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School of Visual Art and Design

Media Arts alumna Hannah Shikle produces video essays that critique and captivate

Hannah Shikle received her B.A. in Media Arts and French in 2021, and her M.A. in Media Arts in 2022. Lauded by the Media Arts faculty for her exemplary media production skills, Hannah received the Graduate Media Arts Research Award in 2022.

As a senior, Hannah was awarded a Magellan Undergraduate Research Award to work with Professor Susan Felleman on video essays, a productive collaboration that jumpstarted her success in the realm of videographic criticism. Her joint project with Professor Felleman, a video essay entitled Four Ways to Be a Woman Artist...According to the Movies, was recently published in [in]Transition, the preeminent peer-reviewed journal of videographic film and moving image studies.

This video essay presents a humorous yet critical look at the myths, stereotypes, and anxieties that underlie representations of women artists in film. Hannah's editing highlights and deconstructs these tropes, which emphasize the woman artist's sexuality and pathology over her talents or greatness. The on-screen text is employed minimally but saliently to ironize and punctuate examples of women artists being portrayed as ridiculous, dangerous, and abject. Humor and timing are important facets of the video essay, allowing Shikle and Felleman to express their affection for the films presented, even as they critique their underlying sexism and stereotyping.

Hannah's fruitful collaboration with Professor Felleman led to her making video essays of her own. In September, Hannah presented her video essay, A Desert Journey in Nine Parts, at the Theory & Practice of the Video-Essay: an International Conference on Videographic Criticism at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her master's thesis project, Voyageur du temps: Gérard Depardieu & French Identity, is an Official Selection at the Orlando Film Festival 2022 and a Semi-Finalist at the Flickers’ Rhode Island International Film Festival 2022

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.