Communication and Culture | Race and the Media
C201 | 11665 | Ramirez, J
CMCL-C 201: Race and the Media
Class Number: 11665
MW, 9:30 AM-10:45 AM, C2 203
Required film screening: M, 7:15 PM-10:15 PM, SE 105
Fulfills College S&H Requirement
Fulfills College Culture Studies Requirement (List A)
Instructor: Javier Ramirez
Office: C2 214
This introductory survey course is intended to provide students with
a foundational understanding of the complex historical and
contemporary manifestations of race and ethnicity throughout popular
U.S. media (namely mainstream cinema and television). Drawing
heavily upon historical resources, social commentary, and media
texts and criticism, this course will examine the ways in which
different ethnic groups are located socially, economically,
culturally, and politically in both the historical and contemporary
American media landscape. Not only will we examine the different
media constructions of ˇ§raceˇ¨ from the early days of cinema to
contemporary television, we will also take up the social-cultural
and eco-political stakes of these constructions. That is to say, we
will frequently consider the real world consequences and influences
of mediated racial and ethnic identities in the cinema as well as on
television as we progress through the semester. Through these many
lenses, we will ultimately lay a substantive groundwork for
approaching questions of power, history, ideology, representations,
and reception as they pertain to the constructions of ˇ§raceˇ¨
and ˇ§ethnic identityˇ¨ in the media.
A few of the questions we will consider throughout the course are:
„« What is ˇ§raceˇ¨ and why is it important to understand it as a
social construction and not as a natural construction?
„« How does the manifestation of ˇ§raceˇ¨ in the media inform the
ways in which we regard ˇ§raceˇ¨ in our everyday experiences?
„« How does ˇ§raceˇ¨ influence our interaction with/reception of
„« In what ways does power (control of media texts) correlate
to the notion of racial privilege? What does this mean for those
without (media/social/economic) power?
„« How have notions of (collective/personal) memory and history
influenced/continue to inform constructions of ˇ§raceˇ¨ in the media?