Welcome to spring! This issue of Intersections highlights interdisciplinary work focused on media in IAS. We live in a world where so-called “new” and “old” media intersect in myriad ways, evolving new media ecologies every day. To make meaning and community in this context, it is vital that students are capable of what IAS alum Angelica Macklin calls storytending, drawing an analogy with the process of cultivating a garden.
Each of the three features in the newsletter provides instances of how IAS students, alum, and faculty members analyze, use, and create media to cultivate stories that help to build and sustain transformative communities of practice. All are involved in nurturing what Macklin calls a “seedbank” of stories generated about and through today’s rapidly-changing media landscape.
In the faculty feature, Associate Professor Susan Harewood describes her research as a scholar of media and communications, with a focus on how live musical and dance performances in the Caribbean are mediated by history, politics, and commerce. Attending to the power and meanings in play—through tourism, nationalism, race, class, and gender—she listens for the challenges and statements these performances can communicate.
In the student feature, a group of seniors in the Interactive Media Design major talk about their efforts to develop an immersive game prototype designed to explore reactions to and readiness for natural disasters. After reading an article last summer about the “big one” published in The New Yorker, they decided to use the power of play to produce a digital resource to get people to think and learn about earthquake preparedness.
In the alum feature, MA in Cultural Studies graduate Angelica Macklin talks about her current work as a PhD student in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at UW Seattle where she engages teaching and filmmaking through the practice she calls archivista storytending. As part of the Women Who Rock collective, Angelica helps to curate the annual Women Who Rock Film Festival, document local music scenes, and teach students video production and photography.
Dean, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences