2018 – Media Writing

Continuing the practice of publishing student writing as part of the course work in Media Writing: Critical and Narrative Forms, this catalog was published in 2018. Experiments with form and content during the 2016 and 2017 courses led students to embrace a more open and varied visual texture for the book, and to integrate words and images as seamlessly and flexibly as possible. Fourteen students participated, primarily from the Documentary Media MFA program.

Writing a critical review, developing a personal statement about creative practice, and writing an extended narrative essay continued to be the primary course assignments; the course also involved extensive readings, and guest presentations on different aspects of documentary making.

One of the themes explored in this collection was the relationship between personal circumstance and documentary practice: many students wrote about how certain events in their lives impacted both their world view and their sense of purpose in making documentary works. One class member remarked that

We are quick to forget our past, failing to acknowledge the complex and often murky histories that have forged our existence. We too often assume we are self-made beings, singularly full of original ideas and beliefs. We overlook the fact that we must tend to our roots before we can even hope to grow in some way anew.

And another member of the class put it this way:

I am a time traveler who takes journeys into the past, which for me continues to exist in the present. I feel as if I am walking into the future, even when I move backwards. Ahead of me, around the corner, lies history. Perceptions and memories of the past, our own histories, are like blurry images on the edge of vision, distorted. They have a life of their own, changing and evolving through the passage of time….

Cover and book design, layout and sequencing of essays and images were again done by class members. Layout and digital output were coordinated by Bradley McLeod and Maria Markina, with assistance from Wayne Salmon and Adriana Sanchez-Sanfacon; text editing was provided by Patricia Bush and Frank Stark. The cover image is by Rachel Rozanski, and the quotations above are from Sara Wylie and Noa Im, respectively. Bradley McLeod also was a key member of the team in terms of file preparation and book production.