Tuesday, January 17, 2023

An empty syllabus and a lesson with a silent teacher: My course "Doing the Right Thing: Contemporary Films by African-Americans" in Fall Semester 2017

In Fall Semester 2017, I taught "Doing the Right Thing: Contemporary Films by African-Americans." The schedule on the syllabus was empty except for the first session, which said "Moonlight" – Barry Jenkins's "Moonlight" (2016). We discussed it until we thought we were done with it, which took four weeks (one session per week). Then we turned to the other movies on the syllabus and discussed them each for one or two weeks, depending on how long we felt we needed to discuss them. – In the first of our two sessions on Jordan Peele's "Get Out" (2017), I was silent, while the students had an amazing discussion. I offered comments at the end. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 January 2023)


Note: The other films in the course were Justin Simien's "Dear White People" (2014); Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" (1989); Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station" (2013); and Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls" (2010).

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