PITZER MS70 • MEDIA and SOCIAL CHANGE  • FALL 2016           

MW 11:00am-­‐12:15pm • West Hall Q116                 

Screening Mon 7:00-­‐9:00pm • West Hall Q116                 

Gina Lamb x79121 • gina_lamb@pitzer.edu
Office: West Hall Suite Q100 (in External Studies Suite)

Office hours: Monday 1:30pm – 3:30pm & Wednesday 6:00-7:00pm appointment

Course websites:  www.medialectic.wordpress.com  and  www.makesomenoise.online


1) Students will be able to identify and describe the hegemonic structures and practices that further social injustice and oppression by studying key international social justice movements arising in the last 100 years that utilized film, video, and/or new media as a catalyst for change.

2) Students will gain historical and theoretical perspectives of how film and new media have been utilized as a tool to address social injustice and spark revolutionary movements and conversely how social movements have sparked new media theories and our relationship to mass media.

3) Students will be able to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of social justice issues by describing and analyzing specific issues or movements from multiple perspectives and by applying theoretical media frameworks to these issues.

4) Students will be able to identify barriers to equality and/or inclusiveness and explore strategies to remove them by building their own media manifesto/theory and participatory media campaign around a current social issue that directly affects course participants and advocates change.

5) Students will be able to identify and describe the ethical and political implications of injustice, social problems, social stratification, the interdependence and intersection of systems of oppression, interpersonal and structural discrimination, and unequal distribution and access to media power and resources, how mass media plays a role in reinforcing inequality and how media activists/theorists work to make these structural disparities visible by deconstructing mass affect.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course presents an overview of movements, theories, and methods employed by media makers committed to social change in the last 100 years. From the early Soviet film collectives, through the Third Cinema movement of 60s in Latin America, and continuing on to early video activists, queer, and youth video movements in the U.S. that have laid the groundwork for the rise of socially driven media collectives and campaigns today. In response readings, and film screenings, students will be asked to critique the efficacy of media documents as organizing tools for raising consciousness and critical dialogue. This semester we will be looking at media past movements/theories through the frame of the current Black Lives Matter movement. Students will be asked to develop their own theories of media as a conduit for social change based on the creation of participatory production projects and writing that strive to incite civic discourse and activate their peers about issues related to institutionalized racism as it exists in the U.S. today.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Attendance and participation (15%): Bear in mind that participation doesn’t mean simply doing the work, or simply speaking up in class, but actively working to make the class a positive learning experience for you and your fellow students.

Blogging (20%): Each of you will become a member of our course blog, using your posts to respond to our course readings, to reflect on how we are using technologies for change, to draw your classmates’ attention to articles and media artifacts you’ve found that are related to readings. You are required to post one entry each week. Before the start of class each Monday; you are also required to read some of your classmates’ posts and leave two feedback comments each week.

Field Trip to REACH LA (10%) – tentatively scheduled for Wed October 26th 11:00am. If you cannot make the REACH LA trip, as an alternative you can attend a Black Lives Matter event on your own.

Assignment #1 Micro-aggression Blog (5%) – over course of the semester post 5 or more observations/actions entries to the micro aggression blog

Assignment #2 Class presentation (15%): In teams of two – develop a media campaign that brings awareness to and/or advocates closing the racial disparity gap and/or the Black Lives Matter movement that can be disseminated on class website. Research media makers, media collectives, or media campaign addressing racial disparities in the U.S.. Analyze the content, delivery and effectiveness. Present your project ideas and research in class. Due 10/3/14

Assignment #3 (20%) In teams of two – throughout semester continue to develop a media campaign. Create and associated media manifesto that remediates our current mass mediated and political landscape around racial disparities. Your manifesto should include a three word title that activates your movement idea in the mind of your audience/participants and directly addresses your project for the class website.  Project Update Presentation Due 10/31/14

Final Presentation #4 (25%): based on your semester media project and research and manifesto. Present in class and turn in written analysis/theory. Due 12/5/14


BOOKS & READINGS (available a Huntley):

Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater Than the People in Power, Wael Ghonim, Mariner Books

The Medium is the Massage, Marshall McLuhan & Quentin Fiore, Ginko Press

The Media Ecosystem, Antonio Lopez, Evolver Editions

Other readings are in available as pdfs on Sakai.



WEEK 1 – Aug 31 – Black Lives Matter and White Privilege in the U.S.

