“Joel Anderson’s class was therapy, transcendence, safety, duty, magic. This class made me want to take on the world and made me feel safe interrogating my own artistic process.”

— SUNY Purchase student, Spring 2021

My goal as an educator is to guide students to think critically about the world and the structures and systems that represent and shape it, developing their own voices as innovative researchers and creative practitioners. I am prepared to teach a wide range of theory and history courses for students of all levels in cinema and media studies and visual culture, from documentary and experimental film/video to personal documentary, experimental film production, community media, media and the environment, and Japanese and East Asian cinema. I have gained extensive experience as an instructor through teaching courses at SUNY Purchase College in addition to The New School and University of Rochester, being invited to guest lecture at undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as working with community media organizations as an educator—which constitutes both a pedagogical practice and research subject. My commitment to grow as an educator has been supported by the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Teaching Fellowship and is a career-long pursuit I am excited to continue expanding with my rigorous academic research agenda.

“The professor’s enthusiasm and passion for what he does is contagious.”

— New School student, Fall 2018

My research in personal documentary and community media brings a material and historical understanding to the value of people telling their own stories along with an analysis of the structural conditions of those narratives’ circulation as media forms. At a time when the value of arts education is challenged by quantitative professionalism and policies of austerity, my teaching practice stresses the urgency of media studies, critical voices, and independent artistic expression. Media literacy connects personal perception and collective vision, deconstructing assumptions around representations to better understand the histories, technologies, and systems around us. I seek to create liberatory spaces in which research and creative practice provokes questions of not what do I see, but how do I see? What is unseen that nonetheless constitutes my field of vision? These are questions that repeatedly come up in my classrooms discussing the aesthetics and social, economic, and political conditions surrounding the production and circulation of media, and the histories that shape the theory and practice of personal expression through audiovisual forms. These questions lead to exploring methods of formal analysis and media theory for students to integrate into their work, encouraging open-mindedness and critical thinking toward equity and justice.

“Joel’s a great professor and mentor, and has almost single-handedly taught me how to make better films.”

— SUNY Purchase student, Spring 2020

Courses Taught

Self-Documentary (SUNY Purchase, Spring 2023) Syllabus

Close Analysis (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2022) Syllabus

First-Year Learning Community Seminar: Personal Documentary & First-Person Media in Community (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2022) Syllabus

Environmental Media (SUNY Purchase, Spring 2022) Syllabus

Cinema Studies Senior Colloquium (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2021) Syllabus

Film Programming (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2020) Syllabus

History of Film Art (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2020, Spring 2021) Syllabi

Cinema in the Internet Age (SUNY Purchase, Spring 2020) Syllabus

Introduction to Cinema Studies I (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2019, Fall 2022) Syllabi

New Waves of East Asian Cinema (SUNY Purchase, Fall 2019, Fall 2021) Syllabi

Introduction to Cinema Studies (The New School, Fall 2018) Syllabus

The Art of Film (The New School, Fall 2018) Syllabus

Experimental Workshop (SUNY Purchase, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22, 2022-23) Syllabi

Women’s Personal Cinema (University of Rochester, Fall 2015) Syllabus

“Joel is an extremely wise, kind and caring teacher. I really enjoyed his teaching style. He was able to facilitate discussions in a manner that allowed everyone to be seen and heard at their own pace. He was always available to help answer any of my questions over email and I really appreciated his fast responses and support.”

— New School student, Fall 2018

Testimonials drawn from anonymous student evaluations.