2nd Late Start Session Instructor



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STEREOTYPES N FILM:

CASE STUDY OF LITINO/AS IN HOLLYWOOD

Spring 2007

(2nd Late Start Session)

Instructor: Michelle Martinez, MFA

Email: michelle.martinez@asu.edu

Course URL: http://www.asu.edu/courses/lia394a/lia394a-index.html

Office Hours: By Appointment
COURSE OUTLINE

In this course we will take a critical look at the representation of Latinos in film, focusing on stereotyping, the politics of metaphor and allegory, star discourse, self-representation, resistance, and independent film. In addressing these topics, we will employ historical, critical and theoretical models – from structural historiography, to close textual analysis, to post-structural theory – in order to both understand and challenge the representation of Latino/as in film. Our goal is to come out of the class with a historical and a critical understanding of the roles Latino/as have played in front of the camera and behind the camera.


Readings:  There is one book for this course: Charles Ramírez Berg, Latino Images in Film: Stereotypes, Subversion, Resistance. You will likely need to purchase it either at the ASU bookstore or an online distributor such as Amazon.  If you are taking this course via distance learning and are not within driving range of campus, consider the fact that it will take at least two weeks for the book to arrive; therefore, be sure to order it well before class begins.  You will also be reading a number of articles, all of which have been posted to the virtual classroom in the Learning Task section.  To honor copyright law, they have been password protected.  The teaching team will email you the passwords before the first day of class.  Read the book and articles carefully, as they form the basis of all discussions and assignments. 

 

Screenings:  You are responsible for screening one film per lesson. The specific titles are listed below and under the Learning Tasks section of the class website.  If you are taking this course via distance learning and are not within driving range of campus, you can purchase the titles through Amazon (or another on-line distributor) or rent them at your local video store. Several are available at the ASU library. Most are also available through NetFlix, which is an ideal solution to students that must rely on rentals when the course is taught via distance learning.   Don’t watch these films for entertainment; watch them for study.  Take notes and view them numerous times.  The screenings also form the basis of online discussions and assignments. 


Plagiarism Policy:  You are expected to turn in original work.  Quotations or ideas paraphrased from other work must be properly cited.  Taking credit for another's idea or writing is plagiarism, which is a serious violation of the University's Code of Academic Integrity:  Integrity is expected of every student in all academic work.  The guiding principle of academic integrity is that a student's submitted work must be the student's own.  This principle is furthered by the student Code of Conduct and disciplinary procedures established by ABOR Policies 5-308-5-403, all provisions of which apply to Arizona State University students.  If you are unsure how to credit your source, ask a member of the teaching team for clarification. 
GRADED WORK

We expect every student to leave this course with a better – more insightful – understanding of the representation of Latinos in Hollywood film history as well as the tools scholars use to uncover, lay bear, and challenge stereotypes in film.  Along the way, we ask that you complete several interactive reading reviews, answer and ask questions on our electronic bulleting board (eBoard), and, for brick and mortar students, attend all required screenings and lectures.

 

Participation (100 Points):  You are responsible for attending all screenings and lectures, as well as participating in the discussions that take place in class and/or on the eBoard. Distance learning students should post two substantive comments to the eBoard per lesson.  A "substantive" post is one that is thoughtful, developed and connected to the lesson topic; typically, substantive posts are more than three sentences long.   Posts must keep up with the progress of the course.  You cannot, for example, go back and post to a lesson after it has been completed and expect for the posts to be counted.  All students take note: the teaching team will keep track of your participation, including assessing the value of what you bring to it.  Refrain from flaming or ad hominem comments.  Be rigorous but constructive.

 

Personal Essay (100 Points): A three page, double-spaced, first person essay on what “Hispanic” or “Latino/a” means to you. You should discuss whether or not your personal sense of this identity has shifted or changed in your life. You should also make references to film, TV, and the Web, as well as the two assigned readings listed under Lesson 2. Has the representations of Latino/as (and other identities) in popular media informed your sense of this identity? Does skin color inform your sense of this identity?  If so, how and to what extent? 



Critical Essay 1 (100 Points):  Since one of the main objectives of this class is to help you think critically about the historical role Latino/as have played in Hollywood film this assignment asks you to critically analyze a film for the way it represents Latinos.  Check the website or email your TA for a list of the films you may analyze.  You must analyze one of these films. Your grade will be based on the clarity and relevance of your thesis statement, clear and concise writing, and adherence to the assignment guidelines. Your paper must be double-spaced, include one-inch margins all-around, be no less than five (5) pages long, and include:

  1. A clear thesis statement that structures your analysis of the film.

  2. An analysis of a Latino/a stereotype in the film using Ramírez Berg’s definition.

  3. Reference at least two additional readings from the bibliography under Resources.

  4. In your analysis, make sure to discuss at least three scenes from the film that will drive your argument to a conclusion.

