January 12

Week 1-

Introduction to the course

Key concepts: Authenticity, Race and Social Construction

What is race?

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January 17

Week 2-Social Construction Racial Formations

Key concepts: Race, Social construction, concept maps

Lecture on Social Construction of Race

READ: Racial Formations by Michael Omi and Howard Winant and Race Isn’t So Black and White by Brent Staples

RJ: Identify a quote or fact from each reading that surprises you, bothers you, or strikes you as particularly interesting. Write three sentences about why it is interesting, strange or puzzling or bothersome to you. Do this for BOTH readings. As best you can, connect the readings with your own media viewing/experiences. PLEASE POST AS COMMENT. Required: Attend Martin Luther King Day Event, no class on 2/7

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January 19

Week 2-Social Construction of Blackness

READ: Black Image in the White Mind by Rojecki

Discuss in class the methodology of the Rojecki article and MLK speaker

RJ: How does hip hop and mass culture construct Black Images according to Bryant Smith. Does this correspond to Rojecki? Or contradict?

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January 24

Week 3-Social Construction of Blackness

Blackness in Network News- Black Image in the White Mind (60-77)

RJ: How does network new socially construct Blackness?

In class: discussion of network news.

Discussion of “I know Black People” How does this clip interact with “lay theories” of race that the white subjects interviewed by Rojecki hold?

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January 26

Week 3-Social Construction of Whiteness

READ: Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination by Bell Hooks

RJ: Address the ways that hooks characterizes whiteness. What surprises you? What intrigues you? What is familiar or unfamiliar about her perspective? 1 paragraph (5 sentences or more)

Look up for Hooks article:

  • Apartheid/American Apartheid
  • Informant
  • Postcolonial
  • Racial Terrorism

What do these terms mean? Be prepared with written definitions in class.

Commercial analysis assigned

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January 31

Week 4-

Work with your group on your commercial in class. Consult with Professor Heitner.

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February 2

Week 4-

READ: Stuff White People Like

and Possessive Investment in Whiteness

Read and be prepared to discuss one full entry. Print out the entry and at least some of the four or five comments (some have hundreds, so you don’t need to print them all. We will go around so be prepared! Please be ready to write about and or discuss in class:

How does humor work in this website?

RJ: How does this site (and the specific item you chose) comment on and participate in the social construction of/ possessive investment in whiteness?  What is the possessive investment in whiteness?

Optional, but encouraged: add your own comment to “Stuff White People Like” website.

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