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

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?

cont. discussion from Douglass

Presentation Assignment

  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • 13th

Film Viewing

Presentations on I Am Not Your Negro and 13th


Tues 2/26
Finish Presentations

Wed 2/27

Thurs 2/28

Newsworthy Topics Discussion


Emmett Till and Dana Schuz painting

Fri 3/1
1989 and Do the Right Thing

HW: “Asian-American Actors Are Fighting for Visibility” and paragraph length response how that article and”Love/Hate: New York, Race, and 1989” influenced your viewing of Do the Right Thing.  What specifically stood out to you?

Fri 2/2
Do the Right Thing

  • What is the ‘right thing’?

HW:  Newsworthy Topic (see shared google doc)

Mon 2/5

Tues 2/6
finish film

HW: Preparing for the Socratic Seminar by creating 6 discussion questions about the film.  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.

Wed 2/7
Newsworthy Topic

Socratic Seminar

HW: review your questions given today’s discussion

Thurs 2/8
cont. Socratic Seminar

HW:  Reading the overview of the final assignment & Zadie Smith’s “Getting In and Getting Out: Who Owns Black Pain?

Fri 2/9
Volunteers to visit junior classes

“Getting in and Getting Out” as multi-modal (one example)

Writing the Do the Right Thing Response

Brainstorming possibilities for multi-modal

HW:  Thomas’s and Dylan’s Newsworthy topics

Mon 2/12
Newsworthy Topic Discussion

Working on The Proposal

Creating The Proposal

  • Which essential question are you addressing?  What are your initial thoughts on answering this question?
  • Potential images to examine and synthesize
  • What form will your piece take?  Why?  How will it help further the idea of your composition?

Tues 2/13
Presenting proposals

  • Feedback from peers and teacher

HW:  Reflection: After hearing the feedback from my peers and teacher, I…

Wed 2/14
Continuing Proposals

HW: Enjoy the break

Thurs 2/15

Mon 2/26
cont. Proposals

Drafting the intro

HW: Newsworthy topic and have images to show tomorrow – begin playing and assembling images – what relationships are created when these images are side by side?

Tues 2/27
Newsworthy discussion

Assemblage Day

HW:  writing the introduction – submit on google classroom

Wed 2/28
Newsworthy discussion

Drafting day and conference time with Ms. Weeks and/or the Writing Center

Thurs 3/1
Drafting day and conference time with Ms. Weeks and/or the Writing Center

HW:  submit draft

Fri 3/2
Drafting day and conference time with Ms. Weeks and/or the Writing Center

Mon 3/5
Drafting day and conference time with Ms. Weeks and/or the Writing Center

Submit your draft by 2.05

Tues 3/6
Black Panther debrief and discussion

HW: submit final draft

Wed 3/7
Starting next unit