Independently-produced video, produced outside of mainstream commercial channels, provides a pool of shared imagery about the American past and the American people which is unique. The multiple voices, experiences, and perspectives represented in this diverse work are a rich resource for historical research and teaching. Many professors utilize video as supplementary material in the classroom, but despite the growing use of video in general, independently-produced works are among the least known and therefore least accessible resources.
"Mediating History" is designed to introduce historians to multicultural media as a resource in teaching, and provides and introduction to this work on three levels. First, each title entry includes an annotation and full filmographic information for over 125 selected video titles. Second, there are ten essays that provide background information on the themes and issues raised in the videos and suggestions for their introduction into history teaching. Finally, there is a guide to alternative media resources: journals, organizations, distributors, etc.
The multicultural approach of this project is intended to enrich the teaching of history by introducing new evidence, diverse voices, and multiple perspectives that more fully describe complex historical and social realities.
The contributors to this guide are: Patricia Aufderheide (American University), Deidre Boyle (The New School for Social Research), Caryl Chin (Independent Curator), Cheryl Chisholm (Filmmaker), Kimberly Everett (Independent Producer), Lilian Jimenez (National Latino Film and Video Festival), Chon Noriega (University of New Mexico), Louise Spain (LaGuardia Community College, CUNY), and Elizabeth Weatherford (National Museum of the American Indidan, Smithsonian Institution).
"Something changed in me. The flame was going out. After about twenty years of doing time, I felt like I did when I first came to prison: afraid, mean, not caring about others. I don't know if I hated them more, or myself for letting them change me."
-From "Prison, Inc.",