DRAFT COPY of FINAL EXAM QUESTIONS: (Subject to change, but this should help for your studying)

1) In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “if a nation expects to be ignorant and free…it expects what never was and never will be.”  Write an essay in which you discuss the ways that the rise of public relations in the 20th and 21st centuries relates to Jefferson’s concern.  How has the field of public relations been used to mislead, distract, and/or inform the public? How do you think shifting ideas about the public, and changing strategies for communicating with the public, have affected the quality of public awareness and civic engagement?

You must:

A. Ground your argument historically by utilizing clear examples from at least three of the following in developing your essay: “Century of the Self,” “Visiting Edward Bernays,” “Selling Lucky Strike Cigarettes to Women,” or online reserve selections from Walter Lippmann.

B. Cite examples from recent events in contemporary society to support illustrate your argument.

2) In The Photoplay: A Psychological Study (1916), Hugo Münsterberg claimed that movies “act as our imagination acts. [They have] the mobility of our ideas which are not controlled by the physical necessity of outer events but by the psychological laws for the association of ideas.  In our mind past and future become intertwined with the present. The photoplay obeys the laws of the mind rather than those of the outer world.”

Imagine that you are a film critic writing for a New York City newspaper in 1924. Write a review of “Sherlock, Jr.” (1924) as if you had just watched it for the first time. Compare it to “The Kleptomaniac” (1905) and “A Corner in Wheat” (1909), making specific references to plot, scenes and filmmaking techniques used in each film. Discuss the evolution of storytelling from a method based on the factual presentation of “outer events” to one that increasingly “obeys the laws of the mind.” Also include ideas about changing audiences, making reference to lectures and the “City Lights” article. What social developments may have influenced the change towards an increasingly psychological approach to storytelling?

3) Edward Bernays argued that “the right to persuade” was a natural extension of the Bill of Rights, and that public relations techniques were consistent with the values of democracy. To what extent do you agree, or disagree with Bernays’ argument? Write a well-argued essay in which you juxtapose pro- and counter-arguments. What is your final conclusion? Be sure to read Bernays’s “Engineering of Consent,” Ewen’s “Visiting Edward Bernays,” and the Walter Lippmann selections before attempting to answer this question.  Your essay should demonstrate a working familiarity with these texts, and with pertinent issues raised in the second half of the course.

4) In lectures, as well as in Bernays’ “Selling Lucky Strike Cigarettes to Women,” we see how advertising, from the 1920s onwards, began to speak less about the products being sold and more and more about the lives, aspirations, and anxieties of prospective consumers. Discuss the ways three social realities of an emerging consumer society helped propel this change. What assumptions about “consumers” and the best way to persuade them may have contrib­uted to the emergence of modern advertising strategies? Select a recent magazine advertisement or television commercial that has appeared this semester (between September and December 2011) and discuss how the lived experience of consumers [including desires, fears and/or aspirations] continues to be reflected in product advertising. Be sure to include a copy or detailed description of the adver­tisement you are analyzing along with your answer.

5) In the second half of the course, we have explored the ways that the idea of self-improvement, or the construction of self, has evolved from Benjamin Franklin in the late 18th century through the promises offered by 21st century advertising.  Write an essay in which you compare and contrast the tale of before and after in relation to three of the following.

  1. Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography;
  2. Horatio Alger’s Ragged Dick;
  3. Buster Keaton, “Sherlock Junior”;
  4. Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X;
  5. The rise of modern advertising, and its emerging concept of self;
  6. “The Story of Stuff.”

___________________________________________________________________


Blog Assignment #9 – COMMENTS – Peer Review/Suggestions/Constructive Criticism on Strategic Planning Posts – DUE: Sunday, April 29th, midnight.

Please make at least two comments for two other groups. Really consider their campaign, and see if you think their idea for getting their message will be persuasive and effective. If not, how might they improve their strategy? You can also comment on the outreach plan or how they are thinking about their audience. This is not about discussing the actual idea.

ALSO: Don’t forget to bring in All Consuming Images, and all other readings for this coming up week (all the Bernays and W. Lippmann). You should have read them all and be prepared to discuss, either from your journal, highlighted quotes, or whatever other method you use when studying texts.

Campaign example of the week: Guerrilla Girls!  http://www.guerrillagirls.com/posters/index.shtml

FOR EXTRA CREDIT, worth up to 3 points added to your overall assignment grade.
TWO CHOICES, pick and do one only. DUE: Sunday, April 29th, midnight.