WED – Course overview and the Black Lives Matter Movement


WEEK 2 – Sept 5 & 7 – Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter

MON – The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander & White Like Me, Tim Wise  

MON Eve screen: Black Journal 1968, NET, Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant: Leroi Jones, 1968 and coverage of the Watts & LA Uprising, 1992, Vibrations for a New People: Angela Davis 1972

WED – Documenting Social Issues, Struggles for Representation


WEEK 3 – Sep 12 & 14th VERTOV – Early Russian Film Collectives and the Self-Reflexive Film

MON – Dziga Vertov, excerpts from Kino Eye, edited by Annette Michelson

MON – SCREENING – A Man With a Movie Camera, 1929, Dziga Vertov

WED – Chanan, Cinemas in Revolution:  Russia 1920s, Cuba 1960s


WEEK 4 – Sept 19th & 21st – DADA and SITUATIONSIST THEORY

MON – Leah Lievrouw, Alternative and Activist New Media, Chapter2

MON – SCREENING – Society of the Spectacle (excerpt) 1973, Guy Debord and Iraq Campaign,1992, Phil Patiris, Media Killa, 1996, Matthew McDaniel, and Adbusters website

WED – Guy Dubord, excerpts from Situationists International Anthology, edited by Ken Knabb


WEEK 5 – Sep 26 & 28   – Social Change Media Analysis Presentation and Paper Due

MON & WED – Student Presentations – Assignment #2

MON – Evening tech demo – Mac lab – P104


WEEK 6 – Oct 3 & 5 THIRD CINEMA – deconstructing neocolonialism in Latin America

MON – Fernando Solano and Octavio Getino, Towards a Third Cinema

MON – SCREENING – Now, Santiago Alvarez, and Hour of the Furnaces, 1968, Solanas and Getino

WED – Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter 1 and bell hooks, Talking Race and Racism, Teaching Community



WEEK 7 – Early Video Art Collectives – Media Affect

MON – Marshall McLuhan, The Medium is the Massage, – bring your book to class!

MON – SCREENING – Four More Years, TVTV, Revolution in A Box, Paper Tiger Television, Joan Does Dynasty, Joan Braderman, Paper Tiger

WED  – A Brief History of Documentary Video, Deidre Boyle (pages 51-59  and 69-70),  Hand Held Visions – Otherwise, DeeDee Halleck, Hello Tiger – Paper Tiger and the Roots of DIY,  Jesse Drew  (pages 2-5)


WEEK 8 – 17 & 19 – HIV/AIDS – Queer Media Collectives – Personal as Political


WED – Catherine Saalfield , On the Make Activist Video Collectives and Gregg Bordowitz, Operative Assumptions, Resolutions, DIVA TV and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP)


WEEK 9 – Oct 24 & 26 – Art in Response – Marlon Riggs and REACH LA

MON – Marlon Riggs, Tongues Re-Tied, Resolutions and Listening to the Heartbeat and Kobena Mercer, Dark and Lovely too, Black Gay Men in independent film, Queer Looks

MON – SCREENING – Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs, 1989, and youth media selections; A Girl Like Me, Kira Davis, I’m Not A Boy, Julie Joyce, and Black Widow, Genne Scott

WED – Steve Goodman, Teaching Youth Media: A Critical Guide to Literacy, Video Production and Social Change, Educational Video Center, Introduction and Chapter 1



WEEK 10 – Oct 31 & Nov 2nd – Media Manifesto and Campaign Update Presentation

MON & WED – Student Presentations – Assignment #3

MON – Evening tech demo – Mac lab – P104


WEEK 11 – Nov 7 & 9 – Tactical Media Events, Hactivism, and the Zapatista Movement

MON – Graham Meikle, Turning Signs into Question Marks and Hack Attacks, Future Active

MON – SCREENING: Subcomadante Marcos, Floodnet – Electronic Disturbance Theater, Ricardo Dominguez, Barbie Liberation Operation, Igor Vamos and The Yes Men Rule the World, The Yes Men

WED – Graham Meikle, Open Publishing Open Technologies, Future Active


WEEK 12 – Nov 14 & 16 – Advocacy and Participatory Media Process

MON – Gillian Caldwell, Video for Change, Chapter 1 & 3: Using Video for Advocacy, Witness.org

MON – SCREENING – System Failure and Books Not Bars, Ella Baker Center and Witness.org, Film Aid

WED – Luchs/Miller, Mapping Memories: Participatory Media, Place Based Stories & Refugee Youth


WEEK 13 – Nov 21 & 23 – Egyptian Revolution – Organizing on Social Networks

MON – Wael Ghonim, Revolution 2.0, Chapters 2 & 3 and List of Demands

MON SCREENING – Asmaa Mahfouz, Words of Women from the Egyptian Revolution, Wael Ghonim

WED – Wael Ghonim, Revolution 2.0, Chapter 4 – Online and On the Streets and Epilogue.

THURS – “Thanks-taking” break


WEEK 14 – Nov 28th & 30th – The 99% and Mediating an Earth Democracy

MON – Manuel Castells, Networks of Outrage and Hope, Occupy Wall Street (sakai)

MON Evening – Computer Lab – technical assistance for final presentations

WED – Antonio Lopez, The Media Ecosystem, Chapter 2 – Mediating the World System and Chapter 6 – Mediating an Earth Democracy


WEEK 15 – Dec 5 & 7 – Final Presentations

MON & WED – final group project/paper presentations