Mediaworks: Re/presenting Power and Difference

Fall 2016
Winter 2017
Spring 2017
Class Size: 48
Credits per quarter

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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, sexuality, 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? How can media makers represent or transform the “real” world? 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 is the foundational program for media arts/media studies at Evergreen, linking theory with practice. The program emphasizes media technology and hands-on production practices along with the study of media history and theory—inquiry that is central to developing strategies of representation in our own work as media artists. 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, de-colonial, 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 re-appropriate mainstream media forms. As critical creators, we'll learn foundational production skills and experiment with alternative approaches including documentary, nonfiction, video art, autobiography, essay films, remix, and research/writing for and about media. 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 16 mm film production and completing both skill-building exercises and short projects. These collaborative exercises and projects will have thematic and technical guidelines consistent with 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. Collaboration—a skill learned through practice—will be an important aspect of our work in this learning community.

In winter students will delve deeply into field- and studio-based video/audio production and digital editing, using the CCAM studio and HD video technologies. We'll do this learning in conjunction with studying the social and technological history of television and video. Our production work will be primarily collaborative, although students will conclude the quarter by working on an independent project proposal.

In spring, as a culmination of the conceptual, collaboration, and production skills developed in fall and winter, students will create independent projects, individually or collaboratively. 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. 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, depending on individual project needs. 


$300 in fall for film festival admission, an overnight field trip, film production expenses, and supplies. In winter,$120 for entrance fees, studio production expenses, and supplies. In spring,$50 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. 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

Scheduled for: Day

Advertised schedule:

First spring class meeting: Monday, April 3 at 9:30am (Com 308)

Located in: Olympia

2016-11-28hidden variable credit section added as per JR/Fac.
2016-11-17Winter signature information updated.
2016-04-14The application is now available online.