Visual Literacy Forum—Project Vis
Project Vis, a multi-year initiative sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, seeks to enhance the ability of faculty and students to create and understand visual media and to increase visual literacy throughout the campus community. Through Project VIS, funding from the Mellon Foundation supported the development of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS) and the Program in Media and Film Studies, two central homes for visual studies on campus, as well as the Visual Literacy Forum, which supports visual literacy across campus through a range of workshops and programming.
In its final year of Mellon funding, Project Vis is excited to join the CLTL to support faculty work both inside and outside the classroom on visual material and visual literacy. Project Vis seeks to enhance the ability of faculty, staff, and students to create and understand visual media, and to increase visual literacy throughout the campus community.
Project Vis promotes:
- a network for faculty teaching courses with visual content and otherwise engaged in visual studies
- faculty and staff collaboration with external specialists to supplement our own expertise
- partnerships with other institutions and organizations
- faculty and staff development and student learning opportunities that build on existing strengths, to encourage and expand visual media and literacy
- support for students as they transfer and apply their visual knowledge across courses and disciplines
- the integration of visual literacy in the context of Skidmore’s Goals for Student Learning and Development
- the development of a mechanism for assessing visual literacy
- Paul Benzon, Project Vis primary investigator; visiting assistant professor of English and media and film studies; and associate director, media and film studies
- Jordana Dym, professor of history director of the Documentary Studies Collaborative
- Kristie Ford, professor of sociology and director of the Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning
- Katie Hauser, associate professor of art history and director of the Media and Film Studies Program
Visual Pedagogy Clusters
As part of the Center for Teaching and Learning’s mission to promote excellence and
innovation in teaching, Project Vis offers support for pedagogical collaboration and
exchange around visual issues: Faculty are invited to form groups of two to four faculty
members developing new courses for spring 2018 that incorporate visual material and
visual literacy. Each faculty member will receive a $750 stipend to meet as a group
three times before the start of the spring semester to discuss course design, pedagogy,
student assignments, etc., in relation to visual literacy. Preference will be given
to faculty who apply as preconstituted clusters, particularly those composed across
institutional lines (faculty in different disciplines, faculty who make visual material
working with faculty who study visual material, faculty at different career stages,
etc.), but faculty may also apply individually to be grouped with others. Faculty
selected as part of a Visual Pedagogy Cluster will be asked to submit a short report
on their conversations before the start of the spring semester and to share their
work at a spring best-practices event.
To apply, interested faculty should send a document to Paul Benzon including the following information:
- Name, department/program, and contact information for each faculty member
- Course number, title, credits, and course description for each course, as well as information on how each course will incorporate visual literacy
- Faculty submitting as a preconstituted cluster should submit their application as a single document and should also include in that document a brief rationale for their collaboration and what it might yield for the design of their courses
Applications should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, October 13.
Off-Campus Workshops and Training
Project Vis is happy to support travel to the Society for Experiential Graphic Design
XlabConference in New York City November 2–3. This year’s theme, "Experiences in the Era of Disruption,"
will showcase how disruption is affecting experiential graphic design and the way
people are using and interacting with places and spaces. If you are interested in
attending, please contact me via email. Project Vis will fund appropriate travel expenses,
including transportation, lodging, food, and workshop fees; individuals must make
their own travel arrangements. Please note that there is a special reduced educational rate for conference registration,
available only via phone. To obtain this rate, register via phone at 202-638-5555
rather than registering online.
Project Vis will also support travel to the Visual Resources Association Foundation’s upcoming workshop titled “Can We Do That?: Intellectual Property Rights and Visual Media,” to be held at Princeton University on December 15. The foundation will also be hosting workshops on visual literacy (University of Kentucky at Lexington, March 2) and documenting cultural heritage (Ohio State University, March 16) and Project Vis will support faculty and staff interested in attending these upcoming events as well; watch the foundatoin's workshop page for forthcoming information and contact Paul Benzon if interested in any of the above opportunities.
We ask that all conference and workshop attendees commit to attend a spring best-practices event to discuss your experience.
Visual Literacy Workshop: Contact Sarah Goodwin for further information
Date: October 27, 2017
Time: 2–3:15 p.m.
Location: Scribner Library, Weller Room (212)
Project Vis works closely with the MDOCS DocLab to provide a range of support to faculty and staff projects incorporating visual material, including workshops and classroom support for visual media software, one-on-one consultations on video production and storytelling, and technical and institutional support and guidance for innovative courses incorporating visual media production.