WHAT IS 'RACE'? WHAT IS 'ETHNICITY'?
How are race and ethnicity produced in film?
- What are the stereotypes?
- How are they produced? (invisibility/absence,
albescence, reassignment, through allegory, the
grotesque, and more!)
Can popular culture offer a critique on stereotypes of race and ethnicity?
Are we breaking away from the stereotypes, or re-instillingthe same old stereotypes in new and
subtle (or overt) ways?
— Examples in readings: District 9, Avatar, Borat
— Film: Mickey Mouse Monopoly
Thinking about "Race"
- Ideology: the beliefs and values of a society that are a product of socio-cultural and political
processes, which mask this historical process, resulting in the seemingly natural and
unchangeable nature of these beliefs and values
- Stereotypesand subtle
○ "speculative fiction… should by definition provide a canvas to five free rein to the
imagination, to boldly go where no trope has gone before"
○ This genre of moviehas "...consistentlyfailed (or refused) to imagine blacks in ways that
IMAGES AND IDEOLOGIES OF BLACKNESS:
INVISIBILITY AND CONCEALMENT
— Avatarism:‘black’ physically absent, represented as something else
— Star Wars and Transformers“...utilize burlesque to ethnically and
racially mark robot and human actors...” as black (Russell 2013:
◦ Example: Jar Jar Binks jive talking buffoon, From Star Wars: the Phantom Menace
Hyper-sexuality and other ‘traits’
— Sexual predators and African Queens
- Male is seen as a sexual predator
◦ Examples: King Kong, Alien 1979,Alien 1986
ALBESCENCE: "ACT OF BECOMING WHITE"
— Foreign investmentsand market demands --> ‘white’ leads
— Race represented in essentialized forms
◦ Exs: Japanese Anime - race as names, hair styles, clothing...
— Appearances of race for comedy depends on stereotypes
- Race represented in essentialized forms: Anime - has become moreglobally popular, especially
in the West, resulting in the characters of "white"
- Persistenceof stereotypesand ideologies circulate through popular culture
— “the futur