Sociologist turned filmmaker Katherine M Acosta holds a PhD in sociology, was an award-winning teaching assistant and lecturer in sociology at the University of Nebraska, and briefly worked on grant-funded research projects for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a passion for documentary film and learned through teaching that students were most readily engaged in sociological analysis through film. Storytelling, after all, is the way that humans have shared history and knowledge for millennia. Divided We Fall is her first film.
Katherine was born in Kansas and grew up in Illinois, near Chicago. She has also lived in England, Washington state, New Mexico, and Nebraska. She currently makes her home in Madison, Wisconsin. A first-generation college student, Katherine earned her BA (Highest Distinction) in Sociology in her thirties and completed her PhD in her forties. Although she loves the discipline of sociology, she always harbored a secret desire to make films. With Divided We Fall, Katherine draws on her lifelong interest in social inequality, her training and experience in qualitative research and teaching, and her love of documentary to create a film that provides a case study of a social movement that is also a powerful cinematic account of a pivotal moment in US labor history.
Katherine utilized documentary film extensively when she was teaching. As a discipline, sociology provides critical methods for analyzing social problems while film humanizes through personal stories. Combining sociology and film studies reflects Katherine’s belief that reason and emotion must travel together to make us whole human beings. The combination is also a powerful tool for teaching, stimulating deep connections with the subject matter that, in turn, promotes interest in applying social critique. Katherine looks forward to making more films.
Films by Katherine M Acosta
The first film to take a critical look at the 2011 Wisconsin Uprising, Divided We Fall traces the genesis of the historic capitol occupation and weeks-long protests from the perspective of graduate teaching assistants at the center of the action and exposes tensions that challenged the movement’s solidarity.