Mediaworks: Signifying Power and Difference on Screen(s)

Fall 2017
Winter 2018
Spring 2018
Daytime Evening
Day and Evening
Class Size: 48
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Anne Fischel Square
communication, media and community studies
Julie Russo square
media studies, gender & women's studies, sexuality and queer studies
Suree Towfighnia
documentary film

What does it mean to make moving images in an age of omnipresent media, information overload, social inequality, and global capitalism? What's the relationship between aesthetic form and power across race, class, gender, and other axes of difference? How can we understand the interplay between popular media and experimental modes? How do we critically engage with the history and traditions of media practices while testing the boundaries of established forms? What responsibilities do media artists and producers have to their subjects and audiences? Can media artists contribute to social change? As media artists, how do we enter debates around social and political justice? How do we critically engage new media as a form of activism and cultural critique? Students will engage with these questions as they gain skills in film/video/television history and theory, critical analysis, media production, collaboration, and critique.

This full-time, yearlong program links media theory with practice. We will explore a variety of media modes and communication strategies, primarily interrogating representations of the "real” in media texts spanning the continuum between popular entertainment and artistic practice. As creative critics, we will gain fluency in methodologies including close reading and formal analysis; mapping narrative and genre; unpacking power from feminist, critical race, decolonial, and anti-capitalist perspectives; and cultural, historical, and technological framing of commercial and independent media production. These analytical skills will help us understand strategies that artists have employed to challenge, mobilize, and reappropriate mainstream media forms. As critical creators, we'll learn foundational production skills and experiment with alternative approaches, including nonfiction, video art, writing for and about media, autobiography, essay films, remix, installations, and performance. In addition to production assignments, program activities will encompass analysis and criticism through screenings, readings, seminars, research, and critical writing. We'll also spend significant time in critique sessions discussing our creative and critical work.

In fall, students will explore ways of seeing, listening, and observing in various formats, focusing intensively on 16mm film production and completing both skill-building exercises and short projects. These collaborative exercises and projects will have thematic and technical guidelines consistent with the program curriculum. Our production work will be grounded in the study of concepts and methodologies from media history and theory, including significant critical reading, research, and writing. In hands-on workshops and assignments, we'll analyze images as communication and commodities and investigate how images create and contest meaning in art, politics, and consumer culture.

In winter, students will delve deeply into field- and studio-based video/audio production and digital editing, while learning about the social and technological history of video and television. We will pay particular attention to the historical importance of Public Access Television and produce multi-segment programs for broadcast at Thurston Community Media and online. We will produce these programs in conjunction with the internationally recognized "Termite TV Collective," based in Philadelphia, PA. To see past programs and learn more about Termite TV, see . Students will conclude winter quarter by working on an independent project proposal for spring.

In spring, as a culmination of the conceptual, collaboration, and production skills developed in fall and winter, each student will create an independent project. Possible forms include video or film, installation, web-based projects, research projects, and internships. Technical workshops, screenings, research presentations, and critique discussions will support this emerging work.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

media, visual art, journalism, communication, education, and the humanities


Credits per quarter


Students must demonstrate intermediate college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. In addition, successful completion of at least two quarters of college-level studies spanning multiple disciplines is a prerequisite for admission. This could be satisfied by interdisciplinary programs at Evergreen or classes at Evergreen or elsewhere that demonstrate breadth of subject matter. Students must submit an application demonstrating that they have fulfilled the prerequisites.  Previous experience in media production is not required.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Special expenses:

Students should expect to pay $150 for an external hard drive and $100 per quarter in supplies and travel for productions. 


$250 in fall for film festival admission, an overnight field trip, film production expenses, and supplies; $20 in spring for film festival admission.

Internship Opportunities:

Students may choose to do an internship in a local or regional organization focusing on media production, media education, or a related subject during spring quarter. Students must complete an in-program internship learning contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 48
Daytime Evening

Scheduled for: Day and Evening

Advertised schedule:

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 10am (Please call Deans Office for classroom location 360-867-6810)

Located in: Olympia

May be offered again in:


2018-03-01Winter fee cancelled.
2017-12-20Julie Russo has joined the program; enrollment has been increased.
2017-12-11Niama Lowe has left the teaching team.
2017-12-11This program will not accept new enrollment winter quarter.
2017-08-29Anne Fischel joins this program fall quarter.