CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
A blog of the Center for Experimental Ethnography
FACULTY SPOTLIGHT | Regina Austin
Fewer Stays, Fewer Days: The Bronx Defenders and How Holistic Defense Reduces Mass Incarceration
Regina Austin, CEE Affiliate and William A. Schnader Professor of Law, is the director for the multimodal course titled "Documentaries and the Law". The course trains lawyers to understand both the law and the creative process, as documentary films increasingly influence what people know and think about law.
Given that documentary filmmaking provides opportunities to mount visual legal arguments that are relatively affordable, accessible, and reliable, the course seeks to instill students with an understanding of the rudiments of nonfiction film storytelling. Austin’s scholarship focuses on the impact of law on cultural conflicts arising from race, gender, and class inequality, with much of it revolving around the critical analysis of ethnographies and law-genre documentary films and photography. The Penn Program on Documentaries & the Law hosts screenings of law-genre documentaries, maintains a national archive of clemency videos as a resource for capital defense attorneys, and produces mitigation videos on behalf of young, first-time defendants in cooperation with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. The videos produced in this course are available on Youtube.
Come Spring, Austin will also be instructing a new course: "Critical Multimodal Qualitative Research Across the Professions". Stay tuned for more information about this interdisciplinary multimodal course.
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