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SCHOLARSHIP

CARVIN EISON
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Before I provide an overview of my scholarship, I must point out that following consultations with Department Chair Marsha Ducey and Dean Jose Maliekal, I was granted permission to depart from the traditional scholarship presentation in binders to present my scholarship as a website. This decision sets new horizons. I am honored for the opportunity to be innovative while expanding possibilities for my colleagues who may want this option in the future.

The Department of Journalism, Broadcasting and Public Relations at The College at Brockport SUNY states in its governance document that a standard of ongoing quality peer reviewed achievements in scholarship is necessary for a candidate to be promoted to the rank of Professor. Since my promotion to Associate Professor in 2004, I have developed and sustained a continuous stream of high quality peer reviewed achievements in scholarship.

Within the five years preceding this application (2014 – 2019): I have produced Yonder Come the Blues, a level 1 work and The Mountaintop, a level 2 work. In addition, as Creator and Project Director, I wrote two successful external grant proposals: one that resulted in six external grants for “The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Project” (DouglassTour.com) and another external grant proposal that resulted in two external grants for the July ’14 film project for which I am also Creator and Project director. Each grant qualifies as a Level 2 work and each proposal qualifies as a Level 3 work.

In Summation, for the 2014-2019 period of review: I have authored one level 1 work and one level 2 work. I wrote two successful level 3 external grants proposals and I received eight external grants to support my scholarly work. In accordance with the Department’s governance document, my scholarly output for the five years preceding this review surpasses the standard required for promotion to the rank of Professor.   

 

It should also be noted, that since promotion to associate professor in 2004, I have authored six level 1 works, three level 2 works, eight external grant proposals, and I secured more than fourteen level 2 external grants to support my scholarly work. One of my level 1 works, July ’64: Roots of Urban Unrest was broadcast nationally on the PBS network documentary series, Independent Lens. In addition, July ‘64 received the prestigious Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence and was nominated for two Emmys. July ‘64 is distributed by California Newsreel. A second level 1 work, Shadows of the Lynching Tree was translated into German and broadcast on both Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk (MDR), German public television. Shadows of the Lynching Tree was screened at numerous film festivals including the miniINPUT Festival at the Goethe-Institute/National Film and Television Institute, Accra, Ghana, The BaKa Forum in Basel, Switzerland and Karlsruhe, Germany, Capital Normal University, Beijing and the Texas Black Film Festival, in Dallas, where it received the honor of Best Documentary. In recognition of my work I received the Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities.

“A candidate for promotion to the rank of Professor must demonstrate a sustained and exemplary scholarly/creative record and agenda.” JRB APT Document (2018), according to this document, my scholarly output has met and exceeded the standard.

SELECTED PROJECTS

 2014 to 2019                                      

GRANTS: Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Proposal, 2017 - 2019 - Level 3

  • New York State Regional Economic Development Council - Level 2

  • The Rochester Area Community Foundation - Level 2

  • The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation -  Level 2

  • New York State Council on the Arts - Level 2

  • Eastman Savings and Loan Foundation (ESL) - Level 2

  • Michelle Garcia-Daniels - Level 2

GRANTS: July ’14 Proposal , 2014, WIP - Level 3

  • The Rochester Area Community Foundation - Level 2

  • The Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation -  Level 2

FILM PRODUCTION

  • Yonder Come the Blues,  2015, 30min - Level 1

  • The Mountaintop,  2015, 04min - Level 2

           

2004 to 2013

FILM PRODUCTION

  • Aftereffect,  2013, 03min - Level 2

  • A Shadow from the Lynching Tree, 2012, 10min -  Level 2

  • Lynchmorde in den USA, 2012, 48mim -  Level 1

  • Shadows of the Lynching Tree, 2010, 60min - Level 1

  • Drum Major for Justice, 2007, 30min - Level 1

  • Oatka Trail, 2005, 15min - Level 1

  • July ’64: Roots of Urban Unrest, 2004, 60min -  Level 1

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SUMMARY OF PROJECTS

 

