New Blog Assignment

In the articles assigned to accompany Lourdes Portillo’s film Senorita Extraviada (2001), and in our discussions together, we looked at the ways that state officials (the Mexican government) have failed to intervene effectively to stop the femicides. The state has repeatedly denied the reality of gender violence as a systemic, calculated killing (negation); or, when that has failed, the state has turned to blaming the victims, by accusing the women of non-normative sexual practices (prostitution, lesbianism) as if such practices justify the killings; finally, the state also has treated the killings as separate, individual incidents (disaggregation) thereby refusing to acknowledge the interconnectivity of systemic gender violence. All these responses normalize, or naturalize, the gender violence.

In class we talked a little about other examples of the normalizing or naturalizing of gender violence. From your own reading, following of the news, or personal experience, offer an example of gender violence together with your interpretation of the ways such normalizing is enacted. Remember that gender violence can be insidious (almost unnoticeable) as well as explicitly criminal.

Post your response by Tuesday 1 p.m., and for this week’s blog assignment, only a single blog post is required (no second dialogue response with another student).

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Blog Assignment for Angela Davis event

Dear all,

Here’s the information/prompt I presented in class on Tuesday for the blog assignment follow-up to the Angela Davis event that replaced our regular class meeting on Thursday. By Sunday 9 a.m., post a blog reflection  commenting on the most important insights relevant to social justice and public education, or gender equality, or racial justice that you gleaned from the event as well as any questions or different perspectives on her ideas. Since some of you were waiting for me to put this up on the blog, you can have until Monday 6 p.m.

Enjoy the unseasonal warm weather, Liz Constable

 

 

 

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Blog Assignment

Dear all,

Your blog post for this week can be posted anytime before 9 a.m. on Sunday, Feb 19th.

In the course of my own research this week, I came across an NPR report on the controversy triggered by a series of posters and billboards in Duluth Minnesota created as part of a campaign to bring awareness of white privilege to the local populations in the wake of racially motivated violence and in response to the information that Duluth, largely Caucasian, is not considered a welcoming environment for minorities. For this week, visit the UnfairCampsign.org website, and  visit the RESOURCES section to see the three posters created. Read the section ABOUT the origins of the campaign, and for your blog post, prepare your own assessment of the potential effects of the campaign posters in effectively prompting a greater awareness of the workings of white privilege as  structural racism.

Enjoy your three days without classes, Liz Constable

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Blog Assignment

Dear all, and welcome to the day AFTER you completed your papers. Make sure you celebrate! Well, since your assignment comes in a bit later than planned, you have until Sunday 9 p.m. to complete it this time.

Go to Youtube, and look up Beyonce’s Run the World (Girls). Watch it a couple of times, at least, and note down what you see. How does the video use signs? Or to put it differently, note down your observations about the semiosis (meaning making) elements of the video: costuming, mise-en-scene, location, camera distance, angles, editing cuts, lighting, framing of shots, juxtaposition of images with words. Think about the ways we have analyzed gender representations on screen (intersectional approaches, women as to-be-looked-at-ness, voyeurism as one of the dominant mechanisms in commercial Hollywood films, Orientalism, among others). What interpretation do you find for the music video?

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A little break for this week!

Dear all,

And the good news is that I’m giving you a break from writing a blog assignment for this week!I want you to be able to concentrate your energies on preparing for your papers, so focus on that work. And this give me the time to interact with your previous blog posts. Have goo weekends!

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New Blog Assignment

During our class discussions this week, we analyzed what we mean when we state that somebody is fetishizing an object or a person, and explored the anthropological, Marxist and psychoanalytic underpinnings to the concept. E.g., in our culture, the saying that “diamonds are forever” seems like an almost natural meaning, but diamonds didn’t always have that meaning. Only in 1938, when the NY Advertising Agency was hired to change public attitudes towards diamonds to turn them from rare stones into symbols of committed and everlasting love did institutional structure of a consumer society orient us to a fetishized perspective on diamonds. The consequences are a society where  material objects and images form a  commodity image-system disguising the real, the substantive, in a world of appearances. If we seek to defend ourselves against manipulation and control by the image-system financed by a handful of corporate interests, describe one important strategy of cultural politics that you consider effective, to demystify the images, and a strategy that can be taught to others.

 

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Blog Assignment 01/19/2012

Dear all,

Here’s your blog assignment for this week. Select one of the following three interpretations of the film, Heading South, to respond to. Contribute a post providing your reaction to the interpretation you’ve selected, and focus on following the excellent models your peers offered in class today: put pressure on a particular word what impression does it give? etc), provide counter-evidence to challenge an interpretation, define one of the words used in the review but from your perspective and other valid interpretive strategies.

Your blog post is due by midnight Saturday evening, and your response to one of your classmates is due by next Thursday midday.

REVIEWS OF Heading South (2005, dir. Laurent Cantet)

ONE

“The film is an engagement with a pattern of tourism and globalization that is inspired by the feminist movement of the 1970s. It is attentive to ethnic and linguistic realities; ultimately, it is a study in solidarities against the many forms of oppression that the North imposes on its women and others”

SOURCE: Françoise Lionnet, “Postcolonialism, language, and the visual: By way of Haiti,” Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Vol. 44, No. 3, September 2008, 227 – 232

REVIEWS OF Heading South (2005, dir. Laurent Cantet)

TWO

“The globalisation of the sex industry, and the creeping sense that, like pornography, sex tourism will shrug aside moral objection through the sheer weight of its profitability, is a hot-button topic. Just after this movie was premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, the Haitian-domiciled Danish film-maker Jorgen Leth found himself in disgrace after admitting to what was quaintly described as an “affair” with the 18-year-old daughter of his Haitian cleaner – an affair he appeared to suggest was something of a droit de seigneur. Three years previously, Michel Houellebecq’s novel Platform proposed a startlingly plausible vision of a holiday firm offering hypocrisy-free sex tourism in Thailand, a commercial adventure whose fictional catastrophic sequel prefigured the Bali bombings. That novel was much more shocking and more powerful than this movie, however, despite what the two have in common, because it tackles head-on the tougher reality: sex tourism is – of course it is – about men exploiting women. [. . .]

Laurent Cantet’s last two films, Human Resources and Time Out, were brilliant contemporary stories: about how the world of work, blue-collar and white-collar, defines our status and even our existence. Heading South is well acted, but really a disappointingly softcore piece of provocation. “SOURCE: The Guardian, July 6, 2006

REVIEWS OF Heading South (2005, dir. Laurent Cantet)

THREE

With a screenplay in French, English and a smattering of Creole by Mr. Cantet and Robin Campillo, “Heading South” is a beautifully written, seamlessly directed film with award-worthy performances by Ms. Rampling and Ms. Young. As Ellen and Brenda compete for Legba’s love, both imagine that they play a larger role in his life than they actually do. The little we see of Legba away from the resort suggests a complicated past. When a gunman goes after him, the women imagine they are the immediate cause of his troubles. They are, but only to the extent that Legba conspicuously stands out in the flashy clothes Brenda buys him. As much as Ellen and Brenda think they understand him and the state of fear that grips Haiti, they are ultimately clueless. SOURCE: NYT, July8, 2006

 

 

 

 

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