Exercise 3.2

April 11, 2019

The goal of this exercise is to clarify the central question of your scholarly research essay by problematizing your exhibit

Due by 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18th

Review the five ways of identifying an intellectual or interpretive problem taught in class. You will need to conduct preliminary research on your exhibit and also analyze it in order to determine the main question you want to explore in your scholarly research essay. Therefore, make sure to look up existing opinions about your film. Find out how the film is categorized as a genre and how that genre is define. Watch your film before our next class and take careful notes on patterns and anomalies you observe. You will use these observations and your preliminary research to create a clear, focused research question for your scholarly research essay.

Example 1

Latoya Peterson was motivated to write her essay about Kanyé West’s “Monster” music video because she noticed that the existing criticism of the music video seemed to overlook an important pattern in the music video: (nearly) all the dead women were white whereas all the black/brown women were depicted as monsters. Therefore, the central question of her essay is: What does this pattern reveal about cultural attitudes towards white women and women of color?

Example 2

A past student noticed that central female characters in the animated film Inside Out seemed to be based on common female stereotypes yet the film was universally praised as a feminist masterpiece. Therefore, in her research essay, she asked: Do the stereotypical depictions of Joy and Sadness undermine the film’s reputation as a “feminist” film?

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10 Responses to “Exercise 3.2”

  1.   Kareem rashad said:

    The “Square” was directed by Jehane Noujaim in 2013 two years after the Egyptian revolution. The documentary shows how the Egyptians made the revolution and what was happening during the past years under the ruling of the previous president. It shows in the documentary the Tahrir Square which’s the main thing that the Egyptians took it their spot to make the revolution from. The central question of the Documentary: How did the Egyptians use the Tahrir Square as their revolution spot?

  2.   Frank Lopez said:

    My exhibit will on the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. Is his artwork worthy of the acclaim it achieved? It’s a biography about his live as a starving artist who was considered monstrous because he suffered from mental illnesses. The movie depicted him as aloof and and in disarray never remembering his actions. He Lived approximately until 37 years of age when he committed suicide. I suggest this an interpretive problem and trend when artists die at an early age and they tend to be idolized without sufficient merit.

  3.   Mayra Correa said:

    my exhibit will be based on the show called “13 reasons why”. It is based on a woman named Hannah that takes her own life away. After her death they Clay finds a box and it has recordings that Hannah left explaining why she took her own life away. Im still watching the show have not finished yet but I am going to discuss on my paper how “bullying leads to mental health” such as suicide.

  4.   Andriana Drimona said:

    My exhibit which is the film “Bird box” released by Netflix is a thriller movie that represents a kind of apocalyptic event. There is a monstrous presence that is not revealed in the film but the characters can feel it in the space around them when they are outside in an unprotected area. In an interview for Hollywood Reporter the director of the movie Susanne Bier talked about the movie and in one of the questions she revealed a significant point for the movie as she said “In other apocalyptic movies, it’s very much about a natural disaster, but this is within yourself”. This is information that someone could interpret as that the monstrous element in this movie is referring to people with mental health issues and the way that society is trying to avoid them by “turning away from them”. In that case my exhibit fits in a trend which is apocalyptic movies in general ,but the anomaly is the way the people die. They commit suicide in contrast to other apocalyptic movies that they are killed in other ways.

  5.   Amit Singh said:

    My exhibit is on J.Cole’s music video, “Crooked Smile” which shows a family being apprehended and an innocent young girl being killed in the process. In the video, J. Cole is the drug dealer and he, as well as his family, were celebrating their daughter’s birthday and the police raided his home at night, accidentally killing the daughter. In my essay, I will discuss how the monstrous element is police brutality and how the “war on drugs” is affiliated with that. The essay will include the police’s methods of arresting someone, what the family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the young girl who was killed, says and interviews from the police about the incident.

  6.   chelsea Munoz said:

    My exhibit “food matters” is a revolutionary health documentary created by James colquhoun. This film targets the health industry as it currently stands and challenges major flaws in it. The argument presented Otha the nutrition plays an enormous role in treating health conditions ranging from diabetes, cancer, heart disease,and depression. However nutrition is not a main focus in the health care. So the question comes forth are health and pharmaceutical companies trying to control people’s health in order to create max revenue. Is health care focusing too little on nutrition when it can have dramatic effects when treating heath conditions? This will be one of the major focuses on my paper.

  7.   Jamie Klebs said:

    Netflix Series “Black Mirror”
    Episode Season 1 Ep2
    “Fifteen Million Merits”

    My exhibit can be taken as a display of the dangers of technology, or of the future. Adrian Martin writes an analysis of the shows themes of the dangers of technology and modern day life. He poses the question “How much is exaggeration and fantasy for the sake of entertainment, and how much is our current reality under a magnifying glass?”

  8.   Shira Fagan said:

    My exhibit is the film “Wonder.” Wonder is a PG movie produced in 2017. This movie represents a child with a facial dysfunction transferring into a mainstream school where he arises challenges and at the end breaks own those barriers and is boosted with confidence. The argument my essay is that children with disabilities should be allowed in mainstream schools, with or without a one-on-one shadow depending on the circumstance.

  9.   Shlomo Mansbach said:

    The exhibit I will be using as the base for my research paper is the music video of “How To Save a Life” by the Fray. The video depicts the issue of suicide, in specific teenage suicide. The songs underlying message is that most people do not know how to deal with/how talk to people who are suicidal. Using sources such as teen suicide statistics, the show “13 Reasons Why”, and a personal story of a suicidal woman, I will prove my thesis that “if people were better educated on what to say/ how to help people who are suicidal, the suicide rate would be reduced.”

  10.   Nirmala Yusaf said:

    My exhibit is based on a hip-hop music video “Venom” by Eminem. This music video portrayed Venom is spreading by touching or bumping into someone. I am going to use the video in similarity to how words are spreading mental illness. I will argue in my essay that Eminem is breaking the stigmatization of mental illness.

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