July ’14 Project, 2014 (A Charge to Keep I Have) WIP -  Level 3

“Carvin Eison’s work in progress The July ‘14 Project, is a feature film that captures the violent phenomenon of mounting domestic terrorism in the form of mass shootings.  Mass murder with firearms has become a drearily familiar aspect of US life that has escalated in a horribly racialized manner as disaffected, mostly white, males now openly cite racial hatred as their motivation for mass murder by gun. No one is now safe in what were once the most innocuous and inviolate of venues—schools, churches and synagogues. Yet newspaper headlines and TV broadcasts fail to engage meaningfully as they report on body counts and flash photos of assailants’ arsenals as they were narrating a video game and indulge in tangential speculation about shooters’ mental state instead of recognizing the illness in question as a broader cultural one that has crippled our nation, not simply an individual or even his victims.  This film will force viewers to step outside such jaded perspectives to realize that this carnage is extremely abnormal behavior that is almost unknown elsewhere and is, in fact, a uniquely American phenomenon. The film will dramatically portray and dissect the placement of American racial tensions, culture, and politics that erupt ever more frequently.  As with the Douglass statuary it is more than art: it is also an interrogation that challenges the normalization of this uniquely American horror.  The nation needs this film and is hungry for the expanded ethical and political dialogue that Carvin Eison has shown himself uniquely suited to deliver.” (Harriet A. Washington)

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Work in Progress

Yonder Come the Blues  30min, 2015 -  Level 1

 I was chosen by GEVA Theater’s creative staff to create Yonder Come the Blues, a thirty-minute film on the legendary blues musician "Son House." I was selected because of my reputation as an accomplished filmmaker who is recognized for creating work of impact. The film was produced in conjunction with GEVA’s first ever "Festival of the Son" retrospective on Son's life and the impact of his music on American culture. Originally scheduled for one screening at the opening of the festival, by popular demand a second screening was scheduled for the film at the conclusion of the festival. Both screenings sold out.

 

“The film, composed of rarely seen Son House footage, much of it in color, was shown at Geva Theatre on the first day of  “Journey to the Son,” a festival celebration of his life and music. It was startling to see the legend come to life in plaid pants and a straw hat, doddering down South Plymouth Avenue and Clarissa Street near his Corn Hill home, playing a borrowed guitar for curious children on bicycles and a cowering dog. 

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The Mountaintop  04min, 2015 - Level 2

March/April 2015, I was selected as the video designer for GEVA’s production of Katori Hall's The Mountaintop directed by Skip Greer. The director revealed why I was chosen.  I was selected because of the reputation I established through my previous work notably July ’64 and Shadows of the Lynching Tree. The stage play  The Mountaintop requires the video designer to encapsulate the intervening years between the death of Dr. King and the date the play is staged.

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Aftereffect 03:30min, 2013 - Level 2

Aftereffect  is a public service announcement for the Rochester Coalition to Stop HIV. The coalition partners include the Monroe County Health Department. The PSA received top honors at the Alliance for Community Media's 2013 Hometown Media Award in the professional category. The award ceremony was in San Francisco, CA; May 30, 2013.  

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A Shadow from the Lynching Tree  10min, 2012  - Level 2

This film is a ten-minute adaptation from the original Shadows of the Lynching Tree. This adaption was produced exclusively for younger audiences. It continues to be screened and discussed in many schools and organizations. It was also screened at the Pan African Film Festival.

A natural question arises when considering lynching and the history of this practice -- have we moved beyond lynching? This question is posed in A Shadow From the Lynching Tree. Set to the HIP-HOP styling of the Roots Crew, the film associates pulsating rhythm and provocative lyrics with documentary and narrative techniques.

