I’ve taught at The Evergreen State College since 1997, gradually developing strategies of incorporating animation into the teaching of a variety of disciplines including fine arts, sciences, history and literature and media studies. For information about my personal creative work including films, flipbooks and other animation toys, please visit Random Motion. To view my films, go to my Vimeo page.
Recent events include presenting “Simple Machine Synergies” as part of the Echo Park Film Center’s Film Friends Series, “Simple Machines,” on October 9, 2021. You can view a recording of this talk here and this page has animated gifs and descriptions of the relationship between my creative work animating zoetrope strips and some of the flipbooks that evolved from them.
In June, I collaborated with Laurie Meeker, my co-faculty in Mediaworks 2020-21, to produce the faculty graduation speech on the theme of “Representation Matters” for the remote 2021 Evergreen Commencement Ceremony. In winter quarter 2021, I presented “Animation in the Interdisciplinary Curriculum: Approaches to Integrating Animation and Marine Biology“ about teaching the program Visualizing Microbial Seascapes for The Animation Research Group at Arts University Bournemouth in the UK. Also in winter, I lectured on “Eco-Media; the Environmental Footprint of Media and the Myth of the Cloud” for Evergreen’s Climate Academy lecture series.
I retired and gained Emerita status in June 2021 but will continue to teach occasionally. In fall 2021, I’m offering a 4 credit film-study course Experimental Animation: An Introduction. For more information about learning critical and experimental approaches to media history, theory and production, check out the Media Arts and Studies Path of Study.
Highlights of my interdisciplinary teaching
I collaborated with two other faculty in planning two broadly interdisciplinary programs in 2019-20. In Arts of Urgency (fall and winter quarters), students explored the historical and cultural contexts of Latin American film, animation, and literature, beginning with Third Cinema in the 1960s and continuing into the present. They learned how to do close readings of literature and film, analyze social and political themes, and gained skills in visual and written storytelling and basic analog animation techniques. The program’s winter quarter welcomed students into the Latin American Cinema Series, a 2 credit offering that shared our Thursday afternoon screenings. I wrote “Two Moments: Experimental Animation and Interdisciplinary Pedagogy” about teaching this program for the animationstudies 2.0 blog.
In Animating the Sea: Motion, Light and Eyes (spring quarter), students gained introductions to marine biology and animation through an exploration of optics and how the eyes of both humans and various sea creatures affect their perceptions of the world around them. You can see what students produced, despite the pandemic and consequent remote learning, on the Animating the Sea WordPress site that we built together.
In 2017-18, printmaking faculty, Lisa Sweet, and I taught Studio Projects: Outside the Lines, a variation on a program we taught together in 2009-10 called Drawing Outside the Lines. You can see what kind of work we did in that program here. In 2016-17, I co-taught CultureLab: Advanced Projects in Visual and Media Arts with Evan Blackwell. We began this year long program expanding our range of art skills. The Visual Arts students learned to animate, and the media arts students gained an introduction to ceramics. Students spent most of the rest of the year researching, developing and producing capstone arts projects as a culmination of their Evergreen education.
In 2015-16 I taught Visualizing Microbial Seascapes: An Introduction to Animation and Marine Biology (VMS) with Gerardo Chin-Leo. This was a fall/winter program that repeated in spring 2016 with new students. Students collaborated to produce two versions of The Monograph Project to demonstrate their understanding of marine microorganisms, a blog of animation, illustration and descriptions of many Puget Sound plankton species. I presented a paper on VMS as a case study at the 2019 Society for Animation Studies Conference in Lisbon (an earlier version of the Bournemouth talk mentioned above).
In November 2013, I wrote an entry for the Animation Studies 2.0 blog “Protean Media: One Animator’s Perspective” for their focus on animation and technology.
In spring 2012, I co-taught “Animal Others in Image and Text” with Anne deMarcken. Working with Head of Instructional Media, Stephanie Zorn, and IT Specialist Amy Greene, we collaborated with students to create the eBestiary, a blog that compiled and presented each participant’s research and creative response to observations of animals during the quarter. In November, 2012, the eBestiary won the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium’s Award for Innovation in Educational Technologies. You can view a short documentary made for the awards presentation about the eBestiary below.