Laura Porterfield

 
Laura Porterfield
Board Member

Laura Krystal Porterfield, Ph.D. is an urban educator, visualist, and youth culture scholar. Having grown up in El Paso, Texas, Laura is the daughter of two Mississippi transplants who instilled in her the value and promise of higher education.

She went on to receive her B.A. in English with a concentration in African/African-American Literature from the University of Rochester and her Ph.D. and M.A. in Urban Education from Temple University. Laura is currently an Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Foundations in the Educational Foundations Department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, teaching on the philosophy of education, urban education, and multicultural education. Her research is inherently inter-disciplinary, drawing primarily from education, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, and geography.

Broadly speaking, Laura writes on how youth learn about varying forms of human difference from visual texts and from their everyday spaces/places. Laura is a fierce youth advocate who believes it is her life’s work to prepare inspiring and quality future educators and to demand equitable educational opportunity for all.

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

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    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

#Visualsociology

Dr Zuleyka Zevallos

Throw back to the African Music and Cultural festival. tmblr.co/ZTylnw2Lv7Z1o #visualsociology

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