Final Exam Essay Questions
For your Final Exam, you must choose three of the following essay questions and write at least three paragraphs about them.
- Define (in your own words) two of the four frames of colorblind racism Eduardo Bonilla-Silva describes. Use examples from your own life experiences to show how the frames work, and then explain how the frames get used in some part of the process of moviemaking, exhibition, or distribution. You must mention at least three movies in your response.
- Critical race media theorists argue that the negative stereotypes of minorities in cinema and the media needed to be addressed; consequently, the industry has responded by creating positive images of minorities. These positive images can be just as damaging as the negative images, however. Using at least three films and ONLY one racial minority, explore how racial representations can be viewed as both positive and negative.
- Michelle H. Raheja redefines the term “visual sovereignty” so that it pertains to a wide swath of media practices. What does “visual sovereignty” mean in terms of cinematic representations of Native Americans? You must mention at least three different films—we didn’t watch many, so you only need to address one of the films that we watched for class if you choose this option. This essay question pertains to the power structures at play both in the films and behind the cameras; but I want you to explain how one can tell from watching the film whether a Native American or a non-Native is in control of the Indigenous representations.
- Many say that America has made great strides in leveling problems regarding race, but it seems in terms of cinema that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Using one stereotype and at least three different films (only one of which can be a film that we didn’t watch for class), explore how African American stereotypes in cinema have changed and/or remained the same.
- Because racism is cropping up in discussions that make many people argue that they are tired of hearing minorities “use the race card,” it seems all the more important for the conversation to be heard. How do films address the racial component of mass incarceration, and how do you view mass incarceration in light of Michelle Alexander’s discussion about the new Jim Crow? What does it say about our culture that we haven’t come to terms with “crimes of resistance”? Are “crimes of resistance” what you find in films that deal with mass incarceration and minorities? Use at least three films (only one of which can be a film we didn’t watch for class) to explore this topic.