English

 Q1: Find one music video — any one you choose but it must be different from the ones assigned later this week and: 

1) Watch the video and post the link in your response. 

2) Craft a (250+ words) rhetorical analysis using the techniques from the lecture. Basically, I’m asking you to apply the concepts from the lecture to a video of your own choosing. 

Q2:  

Reading Response #1–Beyonce and Jay-Z

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**Make sure you’ve read/watched the required reading before posting.**

Your overall post for all the questions should be 800+ words (I know this seems like a lot!! But remember, this is equivalent to one day in class + homework); you might choose to focus more deeply on some questions rather than others. Remember to practice “they say” and not “I say.” Also, make sure to make specific references to lyrics (by bringing in quotes) and specific references to the video. 
Step 1: Responding to Beyonce’s “Formation”:  

1) What is Beyonce’s argument about hair and cultural beauty norms in both the video and the lyrics? Think in particular about how the white beauty standards and ideals permeate our society and connect it back specific references in Beyonce’s lyrics and specific scenes in the video. 

2) What is the significance of food in the lyrics and video? Analyze it through a cultural lens and connect it back references in Beyonce’s lyrics and scenes in the video. 

3) Analyze the images of wealth and clothing in the video. Think in particular about plantation-style costumes where Beyonce is in the plantation-style/Greek revival mansions. How might that connect back slavery in the south? What is her purpose in choosing to have black women dressed in those fashions?

4) What’s the significance of post-Katrina New Orleans imagery?

5) What is Beyonce’s argument about the police? Analyze police imagery and connect it back to today’s society. 

6) Your turn: practice “I say.” What were your thoughts on the lyrics, video, and music?

Step 2: Responding to Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” 

1) What is Jay-Z’s argument about slavery? Think about his references to the historical context with the cotton, the images of the Ku-Klux-Klan, and slavery/racism’s current impact on society? Connect it back specific references in Jay-Z’s lyrics and scenes in the video. 

2) What is Jay-Z’s argument about wealth and race? Generational wealth? Think about how America’s initial wealth was built on the cotton industry and slavery. Connect it back specific references in Jay-Z’s lyrics and scenes in the video. 

4) Analyze the stereotypical and racist cartoon images in the video. Why do you think Jay-Z decided to use this animation and showcase stereotypes? How does it connect to today’s society? To Jay-Z’s argument?

5) Analyze the chorus of the song. What is Jay-Z’s argument about race and racism and slavery’s continued legacy in America today?

6) Your turn: practice “I say.” What were your thoughts on the lyrics, video, and music? 

the video you have to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDZJPJV__bQ&feature=youtu.be and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RM7lw0Ovzq0&feature=youtu.be

Q3:  

Reading Response #2–Jackson and Lady Gaga

No unread replies.No replies.

**Make sure you’ve read/watched the required reading before posting.**

Your overall post for all the questions should be 800+ words; you might choose to focus more deeply on some questions rather than others.  Remember to practice “they say” and not “I say.” Also, make sure to make specific references to lyrics (by bringing in quotes) and specific references to the video. 
Step 1: Responding to Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Really Care About Us” (the prison version of the video): 

1) Think of the title of the song. Who is the “us” that Jackson references in the title and throughout the song (“they don’t really care about us“)? Who is the “they?” What argument is he making about society? 

2) What is the significance of the prison setting and prisoners? Do a quick Google search on “mass incarceration of black males” and find 1 credible source to cite/quote. What did you find out? Report on 1-2 pieces of information you discovered. How does it connect to the video and Jackson’s message?

3) Analyze the references to President Franklin Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. Read the following article from the University of Virginia: https://millercenter.org/president/fdroosevelt/the-american-franchise (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to help you make connections. Quote and connect the Leuchtenburg article in your response. 

4) What is Jackson’s argument about race–in particular about black men? Find specific references in the video and lyrics. 

5) Make connections to Beyonce’s “Formation” and Jay-Z’s “The Story of O.J.” Where do you see similarities in the messages? (Think in particular about police, racism, Ku-Klux-Klan.) Similarities with with the imagery? Consider too the differences: when was Jackson’s video released compared to the other two? What are the societal differences?

6) Your turn: practice “I say.” What were your thoughts on the lyrics, video, and music?

Step 2: Responding to Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way”

1) Analyze the introduction to the song in the video with the two different births. Why does she craft this origin story? How does it connect to the religious references in the song? 

2) What is Lady Gaga’s argument about being “born this way?” What is her argument about discrimination? How does this connect to today’s cultural signficance? 

4) Analyze Lady Gaga’s costumes and the theme of aliens and alieness. Again, how does aliens and alientation connect to the overarching theme of discrimination and celebrating diversity? 

5) Look for specific images and symbols throughout the video (the unicorn, the V, the rainbows). Find a couple more. What’s their signficiance? 

5) What is Lady Gaga’s argument about race? Gender? Sexuality? Ability and different-ableness? How does that message contrast/compare to the people she showcases in her video (the dancers, for example)? Do you notice a contradiction or anything problematic? 

6) Your turn: practice “I say.” What were your thoughts on the lyrics, video, and music? the video you have to watch is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1pqi8vjTLY&feature=youtu.be and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wV1FrqwZyKw&feature=youtu.be

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