This is the third installment in my “Big Idea Syllabus” series inspired by Dr. Michael Wesch’s “Big Idea” Syllabus for Anthropology. My “Big Idea” Syllabus for History can be found here, for Writing here. The “Big Idea” Syllabus for Gender Studies follows. Gender is an important, valid field of inquiry, and because women and gender-nonconformingContinue reading “The “Big Idea” Gender Studies Syllabus”
Tag Archives: culture
Notes on Flawed Characters vs. Flawed Scripts
I often aspire to help my students realize the difference between flawed characters and flawed scripts, but recently realized I had sometimes neglected to apply this notion to my own cultural criticism. My thoughts about How To Get Away With Murder help illustrate. Basically every character in How To Get Away With Murder is deeplyContinue reading “Notes on Flawed Characters vs. Flawed Scripts”
What’s Happening at NBC Entertainment?
NBC Entertainment currently has a number of high-quality, status-quo-challenging programs. As previously written, in its twenty-first season now, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit brings attention to the systemic problem that is sexual violence. In contrast to rhetoric spoken and perpetuated by current conservative ideologies, Law and Order takes victims seriously and does not excuseContinue reading “What’s Happening at NBC Entertainment? “
Alex Trebek. Aunt Becky. Not Your Friends.
Parasocial relationships form easily. Carefully-scripted and highly-rehearsed, people see fictional characters people on their screens from the comfort of their homes and almost naturally come to believe they really know and very much like them. People are not able to internalize that this relationship is one-sided and is with a fictional character. Sometime during the past week,Continue reading “Alex Trebek. Aunt Becky. Not Your Friends.”
Banning “Traditional” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #32
As words, “traditional” and “tradition” conceal far more than they can ever reveal. Their connotations often center around static historical, narrow, privileged worldviews. While an outright ban would probably lack productivity, these words are used in such divergent ways, often with ulterior motives, so as to lack any specificity. Thoughts about “banning” the word “traditional”Continue reading “Banning “Traditional” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #32″
How To Get Away With Murder as Propaganda
I have previously written about ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder here and here. With the current season, I am growing more and more frustrated because of the constant twists (within twists, within twists, within yet more twists), the very slow pace, and the barrage of “bad” people. All of the characters actively and deliberatelyContinue reading “How To Get Away With Murder as Propaganda”
Notes on: The Hate U Give (2018)
It is impossible to be unarmed when our Blackness is the weapon that they fear. The Hate U Give (2018) is a powerful movie. Its ultimate power stems not so much from its indictment of institutional and systemic racism but from its positive portrayal of Blackness. The film, and the outstanding book from which it grew, focusContinue reading “Notes on: The Hate U Give (2018)”
Thanksgiving Day teaches submissiveness.
On this Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018: Please try to remember those who might not have anything to be “thankful” for, where thankful means “conscious of benefit received” and “expressing gratitude and relief.” Saying everyone has “something” to be grateful for vocalizes, likely unconsciously, positionalities of comfort and privilege. Thousands, if not millions, of people areContinue reading “Thanksgiving Day teaches submissiveness.”