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A major in television and a minor in knowledge essay

The issue is, however, that these depictions are often detrimental to the homosexual community, and is almost always compounded by a gay characters entire identity is centered on his or her sexuality. The group of people with the most power to change the representation of gays and lesbians in television is the writers and producers of the sitcoms and TV dramas that depict these characters. The writers and producers of these shows build the plots and shape the characters that millions of viewers see each week, and so far, they have reinforced the stereotypes of the gay community, and confined gay characters to entirely one-dimensional people.

The writers and producers of shows like Modern Family, The New Normal, and Glee can break down social constructs of gay stereotypes by developing deep and complex characters, where their sexualities are only a part of their identity, rather than the defining and restricting feature. With gay and lesbian characters capturing more air time, the danger of stereotypes and one-dimensionality is higher than ever before. In Modern Family , Cam is often portrayed as extremely effeminate, and being consumed with fashion and gossip. The lesbian couple that has a re-occurring role on the show are seen as the polar opposite, being very masculine, such as being skilled at construction and DIY projects, wearing flannel shirts, and unflattering denim pants.

The other minor gay characters are portrayed in exactly the same stereotypical way, and for the most part are only developed based on their sexuality. This leads to the assumption that because all of the gay characters act and speak in similar manners, they are a homogenous group of people that can be defined entirely by their sexuality. The homosexual relationship is analyzed through a heterosexual scope. One partner must take on the role of what societal constructs define as feminine stays home with children, fills homemaker role, socializes the family, interested in fashion and design, etc.

We can see this definite structure within the relationship between Cam and Mitchel on Modern Family, where Cam assumes the role of the female or mother by staying home with their daughter, while preoccupying himself with social events, fashion and design, and general house maintenance. The first photo depicts a woman in a strong pose with tattoos and a tough expression, and is immediately identified as a lesbian or bisexual by almost every young lady surveyed.

By a photo alone, these women were able to correctly guess the sexual orientation of the character, which proves that not only do these stereotypes exist and get reinforced in media, but they make an impact on the viewers. While useful for some purposes — scrutinizing image composition or lighting schemes, for example — still frames can merely hint at some of the key characteristics of film as a temporal art form: camera movement, blocking, editing, and so on.

Third, not all films are available in digital format. Numerous cinematic works cannot be quoted even in video essays, if only for the simple reason that they are unavailable either online or on DVD. There is no surround sound, for example; film grain is often removed; and the image will typically be cropped along the perimeter. The upshot of this facility is hard to specify at this stage. The video essay is still in its infancy, and has not coalesced into established patterns or forms yet.

TV and Reduced Activity

The label refers to sometimes widely divergent works. This allows Zoller Seitz to make his case with far greater economy, precision, and persuasion than a written piece with some frame grabs could hope to accomplish. These examples, though far from exhaustive, point up the scope of the video essay. As we will see, the format overlaps in myriad ways with a number of more established generic structures. The aim of the following discussion is partly descriptive — i.

One obvious point of reference is the so-called essay film, itself a notoriously elusive creature. What he searches for, but struggles to find, is the cinematic equivalent of the literary essay: an eloquent, personal attempt to work out some fairly well-defined problem or mental knot through coherent arguments that flaunts, traces, or preserves the act of thinking.

Television and Children Essays

It is too inclusive because there are no thematic constraints. An essay film may deal with any topic under the sun; film criticism must be concerned with film. On the other hand, it is too restrictive, for Lopate seeks to describe a certain style, or tone of voice: elegant, probing, subjective, reflective, reflexive, and so on.

The essay film assumes an intermediate position between avant-gardist and documentary practices. On the one hand, it is more accessible and less radically experimental than the avant-garde. For Lopate, the essay presents a reasoned discourse on a reasonably identifiable topic. The essay, by contrast, invites us to adopt a more singular spectatorial position. It speaks to us as embodied individuals rather than as an undifferentiated mass. While the essay form can be very rewarding, it would obviously be unwise to consign digital film criticism to such a Procrustean bed.

