Topics: Amanda Dominguez-Chio

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Villainizing People of Color

The live broadcast of Grease saw a diverse cast. People are asking for more representation of minorities and we’re are steadily seeing more in film and television. The release of 13 Reasons Why also welcomes a diverse cast; however, several of the bullies are portrayed by people of color. By casting people of color as the bullies, doesn’t this villanize minorities? At what point does television (and/or film) cross the line between diverse representation and tokenism?

  • I mean...equality means equality. So casting POCs as both protagonists and antagonists is/should the goal, I'd say. The problem occurs when there is one side that is favored, like if they were ONLY cast as villains. But casting POCs in a variety of roles is more difficult when they're rarely cast-the problem is quantitative rather than qualitative. I mean, one minority from one specific program hardly vilifies an entire race, unless that's the ONLY representation that race ever gets (and not even then, to those who possess common sense). I don't really understand a lot of the media representation argument, as I often see people complaining that a character played by a POC doesn't possess the specific traits they want to see represented... I dunno', the media's problem with casting too few POC has led to an insane amount of projection. Just my two cents. – m-cubed 3 years ago
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  • Great question. Not just people of color, but Russians. Unbelievable how many times, the bad guy is the Russian. Having said that how many times is the bad guy old? These old tropes are because of lazy writers who want to cop out of developing a really good antagonist. I think this question could be framed in the way of asking why is it so important that diversity be embraced for antagonists but not necessarily heroes. It should be the character which is important, or in the case of villains, lack of. – Munjeera 3 years ago
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  • You have to be careful here...There are definitely cases in which people of color can/are being disproportionately being shown as criminals, thieves, etc...But that doesn't mean that they shouldn't play criminal roles...TV and the internet play huge roles in the negative stigmas, but at the end of the day, most racism is indoctrination learned from family and friends...People who are informed and open-minded, can watch someone of any race playing any role and not equate their actions to an entire people...We will always have IDIOTS, because IDIOTS are allowed to breed and pass along whatever 'knowledge' they want...Keep in mind as well, that most roles in American cinema are played by whites, not people of color, so therefore, they are seen as the overwhelming majority of criminals, rapists, etc...Try focusing on what they call 'white-washing' in Hollywood, i.e. The Great Wall, Ghost in the Shell, The Last Samurai, and so on... – MikeySheff 3 years ago
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  • When watching 13 REASONS WHY, I was impressed by the diversified cast. Finally, a young adult show representative of today's younger generation. Though you state many of the bullies are people of color, this aspect is not specifically attributed to people of color, but to all the players within the story. For once, I think the casting directors got it right by incorporating a multitude of individuals that people can relate to. – danielle577 3 years ago
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A History of Banned Books

A discussion of popular or well-known novels that have been under fire or criticism due to their content. Perhaps even discuss why that book was banned and whether those books should remain banned or not.

  • Really good topic. There are loads of books to discuss. Have a look at Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil. – Rachel Elfassy Bitoun 5 years ago
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  • Since this topic is broad, it would be best to either approach it with different sub categories of reasons why they were banned or just focus on one aspect. For example, I know 'The Fault in our Stars' was banned from a middle school, and John Green had a response to that. So this could be books banned from schools, or something else. Just a suggestion! – YsabelGo 5 years ago
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  • There are lots of articles out there already on banned books -- maybe focus this one on current or recent books. I don't know that the internet needs another examination of why Huckleberry Finn was banned. – Monique 5 years ago
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  • One especially to consider is Alison Bechdel's graphic novel Fun Home that was given to college freshmen (at Duke I believe?), which many students declined to read, and even protested, because its of graphic depictions of lesbian sex. It's a complicated issue, considering there are even more liberal people who agreed that freshmen shouldn't be forced to read something of that nature. I, on the other hand, totally support the school's decision to use the book. That's just a more recent example in case you're looking for one! :) – southdakoda 5 years ago
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  • I've noticed that a lot of banned books are young adult novels. For example, Harry Potter, Thirteen Reasons Why, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Looking for Alaska, and so many more. I find it interesting that they make these books banned when each one has very important lesson and young people could benefit from reading them. – diehlsam 5 years ago
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literature
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Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie has written several novels, short stories, and poetry. He wrote the screenplay for the 1998 film Smoke Signals, which was based off his collection of short stories Tonto and the Lone Ranger Fistfight in Heaven. This article can explore a few of the themes that Alexie incorporates in his writing. His work is taught in some classrooms, yet his novels have been challenged and/or banned by libraries. This article can even open up a bigger discussion into the lack of diversity in literature.

