Critical Lens: Understanding Media Literacy Through Photographs

November 13, 2021 9:00AM to 3:00PM
LUAG Main & Lower Galleries
child playing with his hands by his eyes

How does photography—in all its forms—shape how we make meaning about the world, and even about ourselves? Join us for this free, public event that explores this ubiquitous medium, and how we must all be critical consumers, interpreters, and producers. Open to students, faculty/educators, and media makers of all backgrounds, this one-day informal symposium invites participants to share their practices, experiment with hands-on media making, and hear from experts that investigate the photographic image and its connections to a wide range of disciplines.
This event is FREE and open to all. Advance registration is required and space is limited.

Participants receive free resource materials, free one-year LUAG membership, breakfast, and lunch. Participants will also be invited to contribute to a future digital publication.

Act48 credit available through the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA).

Hosted by Lehigh University Art Galleries in partnership with the National Association of Media Literacy Education (NAMLE), the Pennsylvania Art Education Association (PAEA), the Departments of Journalism and Communication, Psychology, and Art, Architecture, and Design. This event is dedicated to the memory of Ricardo Viera, Director of Lehigh University Art Galleries from 1974-2018.

Register in advance for this event here.

Featured presenters include:

Michelle Ciulla Lipkin
Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education
Michelle Ciulla Lipkin is the Executive Director of the National Association for Media Literacy Education. Michelle has helped NAMLE grow to be the preeminent media literacy education association in the U.S. She launched the first ever Media Literacy Week in the U.S. now in its 7th year, developed strategic partnerships with companies such as Thomson Reuters, Facebook, Twitter, and Nickelodeon, and restructured both the governance and membership of NAMLE. She has overseen four national conferences and done countless appearances at conferences and in the media regarding the importance of media literacy education. Michelle is an alumni of the U.S. Dept. of State’s International Visitors Program (Australia/2018). She is currently an Adjunct Lecturer at Brooklyn College where she teaches Media Literacy.

Michelle has been a guest on CNN’s Reliable Sources in 2017 and 2020. Michelle was the recipient of the 2020 Global Media and Information Literacy Award given by UNESCO. In 2020, Michelle appeared in the documentary “Trust Me” from award winning director Roko Belic as well as the PBS Documentary “Fake.” Michelle began her career in children’s television production, in various roles on both corporate and production teams. She earned both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from New York University. Michelle focused her grad work on children and television where she caught the “media literacy bug”. After graduate school, Michelle worked as a facilitator for The LAMP (Learning about Multimedia Project) teaching media literacy and production classes for Pre-Kindergarten to 5th grade students.

Jennifer Midberry, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Visual Communication and Journalism
Dr. Jennifer Midberry is an assistant professor in Lehigh University's journalism and communication department. Her research agenda explores how journalism practice can be improved to create more ethical coverage of marginalized groups and be more effective at evoking audience empathy and engagement with important social issues. As a former photographer and photo editor, much of her work focuses on photojournalism and her projects are intended to have practical insights for visual journalists in addition to advancing visual communication and journalism theory. She employs both qualitative and quantitative methods. She teaches Visual Communication, Photojournalism, Media Ethics, and Media & Society at Lehigh. Empowering her students to think critically about media representations and the role of journalism in addressing social problems is the goal that drives her teaching. Previous to her career in academia, she worked as a visual journalist for organizations such as The Philadelphia Daily News, the Associated Press, AOL News, and ABC News.

Valerie Jones Taylor, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Joint appointment in Africana Studies and Psychology
Valerie Jones Taylor is an assistant professor with a joint appointment in Africana studies and psychology. Her research centers on exploring two sides of an issue that educators and policy makers have struggled to untangle—why and when “diversity” (and with it, greater intergroup and interracial contact) might hurt or help individuals and institutions. Much research has shown the benefits of diversity across domains, in schools, workplaces, and even neighborhoods. However, with increasing diversity and greater contact among individuals with different social identities comes the possibility that people might experience social identity threat—the concern or worry that one may be treated or judged negatively based on one’s social group membership. Thus, as diversity and intergroup contact increases, pressing identity-related questions soon arise.

Addressing this issue, across several lines of research, Valerie seeks to answer various identity-related questions, particularly when negative group stereotypes are salient. In her work, Valerie draws on theories such as social identity threat, and applies frameworks such as models of stress and coping and social cognitive intergroup processes, to answer such questions that loom large for those working to implement successful diversity strategies to reduce inequities and promote positive social change. She also uses virtual reality methodology to improve interracial encounters in academic and social contexts.


Critical Lens: Understanding Media Literacy Through Photography, a Creative Convening for Students, Educators, Artists, and Media Makers is funded through an Alumni TIES small grant from the U.S. Department of State.



Image: Erika Stone; Child at Play, East Harlem, 1970's; Vintage Gelatin Silver Print; Gift of George Stephanopoulos; LUF 2017 1213