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Media Studies
Project Proposal

Documenting Social Justice Issues with Interactive Digital Media

Tom Ellman (Media Studies)

Project Description

In this project, we will continue ongoing work of documenting and analyzing issues of social justice using media of computer animation and interactive digital art. In previous years, we have addressed topics such as police violence against people of color in the US and the crisis of refugees in the Middle East and their reception in Europe and North America. Possible new topics for this summer include: undocumented workers, Muslim immigrants and LGTBQ people in the US under the Trump administration, among other possible topics. Our goal is to create computer animated films and interactive digital medial that depict and analyze issues of social justice from multiple perspectives. The choice of social justice issue(s) for this summer will depend on the interests, background and expertise of the student intern.

Anticipated Project Activities

Research on selected social justice issue(s); documenting recent topic-related events; identifying, assembling or creating media materials (audio/video clips, photographs, drawings, text quotations, CGI models); developing storyboard, script and interaction schemes; and possibly modeling, animating and programming, depending on the student’s expertise.

Preferred Student Qualifications and Skills

Basic research skills are required. Interest in social justice and previous education in issues of social justice are also required, e.g., issues of race, gender, identity & orientation, religion or nationality, among other possibilities. Personal experience with issues of social justice would be a significant contribution to the project. Experience in media production, e.g., video, sound, journalism, games, visual design, would be helpful, but is not mandatory. Anyone interested in the project should consider applying.

Anticipated Follow-up Teaching/Professional Activity for Student

Presentation at the Ford Scholars Symposium; Possibly work with Prof. Ellman in AY 2017/18 as Research Assistant and/or doing an Independent Study course to continue the project.

Project Location

Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

Project Duration

Eight weeks

Project Start Date

May 30, 2017

Project End Date

July 21, 2017