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Shadows of the Lynching Tree ( SotLT)  60min, 2010 - Level 1

In March 2005, while screening July '64 at a conference on memory at the University of Warsaw, Poland, I came across James Allen’s book Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America. The images therein, disturbed me to my core. I could not believe the revelations. I was 52 years old and I asked myself  “why didn’t I know what they did to my people?” From that moment, those images haunted me; they changed the direction of my life. It took me years to come to terms with the horrors depicted within the pages of James Allen’s book. I could not come to terms with atrocities on this scale. I didn’t fully understand the meaning of the pictures; in some ways I still don’t fully grasp their meaning; but gradually, I came to realize it was the behavior of the people in the background of the pictures that held the key; the gentry, the aristocrats, those festive revelers in fine linens frocks and boater hats; who brought their children to take part in some of the bleakest examples of violence and dehumanization in the history of human kind. I realized that if we are to ever comprehend how white men and women could participate in and justify such barbaric and ungodly behavior, lynching photography must be examined and a film must be made.

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SotLT is by far the most challenging project I have taken on. With my students, I often refer to this film as an example of what an artist does when support is limited for the project they want/need to make. I ask of them, “Do you stop and give up or do you find a way to accomplish your goal?” This was my dilemma while producing Shadows of the Lynching Tree. When I began this project, major funding institutions had little interest in supporting a film on lynching in America. But eventually, I was able to raise funds from Sundance Documentary Fund, Diversity Development/PBS and Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, Germany.

 

The Shadows of the Lynching Tree project was completed in four versions.  

Each version is based on the original research from the project and is designed around the needs of specific audiences. Lynchmorden in den USA and Schatten des Lynchenbaums have been translated to German. A Shadow of he Lynching Tree is designed for young audiences.  

1) Shadows of the Lynching Tree - 60minutes, English
2) Lynchmorden in den USA - Middle - 47:38minutes, German  (MDR)
3) Schatten des Lynchenbaums - West -  29minutes, German (WDR)
4) A Shadow from the Lynching Tree - 10minutes, English

 

The most important screening of Shadows of the Lynching Tree took place on Tuesday, March 26, 2012 at the Kayser Auditorium, Baylor University, Waco, Texas. The sold out, standing room only screening was important because the story of Jesse Washington, the central story of the film, took place in Waco, 1916. This screening stimulated powerful discussions about the past, present and future of this community.

Drum Major for Justice: Franklin Florence 30min, 2007  - Level 1

Drum Major for Justice paints a portrait of famed community leader, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Florence following his arrival in Rochester NY from the segregated south as a young preacher in 1959. At age 16, Florence was drawn to the ministry by the influential Church of Christ evangelist Marshall Keeble.

During the '60s, Florence emerged as a prominent civil rights leader and advocate of black power. In the early ‘60s, Florence developed a friendship with Malcolm X who spoke in Rochester shortly before his assassination. Florence was chosen to head the steering committee for the newly formed community-based black activist organization that was given the name FIGHT; an acronym for Freedom, Integration, God, Honor, Today (the "I" was changed in 1967 to stand for "Independence"). While Florence lost the presidency of FIGHT in 1969 to Bernard Gifford, the controversial social and political activist remained a force to be reckoned with in Rochester. Along with his continued participation in FIGHT, Florence was involved with the Rochester anti-poverty agency ABC and The Rochester Northeast Development Corporation (RNED). 

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Minister Florence appeared as a significant figure in the Emmy-nominated documentary, July ‘64 – tying the struggles of Rochester’s past to its present struggles.  He is currently the leader of Rochester’s Faith Alliance and Minister of Central Church of Christ. The film features archival resource from the Franklin Florence collection housed at the University of Rochester Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.  In addition, print and film archives from the Howard Coles Collection at the Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, NY; and at the Industrial Area Foundation in Chicago, IL.  All of these sources, as well as the Rochester Public Library Local History section and WHEC-TV, were used for this project.

July ’64: Roots of Urban Unrest 60min, 2004 - Level 1

 July '64 focuses on the civil disturbances in Rochester on July 24, 25 and 26, 1964 as a means to fathom the communications fault line between the races that led to violence and destruction. The interest in July ’64 shows no signs of abating. Fifteen years after its premiere and national PBS broadcast, we still have call to screen and discuss the work. Distributed by California Newsreel, July ’64 has been purchased by more than five hundred educational institutions, libraries and community organization across the country.

