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I’m now a regular columnist for PopMatters. Here’s my first piece in this new role: a review of Travis Wilkerson’s latest essay film, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?

Big thanks to my most excellent editor Karen Zarker, and my sister Anna for giving me feedback on an early draft.

You can read the whole thing here.

I’ve just received word that my proposal was accepted, and I’ll be presenting at the 6th Emerging Scholars Symposium on Oral History, Digital Storytelling, and Creative Practice at Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling!

The subject will be my M.F.A. thesis project: The Chinese Jamaican Oral History Project (CJOHP.org). I’ll also discuss the major ethical challenge of representation in my research-creation. “As a white man who has married into the community, but is not of it, I am approaching this subject as an outsider,” I say in the proposal. “As such, I have had to devise strategies that reflect my affinity with [oral historian] Jan L. Peterson, who has said that ‘in terms of White researchers researching across differences, letting go of prior notions of who and what defines research; questioning choices that are made regarding research design and analysis; and interrogating White privilege, biases, and assumptions we bring to the process are all critical to transformational research that seeks to improve human conditions.'” [1]

I’ll present with other emerging scholars in Montreal on March 22nd. For more information about the symposium, visit this page on the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling’s official website.

  1. Jan L. Peterson, “The Intersection of Oral History and the Role of White Researchers in Cross-Cultural Contexts,” Educational Foundations 22, nos. 3-4: 50.

I’ve got a chapter about Laura Poitras’s excellent documentary Risk (2016) in Christian Cotton and Robert Arp’s new anthology WikiLeaking: The Ethics of Secrecy and Exposure. The publisher is Open Court Publishing, the imprint behind the well-known “Pop Culture and Philosophy” series.

Starting this week, the book is available everywhere. If you want to pick one up, though, I do hope you will buy it through IndieBound or by visiting your local independent bookstore.

I’ve got a new review of Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal, and Nick de Pencier’s new documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch over at PopMatters. It’s the third film in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013).

You can read the whole thing here.

As previously mentioned, two of my classmates, John Verhaeven and Kenny McDonald, are producing a new podcast called “Doc This!” Its goal is to “get behind the minds and processes of Ryerson University’s MFA Documentary Media students.” I co-host with another classmate, Sara Wylie.

Episode Three is now live. In it, Sara and I speak to yet another classmate, Émeraude Mbuku, about punk rock, Kanye West, and more. Émeraude is a delight, and I suspect you’ll appreciate this interview — give a listen.

As usual, there’s also a sixty-second review of a new documentary at the end of the episode. This time, it’s John on Emanuel Licha’s five-channel video documentary War Tourist.

As I mentioned some months back, two of my classmates, John Verhaeven and Kenny McDonald, are producing a new podcast called “Doc This!” Its goal is to “get behind the minds and processes of Ryerson University’s MFA Documentary Media students.” I co-host with another classmate, Sara Wylie.

The second episode is now live. In it, Sara and I speak to yet another classmate, Annum Shah, about her beautiful thesis project. I hope you’ll give it a listen — I think it’s a good conversation.

As usual, another classmate also offers a sixty-second review of a new documentary at the end of the episode. This time, it’s Nawal Salim on the series TIME: The Kalief Browder Story.

(And how about that stunning new logo by Episode #1 interviewee Daniel Schrempf?)

I’ve got a new article over at New Politics magazine, the title of which is “The Unbearable Centrism of Mainstream Documentaries”. In it, I write about about how Former President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama’s multi-year production deal with Netflix could be understood as the culmination of a worrisome turn in contemporary documentary.

You can read the whole thing here.

I’ve got a new interview with Rodney Ascher, director of the documentaries Room 237 and The Nightmare, over at Nonfics. Rodney is one of my very favorite filmmakers, and it was both an honor and a pleasure to get to speak to him at some length.

His most recent project, Primal Screen, debuted on the horror-themed streaming service Shudder last year. The short, which “asks real people to look back at pop-culture artifacts that traumatized them in their youth and describe the effect they had on their lives,” can currently be streamed for free and without a login at the site.

I recommend you take a look at this underpraised little gem, and then check out our conversation here.