Episode 113: Critical Media Project with Alison Trope and DJ Johnson

This week we’re joined by USC Faculty colleagues Alison Trope, Clinical Professor of Communication, and DJ Johnson, Associate Professor of Practice, Cinematic Arts. Together they direct the Critical Media Project (CMP), a free media literacy web resource for educators and students (ages 8-21) that enhances young people’s critical thinking and empathy, and builds on their capacities to advocate for change around questions of identity. The website includes around 700 pieces of media and wraparound pedagogical resources that focus on seeing across difference, in order to surface questions that can then be addressed in the open. It can be used independently, and is also aligned with the Common Core for use in schools. Throughout this episode we’ll listen to media examples with Alison & DJ to discuss how CMP works and how it can be used.

Alison and DJ begin by telling us about their own media backgrounds, and how they reconcile their own positionality in these issues of identity when teaching and bring that conversation into the classroom, so it can become a shared space of engagement for all. After digging into some of the areas of identity currently tackled by CMP, we discuss how students and educators have engaged with it, both by using the resources as well as creating their own media, and through their latest curricular project, the fully-online Critical Makers Lab.

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

Alison Trope
DJ Johnson
Critical Media Project
Critical Makers Lab
CMP DIY Activities:
I am, but I’m not…
Making Change
Mapping My World + Community
Identity Collage

Applying the Common Core – Critical Media Project

Alison & DJ’s childhood TV favorites:
Wonder Woman (TV Series 1975–1979) – IMDb
Charlie’s Angels (TV Series 1976–1981) – IMDb
CHiPs (TV Series 1977–1983) – IMDb
Battle of the Planets (TV Series 1978–1980) – IMDb

Videos we watched and discussed, as they appear with discussion questions on the CMP site:
Zootopia – Press Conference Scene
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED Talk
Rise (dinner table)
I’m Trans, But I’m Not
Ships at a Distance

Also mentioned:
educator, author, and media literacy advocate Renee Hobbs
W.E.B Du Bois’s 1890s infographics

Share your thoughts via Twitter with Henry, Colin and the How Do You Like It So Far? account! You can also email us at [email protected].

“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/in-time-instrumental
Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/lesion-x-spaceship
Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/AzYoVrMLa1Q

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