February 02, 2015

Talk will focus on black male identity

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Global Media Research Center will host an inaugural symposium that examines current and expanding trends in media making. 

The symposium, “Expanding Media: Identities,” will consider issues involving identity and focus on representation from the perspective of black men in the United States. The event, Feb. 20-21, is in collaboration with the Big Muddy Film Festival. The 37th annual film festival is Feb. 24 to March 1. 

The symposium will feature the work of photographer Chris Johnson and his development of “Question Bridge,” a non-fiction transmedia project that includes a film, interactive website and mobile application described as “a platform for Black men of all ages and backgrounds to ask and respond to questions about life in America.” 

The symposium begins with the screening of the film, “Question Bridge: Black Males,” followed by a panel discussion on Feb. 20, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The free screening begins at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. The panel discussion will include Johnson, Gerald Butters, professor of history at Aurora University, and two SIU Carbondale faculty members -- Novotny Lawrence, associate professor and chair of the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media; Angela Aguayo, assistant professor in the Department of Cinema and Photography, and Hassan Pitts, an artist-in-residence with the Big Muddy Film Festival. 

A companion hands-on workshop, “Question This?: Workshopping the Tools of Cultural Dialogue,” is from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Communications Building Cinema Soundstage, Room 1116. Johnson and Pitts will guide participants on a practical and critical tour of today’s mobile technologies that will include concepts of ethnography and image-based representation. The event is free and open to the public. For workshop reservations, please contact Zach Sapienza, a graduate assistant in the College of Mass Communications and Media Arts, at zsapienza@siu.edu

For further information, contact Jay Needham, interim director of the Global Media Research Center and associate professor the Department of Radio, Television, and Digital Media at jayn@siu.edu