Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

(Re) Thinking Media Literacy

leamirella's picture

Our discussions this week about the transformation of writing in the humanities due to the advancement of technology really got me thinking about what it means to be "media literate". Media literacy is defined as a repertoire of competences that enable people to analyze, evaluate and create messages in a wide variety of media modes, genres and forms. As a digital humanist (woah, never used that title in "public" before), I'd make the claim that I'm not as media literate as I'd like to think I am.


I've experimented a lot with various forms of media. Anne, unfortunately, has seen some of my efforts fall flat; this paper which I attempted to form my message through a 'talking head' video and this paper where I attempted to make a video paper. As you can probably tell, I have a place for 'lens-based' media given my background in film studies. It's interesting to look at how these projects failed however because I think that it really shows that the education surrounding media literacy today is quite lacking and thus, how can you possible attempt to rethink the ways in which academic papers are presented if the training and education to do that is so limited.

But before you make any assumptions about my background, I want to just clarify a few things about my experience with the media. I've had access to the media pretty much my entire life and I also took a media studies course in high school. Additionally, I've worked with film and learned how to contruct AND deconstruct it.  I'm proposing an independent major in comparative media studies at Bryn Mawr. You'd probably think that media and forming messages through various forms was second nature to me but really, it isn't, as evidenced by the papers I gave links to.

So the fact remains: if we want to look forward in our presentation of academic papers or just general information, then we need to really consider how we are educating those that will become the next Kathleen Fitzpatricks and Jen Rajchels.