1) EXTRA CREDIT #1:   Review the Guerrilla Girls
– Write a post on the BLOG, describing their work and why you think they have a compelling or successful campaign or not. This post should be no less than 5 paragraphs, be well written, and entertaining to read, like that of a film or movie review.

Think of answering these questions as you write:
– Who are the Guerilla Girls? What is the history of the Guerilla Girls? Why do you think that people should know about them? What kind of questions do you have?
– Search for images and videos on the web. What kind of visual language does the campaign use? Find 3 examples online and compare/contrast them. Connect your observations to our recent course materials. What kind of audiences do they address? What kind of strategies do they use? What kind of emotions do they appeal to? What strategies do you consider successful? Why?
– Would you like to become a Guerilla Girl? Why? Why not? If yes, what kind of actions would you join? Do you have additional ideas?

OR

2) EXTRA CREDIT #2: Occupy Wall Street has endorsed a call for a General Strike on May 1st. Write a compelling blog post exploring the campaign for this ambitious event:
– What does “General Strike” mean? What is the history of the General Strike in the US? Why do you think that people decide to go on strike? What kind of questions do you have?
– Search for images and videos on the web. What kind of visual language does the campaign use? Find 3 examples online and compare/contrast them. Connect your observations to our recent course materials. What kind of audiences do they address? What kind of strategies do they use? What kind of emotions do they appeal to? What strategies do you consider successful? Why?
– Would you like to participate in the strike? Why? Why not? If yes, what kind of actions would you join? Do you have additional ideas?

Here are  links to resources (please extend your research and find new sources; consider interviewing people who are involved in the preparation of the strike):
http://cunymayday.wordpress.com/
http://maydaynyc.org
High School Students From Brooklyn Announce General Strike

Imagining a New General Strike

__________________________________________________

Blog Assignment #9 – COMMENTS – Peer Review/Suggestions/Constructive Criticism on Strategic Planning Posts – DUE: Sunday, April 29th, midnight.

Please make at least two comments for two other groups. Really consider their campaign, and see if you think their idea for getting their message will be persuasive and effective. If not, how might they improve their strategy? You can also comment on the outreach plan or how they are thinking about their audience. This is not about discussing the actual idea.

ALSO: Don’t forget to bring in All Consuming Images, and all other readings for this coming up week (all the Bernays and W. Lippmann). You should have read them all and be prepared to discuss, either from your journal, highlighted quotes, or whatever other method you use when studying texts.

Campaign example of the week: Guerrilla Girls!  http://www.guerrillagirls.com/posters/index.shtml

FOR EXTRA CREDIT, worth up to 3 points added to your overall assignment grade.
TWO CHOICES, pick and do one only. DUE: Sunday, April 29th, midnight.

1) EXTRA CREDIT #1:   Review the Guerrilla Girls
– Write a post on the BLOG, describing their work and why you think they have a compelling or successful campaign or not. This post should be no less than 5 paragraphs, be well written, and entertaining to read, like that of a film or movie review.

Think of answering these questions as you write:
– Who are the Guerilla Girls? What is the history of the Guerilla Girls? Why do you think that people should know about them? What kind of questions do you have?
– Search for images and videos on the web. What kind of visual language does the campaign use? Find 3 examples online and compare/contrast them. Connect your observations to our recent course materials. What kind of audiences do they address? What kind of strategies do they use? What kind of emotions do they appeal to? What strategies do you consider successful? Why?
– Would you like to become a Guerilla Girl? Why? Why not? If yes, what kind of actions would you join? Do you have additional ideas?

OR

2) EXTRA CREDIT #2: Occupy Wall Street has endorsed a call for a General Strike on May 1st. Write a compelling blog post exploring the campaign for this ambitious event:
– What does “General Strike” mean? What is the history of the General Strike in the US? Why do you think that people decide to go on strike? What kind of questions do you have?
– Search for images and videos on the web. What kind of visual language does the campaign use? Find 3 examples online and compare/contrast them. Connect your observations to our recent course materials. What kind of audiences do they address? What kind of strategies do they use? What kind of emotions do they appeal to? What strategies do you consider successful? Why?
– Would you like to participate in the strike? Why? Why not? If yes, what kind of actions would you join? Do you have additional ideas?