July ‘64 takes a penetrating look at the underlying causes of the riots or urban insurrections that swept through Black communities like wildfires the summer of 1964 and in years since. Rochester was only the first instance of the burning inner city, an ember that has flared up rather recently in cities like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland. These are cries of inchoate rage and frustration because the country has yet to develop the concrete policies to address the vital needs of its Black citizens, especially regarding healthcare, education, criminal justice and employment. July ‘64 advances these discussions in Black Studies, Urban Studies, American History, Social Problems and Sociology classes, as well as in community groups, so that more July ‘64’s will not be necessary.

Distributor: Newsreel 

July ’64 Awards

  • Gold Winner, Aurora, 2006

  • Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence, 2005

  • Huston International Film Fest, Silver REMI, 2005

  • Bronze Telly, 2005

  • Eric Barnouw Award of the Organization of American Historians, 2004

  • New York State Emmy Nomination/Best Direction; 2004

  • New York State Emmy Nomination/Best Historic/Cultural Programming, 2004

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Oatka Trail, 13:41min (Dance - 1979, Film - 2005)

Oatka Trail is performed to the slow movement of a cello concerto of Antonin Dvorak. This male trio, danced by Steve Humphrey, Christopher Morrison, and Norwood Pennewell, reveals the innermost nature of Fagan's lyricism. It is a rare sensibility, without a hint of either sentimentality or prettiness. In Oatka Trail, bodily grace has retained its animal dignity. It has not become romantic artifice. Oatka Trail also underscores Fagan's exceptional musicality, which never allows him simply to supplement the emotional impact of the music or merely to articulate the obvious cadences.

By Jamake Highwater, Special to The Christian Science Monitor / October 28, 1988

As a special feature, see the :30 second commercial on Garth Fagan Dance.

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What's Next - A Teen Health Communication Video Campaign  (2002 - 2004)

Featuring a multi-cultural company of youth actors, What's Next uses fast-paced original stories to tackle contemporary and potentially life-altering issues. The strength of What's Next is in using youth-to-youth messages to increase communication and self-advocacy skills, to evaluate options and consequences, and to encourage the use of available resources. Each episode is structured as a half-hour television show. The episodes can be in group settings, on local cable television systems or public television systems.  

  • Angel of Mine 26:17

  • Rose for Livvy 29:50

  • Looking Out 4 U 33:54

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PUBLIC SCHOLARSHIP

I have established and accumulated a continuous record of public scholarship, including the 2019 keynote addresses at St. John Fisher College’s spring convocation; I was a keynote speaker in The Charlene M. Tanner Speaker series at Mercyhurst University and The Social Justice Activism Conference at Monroe Community College; I have given multiple panel presentations, newspaper articles, television and radio appearances and much more.

Invited Lectures

  • "Memory of Place: Sin, Pictures and Progress," Writers and Books -  05/29/19

  •  "Memory of Place: Sin, Pictures and Progress," Charlene M. Tanner Speaker Series, Mercyhurst University - 04/24/19

  •  July ’64, Urban Fellows Program, University of Rochester - 05/29/19

  •  "Memory of Place, Sin, Pictures and Progress," Keynote address, Spring Convocation, St. John Fisher College -  01/10/19 

  • "Shadows of the Lynching Tree," The College at Brockport -  02/20/19

  •  "Shadows of the Lynching Tree," St. John Fisher College -  02/26/19

  •  "Memory of Place Sin, Pictures and Progress," Keynote presenter,  Association for Public Historians of New York State - 10/01/18                      

  • "July ’64," Keynote speaker, Monroe Community College  - 10/13/18   

  • "Shadows of the Lynching Tree," Greater Rochester Council of Churches Faith Action, Keynote Speaker - 03/23/16

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Conference & Panel Presentations

  • Frederick Douglass and Public, panel discussion, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester NY - 04/17/19 

  • Lessons of the Hour: Frederick Douglass/panelist, Rochester Institute of Technology -  12/04/18

  •  The Power of Film & Media/Social Justice Dialogue, Invitation/ panel/moderator. University of Rochester, Diversity Conference. Elissa Orlando, VP for Television, Amen Ptah, graduate, The College at Brockport 2013 - 10/2015                       

