2:15 – 3:00 pm

SESSION TWO: Systems Change

Representation Matters: Media Imaging and Stereotyping

Our culture is saturated with stereotypical depictions of race and difference, from the visual iconography of popular music to the branding of products at the grocery store. The effort to end hate and racism requires us not only to recognize these problematic instances of representation, but to understand the mechanics of these images—how and why they are made, their histories and their social impact in the present moment. This workshop will consist of a panel discussion between faculty, students, and members of the art and design communities about the role images play in reinforcing and/or breaking stereotypes. Through a series of formulated questions, the panel will explore stereotypes and visual representation.


Workshop Goals: The goal of the workshop is to bring together artists, scholars, students, and community members to explore a range of different media images and invite an open dialogue. The Q & A will be on-going throughout the conversation with a suggested follow-up for attendees to encourage more dialogue.



Catherine Zuromskis , Ph. D. is an Associate Professor Photography and Visual Culture at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author of Snapshot Photography: The Lives of Images (MIT Press, 2013), and The Factory (La Fabrica, 2012), as well as a co-editor of the forthcoming WileyBlackwell Companion to Visual Culture (2020). Her writings on photography, film, and visual culture have appeared in Afterimage, Archives of American Art Journal, American Quarterly, Art Journal, Criticism, Los Angeles Review of Books, Photography & Culture, The Velvet Light Trap, and various edited volumes.


Mari Jaye Blanchard is an independent animator and Assistant Professor of Animation at Rochester Institute of Technology in the School of Film and Animation. Along with several of her own shorts which have screened internationally including festivals in Annecy, Melbourne and Berlin, she has produced animations for Sesame Workshop, MTV, and Comedy Central. She is a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellow, an Asian American Arts Alliance UAI Fellow and a co-founder of the NYC animation collective Family Camp.


Mark Reisch is a 3D Animator whose work has been seen in several 3D Imax films including Lions 3D and Sea Monsters. He was part of the first team to successfully convert live action footage to 3D IMAX film. He worked on feature films, TV specials (including the History Channel’s Battle 360), and shorts. Mark’s interests and areas of focus include character animation, modeling and virtual reality (VR). He has recently collaborated with another faculty member on their first VR animated film which is a blend of 2D and 3D animation.


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Aria A. Dines is a 2D Puppet Animator and Commercial Illustrator, currently obtaining two BFA degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Aria has worked as a Freelance Illustrator for Reporter Magazine and  on multiple student animated films as a Colorist. Aria has personally completed two animated films and is currently working on Animation Capstone and Illustration Capstone. Both will be completed and exhibited at RIT in the spring of 2021.

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Joy Anderson is an animator and illustrator from Washington, DC. She has worked as an animator at Learning Without Tears, where she created videos for online educational workbooks. She has also worked on filmed games for online livestreams and television broadcasts for RIT SportsZone. She is currently in her third year at RIT, where she is pursuing a BFA degree from the School of Film and Animation.


'Wáats'asdiyei (Joe Yates) is a Haida from Craig, Alaska who has won multiple awards from his films across the globe. He is currently working as a writer for the PBS Kids show, Molly of Denali.