Tacoma Program

Gilda L. Sheppard, Ph.D.

Gilda L. Sheppard, Ph.D.

"As a filmmaker and sociologist, I work to uncover power relations reflected in discourses of race, gender, class, sexuality and notions of empire to stimulate critical and creative thinking, a sense of agency and a revolution in consciousness."

Gilda L. Sheppard, Ph.D.

Dr. Sheppard earned a B.A. in Sociology/Psychology at Mercy College in Detroit, a M.S.W. at the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Sociology/Cultural Studies from The Union Graduate School in Cincinnati. She teaches interdisciplinary courses in sociology, cultural studies and media literacy.

Dr. Sheppard is an internationally award winning filmmaker who has also produced video ethnographies on learning communities and has received several fellowships for her work in media; including a fellowship at Cape Coast University in Ghana, West Africa, where she was a member of the Sociology Department. While in Ghana she produced a video ethnography on Ghanaian Women's Leadership titled The Secret of the Approach of Dawn. In addition, she has received the PEW, NEH, Rockefeller, Media Literacy Grant, Pacific Pioneer Fund Film and Niagara Council of the Arts grants. Her short documentary films have been screened throughout United States as well as Berlin, Germany, Ghana West Africa, and recently her short documentary film Women Together as One was screened at Fest Afrique 360 at 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the 2008 Short Film Corner at the 61st Cannes Film Festival.

Dr. Sheppard is also a volunteer professor for the University Behind Bars where she teaches sociology courses at Monroe Prison and the Women’s Correctional Facility in Gig Harbor Washington. Dr. Sheppard is presently in production on a documentary on her work in prisons with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated adults and youth titled Swinging with No Hands.

Dr. Sheppard has published several articles on media including articles with cultural critic bell hooks. She is presently co-editing a book A Way Out of No Way: Art as Social Justice in Education due to be complete in 2011.

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