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Charles Fairbanks

Assistant Professor of Media Arts


Contact Information

214D Arts and Science Building




Charles Fairbanks is a filmmaker, wrestler, photographer, and assistant professor of media arts at Antioch College. His studies include a BA in Art and STS (Science, Technology & Society) from Stanford University, an MFA in Art & Design from the University of Michigan, Werner Herzog’s first Rogue Film School, and the Sound-Image-Culture master class in Brussels, Belgium. He has worked as translator (Festival Filmer à Tout Prix), as programmer and producer (Courtisane Festival), as amateur pro wrestler (Mexico City), and as visiting professor of VideoArte (at Tuxtla’s UNICACH, in Chiapas, Mexico). In 2012 he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship, a prestigious award for those who have “demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.” His new work is emerging through collaboration with an indigenous Zoque community in rural Chiapas.

With only a few small films under his belt, Charles Fairbanks has managed to make a big impact at festivals around the world. His entertaining and heartfelt short films are extremely easy to enjoy and very hard to forget.  

Anthology Film Archives 

For more information:


  • The Zoque Cycle (2015+) lengths TBD, Mexico / USA
  • Flexing Muscles (2012) 21 minutes, Mexico / USA
  • Irma (2010) 12 minutes, Mexico / USA
  • Wrestling with my Father (2010) 5 minutes, USA
  • The Men (2010) 3 minutes, USA
  • Pioneers (2009) 35 minutes, USA / Belgium

Festival Screenings & Awards

  • Select Screenings: Anthology Film Archives (New York), ATA (San Francisco), Black Maria (touring festival), SilverDocs (Washington, DC), Slamdance (Park City, Utah), The Ross (Lincoln, Nebraska), Cinéma Galeries (Brussels, Belgium), Festival Internacional de Morelia (Mexico), Videonale (Germany), FIFEQ (Montreal), CUFF (Chicago), FLEXfest (Florida), KLEX (Malasia), Visions du Réel (Switzerland), Images Festival (Canada), PLAY-DOC (Spain), IndieLisboa (Portugal).
  • Film Festival Awards: CPH:DOX, Oxford Film Festival, ICdocs, Gangrene Comedy Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Official Best of Fest Awards, Carolina Film Festival, VIDEOMEDEJA, Stuttgart Filmwinter.
M.F.A., University of Michigan
B.A., Art and Science, Technology, & Society, Stanford University
Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, 2010
Sound Image Culture Master Class, Brussels, 2008–09
Selected Publications: 
  • “Globalizing Masculinity: post-NAFTA wrestling and the televisual traffic of gender across the U.S. / Mexico border,” presented at the American Anthropological Association conference (San Francisco), 2012
  • “Herramientas Abiertas: Retos, trazas, y vías posibles del video ciudadano en la época digital,” presented at the Encuentro Internacional de Cine Etnográfico (Oaxaca, Mexico), 2012
  • Tepoztlán Institute, Mexico, 2010
  • Microresidency and Lecture, Kitchen Budapest, February 2009
  • “Staging Truth and Performing the Nation: Choreographies of Border Militarism in Early Nonfiction Cinema”
  • Research paper for the History in the Making Conference: Sources of Controversy (Montreal) 2008
  • “We Cannot Be Colorblind,” op-ed article for the Michigan Daily about Proposition 2, election day 2006
  • Writer, Consultant, and Artist for Reframing Photography: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2010), 2006
  • Emerging Digerati Lecture, Institute for New Media Studies, Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, 2005
  • Hired by Fortune magazine to photograph Pro-Wrestlers for their August 1, 2005, issue
  • PDN Photo-Annual: Year’s Best Photography 2003
MEDA 101: Media, Internet, and Society
MEDA 102: Basic Media Production
MEDA 190: History of Photography
MEDA 250: Experimental Ethnography
MEDA 255: Archive Fever - Found Footage Filmmaking
MEDA 290: History of Cinema
MEDA 350: Special Topics in Documentary
MEDA 390: History of Documentary
MEDA 450: Fictions at the Fringe of Documentary