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NU Professor Teaches Course on Digital Television

By Jacob Nelson

Aymar Jean Christian is trying to change the way his students think about television.

“When we think of TV we think of corporate produced products,” he said, “but that’s only a result of a very specific developing process so TV distributors can make money.”

Watch the faculty profile of Aymar Jean Christian here.

Christian, a Northwestern assistant professor, is currently teaching a winter quarter course for the Master of Science for Leadership in Creative Enterprises. Titled “Digital Television: Developing Television for New Media,” the course is designed to teach students how to make media products outside of the corporate system. Readings will include theoretical and empirical studies on development and distribution and independent television development, as well as internet distribution.

The assignments, on the other hand, will be a little more creative. “Students will be tasked with coming up with a proposal for integrating video into project they could operationalize in Chicago.”

Students, in short, are going to come up with a digital media project. If students are interested, they may end up getting some pretty hands on experience. Christian is currently working on an independent television project, and he will offer students the chance to help him with it. The idea is to get students thinking about the nitty gritty process of making media.

“How do you decide who to collaborate with?” Christian asked. “What are the basics needed for various resources?”

The driving question Christian hopes to answer with his class is what it means to work outside the status quo as it relates to television.

“Working outside the corporate structure has always been an option,” Christian said, “The difference has been how many people can you get to see what you produce and what are the resources you have to develop them?”