Here are  links to resources (please extend your research and find new sources; consider interviewing people who are involved in the preparation of the strike):
http://cunymayday.wordpress.com/
http://maydaynyc.org
High School Students From Brooklyn Announce General Strike

Imagining a New General Strike

__________________________________________________


In addition to the blog assignment below, be sure to read:

All Consuming Images PART FOUR & CONCLUSION if you have not yet, as per the syllabus.

Blog Assignment #8 – Strategic Planning – in depth DUE: Sunday, April 22nd, midnight.

Please present 2 to 3 ideas for the form your campaign will take.

What’s the “frame”? What’s the activity and/or media format, and describe the specific desired result? What time of day? Where exactly will it take place and why? And any other specifics that you can think of. Also come up with 2 to 3 ideas for outreach and or distribution strategies. Describe your ideas in memo form if you like, or be creative in how you present your ideas in your post. You’ll obviously need to be clear about whom your audience is first, for this step to make sense.

As discussed in sections this week, be as clever as possible with your ideas and imagine that your audience is pretty hip in a general way to what your message is, especially if your topic is already broad. How can you narrow your focus to something super important, graspable while also moving your agenda forward.

In addition, be prepared to work on your ideas in section next week. For this, it may be helpful to have visual aids, mock ups, examples of other campaigns you want to model yours after, etc. By the end of the next section meeting, your group will narrow down your ideas to the strongest one.

This just in, from Prof. Stuart Ewen: An additional reading:  The Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls  By: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott

Also due:

Blog Assignment #7 – rough proposal of “Our Campaign: #1, #2, #3”: DUE: April 15th, midnight.

Continue to develop your ideas – (one blog post per group)

You need to:

Create a memo on the blog and include:

1. Identify your group topic.

2. Identify your group members, (even if you already have previously).
–  List your individual roles and responsibilities.

3. RESEACH: List potential organizations or groups you will contact for feedback, potential partnership, or collaboration.

4. GOAL: List your groups goals:  what do you hope to accomplish with your campaign.

5. STRATEGIC PLANNING: List your intended audience.

(NOTE: If anyone does not have a group formed, EMAIL me ASAP and I will place you in a group. If anyone needs an email address for someone, email me.)

Readings: Look at the Syllabus and keep up!
Catch up over spring break if you’re behind. Here’s a link that is listed in the syllabus for the April 4th lecture. Identity and Body in Cyberspace

Blog Assignment # 6 – Brainstorming from the heart, DUE: Sunday April 1st, midnight.

Take some time with your journal first and come up with several potential issue ideas for the ASSIGNMENT 3 “Naming and Framing”. Do a quick internet scan to see if your issue needs a campaign, especially keeping in mind context. So for instance, perhaps at Hunter, everyone is aware of your issue, but in your own community, there needs to be some education. Or maybe you want to go directly to an institution like Hunter, City Hall, a hospital, library, strip club (well that’s not an institution, but you get the idea I hope) to highlight something you feel strongly about.

Then, post a paragraph or two pitching your favorite idea (or two). You can present links, photos or videos that help us understand your topic if you’d like. You might consider topics or causes that you have a unique, first hand perspective on.

Also, let me know if you are thinking of group partners already. Name them in your post.

Part of the point of this blog assignment is to learn what others in your section are passionate about, so that you can find affinities and form groups next Wednesday.

READINGS:  Please keep checking your syllabus and keep up with the readings!!

Blog Assignmen #5: Due March 18th, Sunday, midnight

Objectify This!

All female-bodied students must respond (in the comments section – or in a new post) to one (or more) male-bodied student’s blog post on Jeans, and all male-bodied students must respond (in the comments section – or in a new post) of one (or more) female-bodied student’s blog post on Jeans. Let the battle begin! (If you wish, you may comment (but not post) to the posts on the other section..)

Prepare for MIDTERM:

MIDTERM EXAMINATION STUDY QUESTIONS

On Wednesday, March 14, four of the following essay questions will appear on the midterm examination. You will be required to write in response to one of them. In preparing for the exam, make sure to pay attention to assigned readings and be prepared to make use of relevant readings, class discussions and visual media in developing your answers.

Seduce, engage, persuade, and challenge your reader. Struggle with contradictions. Use quotes

to create unique and meaningful connections. Answers without clear use of the readings and visual

materials are not satisfactory.