  • TEDX Flour City  -  Eastman School of Music, Kilborne Hall. “Legal and Moral." I examine how previously intentional acts of legal and moral discrimination continue to influence modern society and social structure - 06/15/14 

  • QUESTION BRIDGE: BLACK MALES -  A collaboration between Rochester Community Media Center and Rochester Contemporary Art Center, QUESTION BRIDGE: BLACK MALES is an innovative transmedia project that facilitates a dialogue between black men from diverse and contending backgrounds. I hosted two discussions including the November 7th talk with Artist Luvon Shepard and Choreographer Garth Fagan. I also coordinated and hosted the final discussion which featured Mayor, Bill Johnson, Professor John Klofis and Van Henri White Esq. Carvin Eison's question bridge profile  Fall 2014

Printed Scholarship

  • Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, NY Guest Essayist - 04/18/13  

"Shadow of the Lynching Tree," featured in Living Section
 

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SELECTED MEDIA EXPOSURE

 

  • Be Brave Magazine, Issue No. 5, Cover Story - 02/22/24

  • CITY Newspaper, Rochester, NY Feature story - 04/6/16

April 6, 2016 City Newspaper featured a cover story entitled "LENS WIDE OPEN," on me and my work as a filmmaker, educator and general manager of RCTV.
 

  • CITY Newspaper: Rochester, NY  "The Rochester 10" - 01/1/14                                  January 1, 2014 Profile [Carvin Eison] recognized as one of ten Rochester residents making a difference in the community. 

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SELECTED AWARDS

 

  • 2024 Black Heritage Pioneer Award    Ci

       City of Rochester

  • Rochester Black Men Achieve Award

         Distinguished News/Media Professional of the Year, 2019

 

  • Diversity Engagement Award

         The College at Brockport, 2014

 

  • Aftereffect

         Alliance for Community Media, e Town Video Fest Best PSA, national,  2013

 

  • Shadows of the Lynching Tree

          Texas Black Film Festival Best Documentary, 2011

 

  • Chancellor’s Award for Scholarship and Creative Activities

          State University of New York The College at Brockport, 2007

 

  • July ’64: Roots of Urban Unrest

    • Gold Winner, Aurora, 2006

    • Broadcast Education Association Award of Excellence, 2005

    • Huston International Film Fest, Silver REMI, 2005

    • Bronze Telly, 2005

    • Eric Barnouw Award of the Organization of American Historians, 2004

    • New York State Emmy Nomination/Best Direction; 2004

    • New York State Emmy Nomination/Best Historic/Cultural Programming, 2004

 

  • Oatka Trail (dance video)

          Bronze Telly, 2005

 

  • Angel of Mine

    • Gold Telly 2004

    • Alliance for Community Media 3rd Place, 2003

    • Columbus International Film Fest, Honorable Mention, 2003

 

  • Lookin out 4U

    • Bronze Telly 2004

    • Aurora Award, 2004

    • Houston WorldFest International Film Gold REMI, 2004

 

  • A Rose for Livvy

    •  Bronze Telly, 2004

    • Alliance Community Media Home Town Video Fest, Best Original Script, 2005

 

  • Touring Jubilee, 1924 Professional

    • Dane Film Association, 2nd Place 1985

    • American Film Festival, Red Ribbon Award

    •  Library of Congress

    •  National Black Programming Consortium “Prized Pieces” Award 1985

  • Get Up, Stand Up

          National Black Programming Consortium “Prized Pieces” Award 1983

 

ADDITIONAL GRANTS

  • New York State Assembly                                        

Member item funding obtained through Assemblyman David F. Gantt for multiple projects. The funds were administered by the SUNY Brockport Research Foundation and Baden Street Settlement

 

  • Independent Television Service - LiNCs and Diversity Development Fund grants

 

  • National Black Programming Consortium

 

  • Rochester Area Community Foundation                   

 

  • Paul Robson Fund for Independent Media

 

  • Sundance Documentary Film Fund / Research and Development

 

  • Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk

 

  • The Max and Marian Farash Foundation

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