Anna Swanson

University of Iowa
Cinematic Arts and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies

Anna Swanson is a third-year MFA candidate in Film/Video Production in the Cinematic Arts Department, and is also pursuing a Certificate in Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies, after earning her B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies at Carleton College in 2012. Through her films, writing, and teaching, she explores the possibilities of representation and ethical relation, with a particular interest in ethnographic film and experimental and social documentary. Relationships are central to all areas of her work, and she works to bring the inherently collaborative and reciprocal nature of nonfiction filmmaking and education into dialogue with her various communities. She is currently working on her thesis film(s), Possible Recovery, collaborating with individual survivors of eating disorders to tell their stories on film, and has had an on-going filmmaking collaboration with the campus group EDAAP (Eating Disorder Awareness and Advocacy Program) since 2014. She is also particularly excited and challenged to be teaching a new self-designed undergraduate course this fall, called "Publicly Engaged Documentary", in which student filmmaking teams are paired with community partners to create mutually beneficial nonfiction video projects, and explore how media can operate in the wider world, in the service of action and engagement.