Zorabedian, Thomas

Thomas Zorabedian

Assistant Dean, URI College of Arts & Sciences, and Harrington School of Communication and Media. Film/Media Faculty

Assistant Dean/ Faculty & Staff/ Film/Media/ Per Course Instructor

  • Telephone: (401) 874-2853
  • Email:
  • Office: Dean's Office, 257 Chafee

Tom Zorabedian is the Assistant Dean of the URI College of Arts and Sciences, working with the Dean and the Director of the Harrington School of Communication and Media with strategic planning and management to develop, promote, and advance the School. Tom also is a faculty member in the Film/Media and Communication Studies programs and teaches film courses in the Honors Program. Tom is interested in the history, meaning, messages and impact of moving images as an important cultural force.  He teaches critical studies film courses, which incorporate writing original film treatments, including:

FLM101H:  Intro to Film 

HPR324:  Rebel Images in Films, which examines the depiction of rebels in cinema, with a concentration on the 1960s/70s protest era

HPR324:  Images of Masculinity in Films, which explores the concept of masculinity as portrayed by men in films, from John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Marlon Brando to Woody Allen, Johnny Depp and beyond

HPR401/402:  Film-related Senior Honors Projects

Tom also was co-coordinator of the University Honors Colloquium, Moving Images, and he created and has directed the URI Joyal film competition since 1998. In addition, he directed the first Master Class for the Rhode Island Film Festival (RIIFF), with director Robert Downey, Sr., and currently sits on the RIIFF Board and is a finalist judge.

Previously, Tom worked in University Advancement, including as Associate Dean for Development for the College of Arts and Sciences, helping to raise more than $23,000,000 for the College, including 175 new endowments and funds.  Before coming to URI, he was Assistant Professor of Communications at Rhode Island College, where he taught film and television history, theory, and production courses, as well as writing, interpersonal communication, and public speaking.  Tom has also taught at Salve Regina University (Acting for the Camera) and at Boston University. Also, via a grant in association with Emory University in Atlanta, he created and wrote educational information for boys and men.  He has also worked as a film critic for several publications and as an independent film and video producer, including directing and producing a documentary on the Armenian genocide, and as a producer and a writer of a live, cable TV series, Club Genius.  He has acted as an extra in a number of feature films, including “Mystic Pizza”, “”Amistad”, and “Outside Providence.”

Tom has given numerous presentations on various film topics, such as, as “Hollywood Armageddon; War in Many Mediums: Film, Press, and Propaganda”; “Eating in the Dark: The Meaning of Food in Film”; “Hollywood Leads the Way: Social Issues in Film”; and “Film Portrayal of the Cold War: In From the Cold, A Russian-American Dialogue”. He also was co-coordinator of the University Honors Colloquium, Moving Images: Their Development, Power, and Cultural Significance.”

Tom earned his BA and MA at URI, and his doctorate at Boston University, where he was the graduate Scholar Award recipient, studying with the late renowned British film historian and scholar, Roger Manvell, first director of the British Film Academy.