are in — the CGI effects are incredible, the motion captured acting is solid, but the story is mediocre and tends to repeat the Hollywood myth of the ‘white man as savior of indigenous people’ (a la Dances with Wolves).
January 27, 2010
It’s a humbling experience when you realize that, yes indeed, you are one of those over-educated Americans who can be taken in by an email that asks you for credit card information or by a telemarketing voice that promises to lower your interest rates if you will just provide them with your card number and zip code.
January 13, 2010
One reason I’ve endured the long distance challenges of a commuting lifestyle for so long is the flexibility academic life offers for travel, research and interpersonal ‘reconnecting’ during school breaks. This holiday I’ve managed to do a satisfying bit in all three of these areas: --Long conversations with my sisters and my teenage daughter Katie, which included forgotten details about high school boyfriends and my misbegotten behavior.--Editing and screening a ‘rough cut’ of my current film project with friends and colleagues.
December 16, 2009
What does ‘home for the holidays’ mean when you aren’t really sure where your home is located?Marc Auge’s book, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, begins with a description of a man driving to an airport, parking in “row J of underground level 2,” getting his boarding pass, leafing through magazines, and pleasantly boarding his flight. On the plane he leafs through more magazines, puts on earphones and enjoys the fact that he is “alone at last.”
December 2, 2009
“I am woman hear me snore.”I still own the cover to Helen Reddy’s much beloved 1972 album “I am Woman.” I remember singing the lines loudly with my sisters: “I am woman, hear me roar! In numbers too big to ignore, and I know too much to go back and pretend…”
November 5, 2009
Maybe it’s because it was just Halloween, but, for some reason, zombies seem to have surrounded me recently. My fourteen year-old daughter Katie wanted to go see Zombieland weekend before last. I voted for Amelia, thinking that would provide her with a more positive role model — “She just got into a plane and decided to fly it!” But a need for good humor, Katie’s desire for sleep, and her brother’s educational crisis won out over both choices.
October 22, 2009
A lot can be said about the ‘challenges’ of Facebook, but one of the great things about social media is that it puts you back in touch with old, college friends. (By ‘old’ I mean friends who attended college more than 20 years ago.) In a weird coincidence, I had two of my former undergraduate roommates come through Chicago during the past week.
October 8, 2009
Temperatures are on the rise as funds are sinking fast for college tuition.

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