special updates about ass/ignment one

  • please be sure to keep the size of your final essay from ballooning up to gigantibytastic sizes, which is easy to do when you start using photographs. there’s lots of ways to shrink file size of photos individually (such lowering the quality/resolution in your photo storage program), but you can also handle this at the document level. for example, the sample essay i shared in class was put together in powerpoint and was 65MB when all was said and done. but if you go the file tab, you’ll find the option to “reduce file size” and depending on your choice, you can drop the size tremendously — my document dropped to 2 MB and then saving it as a pdf cut it in half again.
  • please submit the assignment in the following way: in an effort to avoid having a lot of emails with still relatively large attachments drop in my email inbox all at once, i’m asking you that you upload your document to the course shared dropbox on middfiles. don’t know how to get to middfiles? here’s some help.
  • please give your documentS (essay and evaluation separate) a name that identifies the author(s) in some way (i.e., not just “dumb_class_assigment1.pdf, but rather linus_dumb_class_assignment1.pdf)
  • please submit as a pdf document
  • don’t forget to have a title, to have a thesis (and an argument!), a reference list, and SEPARATE evaluation.

thanks.

march 20

these are all pretty short, so even though you have something due today, it won’t be too much of a burden for you to do the readings for class, right? think about the way “representation” “normal” and “culture” [not to mention “race”] are working through these texts. enjoy!

march 18

70252-1024__60033.1524121214.jpg (683×1024)
poor little kitty! (and if you are wondering about the dark, weird world of stock imagery, you could go here, an image even i thought better than to include. (not grisly but odd and inappropriate for sure)

BREAKING NEWS! THE DEADLINE FOR THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN MOVED TO 11:59pm WEDNESDAY MARCH 20. THE BEGINNING OF MY WEEK IS SHAPING UP TO BE SUPER BUSY SO I WILL NOT HAVE ANY TIME TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK. THUS IT SEEMS SILLY TO FORCE YOU TO TURN SOMETHING IN THAT WILL SIT IDLY BY FOR DAYS. THIS IS A 48 HOUR AND 2 MINUTE EXTENSION. IF YOU WILL BE DONE BY THE ORIGINAL DUE DATE, THAT’S FINE! TURN IT IN AND LIFE GOES ON AS USUAL. THANKS FOR UNDERSTANDING.

content warnings! tread lightly, please.

even more extraneous stuff that you will never, ever read, but which is related and interesting, so it’s going to be included, whether it ever gets read or not. [please note that even the list above includes extra stuff crammed into the sub-bullet points, so i am really not trying to overwork you, especially since you have work due this week.]

march 13

i’m not sure how to take the version of “diversity” that focuses on the white/blue-eyed kitten, while nudging the grey kittens off screen or behind the text. but maybe we shouldn’t read too much into a cat food ad. right?

first things first: you can find the copy of the first assignment and the “sample” at this link (“assignments” above)

  • when colleges seek diversity through photoshop
  • stevens, creating a class: college admissions and educating elites chapter 5: race [currently having trouble uploading it, but will fix soon] (update: AAAAAHHHH! the file won’t work, and i doubt i will have time to figure out what the problem is, nor will you have time to read it. but it is available as an e-book in the library, and if you want to know how these things work, it’s a good overview (the study was done at hamilton, but current director of admissions at middlebury says this book’s version is the closest to our own that you might find in all the studies out there.))
  • the above chapter is a quick read but it is 44 pages, so if you don’t want to read so much (you’re busy!) (and now that it’s DOA), this from a different project tells a related story about how talk of diversity undercuts actual efforts to deal with racism. succinctly.

THIS WEEK IS ABOUT REPRESENTING RACE/RACISM/DIVERSITY/ETC. SO YOUR 2ND BATCH OF READINGS ARE AS FOLLOWS: (they are short!)

stop stop stop stop stop stop stop stop. stop.

following up on day one discussion of blackface and yearbooks (and in honor of the yearbook fotos being taken right across the hall from class (ps. i bet that is an interesting place/space of identity construction!)), here are a few links:

  • USA today reviews 900 yearbooks for racist images. spoiler alert: they found some!
  • of course, yearbooks also document other issues, such as campus protest and anti-racist progress. “beyond blackface
  • this is not just an issue from yesteryear. blackface at UTennessee. [in an effort to bring this full circle, notice the framing in terms of college/student diversity]
  • protest going on this week at sarah lawrence about racism on campus and failure of “diversity” efforts. follow on tweeter!
  • AND, of course, in this day and age (and all days and all ages), it is not just about photo selection as discussed in class, but also how the photos are manipulated. here’s a classic example of OJ Simpson, while here’s an example that popped up on twitter Monday about Fox News altering an image

march 11

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the visuals of race and crime
#iftheygunnedmykittendown

excessive stuff below. ignore at your pleasure


march 6

Image result for hang in there kitten poster on wall

extra stuff you will never read in a million years is safely separated and placed below this box.

march 4

material culture! what can we learn about the stuff people have/love/hate?

jon wagner, “seeing things”

here are some of the art projects that explore material culture/stuff, which you can explore if you so desire….

