In 400-600 words reflect on the major underlying geographical representations of a film, TV show, music video, or novel that deals with power and inequality in some way. First, select the film/TV show

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In 400-600 words reflect on the major underlying geographical representations of a film, TV show, music video, or novel that deals with power and inequality in some way.

  • First, select the film/TV show/music video/video game/novel that interests you and watch or read it carefully. You may want to choose something you’ve already seen or read, or you may want to choose something new, it’s up to you.
  • Second, state the name of the film/TV show/music video/novel, the author, and the year it was released, and briefly summarize the plot, setting, and characters of the story in two or three sentences. Dedicate the bulk of the assignment to reflecting on the way that space and place figure in the story and the specific ways that various places and relationships between places are portrayed.
  • Finally, how do the geographical representations in the story generate implicit feelings and understandings about inequality?

Evaluation

  • The student has stated the title, author, release date, and summarized the plot, setting, and characters of the story in two-three sentences (2% of final course grade);
  • The student has clearly explained how space and place figure in the story and how specific places are portrayed (4% of final course grade);
  • The student has explained how the geographical representations in the story generate implicit feelings and understandings about inequality (4% of final course grade).

Readings:

This unit invites us to consider the definition of culture and its relationship to geography and inequality. Raymond Williams introduces a “social definition” of culture, which takes into account not only the formal works of art that comprise usual definitions of culture, but the much wider set of institutions, practices, and habits – each with its own set of conscious and unconscious meanings and values – that make up a given way of thinking and living. Williams is concerned with the character of the relationship between “culture” and “social context”, resisting the idea that social context totally determines culture and equally opposing the notion that cultural production can be considered apart from its given social context. Instead, Williams proposes “the study of relationships between elements in a whole way of life” towards producing “a sense of the ways in which the particular activities combined into a way of thinking and living” (Williams 1998, 52). Ruth Wilson Gilmore takes up Williams’ concept of “structures of feeling” in her discussion of “abolition geography”. Gilmore defines the latter as an ongoing tradition of making and remaking the world according to principles of freedom and equality. Taking the abolition of slavery in the US as an example, Gilmore emphasizes how formerly enslaved peoples drew upon a rich culture – a set of sensibilities, dependencies, talents, consciousness, and capacity – to remake the US South as a place of freedom during reconstruction.

  • Williams, Raymond. 1998. The Analysis of Culture. In Cultural Theory an Popular Culture: A Reader, Second Edition. Storey, John (ed.) Athens: University of Georgia Press. pp. 48-56.
  • Williams, Raymond. 1977. Structures of Feeling. In Marxism and Literature. Oxford University Press. pp.132-135 only.
  • Williams, R. (1985). Culture. In Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford University Press.
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