Vision and Justice

Building off the previous units, especially the core concepts of visual culture, this unit examines the way images reflect, construct, and change our concept of race.  If there is the myth of photographic truth, what does that mean as we deconstruct images that represent African Americans and Asian Americans?  If our ideologies inform the way we see images, then can images ever affect social change?  Can we ever move beyond what our own ideologies see? What is the tension between the ability of an image to liberate us from one way of seeing  and/or limiting our seeing?

Essential Questions

  • How do images reflect, construct, and change our concept of race?
  • How do images simultaneously liberate and limit?
  • Can the circulation and distribution of images bring about social change?
  • Do our ideologies promote, prevent and/or limit the ways of looking at an image in a variety of ways?
  • If there is the myth of photographic truth, what does that mean as we deconstruct images of race?
  • How can we promote civil and democratic discourse about sensitive and controversial topics?

Final Assignment

Create an assemblage/multi-modal piece of writing that makes an arguable claim about one or more of the essential questions by assembling a combination of visual and textual evidence to explore and support claim.  You will draw on the resources (films, texts, images) used in this unit in addition to your own independent research.  In this piece of composition, you will demonstrate an understanding of how the history of visual representation impacts our contemporary cultural ideas about race and individual ideologies.

Other Assignments

  • Writer’s reflections
  • Viewer’s notebook responses
  • Current image-related topic assignment
  • Presentation on 13th or I Am Not Your Negro
  • Film review for Do the Right Thing: 29 Years On

Tues 1/2
Newsworthy topic for tomorrow’s class

Unit overview and reflecting on our essential questions

Begin presentation on history of photography and race

Wed 1/3
What was Douglass’s project with photography?

  • Visual culture of the time period
  • Reading images
    • Who created this image?
    • What techniques are used to attract my attention?
    • How might different people see this image differently from me?
    • What lifestyles, values and points of view are represented in, or omitted from, this message?
    • Why was this message sent?

HW:  Gates “Frederick Douglass’s Camera Obscura” and Wexler “A More Perfect Likeness”

Mon 1/8
What are the labels that society places on you?

  • How does our visual culture represent those labels?
  • How do those images limit us?
  • How might images liberate us from those labels?

Unpacking Douglass Articles

  • Working with a partner, discuss your annotations for:
    • Key words/terms
    • New Information
    • Significant Information
    • Confusing Information

How has the work we’ve done in this unit so far made you think about images, photographs, films, and representations differently?

Tues 1/9
cont. discussion from Douglass

Presentation Assignment

  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • 13th

HW:  Reading and preparing for discussion for Newsworthy topic

Wed 1/10
Discussion for Newsworthy topic

Film Viewing

HW:  Reading and preparing for discussion for Newsworthy topic

Thurs 1/11
Discussion of Newsworthy topic

Film Viewing and start work on presentations

Fri 1/12
cont. films

Tues 1/16
Presentation work day (after exams)

Wed 1/17
Reviewing for the Exam

Q2 Participation Reflection

Tues 1/23