2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Representing Race in Film


Summer 2012 quarter

Naima Lowe media arts, media and film, experimental media
Fields of Study
African American studies, American studies, media arts, media studies and moving image

In this program we will examine representations of race and ethnicity in US cinema, with a particular emphasis on how "whiteness" and "blackness" have been shaped as markers of national inclusion and exclusion. We will ask what the study of film can tell us about the experience of race and ethnicity in America. How does one define a stereotype or critique it? How do we understand films as popular history? At the same time, it takes up the theory, history, and sociology of race and ethnicity to illuminate what the cinema means. How are racial and ethnic majorities shown? How do films argue for an inclusive or restrictive national culture? Asking these intersecting questions will connect contemporary issues of representation to a far-reaching (and often forgotten) history of precedents.

We will also explore ways that artists and activists have challenged the dominant representations of race through the creation of films that turn these depictions on their heads. We will study various strategies for reinterpreting and recontextualizing "whiteness" and "blackness" and learn how we might apply those techniques within our own creative practices. This portion of the program will include hands-on skill building in the theory and practice of 16mm film and video editing (no shooting or camera work - just working with pre-exisiting material), the uses of archival footage and documents in filmmaking, and the uses of research practices in the creation of art.

In addition to readings, screenings, and seminars, students will complete a short video using archival materials and found footage, as well as an accompanying research paper.  Students should be prepared to complete 15-20 hours per week of reading, writing, collaborative projects, independent research and creative work outside of class. If you have questions about your level of preparation for this program, please contact Naima Lowe at LoweN(at)evergreen.edu.

Advertised Schedule
9:30a-1:30p Tue, 9:30a-4:30p Wed, 9:30a-1:30p Thu (Jul. 31 - Aug. 30) plus a 2-hour work session per week arranged by students
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
July 9th, 2012 This offering has been cancelled due to low enrollment.
April 9th, 2012 Removed prerequisites