TreaAndrea Russworm

TreaAndrea is a dedicated and innovative visual scholar whose anti-racist academic and community-grounded work has made a significant impact on a range of audiences.
TreaAndrea Russworm is a Professor in the Interactive Media & Games Division at the University of Southern California. She is the founder of Radical Play (a games-based public humanities initiative and afterschool program), and she has been a professor and Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UMass Amherst. A prolific author and editor, Russworm is a Series Editor of Power Play: Games, Politics, Culture (Duke University Press). She is the author or editor of three books: Blackness is Burning; Gaming Representation; and Theorizing Tyler Perry. With research expertise in digital visual culture, video games, and popular African American media, Professor Russworm’s scholarship and interviews have also been shared on CNN, The History Channel, Turner Classic Movies, in podcasts, and on streaming platforms like Twitch. She is a video game Hall of Fame voter, and she is currently writing a new monograph on The Sims and a book on race and the politics of play.

Wesley Shrum

In 2005, Wesley Shrum founded the Video Ethnography Laboratory at Louisiana State University, one of few such centers in the U.S., devoted to teaching, producing, and disseminating video ethnographic materials by both faculty and students.

Gina Kim

Gina Kim’s powerful work has added a new dimension to visual activism in the global context of anticolonial and feminist movements. Her recent virtual reality work, Tearless (2021), is a significant contribution to memory activism and foregrounds issues of ethical representation in the age of immersive media.

David Borish

As his body of work illustrates, David is an exceptional storyteller and researcher, able to communicate the complexities of environmental and social issues to a variety of audiences. Through his leadership, the HERD: Inuit Voices on Caribou study was able to document over 80 perspectives about caribou across Labrador, analyse this knowledge through both a qualitative and multimedia approach, and engage community members in an equitable and transparent research process that centred community voices. A variety of outputs, including a feature and short-length documentary film, an interactive website, and a photobook were produced. Six peer-reviewed articles that advance knowledge about caribou and Inuit identity, social connections, food security, emotional wellbeing, cultural continuity, and other dimensions of Inuit life were also co-created.

Tara Pixley

Tara’s work demonstrates a sustained commitment to advocacy within both visual research and visual journalism. Among many other activities, she is co-Founder and Board Member of Authority Collective (AC), an organization created in 2017 to resource women of color visual media makers, and to intervene in the gatekeeping networks of power within visual media industries. In her work as a visual journalist, visual ethnographer, and multimedia curator Tara adopts creative strategies to anti-racist work, using visuals to reimagine marginalized individuals and communities.

  • 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

  • So it is my firm belief, that if you want nowadays, to have a clear and distinct communication of your concepts, you have to use synthetic images, no longer words.

    Vilém Flusser


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

    Steve Harp


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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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


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

    James Reston


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

    Bertolt Brecht


    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

  • 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


    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


    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

  • 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


    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

  • 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


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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  • 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

  • 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


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

    William S. Burroughs


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