Media and Social Change Lab members are currently working on, planning, and brainstorming several projects and partnerships. Some of these are fully formed, and some are ideas looking to build support and momentum. To inquire about getting involved with any of the projects below, email If you are a MASCLab member and have a project or project idea you would like listed here, email

Podcast Series:

We’ve produced our first podcast!  Our podcast series will invite a range of voices to delve into issues related to media in research, scholarship, and social change. It is an exercise of and about participatory production. Three topics (multi-modality, social media and political discourse, AI gone awry) will kickstart the Lab’s podcast series. Join one of the podcast teams by joining the conversation on Slack.

Organizer: Kyle Oliver

Episode 1 – Choices: Centering Communities in Education & Research

MASCLab’s Lalitha Vasudevan sits down with Ana Dopazo, Program Director of Choices, Alternative to Detention. They discuss student-centered learning, multimodal research, and alternative sites of education.

Special thanks to EdLab at Teachers College, who gave us permission to excerpt Eric’s interview from this 2010 video about Lalitha’s research.

Episode 2 – Youth Political Participation and Online Creativity

MASCLab’s Ioana Literat discusses exciting new research with Caroline DeVoe, Elizabeth Herbert-Wasson, and Kyle Oliver. Her project examines the political participation that took place on youth-oriented online communities for creative expression in the days following the 2016 U. S. presidential election.

Special thanks to the young people whose Scratch media were featured in this episode!

Episode 3 – Teaching Torah on YouTube

MASCLab’s Kyle Oliver interviews Sarah Lefton, Jewish educator and founder of BimBam, about the art and science of teaching old wisdom on new media.

Bonus media:

Episode 4: One-Room School Facilities and Experiencing School Desegregation

MASCLab’s Joe Riina-Ferrie interviews our colleague Janell Drone about her research into African American one-room school facilities and her experience of school desegregation in rural West Texas. More links to Dr. Drone’s work as a research fellow of the New York Public Library, as well as a transcript of this episode, are coming soon!

Theme music credit: “Kelp Grooves” by Little Glass Men via Free Music Archive (CC BY 4.0)

Media Literacy Game: Learning about Fake News Through Play 

Given the recent concerns about the spread of misinformation in online spaces, MASCLab is working on developing a game that aims to hone young people’s media literacy skills, with a focus on identifying fake news and misinformation. In an initial stage, the game – targeted towards middle school students – will take the form of a card game, accompanied by lesson plans and other resources for educators or facilitators.

Organizers: Ioana Literat, Libby Herbert-Wasson

EVC Alumni Study:

What are the resonances of involvement in a rigorous, youth development and civic participation oriented filmmaking program over the course of a person’s life? How might it shape the way people think? In partnership with the Educational Video Center, MASCLab is embarking on an interview study with alumni from across the decades of EVC’s participatory youth documentary filmmaking programs to inquire about how such an experience continues to ripple through the lives of participants.

Organizers: Lalitha Vasudevan, Joe Riina-Ferrie

Collaboration with Rethink:

In 2014 Masclab member Caroline DeVoe began documenting the work of Rethink, a public humanities program that applies humanities scholarship from Columbia University’s Heyman Center for the Humanities in the public sphere. Founded in 2013 by Columbia Ph.D. students Max Hayward and Robbie Kubala, and John Fantuzzo, a doctoral student in Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Rethink began as a community-outreach endeavor that engaged court-involved, Harlem-area youth in deep philosophical discussions that examined questions of equality, justice, ethics, citizenship and more.

Today Rethink has expanded and is now working with organizations assisting survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking.

There are several opportunities brewing for mediamaking to support this work, and possible collaboration on a project with participatory mediamaking as pedagogy with participants.

Organizer: Caroline DeVoe

Community Critical Video Ethnography:

This project envisions neighborhood communities and MASC Lab members working collaboratively to empower ourselves through the use of critical video ethnography.  Integrating popular education and participatory action research, we develop a lens to highlight the strengths of the community and critique the institutional and structural systems of oppression that affect us.  We then conduct and workshop critical video ethnographies of our community.  The intention is to disseminate our films publicly and enact social change.

Organizer: Phillip Twining

Interactive Screenings:

MASCLab is planning three interactive screenings –contact us to help organize if interested:

Screening on December 8th. See the events page for more information. With Filmmaker Tatyana Kleyn MASCLab will screen the film Una Vida, Dos Paises . The film connects participants in Mexico and the United States to tell the stories and address the issue of deportation of youth who had grown up in the United States.

Screening January 25th. “Newtown” “Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the filmmakers use unique access and never before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history on December 14, 2012. Newtown documents a traumatized community fractured by grief and driven toward a sense of purpose. Joining the ranks of a growing club to which no one wants to belong, a cast of characters interconnect to weave an intimate story of community resilience.”Filmmaker: Kim Snyder, Director/Producer (

We are working with the Foster Care Film and Engagement Project to bring in filmmaker Yasmin Mistry and some of her participants to screen, discuss, and build connections around films centered on experiences in the foster care system.

Organizers: Lalitha Vasudevan, Cristina Salazar Gallardo, Joe Riina-Ferrie, Lisa Sepahi

Media Engagement and Adolescents’ Educational Wellbeing in Out-of-school
(funded by the Robert Bowne Foundation, Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. Research Grant, 2014)
PI: Lalitha Vasudevan; RA: Joe Riina-Ferrie

In this study, we are engaged in building a theory of educational wellbeing through a close examination of adolescents’ media production experiences within an afterschool youth media program. We want to better understand how adolescents’ educational wellbeing—that is, youths’ sense of comfort and connection to a broad conception of education—is nurtured when they are engaged in collaborative media production during out of school time. In particular, we are focused on those adolescents who are also somehow involved with the criminal or juvenile justice system (herein, “court-involved youth”).

The Role of Participatory and Social Media in the Educational Wellbeing of Court-involved Youth
(funded by a Teachers College Dean’s Grant, 2014-2015)
PI: Lalitha Vasudevan

This autumn (2014) we are piloting a longitudinal study of how court-involved youth in New York City access institutional, material, digital, and human resources in pursuit of their educational trajectories. We are especially interested in how these young people’s participatory and social media practices inform their educational wellbeing. The overall project to which this proposed study is connected focuses on educational wellbeing precisely because of its largely indefinable and elusive, yet significant, role in the educational trajectories of young people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s