Family Photograph Project
In time for Lec #3, choose a candid family photograph. You - an earlier version of you - may be present, if you choose, but that presence isn't essential. Give yourself two sessions of 15-20 minutes each to study the photo. After the second encounter, write for at least an hour generating some response/interpretation/reading of the photo. You know your schedule and your preferences (and your access of family photos); schedule your exercise and submit the written text (and a copy of the photo) on Lec #3. If you'd prefer that this exercise or this photo not be posted for everyone in class to read, you have that option.
For Lec #9, each team of students was asked to show 5-10 minutes of John Ford's 1940 film The Grapes of Wrath and teach the class about the following topics:
- Team 1: The differences between the novel and the film in terms of politics.
- Team 2: Why the film omits the "inter-chapters." How does Ford compensate (or does he?) to achieve the effects of the generalizing inter-chapters? Or do you conclude that the purposes of the film and the novel are simply different?
- Team 3: The differences between the ending sequences of the novel and the ending of the film.
- Team 4: The visual texture of the Ford film. Does it derive from Farm Security Administration photos or Dorothea Lange, or from somewhere else? How do the moving images "translate" the film, or is Ford addressing a different set of issues?
Find an archive and edit it. Write a short (4-5 pages) introduction in which you explain your choices and the principles of choice or the ideology or the emotions that your sequencing highlights (or invents). For your archive, you could use The Family of Man photos, FSA photos, photos of Japanese internment camps, Walker Evans photos both included and excluded from the Agee collaboration, shots from the Lodz ghetto, Smithsonian digital archives... find something of interest; discover its importance and lay out an exhibition that demonstrates/reveals/teaches/enacts that importance.
You should submit a one-paragraph proposal/description of your plans for this project, some time between Lec #8 and Lec #9. During the last two class meetings, everyone will give a short (15-20 minute) presentation of the project. By seven days after Lec #11, submit a write-up of the project; this written account may take the form of a traditional paper, or the form of "curator's notes" or a critic's remarks that accompany traditional exhibitions, or some other format.