**************************************************************************

It was a pleasure to burn. –Ray Bradbury

This was only a prologue, there

where books are being burnt,

in the end will be burning people. –Heinrich Heine

You cannot, you cannot use someone else’s fire. You can only use your own.

And in order to do that, you must first be willing to believe that you have it. -Audre Lorde

1) Discuss the uses of fire as a means of controlling, deterring, or providing access to media.

How does it indicate underlying power structures in a society? How effective is it? What

other means of controlling the story have we discussed, and/or are in place today? Consider

discussing its use on both property and people; be sure to reference at least 3 examples from

the materials we’ve covered so far.

2) Discuss the evolution of visual images. We’ve learned that the earliest European images

were accessible only by the elite class, as illustrations for biblical texts. With the advent of

the printing press, images and art gained a place among the merchant classes as a signifier

of wealth. Oliver Wendel Holmes described photography as a “mirror with a memory.”

Compare and contrast the use of images in advertising with those of Lewis Hine, using

references from course texts to support your answer. Consider how advertising images

began to portray women and men. How have these portrayals affected culture? How did

Hine’s work affect views of the poor? You are welcome to bring in a contemporary

advertising photo to illustrate your discussion. Please attach to your bluebook, with

your name.

3) Catpain Beatty, Frederick Douglas, and yourself are joining for a public discussion

about “The Vision for a Better Hunter College.” The audience is an assembly of students,

professors, campus workers and board of trustee members.

Envision this scene and write out each person’s opening arguments, and the dialog that takes

place between these three people. Be imaginative in shaping the specific rhetoric which each

person will employ to persuade her or his audience.

Make sure to contextualize your answers in the course material, the lectures, discussions,

and class projects.

4) Ray Bradbury published Fahrenheit 451 in 1953, when the Chicago Defender, along with

other Black newspapers, was still a strong, influential institution. When Montag slipped into

the woods at the end of the novel, while his city was burning, he was surprised to find that

the men he met there had each memorized a book in order to keep its history alive. While

most of these books were from the “canon,” imagine that Montag met one person who had

memorized an entire edition of the Chicago Defender, the California Eagle, or the Pittsburgh

Courier, ads and all.

How might this imagined character describe to Montag the important role of

newspapers to African Americans in the early twentieth century? What would surprise

Montag, what would sound familiar to him, and how would he describe his own relationship

to literacy?

Cite specific details from the novel and from the history covered in Soldiers Without

Swords. Draw connections between the two texts and think about what we know about

Bradbury’s own take on mass literacy and popular reading culture. Be creative, specific, and

tell a good story!

5) Women have been alternately ignored, acknowledged, and caricatured in the readings

and films we have encountered this semester. Choose any three of the articles, books and

movies from the syllabus so far. Compare, contrast and analyze the portrayal of women

across the texts. Remember that each piece reflects a moment in history, but is also a

deliberately edited piece of media itself. Make sure to include broader ideas, including those

about literacy and power, that have stemmed from the course. Be specific; cite characters,

passages, and quotes from your sources.

6) If Fredrick Douglass could have given insight to Frankie Mae’s character during her

teenage years until the end of her life what would he have said and why? Utilize the excerpts

from both the Life of A Slave Narrative and Frankie Mae to shape your answer.

7) Imagine you lived in the world of Fahrenheit 451. What book would you commit

to memory and why? Why would you consider your book important for the future of

humanity? Use quotes and ideas from both your chosen book and course materials.

READ from Online Reserves: Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Stereoscope and The Stereograph”; Lewis Hine, “Social Photography” by Monday, March 12

Blog Assignment #4: Due: March 11, Sunday, midnight

Unraveling Our Jeans

One or Two paragraphs only

READ The Ends Justify the Jeans and consider this idea of jeans having a complex, symbolic meaning within the society we live in now and historically; one that is not always easy to decode. You may notice the essay is a bit outdated. Give us an update. Tell us what jeans have meant for you in your life, framing your response in the way that the Ewen’s have. Tell us a personal moment in your life that explains what jeans mean for you, but also contextualize this within the history of jeans with their shifting symbolic value.

Please include images – ads or your own photographs – if you feel that they will help support your story.

