Julia Eksner is an educator and anthropologist. In her research she investigates how urban youths from marginalized groups experience, interprete, and navigate the opportunities and barriers posed to them by the environments in which they come of age. In her applied work she is interested in the possibilities of storytelling and participatory media in supporting youth participation.
Julia was trained both as an anthropologist (at the Free University of Berlin (MA, 2001), at the University of Chicago, and at UCLA) and as a learning scientist (at Northwestern University, Ph.D. 2007), thus connecting socio-cultural, developmental, and educational perspectives in the study of youths’ lives. Julia has since 1999 worked in the field media education, where she is concerned with issues of social justice, diversity, citizenship, and intergroup conflict. She has been designing and implementing media education curricula with urban youths in Berlin and Chicago from 1999 to 2007 and is the founder and former director of the Berlin-based non-profit organization StreetGriot Media Education, which she directed until 2011.
Julia is the methods instructor in the MA program in Visual and Media Anthropology. She has a background in both qualitative and quantitative methods and cares deeply about things like epistemological stance, techniques of data collection and analysis, and how to interprete and translate your findings for your audiences - in short about how to make your research better and more trust-worthy.
Julia is currently working on a documentary film on the issue of coming-to-terms with perpetratorship in a post-genocide society, as well as an animated serious game.
Education & Academic Positions:
Magistra Artium Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, 2001 Ph.D. Learning Sciences, Northwestern University, 2007 PostDoc, Freie Universität Berlin, 2007-2010 PostDoc, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Department of Anthropology & Center for Culture, Brain & Development (FPR), 2009 PostDoc, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Minerva Fellowship, 2010-2012 Visiting Fellow, Kantor Center, Tel Aviv University, 2012-13 Returning Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin, Dept. of Anthropology, 2013 Lecturer, MA Program Visual and Media Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, 2013 - Professor of Education, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Health and Social Services, 2014 -