California State University at Los Angeles
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Teaching Team

Chey Acuna, Dr. Jim Bell, Ivan Cury, Dr. Kelly Madison, Jason Thomas


A series of three consecutive courses made up the -ISM (N.) project at California State University. First, "Visual Anthropology" emphasized the ethnographic approach to documenting "isms". In this course, students explored key theoretical concepts and practical applications of visual ethnography within the confines of field-work experience. Students examined various methods of research for visuals and the proper use of editing techniques. Students received an overview of the variable range in human behavior through the use of video/film in documenting the role of people within socio-cultural institutions.

Second, "Documentary Field Production" attempted to teach the students necessary skills to produce short documentary productions. Furthermore, the class attempted to focus the students' efforts in video production on one subject for the entire quarter "diversity and isms" on our campus and in our community.

Third, as a part of "Independent Study 499: -ISM (N.): Documenting Diversity & Community" selected students from the first two classes worked together to improve their individual project, or engage in new projects based on their fresh insights.

Community Educational Activity

Students and faculty of California State University, Los Angeles will join together with the Media Image Coalition, to plan and implement a conference that attempts to contribute to on-going efforts to harness the power of the mass media towards the goals of human equality, inclusiveness, understanding and true multiculturalism.

Issues of diversity will be discussed in the context of media representation. Central themes will include media image production and consumption as well as media industry employment of people from subordinated groups. Student videos from California State's Spring 1996 -ISM (N.) course will be screened along with other video work to help illustrate and deconstruct the ways in which ideologies are imbedded within and/or challenged by media messages.

Contact: Kelly Madison,

Watch for more details...

Resources Used In Course

Compesi, Ronald J. and Sheriffs, Ronald E. (1994). Video Field Production and Editing (Third Edition). Allyn and Bacon. (Cal)

Reynolds, Debbi. (1995) Black like Who. University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television. (Dartmouth) (Cal)

Student Video Topics

Topics of student videos at California State University, Los Angeles: stereotypes of Asian Americans in the media ... the influence of the media on female body image ... separatism ... media images of African American women ... homophobia ... domestic violence ... sexual harassment ... anti-Semitism ... police harassment ... white privilege

© 1998 Institute for Public Media Arts
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