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, English and Media and Film Studies; and Associate Director, Media and Film Studies
- Jordana Dym, Professor, History Department and Director, Documentary Studies Collaborative
- Kristie Ford, Professor, Sociology and Director, Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning
- Katie Hauser, Associate Professor, Art History and Director, Media and Film Studies
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 2-4 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 as you plan your courses to discuss
course design, pedagogy, student assignments, etc., in relation to visual literacy.
Preference will be given to faculty who apply as pre-constituted 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 pre-constituted 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 on November 2-3. This year’s theme, Experiences in the Era of Disruption,
will showcase how disruption is impacting 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 -- make sure to register via phone at 202-638-5555 rather
than registering online to obtain this rate.
Project VIS will also support travel to the Visual Resources Association Foundation’s upcoming workshop entitled “Can We Do That?: Intellectual Property Rights and Visual Media,” to be held at Princeton University on December 15. VRAF will also be hosting workshops on visual literacy (at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, on March 2) and documenting cultural heritage (at Ohio State University on March 16) and VIS will support faculty and staff interested in attending these upcoming events as well; watch the VRAF 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.