Critical Essay 2 (100 Points):  Applying what you have learned from our evaluation of your first paper, this assignment also asks you to compare and contrast two films for the way they represent Latino/as.  Check the website or email your TA for a list of the films you may analyze.  You must analyze two of these films. Your grade will be based on the clarity and relevance of your thesis statement, clear and concise writing, and adherence to the assignment guidelines. Your paper must be double-spaced, include one-inch margins all-around, be no less than ten (10) pages long, and include:

  1. A clear thesis statement that structures your analysis of the film.

  2. An analysis of a Latino/a stereotype in the film using Ramírez Berg’s definition.

  3. Reference at least two additional readings from the bibliography under Resources.

  4. In your analysis, make sure to discuss at least three scenes from the film that will drive your argument to a conclusion.

Grading Scale - 0 to 400 Points
A+   ..... 400+ Points

A     ..... 372 - 399 Points

A-    ..... 360 - 371 Points

B+   ..... 352 - 359 Points

B     ..... 332 - 351 Points

B-    ..... 320 - 331 Points

C+   ..... 312 - 319 Points

C     ..... 280 - 311 Points

D     ..... 240 - 279 Points

E     ..... 000 - 239 Points



LEARNING TASKS

This course is comprised of 15 lessons.  Each lesson includes all or some of these tasks:



1.  Reading: Read a chapter from the assigned book or an essay from a journal.

2.  Reading Review: Reconsider Key Concepts from the Readings

3.  Website: Surf Relevant Websites

4.  Screening: Study Films Screened for Class

5. Montage: View montage images of Latino/as in Hollywood

6.  Lecture: Listen to Audio Lectures with PowerPoint Slides

7. Music: Listen to Music Relevant to the Class

8.  Media Clips: Review Scenes Referenced in Readings & Lectures

9.  eBoard: Pose and Answer Questions on the Electronic Bulletin Board

 

Lesson 1:  Introduction (Monday, 3/19)



Website: Wikipedia: “Hispanic”

Wikipedia: “Latino”



Lecture: What is this course about?

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 2:  Identity and Skin Color (Wednesday, 3/21)
Reading: Ethnic Labels/Latino Lives (Suzanne Obler, 1995)

“Complexion” (Richard Rodriquez, 1992)



Reading Review

Screening: Born in East L.A. (Cheech Marin, 1987)

Montage: United Colors of Latino/a

Lecture: What does a Latino/a look like?

Music: Born in the U.S.A. (Bruce Springsteen, 1984)

Film Clips: Born in East L.A. (Cheech Marin, 1987) Clip #2 Clip #3 Clip #4 Clip #5

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Personal Essay: Due via email attachment on Friday, 3/23, by 9:00am.
Lesson 3:       Stereotyping (Friday, 3/23)

Reading:       Latino Images in Film, pp. 13-37 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

                     Reading Review



Website: Wikipedia: Stereotyping

Screening:  Touch of Evil/ (Orson Welles, 1958)

Montage: Brownface

Lecture:       What are stereotypes?

Film Clips: Touch of Evil/ (Orson Welles, 1958) Clip #2

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 4: Stereotypes and Cinema (Monday, 3/26)

Reading: Latino Images in Film, pp. 38-65 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

Reading Review

WebSite: Wikipedia: Ethnic Stereotypes in Film

Screening: Falling Down (Joel Schumacher, 1993)

Lecture: How do stereotypes function in film?

Film Clips: Falling Down (Joel Schumacher, 1993)

Raiders of the Lost Arc (Steven Spielberg, 1981)

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates

 

Lesson 5Good Neighbors (Wednesday, 3/28)



Reading: Latino Images in Film, pp. 66-86 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

“The Demands of Authenticity” (Brian O’Neil, 2001)



Reading Review

Screening: Flying Down to Rio (Thorton Freeland, 1933)

Montage: Spitfires, Tuttie Fruitis and Good Neighbors

Outlaws


Lecture: How about some Latino stereotypes?

Film Clips: Anaconda (Louis Llosa, 1997)

Three Amigos (John Landis, 1986)

Flying Down to Rio (Thornton Freeland, 1933)

Scarface (Brian De Plama, 1983)

Six Days, Seven Nights (Ivan Reitman, 1998)

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 6The Hollywood Border (Friday, 3/30)

Reading: Latino Images in Film, pp. 111-127 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

Salt of the Earth” (Cathrine Lavender, 1998)



Reading Review

Website: PBS – Interactive Timeline of the Border & Santa Fe Conference

Screening: Salt of the Earth (Herbert Biberman, 1953)

Lecture: To assimilate or not to assimilate?

