Piper – Writing 5: Expository Writing

Course: Writing 5: Expository Writing
Instructor: Wendy Piper

Please compare any key aspect of either text that we’ve read to any pop cultural representation. You could think of whether there are any characters that resemble Hester Prynne alive in culture today. If so, how is she treated in contemporary representations? Are there similarities or dissimilarities to Hawthorne’s treatment of her, or of Dimmesdale, Pearl, or the Puritan town’s people.

What about key characteristics of O’Connor’s novel, Wise Blood? Are there characters similar to Hazel Motes or Enoch in today’s culture, albeit in different forms than O’Connor may have envisioned. Are there movies, television shows, or is there music that indicates a similar character or thematic aspect of O’Connor’s text?

This multimodal assignment will have the same function in this Writing 5 class as one of your formal papers. Its purpose will be to help you to continue to develop your skills in composition, critical thinking, and argumentation. You’ll be making a claim in your iMovie adaptation that will reflect back on one of our novels.

The length of the films will be 5-7 minutes. We’ll undergo two formal training sessions, and will be assisted by RWIT tutors, and the staff of the Jones Media Center. We’ll have two sessions during class time in which we’ll present our films to the class.

Example of a Final Project

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AAAS 7: Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Caribbean

WGST: Women in the CaribbeanCourse: AAAS 7: Women, Gender and Sexuality in the Caribbean
Instructor: Reena Goldthree

For this project, you will work in small groups of three to create a short documentary film. You and your group members will select the specific topic of the documentary; however, your film must critically examine some aspect of women’s lives in the Caribbean before 1960. For your film, you can choose to analyze the life of a specific Caribbean woman, investigate a social movement led by women (i.e., the campaign for women’s suffrage), or examine major topics such as slavery and indentureship with a focus on women’s lived experiences.

By creating an original documentary, you will have the opportunity to explore the issues that we have discussed in class through the visual medium of film. You will also be able to research a topic that interests you and communicate your findings to your peers and the broader public. Rather than simply telling a story about the past, your documentary should make a compelling argument—using voice-over narration, audio, and relevant historical images and film—about the topic you choose to explore. Your argument should be informed by relevant primary and secondary sources beyond the assigned course readings. Each documentary should be 5-6 minutes and must include a bibliography. The final cut of your documentary will be due on March 1, 2011. We will screen and discuss the documentaries in class on March 2, 2011.
To help you create your documentary, you will attend two special workshops. The first workshop, led by librarian Amy Witzel, will explore how to find relevant primary and secondary sources for your film. The second workshop, led by Susan Simon at Jones Media Center, will review multimedia composition techniques and provide basic training in iMovie and Photoshop. In addition, you will complete several mini-assignments in the process of creating the documentary, including an oral “pitch” of your topic, a written film treatment, and a draft script and storyboard.

Learning Outcomes
After completing this project, students will be able to:

    Discuss how race, class, sexuality, and nationality have shaped the opportunities available for various groups of Caribbean women
    Identify some of the major social, political, and cultural institutions that have sought to define women’s roles in Caribbean society
    Produce polished multimedia compositions that have an original perspective, clear argument, supporting evidence, and proper citations

Since this is a collaborative project, your group will receive a grade for the written treatment, storyboard, script, and bibliography. Your group will also receive a grade for the final documentary film. As a class, we will work together to develop a rubric to assess the documentaries.
You will receive an individual grade for your written reflection on the filmmaking process.
Reena Goldthree, Instructor for AAAS 7
Contact: Reena.N.Goldthree@Dartmouth.edu

Susan Simon, Media Learning Technologist, Jones Media Center
Contact: Susan.Simon@Dartmouth.edu

Amy Witzel, Reference Librarian for African and African American Studies (AAAS) & Women and Gender Studies
Contact: Amy.L.Witzel@Dartmouth.edu

Kay Yi, Writing Assistant for AAAS 7
Contact: Kye.H.Yi@Dartmouth.edu
AAAS 7 Library Resources Guide (prepared by Amy Witzel)

AAAS 7 Blackboard Page (see “Video Project Resources” link)
Student Center for Researching, Writing, and Information Technology (RWIT)
Website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rwit/students/index.html

THEA 10.2/WGST 59.03/AMES 25: Unveiling the Harem Dancer

Course: THEA 10.2/WGST 59.03/AMES 25: Unveiling the Harem Dancer
Instructor: Maral Yessayan

As part of the course Unveiling the Harem Dancer, the students were divided into working groups and asked to produce a video (2-5 minutes long) that creatively challenges stereotypes commonly associated with Arabs and Muslims. The course material for “Unveiling the Harem Dancer” focused on the role that visual media has historically played in creating a repertoire of images that sustain stereotypical descriptions of Arabs and Muslims. In response, I encouraged the students to use the same tool, i.e. the visual text, and capitalize on its ability to unsettle some of the stereotypes associated with Arabs and Muslims today. In my opinion, the projects were a great success. A focus on the visual medium seems to have enhanced the students’ understanding of the extent to which societies rely on visual difference to perpetuate ethnic, religious, and cultural stereotypes. The videos allowed students to actively engage in a dialogue with the prevailing discourse about Arabs and Muslims, which in turn enabled them to participate in a cross-cultural dialogue promoting values of tolerance and coexistence.

This video assignment also required each group to maintain a “Group Diary Blog,” which were made available to students on Blackboard. The purpose of the “Group Diary Blog” was to create a space for the students to flesh out their ideas, identify their research question, and define the vision of their video project in writing. It served as a productive forum for the students to brainstorm ideas, respond to one another, manage group meeting times, share information/graphics/links, organize and cite research material, and discuss the progress of their video project. It also provided me insight into the nature, process, and development of each of the groups’ video project, and allowed me to be more effective in directing and guiding the students whenever they had questions or faced challenges. Each group followed the “Video Project Proposal – The Pitch” and “Treatment Plan for Student Video Projects” guidelines provided by the JMC for their midterm. As part of their pitching presentation, however, I also encouraged them to create a preview video to practice using imovie software and to have a better feel on how to divide production tasks among group members for the video project. The groups screened their final videos at the end of week nine as part of an open public event that was followed by Q&A. The grading criteria for the final video project included three components:
Video Quality Production (from Concept to Creation) – 80 points
Video Supporting Group Paper – 10 points
‘Behind the Scenes’ Group Presentation – 10 points

Example of Final Video Project

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