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    How Awkward Differs From Other Teen Dramas

    MTV’s Awkward is ending. The series focused on the adventures of Jenna Hamilton. She reaches popularity after the result of an accident is misconstrued and blown out of proportion. Yet, the teen drama gained acclaim for being one of MTVs best-scripted dramas. This article should explore the characters and how they differ from other teen dramas.For example, Sadie Saxton, Jenna’s bully, is not a thin cheerleader, but a teen insecure about her weight.

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      The Work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

      Discuss Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s work and the topics she explores.

      • Yes, I would like to learn more about this author. I see she has written so many books. Perhaps, add some biographical information in addition to exploring who her audience is and what platforms are used to reach these readers. – Venus Echos 5 years ago
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      Amy Schumer

      As much as I want to write this article, I feel like someone has a better grasp at this topic. A discussion of comedienne Amy Schumer, such as her stand-up comedy and her show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer. Perhaps discuss her best sketches.

      • I would really enjoy reading this article because I feel like Amy just came out of nowhere and all of a sudden she is this huge female voice in the entertainment industry. I don't even know where she came from! – Alora 5 years ago
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      • An insight into her comedic character (and growth of) might be good too, as the film Trainwreck that's coming out this summer (I think?) looks set to be a film version of the persona that is represented in her stand-up. – Hannah Spencer 5 years ago
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      • I think what really appealing to her as a comedian is how much she makes fun of herself. A lot of her humor is pretty relatable to young women as well with sketches like "Hello M'lady" and "Girl, You Don't Need Makeup". – Amelia Fairweather 5 years ago
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      Web-Videos
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      The Doctor Puppet

      The YouTube series pays tribute to Doctor Who. Discuss the series creator and rising popularity. Lastly, perhaps list a couple of memorable episodes for people new to the series to watch.

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        literature
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        The Girl on the Train: A Discussion on Marriage

        The Girl on the Train became an instant bestseller, centering on a woman named Rachel who takes the train daily, observing a young couple from her window. When the young wife disappears, Rachel is convinced she witnessed an event relevant to the case. The Girl on the Train was soon compared to Gillian Flynn’s novel Gone Girl. In this article, analyze the characters and what does the author say about marriage. Lastly, explore misogyny depicted in the book.

        • I have read the book and seen the film and have found some irony in the concept of marriage. Marriage plays a huge part in the unraveling of the entire story! Keeping this in mind can help explore deeper – Brittanie 4 years ago
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        The Fly (1986)

        An in-depth analysis of the classic science fiction film, The Fly (1986). A remake of the 1958 film starring Vincent Price, The Fly (1986) proved a successful remake, showing the horrors of technology. What kind of themes does the film depict?

        • Could discuss the how to do a remake right, by comparing how the 50's version was revolutionary for its time, and how the 80's version was revolutionary for its time. The original uses suspense my hiding the Fly's face through most of the picture, while the remake show the gradual evolution of man to fly creature. – Aaron Hatch 5 years ago
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        • This could be very interesting due to the advanced technologies we have available now in the film industry and in science. – Venus Echos 5 years ago
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        literature
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        Historical Background in Shakespeare's Plays

        A work of literature offers more depth under deep analysis. For example, this article could discuss one (or two) of Shakespeare’s plays (Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, etc.) and explore the social and historical context of the play and its effect on Shakespeare’s audience of that time.

        • Oooh, Richard III is great for this. It basically shows the rise of the Tudor kings & queens to power, and since Elizabeth I was a Tudor... you see where I'm going with this. – Kristian Wilson 5 years ago
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        • Might be worth discussing modern Shakespeare adaptations (10 Things I hate about you - Taming of the Shrew) and their impact on younger audiences. – Thomas Munday 5 years ago
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        • This would be very interesting to read. I hear Stephen Greenblatt is a good critic to read on this period. Take a look at Shakespeare's contemporaries too. I know Christopher Marlowe did a history play. – Travis Kane 5 years ago
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        The X-Files Returns: Expectations for the six-episode arc

        In recent news, stars of the hit series The X-Files, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, are set to return to the television series after thirteen years. As a result, six episodes will be released. This article could discuss expectations for the six-episode story arc, as well as a discussion of the show and its impact on pop culture.

        • I read the article about X-Files coming back, and the writer mentioned how the world had gotten weirder since X-Files was last on. What are some events in the last fifteen years the writers could tie in to X-Files? – Liz Watkins 6 years ago
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        The Americans: Reasons to Watch

        Now in its third season, the FX series The Americans is about two KGB spies posing as Americans. This suspenseful series continues to astound audiences and critics, but, like many shows, is deprived of any recognition from award shows. For example, this article could discuss the themes the show brings up and how the two main characters, Philip and Elizabeth, develop.

