English Department’s Mark Axelrod receives Fulbright

Mark Axelrod, Ph.D.,
director of the John Fowles Center for Creative Writing and professor of English at the Wilkinson College of Humanities and Social Sciences, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholars Fellowship to teach screenwriting at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

man smiling

Dr. Mark Axelrod

Dr. Axelrod has received many writing awards, including two United Kingdom Leverhulme Fellowships for Creative Writing as well as awards from the Sundance Institute. He also is a contributor to the
Huffington Post
.   (
to read his full biography.)  His reaction to the Fulbright fellowship: “I’m humbled that I received it. The Fulbright is one of those awards that everyone knows by one name. It’s recognized around the world like the Guggenheim. Because it’s an award that is judged by one’s peers and because it’s one of most long-standing of awards, it makes it a very special award to receive.”

Dr. Axelrod’s lectures in Sao Paulo, which begin this summer, will focus on the fundamentals of storytelling, characters and conflict, and two areas he believes are often ignored in screenwriting: dialogue and adaptation. To teach the importance and significance of dialogue, for example, Dr. Axelrod will examine
The Graduate, Pulp Fiction
Ordinary People
, films that all have great dialogue.

Why Brazil? Dr. Axelrod has taught in the United States, Europe and Latin America. He’s taught Brazilian students before and finds that they bring “a sensibility to film that is often different than those found in other countries.” What’s so different? Brazilian students “want to write scripts that are character driven, that often deal with personal and, sometimes, painful stories. I’ve found the same thing in places like Germany and Finland, Spain and Denmark. The experiences they bring are often very different than the experiences North American students bring,” he said.

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Dawn Bonker

Dawn Bonker


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