Teaching Multiculturalism Through Film

Katheryn Wright,
Genevieve Brackins
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The institution of the cinema provides a place where a dialogue concerning power, oppression, privilege, representation, theory, and identity, begins to emerge both simultaneously and synthetically.

Erin DiCesare’s “The Cinematic Institution and Multiculturalism” begins by discussing film as an artifact, where an understanding of its historical evolution is a necessary step to studying contemporary cinema.

Katheryn Wright’s “Balancing Form and Content in Multicultural Film” deals with the challenge of looking at the cinema as both a vehicle to teach multiculturalism and an artform, which carries with it its own formalistic elements that make it something more than mere content.

Jessica Lowe’s “Mainstreaming Multiculturalism in Film” explores the tension between teaching film as a reflection of dominant social ideologies and looking at film as a way to challenge mainstream conceptions of culture.

Genevieve Brackins’ “Film as Propaganda, Film as Protest,” by focusing on Rabbit Proof Fence (2002), takes up Lowe's argument from the perspective of post-colonial studies, looking at how film may be used as both propaganda and protest.

Maricarmen Martinez concludes the colloquium with “Multicultural Film and 20th Century American Culture: A Proposal” by presenting a syllabus for the course DiCesare, Wright, Lowe, and Brackins envisions. She explores the benefits of acknowledging the classroom as a political space, teaching the values embedded in symbolic forms, and carving a niche for the social activist in the humanities.

Keywords: Multiculturalism, American Cinema, Multicultural Film, Pedagogy, Politics of the Classroom
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication, Teaching and Learning, Ethnicity, Difference, Identity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Katheryn Wright

Graduate Student, InterDisciplinary Program in the Humanities, Florida State University

Katheryn Wright is currently a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Program in the Humanities at FSU, with an emphasis in Critical Theory and Cultural Studies. She has her M.A. in Humanities from FSU, specializing in Media and Culture, and her B.A. from Stetson University majoring in English Literature and Fine Art (Ceramics). Other academic interests include complexity theory, the social construction of nature, the genealogy of the posthuman, and contemporary art practices.

Genevieve Brackins

InterDisciplinary Program in the Humanities, Florida State University

Ref: H06P0183