The present social and political climate has led university students and staff to encounter seemingly “new” challenges and opportunities on campus. While many instances of hatred are in fact not new, the context in which they are occurring - e.g., bolstering of xenophobia by the President, call-out culture on social media, neoliberalism - makes such instances imperative to examine. As teachers of media at the university level, we must take a moment to consider how media economics, production, and representation are impacting our students and ourselves, so that we may cater our pedagogy to address resulting challenges and opportunities in effective and ethical ways. We must consider how our attempts to create safe and supportive classrooms may affect our personal safety and employment status, given the implementation of things like the professor watchlist and ability for students to record and publish our words and actions online. We must also raise awareness of how to use media in ways that are equitable, respectful, and self-aware.

Published: 2019-02-21