Since fall of 2013, students in Carmen's courses have explored six Century Dilemmas and are in the process of creating #7. This is what each section of this mainpage works towards:
- Digital Empire: We recognize and pursue all of the ways that multimedia work and technology offer innovative systems and new designs; but we are also critical of new-age, media monopolies and cartels.
- Hyper-Standardization of Schools & Minds: We interrogate a system of education that has expanded in complicated ways, serving far more peoples, but also often requiring a one-size-fits-all chokehold in dollar-driven enterprises; we articulate 21st century education in people/soul-sustaining ways.
- Neoliberalism and Globalization: We make capitalism a word, idea, and practice that needs to be noticed, questioned, and resituated as it changes its current shapes and forms.
- Racism in a Post-Katrina Era: We look at and understand the ways that structural racism still impacts life chances and social organization; we imagine new futures.
- Patriarchy and (Hetero)Sexism: We look at and understand the ways that patriarchy, homophobia, and (hetero)sexism still impact life chances and social organization; we imagine new futures.
- Monolingual Dominance: We challenge taken-for-granted privileges and stratification under monolingualism; we embrace new, more complicated ways of using and being in language.
- The Media-Entertainment Industrial Complex (currently in progress): We interrogate the ways that new forms of entertainment and media have as many radical possibilities as harmful ones. We intend to examine and understand the difference.
Consider these pages like the wikipedia for the class— the course-pedia. Each page is designed to give you a foundation, the skeleton under the muscles and skins of your writing, ideas, opinions, and perspectives. There is nothing here to memorize here; it is about knowing what you are talking about. As you begin to think about your final research project in this course, think about the large, underlying issues. You cannot, for instance, write a paper about neoliberalism or the entertainment industry as a TOPIC, but you most certainly must think about these issues if you want, like many students in the course, to research how and why young people are negatively influenced by media representations of beauty.
Each page here attempts to be multidimensional: visuals, music, print texts, webtexts, videos, interviews/lectures, vlogs, etc. Please make sure you play the song that goes with the page. Unfortunately, on this paltform, there is no autoplay.
In the words of Sylvia Wynter, nothing is ever simple. There is always an idea behind it. This part of the course represents some of the most central ideas behind all of the “simple” things we are saying, writing, and doing. You will NOT be expected to study each page or section. You will select only those areas where you would like to think and write more. You will quickly see that these pages are overlapping and could cross-pollinate.
The pages will be expanded as we move through the semester and after the semester. The nature of a website makes it possible to continually grow and update these modules and pages with your assistance. After the semester is over (when grades are already submitted so that you can be assured that this is completely optional), you can add your own work as a page for future classes to examine.