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"Class Close-Up: Documentary Film and the City" in the Princeton Alumni Weekly

This Fall's class -- which I'm excited and intrigued to be co-teaching with historian Alison Isenberg -- is featured in this month's issue of the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

It's appropriate, since Harlan Joseph was, for six weeks in the summer of 1964, a student at Princeton University. He, and 39 other boys, were chosen to be part of a pilot program for the Upward Bound program, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and staffed by Princeton faculty and students. The more we delve into this program, the more interesting I find it. Upward Bound and the Princeton Cooperative Schools Program did so much to help integrate higher education, but it also reveals the naive optimism of the 60s era social engineers. Yet from the vantage of 50 years later, this optimism seems not only optimistic, but also so precious and so necessary. Who would ever do anything if you didn't believe, even momentarily, that it could change everything. I hope our film taps into that optimism, as much as the tragedy over Harlan Joseph's senseless death.

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