History is more than memorizing dates and names. To me, understanding the context of global and individual stories (and how they intersect) aids in the broader understanding of my own life and reality. Earning my master's degree in Public History was a way for me to gain skills in presenting history to a general audience, to stretch my perspective of history to see it as a cultural construct that is always evolving, and to learn digital film-making to create documentaries making history more accessible.
Media has always been my primary interest, from movies to television to comics to music to whatever will come in the future. I will always be more fascinated by the cultural revolution of television sitcoms in the 1970s than the political landscape of interwar Europe in the 1920s. The latter is still fascinating, but when I took a class on that very subject my final research paper was on the Dada art movement. While there are many good texts covering media culture, few are written by actual historians. This is what makes my perspective unique.
To me, cultural trends are a better indicator of history than any president, war, or single event because any and all of those events were shaped by what was happening in the larger culture. In a broad example, the evolution of film and television acts as a timeline of cultural progress including the women's liberation, Civil Rights, and LGBTQ movements from the 1960s to the present. My time at the University of West Florida was spent not only taking film and media classes, but also finding ways to incorporate my interests into classes that did not fit easily, such as "Gender and Sexuality in Latin America" and "Contemporary Cultural Anthropology Theory." Admittedly, this was sometimes met with mixed results as my papers could lose focus by switching between history and media perspectives, with neither being a strong enough piece. I overcame this by the end of my academic career by continuing to write and focusing my ideas.
Movies will always be my first love. I honestly cannot remember a time that I was not watching movies, even when I was watching movies like Robocop and Predator waaaay before I should have been. That passion culminated with my own documentary film, "Pensacola Punks," and it continues to grow. I am constantly figuring out the balance of studying all aspects of film and enjoying films as a fan without overthinking everything.
Currently, I am living in western Massachusetts with my wife, who is pursuing her Ph.D., and two cats. While settling into the area I am exploring and working on all of the projects that I put off while finishing my master's. Any updates will be posted on the site and on my YouTube channel, Yorick Lives Productions.