Posted by: soniahs | November 9, 2010

Quick post…

I’ll be giving a talk on Friday at a panel about using visual media to promote sustainability, here at UCF.

I would have posted this over the weekend, but I spent the entire time basically glued to the computer working on my 2nd candidacy exam. Which I am told I just passed 🙂

Here’s the relevant info:

PANEL PRESENTATION: Fostering Sustainability Education through Film and Photography

Exploring the Use of Film to Inform and Persuade in the Area of Environmental Ethics
Stephen M. Fiore, Brittany C. Sellers, and Elizabeth K. Phillips
Department of Philosophy (SM) and Department of Psychology (BS, EP)

Using Photography and Flagship Species to Promote Conservation
Sonia H. Stephens
Department of English

3:30pm to 5:00pm * Friday, November 12th * 2010
ROOM PSY 226 * Department of Philosophy, Psychology Building

Sponsored by: Department of Philosophy Ethics Center Initiative and the Center for Humanities and Digital Research Digital Narrative Group

This panel presents two unique projects at UCF united in their attempts to understand attitudes towards the environment and how media influences these attitudes. The first presentation describes a program of research and education centered on using a blend of film and socio-cognitive theory to impact personal change related to environmental ethics. The overarching goal of our research is to understand how documentary films can inform individuals about environmental issues and the degree to which they lead to attitude change, taking into account individual time perspectives. As such, we link research in the cognitive and learning sciences with the use of story and film from the humanities. Implications for this research include furthering our understanding of the role of narrative film in influencing behavior and, more broadly, the development of socio-cognitive theory on how narrative can aid in behavior modification via attitude change in the area of environmental ethics.

Our second presentation focuses on the ways that photography is used in the conservation movement to create personal connections between people and threatened species. Photography can be used rationally to document ecological changes, but it is even more powerful when used to make emotional or ethical arguments for conservation. Photos are effective rhetorical tools because they mediate between our inner & outer realities, helping us reconcile what is with what we think should be. One way the conservation movement uses photography is to bring public awareness to “flagship species-” charismatic species that call attention to larger conservation issues. This presentation explores the rhetorical choices made by conservation organizations in selecting which species to focus on, how photos are formatted, and what types of arguments these photographs ultimately make.


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