Environmental Documentaries

Environmental Documentaries


Definitions of discourse:
1.  extended verbal expression in speech or writing (films are Writing with Light)
2.  to consider or examine in speech or writing – the papers being presented
3.  sermon: an address of a religious nature – people are passionate about the environment, and in one paper you will read about “environmental conversion,” “creation care,” and “spiritual language.”
4.  converse: carry on a conversation/discussion – which I hope you, the reader will do by commenting.

In the following papers (our conversation), there is a theme of translation – how science is translated for a public television audience,  for evangelicals, through “virally disseminated videos,” in ways that change people’s perceptions of science and the environment that might lead to change, and how science and scientists are re-presented or constructed in television, videos, and film.

1.  TITLE:  “Performing Science: An Ecocritical Reading of Cosmos
Stephen Rust is a Instructor and PhD student in Film and Media Studies in the English Department at the University of Oregon where he is currently working on film and ecocriticism. He has presented in the past year at such conferences as the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the Film Studies Association of Canada on films as diverse as MARCH OF THE PENGUINS and TABU. He was assistant editor of CINEMA JOURNAL from 2003-2006 while completing his MA at Oregon State University.

2.  TITLE:  “From Now to Doomsday:  Bill Moyers, Melodrama, and the Environmental Conversion.”
Jen Schneider received her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University in 2003.  Her dissertation examined the way marginalized identities (the gay, the disabled, the aging, the multiracial) were made central in postwar American film and literature.  Her current research focuses on how emerging risks such as climate change, nanotechnology and nuclear power are communicated to the public.  She also analyzes conceptions of “community” in engineering and sustainable development.  Jen is Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines, where she teaches courses in media studies and communication.

3. TITLE:   “The Activist Niche: Students, Environmental Videos and Social Change”
William Sonnega is Associate Professor and Director of Media Studies at St. Olaf College. He is author of a variety of articles and chapters on race and performance. After launching Media Studies at St. Olaf in 2001, he has overseen its development as the fastest-growing program on campus. His current research looks at the role of media in framing environmental issues, and the use of documentary video in environmental activism.

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