The Body and Media Assignment: For this portion of the course, students are expected to conduct a review and analysis of any media artefact of their choosing. Typically, these would include films, television series, advertising campaigns, music videos, novels, comics, and so forth. This assignment should be 4 double-spaced pages and should: (1) Provide a detailed review of a media artefact that clearly relates to themes, discussions and content of social constructions of the body (i.e., discipline, gender, race, disability, consumerism, labor and technology, sexuality, etc.); (2) Offer a set of concepts or arguments from course material (lectures or readings) to support your analysis, critique or praise of a particular media text.
For example, you might select Margaret Atwood’s classic novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) as your media artefact. As such, your essay would include a plot synopsis and general discussion of the text in addition to an analysis that is theoretically informed, perhaps by including work by Anne Balsamo on the “laboring body” within postmodern forms of technological embodiment. Another example might include a discussion and overview of the popular film The Circle in which your essay could draw on various theories of surveillance and “control societies” to engage with depictions of work and the office in the “tech” industry. Finally, your potential examples are not limited to conventional media. Perhaps you are a social media participant/follower and decide to focus your analysis on a series of “tweets” by Solange Knowles titled “”Discrim-FRO-nation”, which drew attention to racial discrimination experienced at US airport security screening sites. To comprehend and elaborate on the tweets, you could include a discussion of Kobena Mercer’s article “Black Hair/Style Politics” and explore the devaluation of “black hair” in a white supremacist society that Knowles’ tweets clearly capture.
this is worth 40% of your final grade
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