Reed College

Thinner Depictions: The Benefits and Hazards of Theorizing in Images and Sounds

John L. Jackson, Jr. will give the keynote lecture in the Greenberg Distinguished Scholar Program's Social Impact Media Lecture Series.

This talk will examine a few of the reasons why academics—and anthropologists in particular—are often hyper-skeptical of the film camera, following the lead of anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz.

While debates in recent years about new media have risen to a fever pitch, they have raised legitimate concerns about use and abuse of current technologies. In response to these concerns and to benefit the communities in which they work, anthropologists of media have focused increasingly on methodologies that combine in-depth ethnography and collaborative media-making production.

At the same time, a new generation of journalists and artists grappling with the expanding dominance of media conglomerates have looked to grassroots, collaborative, and non-profit multimedia projects designed to both benefit communities and inform larger audiences. This convergence of interest between anthropologists, artists, and journalists has come to be called "social impact" or "social justice" media production, in which producers are concerned as much with the capacity of media to impact and change societies as with its capacity to inform. For this Greenberg-sponsored event, Reed anthropologist Charlene Makley collaborates with Phil Busse, Executive Director of Portland's Media Institute for Social Change, to present a series of five public lectures on the politics and ethics of independent media-making in the 21st century.  Explore this emerging form of media production at Reed this spring.

John L. Jackson, Jr., is Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and Richard Perry University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Jackson received his BA in Communication (Radio/TV/Film) from Howard University, earned his PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University, and served as a junior fellow at the Harvard University Society of Fellows. He is the author of  several books, Harlemworld: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America (University of Chicago Press, 2001); Real Black: Adventures in Racial Sincerity (University of Chicago Press, 2005); Racial Paranoia: The Unintended Consequences of Political Correctness (Basic Civitas, 2008); Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem (Harvard University Press, 2013); Impolite Conversations: On Race, Politics, Sex, Money, and Religion, co-written with Cora Daniels (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2014), and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment (NYU Press, 2016), co-written with Carolyn Rouse and Marla Frederick. His is also editor of Social Policy and Social Justice (2016), distributed by the University of Pennsylvania Press. His most recently completed film, co-directed with Deborah A. Thomas, is Bad Friday: Rastafari after Coral Gardens (Third World Newsreel, 2012). Jackson previously served as Senior Advisor to the Provost on Diversity and Associate Dean of Administration in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

Established on the occasion of Reed's centennial with a gift from Dan Greenberg '62 and his wife and philanthropic partner Susan Steinhauser, the Greenberg Distinguished Scholar Program aims to bring visiting scholars to campus to support the work of students and provide faculty with the opportunity for in-depth intellectual exchange with a prominent member in their field.

Free and open to the public.

Jackson will also present a workshop open to the Reed community only. More information here.

 

Thursday, February 8 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Vollum College Center, Vollum lecture hall
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

Event Type

Lecture

Audience

Faculty & Staff, Students, Alumni, General Public

Departments

Anthropology

Website

http://www.reed.edu/greenberg-scholar/

Group
Greenberg Distinguished Scholar Series
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