1. Considering your readings and our class discussions up to this point, in what ways do you think the media and advertising play a role inbabymcds.jpg perpetuating and justifying current power relationships through the selling of material goods? In what ways does the media perpetuate hegemony? Give at least one solid example and discuss it in these terms.
  2. Consider the saying ‘You are what you consume.’ What examples from your own life can you identify that help to further explain this concept? Think about the products, clothes, food, and services you buy; in what ways do these lend to your sense of identity? How does what you consume fall into a hegemonic ideology?
  3. Describe, explain, and give your own example that illuminates your understanding of the “More Factor.” Be sure to tie your example inhegemony.gif with the readings (provide textual examples that help further explain or highlight your own cultural example).
  4. Consider Shames’ argument about America’s “frontier history” and its effects on consumer behavior. In what ways is this idea or concept about “frontier history” still influencing contemporary culture and our current levels of consumerism? Give an example and discuss.
  5. What contemporary example can you provide that is equivalent (or nearly equivalent) to the ideas and concepts Fred Davis discusses in regards to jeans? In other words, what is a current parallel material product that is as seemingly ubiquitous and pervasive as jeans? How does your example reflect the concepts we’ve read about and discussed: consumerism? ideology? hegemony?

Next week’s blog response is below this post.

For those of you who are interested, the Institute for the Study of Women & Gender in the Arts and Media here at Columbia is co-sponsoring an event on Darfur. For those who go, if you want to write a little something about your thoughts on the symposium or exhibit, I’ll give extra credit.


Ron Haviv/VII courtesy of Hasted Hunt Gallery through Columbia College Chicago e-mail announcement.

An internationally touring multimedia exhibit highlighting the
crisis & culture of Darfur is coming to Chicago.

Starting October 7, fifteen community venues, including the Field Museum, will present outdoor projections of photographs taken in Darfur as a form of visual education about the richly multi-cultural region and the horrors of its ongoing humanitarian crisis.”

Join us at this free symposium during this city-wide focus:

Opening Performance
Chicago Children’s Choir

Olivier Bercault
Human Rights Watch

Daoud Hari
Voices from Darfur

Connie Kamara
American Refugee Committee International

Ryan Spencer Reed

Moderated by:
Dr. Lynette Jackson
Associate Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies and African American Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

Special outdoor viewing of DARFUR/DARFUR
Groups of 20 or more please RSVP at

For individual exhibit locations and schedules please see: and

For next week:rewritehistory.gif


Answer any one set of questions below:

  1. In what ways are historical narratives often deeply ideological? And if facts alone do not inherently carry meaning, then how do we begin to understand the significance or meaning of a particular historical event? Explain and give an historical example.
  2. Consider these excerpts from William Byrd’s diary. Is this an historical document? Why or why not? What kinds of questions would we need to ask of this document in order to begin understanding its historical significance? What’s missing? What ideologies seem to underlie this particular narrative?
  3. When I was in secondary school, my history teachers and textbooks consistently suggested that the Soviet Union (now Russia) was the world’s most evil power, and that democracy and freedom were daily at threat because of the Soviet Union. As a result, my fellow students and I grew up in fear that the next World War and the earth’s destruction was just a button push away, and that the Soviet Union would be the likely culprit. What historical lessons did you learn in school that you can now look back on and question? What, if any, historical narrative did you read or hear in secondary school that now seems problematic?
  4. In what ways do myths sometimes inform historical narratives? What fairly recent (within the past two decades) example can you provide that exemplifies how myth and history sometimes intersects? How would wejack_zipes_03.jpg begin to unravel the myth from ideology and facts?
  5. Take another look at Little Red Riding Hood, what universal story or stories can you identify? What archetypal characters? What ideologies are most dominant within this narrative?
  6. In what ways does the media sometimes perpetuate and even create historical myths? Provide an example, discuss it, and explain its relevance to the myth-making process.

For next week, October 4th, please read/view the following:ideology.jpg


Below are sets of questions. You must choose one of the sets to respond to, but be sure to answer all questions within that set. Please keep in mind what I discussed in class last week — make explicit connections between your thoughts and the readings; otherwise, your comments come across as just opinion. In what ways are your thoughts either informed by or reflect what you are reading?

  1. Consider both the Hitler and King speeches you viewed on YouTube. Discuss some of the ideologies (or “natural” presuppositions) that you were able to identify as existing within both speeches. In other words, what larger doctrines, myths, beliefs, or ideas are presented (either implicitly or explicitly) within each of these two speeches?mlk.jpg
  2. How is interpellation (p. 44-48 in TT) at work in both Hitler and King’s speeches? How does the interpellation of those within the audience affect their subjectivity?
  3. Describe, as best you can, the “American” ideology. Be sure to utilize quotes from the text. Does America have one overriding ideology or many dominant ideologies? How do the ideologies fit with the realities? Are (American) ideologies, as the chapter seems to suggest, more myth than reality/truth? Explain.

Hi folks, I’ve spoken with the manager of the bookstore, and both books ARE in the bookstore and have been for several days, so those of you who haven’t gotten copies yet need to go in and buy them ASAP, because much of the materials we’ve covered (and in the readings) WILL be on the final exam. I know it’s a pain going in there several times, but it is as much your responsibility to ask the bookstore people when copies are coming in as it is mine. If you still need to purchase either of these books, you need to go to the back desk in the bookstore and ask for them. There are more than enough copies available.

Thought you all might be interested in this . . . from New York:24_orielly_lg.jpg

We don’t know how we missed this. Apparently Bill O’Reilly had dinner with Al Sharpton recently at Sylvia’s in Harlem and had a big aha! moment. Turns out black people are pretty much the same as white people!” READ MORE . . .

For this coming Thursday:

  • If you haven’t already, be sure to respond to Response Assignment #2.
  • Read/view the materials below – though you will not have to do a blog response. However, be sure to read/view carefully, so you are prepared to discuss in class.

Readings/Viewings due this Thursday:


“Subjectivity,” p. 35-50, TT

View: Interpellation Slide Show and International Signs and Misinterpretations

Legal Alien” by Pat Mora

    • Also, below is a list of students expected to do their first in-class case study, so be sure that you are prepared to discuss a cultural artifact that is illustrative of any of the readings from either last week or this week.

    September 27th: Larry Bowen, Dwight Osborne, Whitney Hoffman, Hope Lockett

    • For information on what is expected of those doing their in-class case studies, click here.

    And, as always, please email me with any questions.