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An imaginary syllabus

An imaginary syllabus

Race and Media

Social Welfare 1234

Tuesdays, 2-4 pm

Professor: Yaneth Lombana

Pronouns: She, her, hers

Email: ylombana@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Student office hours: By appointment and welcomed!

The goal of this course is to give students a set of conceptual tools for thinking critically about media’s impact on race and how these concepts are produced and maintained in society. We will look into underlying assumptions, social functions, and implications of how race is represented in various outlets. This is a course with sometimes emotionally challenging reading material, film, and documentary content. Time will be allotted weekly through class discussion and reflections for individual impressions of the weekly assignments. Within the classroom, there will be an emphasis on creating a safe atmosphere, including respect for diverse perspectives and experiences.

Learning objectives

Students will utilize critical thinking skills when analyzing media messages and develop a greater ability to participate in constructive dialogues over the relationship between media and race. Students will learn to identify and explain theories, concepts and historical events that are relevant to the intersection of race and media.

Reading and viewing material

All required readings and or videos are provided to you either via links or are posted on Blackboard.

Course requirements

In-class participation 25%

Presentation 25%

Peer feedback 10%

Term paper 40%

Weekly Reflections 

Write and post a response based on your understanding, reflections, reactions to the weekly content and or postings by your colleagues. You may select passages from the readings, ideas you found meaningful, questions that the content elicited, drawings you create, etc.

Class Presentation

This project should provide an opportunity to further delve into some aspect of race and media that interests you and incorporates material covered throughout the course. Student led 15-minute class presentations will take place on the last three weeks of the semester. Students may choose from a variety of forms of presentation PowerPoint slides, utilization of multimedia, or interactive class exercises. You are also welcomed to propose a presentation style of your liking. There will be designated class time to discuss the topic you would like to pursue. After your presentation you will receive ideas and feedback from your peers that you may incorporate into your final paper. The following are possible projects you may embark on, you are also encouraged to propose a different topic that engages with the themes of the course. 

  • Investigate the long-term individual, group, or societal impact of a well-known event.
  • Interview a person of interest such as an activist, elder, or influencer.
  • Present the work of a political figure, humanitarian, writer, artist, or musician.
  • Visit a site such as a museum, historical site, etc.
  • Create a concept for a show
  • Critique a film, book, or exhibit

Final paper

The final paper will be the written basis of your presentation to the class where you explore and analyze the topic you have chosen.  Use APA style and provide a reference list including at least 6 professional citations.  These papers should be approximately 8 - 10 pages.

About the instructor

I am a Spanish and French speaking trauma focused psychotherapist. Language, trauma, and immigrant experiences shape the lens with which I interact with the topics of media and race. Other influencing factors are my generation, international experience, activism, and love for music and dance.

Teaching philosophy

Working from the standpoint that everyone is an expert in their own lives and has something to contribute I encourage different forms of participation while understanding differences in learning styles and preferred ways of engagement.

Tentative course schedule

As the class progresses changes may be made to the syllabus depending on reflections based on forum discussion. Advanced notice will be given when changes are made.

Week 1, 9/1/20

Intro

Introductions, syllabus logistics, interactive exercise

Week 2, 9/8/20

Single story

Week 3, 9/15/20

Racism

Week 4, 9/22/20

Education

Week 5, 9/29/20

Economic Inequality

Week 6, 10/6/20

Social Media

Week 7, 10/13/20

Break, no class this week.

Week 8, 10/20/20

Colorism

  • Ortega-Williams, A., Crutchfield, J., Hall, J.C. (2019). The colorist-historical trauma framework: Implications for culturally responsive practice with African Americans. Journal of Social Work, 0(0), 1-16.
  •  Take the implicit bias quiz found on https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

Week 9, 10/27/20

Art

Week 10, 11/3/20

Data

Week 11, 11/10/20

Love

Week 12, 11/17/20

Guest lecturer

Week 13, 11/17/20

Student presentations

Week 14, 11/24/20

No class.

Week 15, 12/1/20

Student presentations

Week 16, 12/8/20

Student presentations and class evaluation

Week 17, 12/15/20

Final papers due

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1 comment

Very cool!  I like the inclusion of historical sites.  In case students can't think of one, there are some in James Loewen's Lies Across America.

Also, African American literature on race might be compared with white literature on race.  Another option for students to give farther historical context.  Think Uncle Tom's Cabin vs., say, Their Eyes Were Watching God.

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