Friday, August 21, 2009

FALL 2009>>ONLINE>>300>>MID-TERM: Media Review & Analysis

(Nde' Peoples, aka 'Apaches', as an Indigenous People, have one of the longest histories of internal persecution and militarization by an occupying state/nation in the Americas. The U.S. Border wall construction claimed significant tribal lands of more than 12 Indigenous nations from 2006-2009.)
Mid-Term Objectives:

The Mid-Term is envisioned as an "installment" of the final project. All students will work towards a polished 'draft' of two components which comprise a completed Mid-Term. Students build upon the Mid-Term project, as a scaffolding for the continuing development of a Final Project. The Mid-Term serves, therefore, as a launching for an intensive, personal engagement with a theme of the student's choosing. The student will sustain the focus on the selected theme until completion of the Final Project. The Mid-Term and the Final Project are conceptualized as an ongoing critique and dialogue between the student, her/his sources/resources, and the completion of the final 'product.'


1.To lend your personal voice to an analysis building upon forms, mediums, definitions, theories, methods and practices which inform your current understanding of critical intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality in historical and contemporary contexts. Goal: Defining your topic/subject/thesis (argument).

2.To move from untethered supposition and opinion to articulate, informed and cited evidences which ground your claims, positions and arguments. Goal: rejecting simplistic assumptions as an acceptable form of college writing; moving toward deepened critical engagement and interrogation of all sides of a theme, subject and issue. Moving towards complex thinking and communication.

3.To engage in critical analysis practices; not judging the literatures and methods examined. Rather engaging with the narratives, however different from yours, of differently situated groups and communities relative to systemic structural violence and structured social stratifications, through the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, in industrialized societies.

4. To develop new methods of articulating personal understandings of numerous processes which shape, form, and at times overdetermine identity formation of individuals and groups, and the consequences which arise.

5.To lay a foundation, and "installment" for the final project, while producing a 'draft' thesis, abstract, argument and claims.


Part IImages and the Power of the Message

Identify (and load to your Content folder titled "My Media") four images which ‘voice' and 'speak' an important narrative/ story of race, class, gender and power at the intersection of a lense which you choose. For example, race, class, gender and sexuality--intersecting--at the crossroad of 'nation.'
In the images above, the pictures 'talk about' the intersection of race (Indigenous Peoples), class (third-class; non-personhood; U.S. and Mexico war prisoners; invisible laborers), gender (binary systems imposed by Christian and Patriarchal stratification systems, i.e. male/female; masculine/feminine; man/woman; manly/womanly), sexuality (stereotyped as hyper sexual bodies/rapable and violable bodies; "squaw" and "buck"; demonized sexuality, i.e. "savages", "heathens").... At the intersection of imperialism, colonization, armed invasion, development, prison-structures warehousing Indigenous Peoples, authoritarianism.
You may use web and other media sources--however--remember to copy and paste the original url/http where you find that image, and copy and paste all the relevant information you can find about the article, such as title, author, date (if there is one). This will help you, later, when you are writing your "Works Cited" and/or "References" page.

Provide an analysis that shows you are learning and using the critical theories and methods which you have had access to thus far in this course (texts, films, web links, etc.)

Turn in your media 'texts' (samples) with your final project. See syllabus for Mid-Term due date.

TIP: Feel free to launch independent discussions with the class about your media, or to integrate them into your daily work, as a way of gaining facility with them, interacting with them, engaging others in their literacy and meanings.

Part II: Abstract--Articulating the Message

Draft a topic/thesis statement, identify an argument ("What I am essentially arguing is...that..."), and a a minimum of 3 strong authorities/‘cites’, meaning, sources which you will build upon as “references, citations, theoretical supports” for your final project. See syllabus for due date in Drop Box.

Draft a well-written and proofed abstract (no more than 200 words). See syllabus for due date in Drop Box.

Here is a sample of an abstract that went through 2 early drafts, 2 peer reviews, and 3 (30 minute) polishing sessions.

Questions? Contact me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ross Has Questions... The Answers May Help Everyone

From an email conversation this morning:

On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 4:41 PM, Ross McPherson wrote:

Mrs. Tamez,

How do I load a powerpoint into my blog? And I also was wondering if you could let me know if the video on my blog is appropriate to show as a part of my presentation tomorrow and in my final project. It's the Dave Chappelle - Kid's Cartoons. And I was wondering what the format was for the presentations? I was wanting to show what I had and bring up some topics but, I wanted to have a discussion about the topic of racism in children's entertainment and hear other people's thoughts. Thanks

Ross M

Hi Ross,

I am not sure how to load a powerpoint onto the blog, but I know how to upload a powerpoint to the site: "Academic Keys" (google it). You just create an account, which is FREE, and then you can upload powerpoints directly there, and it will giver you a link. Then, you add that link to your blog, through the 'customize', and then "add page element", then "links". You can title the Link: "Title of Your Powerpoint presentation"... and then we can click on it and go directly to the site online.

You can direct your own presentation.

I would focus on giveing an overview of why you selected this subject, why it is important to you, your story. Then, I'd share key aspects of your research: what was your original problem statement/thesis/idea, and how did that change as you got further into the process of research? What were your initial assumptions? How did those shift over the project? What were the key influencing theories learned from the class that directed your research? What community based theories directed your reserach (from the people). How did those reflect difference from what you may have expected or assumed you'd find?