We can all agree that the video essay — or, if we want to avoid the restricting connotations of the latter term: audiovisual film criticism — would benefit both from more documentary and from more avant-garde practices. Indeed, it seems to me that, among academics, it is the avant-gardist brand of audiovisual criticism that is most prevalent. Other pieces seem inspired by self-reflexive, avant-garde art engaging in political activism, recalling for example the efforts of situationist filmmakers like Guy Debord.

These efforts are interesting and rewarding, for there is no clear-cut line that neatly separates academic from artistic ventures in all cases, or at all times. Of course, most products and practices we encounter can be assigned exclusively and conclusively to one realm: It is either art or scholarship, and distinctions can be made comfortably enough, based on generic conventions, for example, or institutional affiliation. But it is also self-evident that there will be overlaps and limit cases. Seeking out grey areas, exploring intersections and reciprocities, can be fruitful, and it swiftly demonstrates how random the boundaries between the arts and the academy can be.

In some cases, artists and scholars appear, by and large, to engage in the same basic enterprise, except that they fall back on different modes of discourse. But this is hardly a revelation. After all, debates about the distinctions and interdependencies between literature and philosophy can be traced back at least to Plato.

A major in television and a minor in knowledge essay

Nevertheless, the fact that the dividing line could easily have been drawn differently does not mean that it might as well be drawn anywhere. The ways in which we compartmentalize artistic and scholarly activities and creations are obviously not wholly natural, but neither are they completely arbitrary. Over time, the two domains have developed mostly distinct, if occasionally converging, rules and habits. These conventions continue to evolve, of course, but there is considerable continuity, and the pragmatic partitions remain because they have been found to serve certain purposes quite well.

I find that it adopts too readily the conceptual abstractionism of the artistic avant-garde, and does not strive hard enough to preserve the particular competencies of film scholars as scholars : the ability to not just engage with complex thought, but to pull it into focus, and to articulate and communicate those ideas clearly. Of course, I share the concern of many video essayists that the audiovisual material should not serve simply as ornamentation, but ought to contribute something that mere text on its own cannot.

But I think he overstates the differences between print-based and multimedia-based scholarship when he writes that:.

Examples of the First Choice Major Short Answer — Tex Admissions

Traditional scholarship aspires to exhaustion, to be the definitive, end-all-be-all, last word on a particular subject. The media stylo, by contrast, suggests possibilities — it is not the end of scholarly inquiry; it is the beginning. It explores and experiments and is designed just as much to inspire as to convince … In a key difference, the media stylo moves scholarship beyond just creating knowledge and takes on an aesthetic, poetic function ibid.

I do not think this adds up to a relevant distinction between print-based and multimedia-based scholarship. Rather, Faden arbitrarily maps the different means of expression onto different epistemological ideals and procedures, which seem to roughly correspond to the old — and admittedly hazy — distinction between continental and analytical philosophy.

And to be sure, there are examples. Another online journal, Mediascape , 11 has published some video essays whose rhetoric is more straightforwardly explicatory than interrogative or associative. Other web sites target a more general audience of cineastes. Critic and filmmaker Kevin B. Lee 13 is another frequent contributor. Zoller Seitz also curates Press Play — a blog springing from Indiewire , a daily news site for independent filmmakers — which consists mostly of video essays. However, the contributors to such web sites are rarely academics; they tend instead to be freelance writers, critics, or filmmakers.

This observation is not offered as a form of critique, of course, but rather as an indication of the extent to which academics have been hesitant to explore audiovisual scholarship, except as an avant-garde practice. But while there are original contributions, it functions more like an archive, collecting video essays from around the Internet, Consequently, it largely resembles and replicates what is available on web sites like Press Play.


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First and foremost, I would like to see audiovisual film criticism offer more ideas, in greater detail and greater depth. Most of the efforts so far tend to be relatively short, usually somewhere around ten minutes.

Now, I certainly do not want to foreclose too hastily any avenues yet to be pursued; we should experiment with the genre and not try to settle in advance the best way forward. There is an understandable concern that, having added moving images to its toolbox, audiovisual criticism ought to contribute or express something that mere text cannot.