Center for Transformative Media
A hub for emerging visionaries and change makers to explore leading trends in creativity and the transformative power of media.
Futures are created by those who tell impactful stories, and our success as change agents greatly depends upon how effectively we bring forth new stories that activate and inspire.
Drawing upon the programs within the School of Consciousness & Transformation, the Center for Transformative Media provides revolutionary courses in media skills, theory, strategy, and design. From archetypal storytelling, to documentary shorts for social justice, to the power of new media to create and document performance, CTM connects students with leaders in the fields of film, media, art, and activism.
While primarily focused on offering courses that empower students' visions and work, the future aim of CTM is to evolve to include an on-site media facility and production studio.
Each era of human history has had its unique manner of expressing its deepest knowledge of the world. In southern Africa, beginning some one hundred thousand years ago, the earliest humans used cave paintings; in the Neolithic cultures and then in classical civilizations, our ancestors employed ritual and theater or else captured their cosmologies in literary masterpieces. In the twentieth century, yet another mode of expression has appeared, that of electronic media, in which a number of presentations of our modern understanding of the universe now exist, including Carl Sagan's Cosmos, Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man, James Burke's Connections, and Brian Swimme's Journey of the Universe. David Kennard was either director or producer of these as well as five other cosmological productions, all of which, taken together, make up the central subject matter of this course.
With the rise of smart phones and social media has come the democratization of moviemaking. We now hold the power of a movie studio in our hands, with the ability to film, edit, share and promote our videos through one device. This course will focus on DIY video production and storytelling using tools accessible to each of us. By the end of the course, you'll have produced your own short movies that you can upload and share.
What good is myth? How can knowledge of mythology be applied today, in situations far in time and space from where the stories originated? In this course we will consider the mythology of historical and contemporary events, scientific discoveries, recent news stories, and ecology, and reflect on Earth as a mythic image that hints at how to live wisely and sustainably on our organically intelligent planet. Such insights lend to diverse application, including personal storytelling through film, art, and media.
Where is technology headed? Is technology as a force independent of the human mind? Should technology be questioned? And what role should it play in regards to human health and well-being? In this course we explore how to develop new, healthy and mindful relationships with digital technology, as well as learn about positive psychology and the research on what it means to live well. With these insights students will develop an idea for a mobile app that implements a form of personal, social, or environmental transformation in the world.
Students with degrees in Women's Spirituality or Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice pursue careers in a wide variety of fields, including teaching, writing and publishing, healing, the arts, social and environmental activism, and social-entrepreneurship. In this course, you will draw upon your sense of vocation and purpose, career management best practices, and spiritually-informed research methods to imagine your work in the world and then learn tangible career planning and career management skills to support you in actualizing your vision. These skills include inventorying your knowledge, skills, and passions; identifying and researching possible career objectives; developing your materials (c.v., resume, marketing brochure, and/or website); and building and growing your communications platform through social media, presentations, articles, books, and other activities.
Visual and Media Anthropology considers different forms of non-logocentric media to broaden and refine its conception of how we know the changing world. In this seminar, we will consider different ways of addressing contemporary social issues with a particular focus on the conditions of globalization and war, and consider different approaches to the ethnographer's representational strategies and engage the scholarly debates surrounding them.
This course draws on a range of theoretical orientations and media practices to examine media within circuits of information, experience, and production. "Media ecologies" here refers to the materiality of media environments as well as the relationship between media and the environment in shaping sensory experiences of world events and the daily realities of lived social relations.
In this course we study media practices for recent social movements such as Black Lives Matter, teacher rebellions in Mexico, and uprisings in Iran, Tunisia and Egypt, among others, asking questions such as: How do collective expressions across social media relate to mass occupation of realtime spaces? And what role do media play in radical moments of economic, political and affective change?
This intensive course will integrate the theory and practice of producing radical radio. We will explore the many issues that emerge in covering movements or causes that one is part of, or sympathetic to, and examine the questions that arise from utilizing the radio medium. We will review the mechanics of radio production, preparation and research, interview technique, dissemination, and the challenges of presenting critical ideas to different audiences. Emphasis will be on producing in-depth analytical radio programming, rather than radio journalism and reportage.
At numerous times throughout the last several decades, political filmmakers have used nonfiction filmmaking as a tool for community organizing and have used their films as effective tools to change political situations. From the agit-prop films of the Third Cinema movement in Latin America in the sixties, to the Internet-based videos produced in Egypt that paved the way for the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, we will study several moments from recent history in which documentary and other nonfiction filmmaking practices became effective nonviolent weapons to transform society; identify and discuss diverse and crucial chapters from the history of political documentary filmmaking; articulate the way documentary films have formed part of the repertoire of strategies and tactics used by agents of social change in different parts of the world under diverse social conditions; and understand how to effectively distribute nonfiction videos online and offline to affect the outcome of social movements in which students might be involved. Students will leave the media skills seminar with hands-on knowledge of camera use and video production.
This media skills course will address practical and technical aspects of designing a presence on the Internet. We will learn the latest technical strategies and resources for using Internet to publish content, create websites, facilitate activist communication, promote events and actions, build community or membership, and raise funds.