  1. rania matar, a girl and her room
  2. lauren greenfield, generation wealth (good bibliography at the bottom! — she also has other interesting projects, like girl culture and kids + money)
  3. adrienne salinger, teenager (no direct link, but easy enough to find. as a collector of teeth and tooth accessories, i also recommend the “tooth” series…)
  4. peter manzel, “material world: a global family portrait” (there’s a lot here, but the most famous of his work is where he has families take all their possessions out of their home and pose with them outside of it: here’s the US example, and here’s the south africa example.

february 27

manny the selfie cat

let’s look at how selfies are used by individuals and groups to reclaim/remake identity…

  1. wortham, “on instagram, seeing between the gender line” (ny times article, so not so academicky) [related: “portraits of america’s genderqueer community” — here just to be here, not because you have to look at it.]
  2. ferreday, “like a stone in your stomach: articulating the unspeakable in rape victim-survivors’ activist selfies” (cw: sexual violence) [a link to the case she discusses if you want to see it yourself: project unbreakable (cw: images of abuse)]
  3. warfield, “mirrorcameraroom: the gendered multi-instabilities of the selfie” (this one is kind of theoretically dense (or, “exciting”) but has some interesting ideas (“glitch feminism”) as well as a different methodology, so worth your time, but if you are short of time, then definitely read the first two and leave this for another day.) [[if you want to watch/listen to her give a 40minute presentation on why selfies are great, you can watch here. if not, you can ignore]]

anything below is not to be read under any circumstances (unless you’re interested in that sort of thing…)

february 25

self(ie) identity!
  1. jill rettberg: seeing ourselves through technology: how we use selfies, blogs, and wearable devices to see and shape ourselves 
    this is a link to the entire book, which you don’t have to read (but you can!). instead, definitely read chapter 3, “serial selfies” and, if you feel like it (which you probably won’t because you already think this is too much reading!), chapter 4 “automated diaries” –both are interesting as identity projects and data sources.
  2. t. senft “mirocelebrity and the branded self”
  3. veum and undrum, “the selfie as global discourse

[[if social science takes on identity are not clear for you, here’s a pretty helpful primer on the issues of identity. you can skim if you like.]]

below is stuff that is not required, but which is nevertheless included here for some unknown reason…

  1. saltz, the history of the selfie (art history!)
  2. souza et al. dawn of the selfie era (quantitative analysis!)
  3. selfie city — comparing selfie styles across 5 cities [and a feminist critique of the project]

february 20

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one last day of exploring our options. so many! so exciting!

  1. photovoice: caroline wang and mary ann burris, “photovoice: concept, application, and use for participatory needs assessment”
  2. photo essay: luc pauwels, “conceptualizing the visual essay
  3. interactive documentary: paolo favero, “getting our hands dirty (again): interactive documentaries and the meaning of images in the digital age”

some examples of each, if you want to explore what these look like in practice. (suggested, but not required, but it’s good to look at examples of the work)

  1. photo voice — in honor of the 1-year anniversary of the parkland massacre, scenes from a protest. OR, in honor of our current “national emergency”: “this is what it looks like for kids traveling in the caravan
  2. photo essay — roman williams, “religion, migration, and change in a european city” (more can be found here, if interested)
  3. interactive doc — highrise — out my window

if you are at a loss as to what to send your humble teacher, another image option could be to grab something from one of the above examples and engage with it (how it works, doesn’t work, what’s there, what’s missing, why it’s compelling data, why it might not be….) — that is, if there’s something from the readings/examples that you want to talk more about in class, this is your chance to possibly make that happen…

february 18

Cute-Kitten

what does it mean to do visual methods? here’s a nice overview by sarah pink, visual anthropologist, about various methodological options available, as well as some ethical points of concern.

pink, visual methods, chapters 1-3

also, if you like everything laid out in chart form, here’s a table categorizing the vast array of options taken from luc pauwels’s book.

integrated framework for visual sociological research

february 13

let’s start with some basic introductions to the field — what visual sociology is, and how to start doing it.

1) john grady, “becoming a visual sociologist”
this is a handy, dandy 12-point list of how to become a visual sociologist. while the entire piece is well worth reading, the first 6 steps are most important (as the last 6 refer more to those who are already professional sociologists). even though 6 is half of 12, those first 6 do take up the bulk of the essay. “becoming a visual sociologist”

2) richard chalfin, “looking two ways”
this is a good introduction taking a somewhat different perspective than the above, playing off the dual meaning of “how people look”: “study of visual culture”