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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Undergraduate Work in Digital Humanities 

What can a movie do?  How can it tell a compelling story about complex topics like gender and poverty?  CSWGS undergraduate media projects took on that task over the last few months in both short and long forms.

 Perez short film Shields short film

(L - Quito, Ecuador: photography by C. Perez; R - Masaka, Uganda: photography by A. Shields)

On October 9, 2014, the Program in Poverty, Justice, and Human Capabilities showcased several short films the 2014 Susan McAshan Summer Service Interns made using digital storytelling techniques to weave together voice-over stories and still images from their internships.  For example, in "I Can't, We Can: Seeds of Change in Masaka," Allison Shields shared about her experience gardening with nursery school students in Uganda. Cristell Perez described what it was like to test for HIV in Ecuador in her short film "Yo Soy Ecuador: HIV/AIDS in EQUIDAD."  Watch their films here.


(Masculinities, 2014: photography by Jeff Fitlow)

On January 12, 2015, Rice Cinema and CSWGS screened a feature length documentary, "Mentality," created by the 23 students enrolled in Masculinities, a course offered in fall 2014 by the Department of Anthropology and CSWGS. The course familiarized students with several decades of academic conversations about masculinity and gender from a variety of perspectives, including feminist theory and its relationship to men’s studies, popular literature on gender and the feminist critique of the science of sex differences. Drawing on both expert and lay voices from across campus and Greater Houston, the 60-minute documentary explored issues such as gender socialization of youth, hip-hop masculinities, ideologies of strength in sports and stereotypes around sexual violence and depression. “The film project was designed as engaged research in gender: a collective project that would cultivate connections between students’ daily lives and concerns and the intellectual labor of the class readings and discussions by putting gender at the center of the conversation,” said Brian Riedel, the course’s instructor. “I also wanted us to have fun making something together.”  Watch the trailer for their movie.

 Mentality title screen