H 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, Asian Americans, and under-represented peoples?  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 belonging and citizenship?
  • 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?
  • 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
  • Presentation on 13th or I Am Not Your Negro
  • Film review for Do the Right Thing

Fri 2/1


HW:  “Mary Poppins,’ and a Nanny’s Shameful Flirting With Blackface” & “We Need to Talk About Digital Blackface in Reaction GIFs”

  • What is your reaction to each article?  What do you think about the information, history of minstrel performances, and what these writers are saying about GIFs and the new Mary Poppins?
  • The piece about Mary Poppins is a piece of criticism, while the piece about digital blackface is an op-ed.  How does that affect your reaction to the pieces?

Mon 2/4
Newsworthy topic-LM&JP

Presentations cont.

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

Tues 2/5
Gone with the Wind viewing and response

Wed 2/6
Presentations cont.

Thurs 2/7

Fri 2/8

Presentations cont.

HW:  Reading and preparing for discussion for Newsworthy topic

Mon 2/11
Presentations cont

Tues 2/12
Snow day

Wed 2/13
Newsworthy topic discussion

Final presentation

Thurs 2/14
Newsworthy topic discussion

Reflection on project

Fri 2/15

No school – Enjoy the break!

Mon 2/25

10 minutes to finish writing project reflections

What was Douglass’s project with photography?

  • Take out readings
    • Identify writer’s thesis.  What is their project they discuss in the piece?
    • In “Vision & Justice” what connections does Sarah Lewis suggest between images and citizenship?
    • In “Frederick Douglass’s Camera Obscura” what does Henry Louis Gates Jr. identify as significant to understanding photography as Douglass used it?
  • 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:  Reading and annotating “A More Perfect Likeness: Frederick Douglass and the Image of the Nation” for Thursday’s class and an image you believe lives up to Douglass’s project from your world.

Tues 2/26
cont. image presentation

HW:  continue reading and annotating “A More Perfect Likeness: Frederick Douglass and the Image of the Nation” for Thursday’s class

Wed 2/27

Thurs 2/28
Student run discussion of “A More Perfect Likeness: Frederick Douglass and the Image of the Nation” for Thursday’s class

HW:  Reflection

Fri 3/1
1989 and Do the Right Thing

HW: “Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility” and”Love/Hate: New York, Race, and 1989

Mon 3/4
Newsworthy Topic Discussion JT

Do the Right Thing

  • What is the ‘right thing’?

HW:  Newsworthy Topic (see shared google doc)

Tues 3/5
Do the Right Thing

HW:  classroom response

Wed 3/6
retake of “Love/Hate”

cont. Do the Right Thing

Thurs 3/7
cont. Do the Right Thing

Fri 3/8
finish Do the Right Thing

HW: Preparing for the Socratic Seminar by creating 6 discussion questions about the film and responding to 3 of the viewing questions.  Your questions should not only address the film but also consider the essential questions of this unit and the readings and other texts we have examined as part of this unit.

Mon 3/11

Tues 3/12
cont. Socratic Seminar

HW:  Reflection

Wed 3/13
Newsworthy Topic Discussion


and intro to Blackkklansman

Thurs 3/14
Newsworthy Topic Discussion

  • Viewing questions

Fri 3/15

HW:  post on classroom responding to viewing question

Mon 3/18
Discussion questions based on responses online:

Regarding the language: Blackkklansman is a film made in 2018 and set in the 1970s.  I sometimes argue that films say more about the period in which they are made than the period they’re set.  What might Lee be suggesting about our own time?

Regarding the representations of racist people:  Is one’s racism always blatant?  What are the ways in which seemingly good people might be racist in the film?

DuBois double consciousness

cont. Blackkklansman

HW:  finish reading The Atlantic DuBois piece

Tues 3/19
Newsworthy Topic Discussion – JS

finish Blackkklansman

Bonus feature

Carousel discussion of the film

Wed  3/20
cont. Carousel

Overview of assignment

In-class t-chart of films


Thurs 3/21

Fri 3/22
Overview of assignment

In-class quick draft of an introduction with thesis

HW:  Researching artist for Adobe Spark page

Mon 3/25
Looking at images

Researching for other sources (images and texts)

Tues 3/26

Researching and drafting the annotated bibliography

Wednesday 3/27
Finalizing research and drafting the annotated bib (due @2.05)

Outlining the essay

Thurs 3/28
Outlining and drafting the essay


Fri 3/29
Outlining and drafting the essay


Mon 4/1
Outlining and drafting


HW:  Revised thesis and body 1 for Wednesday

Tues 4/2

Wed 4/3
Reflection on current thinking as you’ve been working with these images, materials, and readings

Reading Zadie Smith’s “Getting In and Getting Out: Who Owns Black Pain?

  • What does her review of Getting Out “say”?
  • How does she use an assemblage form to support what she says?

HW:  Body 2

Thurs 4/4
Drafting body 3 and working with images

Conferencing with work in progress

Fri 4/5
Drafting body 4 and working with images

Conferencing with work in progress

HW:  continue drafting over the weekend.  I’m not sure how many body paragraphs your composition will need.  Zadie Smith’s 12-page piece has 18.  If you were simply cutting that in half in terms of expectation, 6 pages not sure that a 3 or even a 4 body paragraph essay will make sense.  At this stage you should be using the planning, drafting, and revision process to gauge.

Mon 4/8
Finalizing the draft and combining text and image drafting stage

*Captain’s Meeting

HW: 80% draft for tomorrow’s class for peer review with working Adobe Spark Link

Tues 4/9
Peer review

Wed 4/10
Newsworthy Topic Discussion CR

Last day for revisions and conferencing

Thurs 4/11
Newsworthy Topic Discussions

Adobe Spark Link due Friday at 2.05 (make sure it’s the shareable link)

HW: Assignment reflection

Fri 4/12