Saint Louis University


Professor Emeritus
Adorjan 209

James F. Scott is a lifelong academic who divides his time between teaching and video production. Since the fall semester, 2007, he has served as director of the SLU Film Studies Certificate Program. In addition to teaching traditional courses in literature and theatre, he specializes in film courses such as "American Film History," "Film Noir" and "Film Genre Studies." He also teaches a graduate seminar in "The New York Independents: Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee." Dr. Scott has scripted and produced more than twenty programs of an educational nature, the most noteworthy of which are detailed below.  Born in Atchison, KS, Dr. Scott received his undergraduate education at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, MO (B.S.,1955), then took his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (1957;1960). He was married to Carolyn Davis Scott from 1961 until her death in May, 2000 and is the father of two children, Adrienne (b. 1962) and James (b.1969).


In film and television, Scott has served variously as writer, director, and producer, working continuously in video production since scripting six programs for a prize-winning series on oceanography in Los Angeles, 1979. Between 1985 and 1994, he owned and managed his own production company, Optical Illusions, Inc. He specializes in educational documentary and has produced programs on history, art, and literature, the most noteworthy of which are distributed through:

Big River Distribution
9870D Big Bend Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63122

His most recent productions are the following:

William Clark: The Further Journey [2008]

This 35-minute production concentrates on the later career of explorer and statesman William Clark, associating him with the birth of St. Louis as a metropolitan center, the relocation of tribes of the Mississippi, and the opening of the American West. This program enjoyed its theatrical premiere on 10 December 2008 at the Frontenac Cinema, St. Louis, MO. and has since enjoyed a showdates on KETC, Channel 9, the St. Louis PBS affiliate and Oregan Public Broadcasting, Portland, OR. Role: Producer/Director

Confluence: The River Heritage of St. Louis [2004]

This sixty-minute documentary analyzes the place of the river network in the formation and the evolving culture of metropolitan St. Louis, raising questions about the continuing relevance of the river world to the contemporary city and the prospective city of the future. The program premiered in September 2004 at the Missouri Historical Society and continues to run at irregular intervals on the Higher Education Channel, St. Louis, MO. The program also was screened at the St. Louis International Film Festival, November, 2004, and thereafter enjoyed show dates through various PBS venues, including Station KETC, St. Louis, MO. It received national Telly and Aurora Awards. Role: Producer/Director

Henry Shaw: The Good Neighbor [2000]

This thirty-minute documentary on the renowned St. Louis philanthropist Henry Shaw had its copyright screening at the Missouri Botanical Garden in December 2000. It enjoyed another screening on May 9, 2001 as a featured presentation of the Webster University Film Series. It premiered on PBS 17 June 2001, via KETC/Channel 9, St. Louis, MO. It received the E. G. Lewis Award from CALOP for "Best Program," "Best Technical," and "Best of Show." Role: Producer/Director.

Articulate Space: The Architectural Heritage of Saint Louis [1998]

This sixty-minute program premiered in May 1998 at the Hi Pointe Theatre, St. Louis, MO and was first broadcast by KETC in June 1998. Thereafter it received a regional Emmy award nomination for documentary. Articulate Space was included in the 1998-99 Webster University film series and was included in the Roads Scholars series sponsored by the Illinois Humanities Council. It has also played in local venues through the Higher Education Channel. Role: Producer/Director.

Inland Voyages: The Poetry of John Knoepfle [1995]

A thirty-minute documentary which analyzes the career of a mid-western writer once designated Illinois' "poet of the year," this program enjoyed a PBS broadcast debut via Station WSEC, Springfield, IL and later played on local PBS in both St. Louis and Cincinnati. Inland Voyages received a national Telly Award. Role: Writer/ Producer/Director

Worlds of Bright Glass: The Ravenna Mosaic Company [1992]

This sixty-minute documentary examines the stylistic history of American mosaics through the work of single firm once located in St. Louis. It premiered on KETC, St. Louis in June, 1992, and later received one of the CALOP Academy Awards for Arts Documentary. The program also enjoyed broadcast dates in St. Louis under auspices of Continental Cablevision and was included in the Missouri Mirror Speakers Series. Role: Writer/Producer/Director

In conjunction with his video work, Scott has served as Project Director for grants he wrote and received from the Graham Foundation, the Missouri Committee for the Humanities, the Missouri Humanities Council, the Missouri Arts Council, the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, the Arts and Education Council of Greater Saint Louis, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the Committee for Access and Local Origination Programming of University City, MO (CALOP).


Since 1955, Scott has been continuously committed to college teaching, employed at Saint Louis University since 1962, including a four year leave of absence as Guest Professor of English and Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Ruhr University Bochum in Germany (1972-76). Before joining the SLU faculty, Scott taught at the University of Kentucky (1960-62) and the University of Kansas (1955-60). His teaching covers media, literature, drama, and various interdisciplinary programs.


Scott has published more than 30 articles in refereed journals, including American Quarterly, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Philological Quarterly, Victorian Studies, Arcadia, and Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht. He is best known for work on Ingmar Bergman, Thomas Hardy, George Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. Scott also authored Film: The Medium and the Maker (1975), an historical/technical study of the cinema and co-authored with his wife, Carolyn, a book on Gerard Manley Hopkins (1969). During the 1960s, he wrote film criticism for the New York City quarterly, Cross Currents. For his research on D.H. Lawrence and German culture, he received a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (1974-76). He has reviewed books on nineteenth-century photography for Victorian Studies as well as for American Notes and Queries. His most recent scholarly paper, "Assimilation and its Discontents: Ethno-Racial Conflict in the Films of Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee," was published in the International Journal of Arts in Society (Spring, 2007).


In addition to his present role as director of the Film Studies Certificate Program, Dr. Scott has discharged the following administrative responsibilities: Advisory Committee of the University Film Institute (1968-72), English Department Chair (1982-85); University Rank and Tenure Committee (1978-81) and (2007-); Graduate Director of the English Department (1999-2003), and Liaison Officer to the SLU of Madrid Program (2003-2005).


While incorporating his photography into his video productions, Dr. Scott has also published photos in African Arts, contributed slides to the Ozark Chapter of the Sierra Club, and served as exhibit photographer for Craft Alliance Gallery of St. Louis (1970-72).

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