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Skidmore College
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MDOCS Spring 2016 Classes

November 2, 2015
Interviewing Barbara Stroock Kaufman '40 (center) 
Filming during spring '15


DocuTrek '15
Nicky Tavares instructs Maryam DeWitt, '18, in
filming with DSLR, DocuTrek, '15.

In Spring 2016, MDOCS will offer a range of skill-up 1-credit workshops and project courses and also support and connect with a growing number of documentary studies classes. An overview of these classes appears below.

For class details, see MDOCS' full listing of Spring 2016 classes.

Any storyteller, whether evidence-based or creative, needs a toolkit of skills to present their story. This spring, students will build a storytelling tool-kit in Video Storytelling,Interviewing 101, Photography 101, offered by college director of videography Vickie Riley; anthropology professor emerita Sue Bender; and photographer Michael McCabe.

Filmmaker and Media Services specialist Ron Taylor will support students with ongoing projects in Video Projects, a half-semester opportunity for students to develop connections with each other and advance their work while building skills and participating in critique groups, and Sound and Story of the Hudson Valley's Eiellen McAdam will support students with Audio Projects in the second half.

More intensive classes will develop student skills in documentary storytelling in sound and writing for the screen. Adam Tinkle will repeat his Introduction to Audio Documentary, and screenwriter Nicole Coady will repeat Storytelling for the Screen I, in which students learn the nuts and bolts of storytelling and develop a film treatment, and offer Storytelling for the Screen II, for those developing treatments into screenplays. For an Introduction to Photography, see art listings with Robert ParkeHarrison.

For those interested in exploring the Principles of Documentary across the development of sound, still and moving image and multimedia practices, MDOCS Director Jordana Dym offers the program's gateway course. In addition to identifying common ground across the documentary arts, students are introduced to the ethics of community-based storytelling.

MDOCS also welcomes new collaborations across the curriculum with courses developed in the Departments of Art History, English, and Philosophy—plus some great classes of interest in anthropology, sociology and art!

Tang Museum Director Ian Berry's class, The Art Interview, will involve students in an exploration of the artist interview as a form of original art historical research. Students will learn how oral histories can function in a museum collection archive.

Documentary filmmaker and scholar in English Cecilia Aldarondo repeats Film, her Introduction to film study, which introduces students to documentary film history, exposes them to a variety of documentary film approaches and asks them to develop a written treatment and verbal pitch for an original documentary film idea of their own devising.

Also coming soon: Bill Lewis, philosophy, will introduce Film Truth, an exploration of representing "the real" in film that will draw on films from the history of documentary to explore the relationship among image, truth, and reality in a course about knowing, particularly about ways to come to knowledge, as well as how to present this knowledge truthfully.

All documentary studies courses and partner courses will count toward Skidmore's new minor program in media and film studies. This program encourages students to explore the function and structure of written, aural and visual communication systems. Grounded in a strong liberal arts preparation, the program offers core courses in media theory and practice as well as the opportunity for advanced course work and practical field experience. For information on MFS' gateway and other courses, see the college Catalog, and for spring '16 classes, see the Master Schedule.

Our formal partnerships are not all: Spring 2016 will also have a Video Ethnography course taught by sociologist and filmmaker Rik Scarce, Bernardo Rios' Visual Anthropology course focusing on analysis of images as well as including some hands-on projects and Beginning Photography courses now offered with no prerequisite by Bob ParkeHarris in art. So visual documentarians, your ship is coming in. For more details, see the college Catalog and Master Schedule.