Christopher Jeansonne is a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the Department of Arts Administration, Education and Policy at The Ohio State University, with a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Film Studies. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Ohio University. Prior to his work at OSU, Chris was the head of a Media Arts Program in an Arts-Based High School in New Orleans, where students worked in video, photography, design, and sequential art (comics). In his role as founder and chair, he developed programming that emphasized the connections between critical and creative skills, as well as the intersections between aesthetic and ideological concerns.
Chris’ focus is on using critical media pedagogy to explore the intersection of scholarship and creative practice, emphasizing the ways media pedagogy research can reveal how individual, group, and cultural identities are established within, and articulated through, media. As a media teacher/scholar/maker his ideas are based on the fundamental assumption that our way of seeing the world shapes our potential within it. He uses transmedial popular culture forms as a way to engage students with media both through study and self expression.
Chris’ dissertation is entitled “Superheroes in the Classroom, or ‘With Great Power and Responsibility:’ An Autoethnographic Account of a Critical Media Pedagogy in a Genre-Based Transmedial University Writing Course.” Using the popular culture genre of superheroes as a topical focus, and incorporating critical pedagogy methods such as a negotiated syllabus, this action research project incorporates the perspectives of both students and teachers. The project posits ways that we can better engender critical media engagement in a diverse student body through transparent, situated understandings of the balance of authority between students and teachers. His research suggests that a sense of agency in the media classroom—in this case as ‘heroes’ of their own learning, engaged in a critical interrogation of ‘superheroes’ in media—correlates with a sense of agency as ‘media selves.’ While the primary dissertation document consists of text and visual media generated in the classroom, the research involved video and audio recordings (produced collaboratively with students) to create multi-media research presentation support documents (such as documentary videos).
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