2nd Class Assignment: Due Monday, March 26th: Assignment #2– Helen Merrill Lynd

READING: From Online Reserves: The Ends Justify the Jeans, E. Ewen & S. Ewen, WEDNESDAY, March 7th

READING: All Consuming Images (course textbook – S. Ewen) Chapters 2 and 3, by MONDAY, March 5th

Blog Assignment #3, Due: March 4th, Sunday, midnight

The Key is to Picture It

You will work in pairs. Drawing from a bag (in class), everyone will pick out a keyword from those discussed in lectures or discussions.  – If you miss class, pick your own keyword from the list on the blog here.

Your job is to:

1. Find (or produce, draw, photograph) an image that you think conveys the keyword. Email this image to your partner. They will send you theirs as well. (This should be done by Friday night, March 2nd, midnight.)

2. Post the image you have received from your partner to the blog and describe in a few sentences what keyword you guessed the image represents. It’s okay to guess incorrectly, if your answer supports your theory well enough! Do define the keyword or phrase in detail as part of your post to the blog. Post by Sunday night, midnight, March 4th.

3. Comment using the “leave a comment” section next to the blog post your partner posts of your image and keyword theory. Let them know the keyword you selected. Discuss their hypothesis; why it’s accurate or why it’s not. Leave your comment by next Wednesday’s class meeting, March 7th.

(Be sure and think of your keyword in the terms that the course has defined them.)


Blog Assignment #2, Due: February 26th, Sunday, midnight

Reading Response: Access Equals Democracy

After reading all three readings:

Frederick Douglass: Learning to Read and Growing in Knowledge
John Ross: Exercises:  In the Restoration of History
Jean Wheeler-Smith: Frankie Mae

In two or three paragraphs, briefly discuss how Frederick Douglass, Jose Yglesius and Frankie Mae come to realize the oppression they live under. Compare and contrast how this realization, motivates or in certain ways deflates them. What parallels can you find in contemporary society? Discuss how the lack of access to information and media tools (computers, cell phones, the internet, print journalism, access to a good education, etc) keep certain groups of people separated today. Or you may discuss how these same tools bring disenfranchised groups together. Make links to media stories you find on these topics in your post.

(topic hints for linked articles: “digital divide” “charter schools and vouchers – how these impact the poor” “standardized testing” “costs of higher education – who gets to go?” “red-lining and race” “how re-zoning displaces” “tweeting the revolution – Arab Spring, OWS – etc.” these are only suggestions – you are welcome to find your own examples)

(Please be concise and brief: proof read your post and use images and links when appropriate. Come up with a compelling title!)

Due February 19th, Sunday – midnight. “Exquisite Corpse Poem”:

Class consensus theme: “Media & Our Lives”

Using John Ross’s  Exercises:  In the Restoration of History for inspiration, and the style of the surrealist “exquisite corpse” group creative poem structure, add 10 lines of your original prose, poem, rap, or rhyme. The first poster gets make to an intriguing title that captures the essence of our discussions, and is inclusive of our poem’s theme of the role media play in our lives.

Repeat one line from the 10 lines of the poem just prior to yours. You can repeat a few other lines if they bare repeating.

Be persuasive, creative, bold, thoughtful and entertaining!

Remember to include an image (or images) as well. Original artwork and/or photography is most desired!

(And don’t forget to select the “category” – Exquisite Corpse Poem when you post)

* Grist for your mill: Stop and Frisks in NYC

* Where’s John Ross now? Find out here!

Due February 15th.  ”My Image and Myself”

Please submit a hard copy of this assignment to me in class.

Refer to the syllabus for further instructions.

You are welcome to post your assignment here on the blog as well. It is a public blog, so keep that in mind. (see “blogging” to find out how to make your own post)

Also: Read the following short texts (Online Reserve; see further instruction in syllabus )
– Please read these by February 15
(Remember to write thoughts and quotes in your journal and be ready to discuss in your section.)

Frederick Douglass: Learning to Read and Growing in Knowledge
John Ross: Exercises:  In the Restoration of History
Jean Wheeler-Smith: Frankie Mae

1 comment
  1. rezw5975 said:

    The media are they friend or foe

    we are often consumed by this mirage

    of what is real and what is fake

    censorship has taken over our minds

    to speak your mind is like a crime

    religion, freedom of speech where did it all go

    is it too late to know?

    can we break free from the chains of brute

    or are we forever doomed

    questions we often ask ourselves, where has the good gone

    maybe within our hearts it maybe forgone

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