Finally, give us a sense of your findings/outcomes... and what you stilll don't know but what you are still very interested to learn and find out in your everyday independent 'research', 'mesearch' and 'wesearch' process.

Hope that helps. I'm going to post this question and answer to the blog!

Margo Tamez

Structural Violence & Militarism--Can You See Them At Work?


(See the 'Structural Violence' post below!) For more information and a wonderful glossary related to 'Structural Violence' from a site dedicated to the work of Paul Farmer go to this link.

Make a meaningful effort, prior to turning in your final project to scan your work for:

  • Calling out unexamined privilege in the narratives of your project
  • Calling out the unexamined/normatized structural violence embedded within the systems of oppression you are researching
  • Examining key aspects of militarism infecting the problem you are researching.
Good luck!

P.S. (Hint: Barbara Chasin's book is required reading for answering each of these, and the definitions of structural violence embedded within the post below are essential to take these to task in your own final draft.)

Structural Violence--Beyond Invisibility

Structural Violence, is a theory which was developed by Norwegian sociologist, Johan Galtung.

This theory is a foundational analysis for serious students of critical intersectional race class gender sexuality studies, critical race studies, gender studies, ethnic studies, migration and diaspora studies, indigenous studies, queer studies, disability studies, and genocide studies.

Organized armed conflict in various parts of the world is easily traced to structured inequalities. Northern Ireland, for example, has been marked by economic disparities between Northern Irish Catholics-- who have higher unemployment rates and less formal education--and Protestants (Cairns & Darby, 1998). In Sri Lanka, youth unemployment and underemployment exacerbates ethnic conflict (Rogers, Spencer & Uyangoda, 1998). In Rwanda, huge disparities between the Hutu and Tutsies eventually led to ethnic massacres.

While structural violence often leads to direct violence, the reverse is also true, as brutality often terrorizes bystanders, who then become unwilling or unable to confront social injustice. Increasingly, civilians pay enormous costs of war through death and devastation of neighborhoods and ecosystems. Ruling elites rarely suffer from armed conflict as much as civilian populations do, who endure decades of poverty and disease in war-torn societies."

Copyright 1999 Deborah DuNann Winter and Dana Leighton

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All Readings Required. Blogging Requirement for Readings Ends on June 11th.

Yes, all readings are required. This is the reality of a 6 week course.

Bloggings on assigned readings all due by Wednesday, June 11, 2008.

This give you two days to fine-tune the final project. (This is the really challenging reality of taking a 15 week intensive reading/writing course in 6 weeks--it can be killer and even brutal. Welcome to the "Carnegie Mellon Research I Institution" reality.)

You MAY continue to finish up your blog reading responses up to the 13th. However, if you are really ambitious, you can get them all wrapped up and entered by the 11th.

I don't REQUIRE anyone to blog after the 11th, UNLESS you have not completed all other assigned readings.

Advice: Do the best you can; be realistic about the grade you want to achieve.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Final Project--Deadlines & Guidelines

1. ABSTRACT. DUE: June 9, 2008, 3pm, NO EXCEPTIONS. 10 pts deducted for each day late.

  • MUST contain:
    • Clear, proofed, polished prose
    • Creative title
    • Topic statement
    • Thesis (claims, position taken, main argument)
    • Supporting theories to be used (selected DIRECTLY from assigned readings)
    • 3 preliminary references to support your project (selected DIRECTLY from assigned readings, films, or other assigned media)
2. FINAL PROJECT. DUE: June 13, 2008, NO EXCEPTIONS. No late projects accepted. 0% earned if 'no show.'
  • Note!: You must be prepared to discuss your project PRIOR TO the final delivery date. Each student is responsible for presenting a polished DRAFT of their project on the assigned dates. I will provide a sign up sheet.

  • MUST contain:
    • 4 specific visual components to balance, anchor, define, and contour word-based narratives/arguments
    • 7 academic sources/ and ... no more than 3 non-academic web sources
    • MLA, APA, Chicago Turabian Style
    • ONE OUTSIDE REVIEW OF YOUR 'DRAFT', (POSTED TO YOUR BLOG), AVAILABLE TO READ BY ME, PRIOR TO TURNING IN YOUR PROJECT . THIS REVIEWER MUST BE A QUALIFIED PERSON TO REVIEW THE COMPETENCY OF YOUR WORK, (MENTOR, PROFESSOR, T.A., Writing Center Staff person, ETC.) This person must be properly identified by their name, professional title, and contact information (email).
    • Creative title
    • Clean, polished, proofed prose
    • Analytical organization
    • Clearly identified theoretical and community-based methodological supports
    • Clear topic statement and thesis
    • Specific claims, arguments and positions taken
    • Evidence of self-reflection
    • Evidence of application re: key theories of race, class, gender and sexuality assigned through readings
    • Serious application of key definitions of systems of power, oppression, dominance, colonization, genocide, and resistance
    • Posted to Blog: (If student wishes to post power-point, she/he may use "Academic Keys" website for temporary storage.)