AAAS 90 – The Black Male, Invented or Engineered?

Course: AAAS 90 – The Black Male, Invented or Engineered?
Instructor: Antonio Tillis
Assignment: Documentary Video Project

In small groups of three, students are expected to create a short documentary film between 5-7 minutes in length. Group members are to select a topic that has a direct association to a topic matter presented in the course. The objective is to explore a topic introduced in the class that is of interest to your group within the framework of a 21st century epistemological understanding of the “Black Male.” As examples, you may choose to explore the theme of contemporary engineering of the Black male subject in 21st century film (selecting one film as text for analysis), Black male sexuality in the media or visual arts, Black male – Black female social dynamics around desirability, etc.

Through the development of this documentary, you are expected to engage the issues presented in the class. All groups are to have a minimum of 5 bibliographic entries or works that are not texts used in the class. (You may use works presented in class, however they are not a part of the minimum 5 outside readings/sources/references.) Additionally, you may choose to conduct interviews, use video footage pertinent to the selected topic. You are required to make a compelling argument about your topic using the chosen media (voice-over narration, video footage from interviews, audio, etc.)

In preparation, students will meet with Susan Simon (Jones Media Center) and with Prof. Tillis. Additionally, groups will meet Professor Tillis outside of class for developmental updates. The final cut of the documentary will be presented in class. At such time, a copy of the script and documentary are due.

This assignment is developed with the following learning outcomes in mind:
1. Discuss how the construct of the “Black Male” has been developed within the Americas and beyond as a racial-gendered group
2. Discuss the social, economic, political designed for the construction of the “Black Male” as a typology
3. Discuss the above mentioned and beyond in a cogent argument using film as the medium to critically engage the chosen topic of the group.

Group members will receive a grade for the written treatment, storyboard, script and bibliography. Additionally, the group will receive a grade based on teh final product. (see Sample Grade Rubric) Finally, each student will submit an additional written reflection (no more than 3typed pages) commenting on the film making process and other critical thoughts.

Professor Tillis

Susan Simon, Media Learning Technologist, Jones Media Center

Amy Witzel, AAAS and WGST Reference Librarian

Example of Student Final Project
[youtube SADBUKL9mws]