Film Clips: Salt of the Earth (Herbert Biberman, 1953) Clip #2

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 7Cowboys & Indians & Mexicans (Monday, 4/2)

Reading:        Latino Images in Film, pp. 128-152 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

                      Reading Review



Screening: Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948)

Lecture: How are Latino/as represented in the Western?

Film Clips: Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)

My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)

Fort Apache (John Ford, 1948) Clip #2

The Searchers (John Ford, 1959) Clip #2 Clip #3

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (John Ford, 1962)

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Critical Review 1: Due via email attachment on Tuesday, 4/3, by 9:00am.
Lesson 8The Inner City in the 1960s (Wednesday, 4/4)

Reading: “A Puerto Rican Reading of the America of West Side Story”

(Alberto Sandoval Sanchez, 1999)



Reading Review

Website: Wikipedia: List of famous Puerto Ricans

Screening: West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise, 1961)

Montage: Puerto Rican Stars

Lecture:       How can a cockroach also be a shark?

Film Clips: West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise, 1961) Clip #2

eBoard:          Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 9Rican Performances (Friday, 4/6)

Reading: “Jennifer’s Butt” (Frances Negrón-Muntaner, 1997)

Reading Quiz

WebSite: Wikipedia: Jennifer Lopez

Screening: Selena (Gregory Nava, 1997)

Montage: The Many Parts of J-Lo

Lecture: What’s a crossover butt?

FilmClip: Selena (Gregory Nava, 1997)

Maid in Manhattan (Wayne Wang, 2002)

The Wedding Planner (Adam Shankman, 2001)

In Living Color (Keenen Ivory Wayans, 1990 – 94)

Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)

White Men Can’t Jump (Ron Shelton, 1992)

Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 10Hollywood’s Alien (Monday, 4/9)

Reading: Latino Images in Film, pp. 153-182 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

Reading Review

Screening: Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

Montage: Crossing the Galactic Border

Lecture:       Who are the “reel” aliens?

Film Clips: The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) Clip #2 Clip #3 Clip #4 Clip #5

Aliens (James Cameron, 1986) Clip #2

eBoard:          Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 11:      Historical Aliens (Wednesday, 4/11)

Reading: “Traversing Borders with Paul Espinosa” (Daniel Bernardi, 2007)

“Indigenism, (IN)visibility” (John T. Caldwell, 2007)



Reading Review

Screening:  “Illegal Aliens Entering the US” on Nightline (ABC News, 1980 - Present)

Uneasy Neighbors (Paul Espinosa, 1989)

Rancho California (John T. Caldwell, 2003)

Lecture:       What about that other alien?

Film Clips: Illegal Aliens Entering the U/Nightline (ABC News, 1988)

Uneasy Neighbors (Paul Espinosa, 1989) Clip #2

Rancho California (John T. Caldwell, 2003) Clip #2

eBoard:          Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 12:     A Latina’s Voice (Friday, 4/13)

Reading:       Latino Images in Film, pp. 185-218 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

“An Interview with Lordes Portillo” (Michelle Martinez, 2007)

                     Reading Review

Website: Aztlan Film Institute's Top 100 List

Screening:  La Ofrenda: Days of the Dead (Lordes Portillo, 1989)

The Devil Never Sleeps (Lordes Portillo, 1994)

Lecture:      Is authenticity possible?

Film Clips: La Ofrenda (Lordes Portillo, 1989) Clip #2

The Devil Never Sleeps (Lordes Portillo, 1995) Clip #2 Clip #3



eBoard:         Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 13: Resisting History (Monday, 4/16)

Reading: Latino Images in Film, pp. 87-108 (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

Reading Review

Screening: Zoot Suit (Luis Valdez, 1981)

Lecture: Resistance ain’t futile, is it?

Film Clips: Zoot Suit (Luis Valdez, 1981) Clip #2 Clip #3 Clip #4

eBoard: Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 14:     Hollywood’s Future (Wednesday, 4/18)
Reading:       Latino Images in Film (219-261) (Charles Ramírez Berg, 2002)

“An Interview with Moctesuma Esparza” (Kathryn F. Galan, 2007)

                     Reading Review

Screening: Walkout (2006)

Lecture:       So where are we… again?

Film Clips: Resurrection Boulevard (Denise Lioni, 2000) Clip #2 Clip #3

Bedhead (Robert Rodriquez, 1990)

El Mariachi (Robert Rodriquez, 1993)

Walkout (2006) Clip #2 Clip #3



eBoard:          Discuss with Classmates
Lesson 15:     Now What? (Friday, 4/20)

Website: National Association of Latino Independent Producers

Lecture:       Review

eBoard:          Discuss with Classmates
Critical Review 2:   Due to you instructor as an email attachment on Monday, April 23, by 9:00am MST





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