Final paper topics for my UMass class are finally up. I'm picking one of the following. Thoughts welcome.
3. ** * Note: Do NOT use Internet sources for this question. Last year we caught 20 cases of plagiarism on this topic and if we detect unauthorized use of internet or other sources, you will receive a 0 for the assignment. *** Discuss the issue of race in the fairy tales selected as staples of U.S. popular culture. Do you think Disney's animations are specifically targeted toward a white, middle-class, Judeo-Christian audience or is it inclusive of all people living in the U.S. today? Do the values embodied by the Disney tales reflect the "American Dream" or just aspirations of a certain segment of the cultural community? Refer to the films, readings, lectures, and class discussions for your answer. Discuss the pros and cons of the aspects of the question you choose to focus on.
4. Choose either a Grimms' tale or a recent Disney animation with a male hero and interpret it in the manner (and style?) of Jungian New Age writers (e.g., Robert Bly). Be sure to include all the elements of such an analysis as discussed in recent classes. In your opening paragraph state why you think this tale/animation is important, who can learn from it, and how the healing process will proceed. Since there interpretations can be long, you may exceed the limit of the paper's length or append an outline of further possible chapters. Important: Do not include a summary of the plot of the tale/animation in the body of the paper. If you need to add a photocopy of the text or a summary of the plot attach it at the end of the paper.
This whole plagiarism thing is such culture shock to me. When we got our first papers back, Susan basically said "If you have a 0 as a grade because of plagiarism, come see me after class" and i was like, "Whoa." SAA training this year had as its theme "cheating is wrong," but this is Smith, with our Honor Code and stuff, where i say things like "Well, i'm reusing something i already wrote, so technically that's violating the Honor Code...."
Smith owns Mickey Mouse Monopoly
, so i'm gonna be watching that sometime next week regardless of my paper topic. Anyone wanna watch with me?
At the beginning of class today the profs talked about the class reactions to the various film clips we saw last time (we wrote and handed in short responses). One of said clips was the MMM race section (which i thought i LJ-ed about but now can't find). Anyway, i was really interested by said section (and yay, Al
was in it!) particularly because so many of the examples were recent ones (especially since we watched this clip after
watching a 1940s Warner Brothers cartoon that was very racist and a lot of the kids in the class said things about how it was so long ago and things have changed and so on). Anyway, per usual a lot of students had the "People are just over-analyzing" reaction. This happens even at Smith so obviously it's going to happen other places. The profs pointed out, though, that after the gender MMM clip, about 20, 25% of the class thought it was overboard. Wanna know how many had the same reaction to the race one? 80%. There's a thesis topic in there for whomever wants it.
Some students of color mentioned being pleased that the clip included black intellectuals (i think all the talking heads were people of color) which is something that hadn't really occurred to me. I mean, i noticed in the sense that i'm not blind, but i didn't think "Oh isn't it good that they have people of color speaking to this issue" or "Wouldn't it be interesting to have white people talking about racism" or anything like that. I was also pleased that some students registered their displeasure/sadness at the "oh this is so over the top, don't people have anything better to do?" groans and sighs that emitted from the audience during our viewing.
Other interesting bits from today's class:
We're doing "Iron Hans"/"Iron John" and Robert Bly and the men's movement, and (at least) one (female) student's reaction was "This isn't a fairy tale; there is no damsel in distress." Thesis topic #2.
Watching Robert Bly is, well, interesting. Today's clip had him talking a lot about men initiating boys into manhood, and i couldn't help thinking about the initiations i've read about wherein boys suck a man's cock 'cause wisdom is in the sperm (hello Pound & co.) or something. And so he's talking about how boys benefit from being around their father, that there's sort of indescribable transference of essence or something that happens, and he actually calls it "food" and the interviewer is like "food?" and at one point Bly actually says "food from the father's body" and yes, i know i'm bad but come on.
We've also been watching Into the Woods
film clips of the Princes. I didn't realize *quite* how sexual "Agony" is, particularly the first rendition, the first 2 times i watched the film. Good times.