INDS Graduate Megan Pollett on the Learning and Unlearning of Toxic Masculinity

Megan Pollett has a passion for stories. In her work as an interdisciplinary studies (INDS) student, she demonstrates the ability to conceive, design, research and deliver impactful stories. Combining the disciplines of animation and game design with psychology and communication, Megan has developed a significant number of ways to approach researching, writing, illustrating, and animating narratives that are important to her and significant to a wider community. 

Megan’s final project, on the problems and pain of learned masculinity, is a great example of her unique work approach. Unlike many storytellers, Megan began with quantitative research, through the design of a survey on perceptions of masculinity. While her project design was impacted by socially distanced conditions imposed by the pandemic, Megan’s creativity allowed her to pivot to a radically different conception of the audience for her survey

She changed her survey target audience from Woodbury University students to a far more randomized sample, collecting “virtually from individuals from California, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Florida, and many other states,” and as far away as Canada. When explaining the research process, Megan says that “scholarly articles fueled the ideas behind my project; I referred to these for my story layout, along with the more analytical approach of administering a survey.” She believes the combination of psychology and research from academic journals “elevated the artwork I was able to do and helped with the creation of a semi-realistic and thought-provoking story.” Reacting to the polarities captured in her work, Megan admits, “I never even began to think about making a story about a psychological issue. How do I make art out of psychology? No one had the answer for me, because it was my own project and the culmination of my interdisciplinary journey.” 

View some stills from her film below.

 

Last Updated on May 5, 2021.