Exterior at night

The Center at night

Side Entrance

The entrance of the CSGS

Heather Love audience

The audience listens as Lauren Berlant introduces Heather Love in 2014

Class discussion

Students participate in a classroom discussion at the Center

Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo talks with students after his book talk in 2018

Joan Scott

Joan Scott speaking at the Center in 2017


Students listen to panelists present in 2017

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Bhanu Kapil

Poet Bhanu Kapil at the Center in 2016

Counter Cinema/Counter Media Project

Project Director: Jennifer Wild, Cinema and Media Studies

The Counter Cinema/Counter Media project focuses on film and media practices that resist or "counter" the language and messaging of dominant film and media outlets, platforms, and traditions. Historically, counter practices have been understood both an active opposition to the codes, uses, and ideology of mainstream film and media, and the attempt to generate an alternative grammar or set of rules for constructing meaning, narrative, and visual representation. While the origins of counter-cinema are rooted largely in early experimental filmmaking and the avant-garde, the term came to the fore in the 1970s with the rise of feminism, feminist film theory, and political modernism; it extends into politically militant and collective cinema approaches and anti-colonial "Third cinema" traditions.

Since the inception of this project in 2012, there have been vast transformations in what we might now think of counter media practices, whether in cinema or in media broadly conceived. On the one hand, the CC/CM project continues to ask the following questions: what is the visual, formal language of opposition, and what is its relevance to the issues of gender and sexuality in the twenty-first century? Which aspects of resistant visual language remain potent, and which have been absorbed into the dominant vernacular of our film and media landscape? Does the form of resistance still matter?

On the other hand, the most urgent task of CC/CM project today is to grapple with our contemporary media landscape’s discourses of truth and falsehood, and to explore the range of media platforms that are used to promote or decry political ideologies. In our era of “fake news,” diverse “resistance” movements across the political spectrum, terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies, and evolving forms of propaganda, the CC/CM project promotes research about how gender and sexuality are targeted, exploited, or weaponized toward political ends.