Student groups created web projects to explore questions raised in class around the theme of “Defending Society.” The projects each studied a controversy around a work of fiction, policies around disseminating fictional texts, or, in the case of gun control, the communicative failures around policy issues.
Policy and Technology:
Projects in this group took a more literal approach to “Defending Society,” beginning with the “Done With Guns” project on the rhetoric surrounding gun control. The Net Neutrality project explored the implications on censorship and free speech of deregulating the Obama-era policies which kept ISPs from slowing down traffic for specific websites. Censorship and Media looks at books, film, and policy to nuance ideas around censorship.
Violence and Suicide
Projects in this group discussed the commodification of suicide and violence in two popular Netflix series. They weighed the potential gains of raising awareness through on-screen depiction of suicide and violence versus the downside of romanticization and normalization.
Representations of Sexism, Homophobia, and Racism in Popular Culture.
The projects in this group asked whether or not representations of racism, homophobia, and sexism in several films and television series promote discriminatory behavior in real life.
Politics and Religion
Projects in this group explored the role of political and religious bias in the comedy of South Park and Forrest Gump