Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

WLC News


SOC Introduces Backpack Documentary en Español

By Devan Kaney

SOC Bill Gentile explaining

Bill Gentile, Backpack Journalist

American University School of Communication (AU SOC) will offer its first Spanish-language class this fall. Backpack Documentary en Español will be taught by Professor Bill Gentile. It will be offered to both undergraduate and graduate level students with high proficiency in the language, and will have a similar syllabus to the current Backpack Documentary course. 

Gentile says, “I met recently with Dean Rutenbeck and pitched the idea of the first ever Spanish-language course taught in the SOC. The dean immediately recognized the value and the importance of such an endeavor and has given his full support.” 

Gentile collaborates regularly with AU's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), and is co-chair of the SOC Diversity Committee. He is also currently working on the second edition of his Essential Video Journalism Field Manual, which will be available in Spanish by fall semester. 

“The Hispanic population in the United States has exploded in recent years. I believe that American University must not just respond to societal changes, but must engage them,” Gentile says.

Course details: Backpack Documentary en Español will be taught Thursday evenings this fall, from 8:10 – 10:40 in McKinley Media Innovation Lab.  Professor Gentile and Chip Gerfen will interview students to evaluate proficiency in the weeks of March 14 and March 21. Contact to schedule an interview.