Buckman, Rollin (1924-2006)

Buckman, Rollin (1924-2006)

Date Updated



Communication Studies

Academic Rank


Year Retired from SJSU


Educational Background

Whittier College, 1949 MA

Stanford University, 1947 BA

Teaching Experience

San Jose State University, 1952-1992

Southern Illinois University, 1949-1950

Administrative and Professional Experience

Film Maker

Selected Publications

Buckman, R., The Photographic Work of Calvert Richard Jones. London: Science Museum, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1990.

Buckman, R., "Calvert Richard Jones of Swansea," British Photography in the Nineteenth Century, The Fine Art Tradition. Edited by Mike Weaver. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 55‑64.

Personal Commentary

Before launching into a biographical sketch for the Emeritus Faculty Association, I was curious to discover the origin of emeritus. I looked at my Latin phrase book to find that "this word had its origins in Roman military tradition, with the meaning of ‘a soldier who has served his time honorably.'" I also discovered that a curriculum vitae, a resume, is literally, "the course of [one's] life." I will not dwell on the "course of my life" but only on my tenure at SJSU from 1952 to 1992. This will not be a slavish chronology but a brief summary of how I "served" my time and some of the things that I consider highlights in the last 40 years.

I was hired to be a technical director and scene designer for the stage for what was then called the Drama Department. The department separated into Speech and Drama. I left Drama for Speech (later to be named the Communication Studies Department).

In retrospect, the highlights were the outcome of my sabbatical leaves rather than in my teaching assignments. I did, however, enjoy teaching and my students in Public Speaking, Introduction to Film, Visual Communication and History of Photography.

The first sabbatical was in 1968. I researched the persuasive techniques used in documentary film making at the National Film Board of Canada (Montreal) and the BBC (London). The contacts and associations with film makers and executives were memorable. I shared the information I gathered with my students.

The second sabbatical was in 1980. During this time and the previous year, I produced five short documentary films, Contemporary Photographers, A Series of Vignettes. Upon completion, I took the films to the photography festival in Arles, France. They were shown at Le Rencontre Internationale de la Photographie. Subsequently, they were distributed by William Patterson, Associates, London.

The last and probably the most rewarding sabbatical was in 1987. During this period I researched the life and photographic work of Calvert Richard Jones, 1802‑1877. He was a close associate of William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of modern photography. I produced a text and catalogue raisonne. The Photographic Work of Calvert Richard Jones was published in 1990 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office and the Science Museum, London.

Date Completed: 8/96

Adapted from: Biographies of Retired Faculty San Jose State University 1997: A Project of the Emeritus Faculty Association of San Jose State University. San Jose, CA: The University, 1997.


Buckman, Rollin (1924-2006)