November 15, 2010

Project Rebirth: Using Documentary Film to Study Trauma, Grief, and Recovery

Randall Bass, associate professor of English, executive director of the Center for New Designs in Learning Scholarship, and vice provost at Georgetown University, will present an overview of the process and results of an experimental undergraduate course taught last fall using the Project Rebirth archive as a point of departure f for the multidisciplinary analysis of trauma, grief, and recovery in the context of Web-based participatory culture.

Moving back and forth between "deep dives" into footage of the Project Rebirth archive and a wide range of Web-based video, data mining, and visualization projects, students in Professor Bass’ course explored how participatory digital environments might serve as sites for informal learning and social meaning. Professor Bass will describe how the implicit theoretical underpinnings of his course found expression through a range of student projects that explored such issues as the relationship between structure and serendipity, the potential of tagging and metadata to provoke meaning and cultivate community, and narrative therapy in the age of YouTube.

The Project Rebirth archive is a part of the larger Project Rebirth educational initiative which aims to help students better understand the many dimensions of trauma and recovery following September 11, 2001. The initiative provides faculty partners from Columbia University and Georgetown University with access to hundreds of hours of footage from Project Rebirth, a documentary by filmmaker Jim Whitaker that chronicles the stories of 10 people deeply affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center, including extensive footage of interviews as well as the rebuilding of the site.

Date: Monday, November 15, 2010 at 4:00PM - 5:30PM
Location: 523 Butler Library
Phone: (212) 854-9058