        • As a baby boomer who lived through the Cold War and entered true adulthood complete with a real job, a mortgage, and children in the early 1980’s, “The Americans” draws me like an ant to an open sugar bowl. The double lives, led by main characters, Elizabeth and Peter Jennings, as deep cover KGB agents embedded in a Washington DC suburb on one hand and as middle class suburbanites on the other, makes for deeply disturbing and yet compelling drama. The point of view of the two Russians with deeply indoctrinated beliefs in the communist system is new and foreign to me. While Phillip is seeing the positive side of the U.S., he still doesn’t let go of his core loyalty to his Russian ideals, regardless of his new awareness of the weaknesses of those ideals. Elizabeth is more strongly dedicated to their mission and unwavering in her distrust of the American system and the threat it poses to her beloved homeland, a hatred and fear instilled in her from birth. My strongest take-away from the first three seasons of “The Americans” is a refreshing realization that citizens from other countries, including Soviet Russia, love their own country and its culture as much as we Americans love ours. And I am quite happy to live in a country where that fact can be explored as deeply as it is in this brilliant series. – JanJolly 4 years ago
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        Penny Deadful: Expectations for Season 2

        Season 2 of the show "Penny Dreadful" is quickly approaching. So what can audiences expect? This article could provide a brief synopsis on the show and its characters, taken from famous works of literature.

        • A brief review of the previous season would be good to add. It seems like it has been so long since the first season! – Liz Watkins 6 years ago
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        literature
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        Remembering Gabriel Garcia Marquez

        Last year, the world lost legendary author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Known for his use of magic realism, this author could discusses his critically acclaimed novels, such as A Hundred Years of Solitude, which one the Nobel Prize in Literature. Garcia Marquez also incorporated themes about politics and family etc., so it would be interesting to read how these influenced his work.

        • This would be a great idea. I love his writing style! I am reading .... Years of Solitude at the moment. – Yama144 6 years ago
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        • I'd love to read this, being a big fan of Marquez's work. I recommend reading his interview on the Paris Review as it gives an intriguing insight into his methodology. – Aliya Gulamani 6 years ago
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        • As far as politics and family Marquez was heavily influenced by the novel Pedro Paramo which deals with these topics it's a sort of predecessor to One Hundred Years... you could incorporate something along those lines. – Christina Cady 6 years ago
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        • Last semester, I gave "Love In the Time of Cholera" a read for school and I absolutely fell in love with it due to Marquez's intricacies in his exploration in the pros/cons/fantasy/delusions/purity of love. It's something to read.There also was "Very Old Man With Enormous Wings." Thought-provoking in the idea of faith http://www.jonescollegeprep.org/ourpages/auto/2014/1/29/42934518/A_Very_Old_Man_with_Enormous_Wings_pdf.pdfThere's also one wonderful magic realism short story that I forgot the title of, but I recalled it involved children experimenting with innovation.You can Google up more free short stories of his. Sure we mostly remember him for the big novels, so its proper to give his short stories the justice it deserves. – AvaKane 6 years ago
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        Television Series Finales We're Still Not Over

        "Parks and Recreation" ended just a few weeks ago, as well as "Two and a Half Men." There are series finales that end with memorable moments, and there always a few were the ending disappoints their fans. This list comprises of t.v. series finales that left many unsatisfied.

        • This is a good topic but it could definitely be a comprehensive list. Perhaps have an organization system that represents the good parts of a series finale and the bad. I.e. Parks & recreation had excellent resolution and promises for the future. HIMYM ending pissed off all fans haha. – Jemarc Axinto 6 years ago
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        • I agree with Jemarc, in that this is a great idea that can be spruced up to be an article to be reckoned with. It would be really interesting to exemplify the qualities that allow these show to be not only memorable, but to also make waves that allow them to remain relevant for long periods of time. Nice idea. – Matt Collazo 6 years ago
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        • Cool topic. Dealing with sitcoms, it's imperative to consider how your favourites characters, and the actors playing them, have grown. Maybe, compare the specifics of the disappointing series finales to those that lived up to their promise eg. How I met Your Mother vs. Parks and Rec. – Thomas Munday 6 years ago
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        • Can't do this topic w/o mentioning The Sopranos and Moore's Battlestar Galatica. – Monique 6 years ago
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        Films that Embrace Sisterhood

        A list comprising of films that embrace sisterhood. I read a book called "Enlightened Sexism" and the author argued the importance of sisterhood. Several films and reality shows pit women against one another rather than having them work together to achieve a goal. Films like "A League of their Own," or "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" show women in a positive light and focus on their problems in a realistic fashion.

        • How would sisterhood be defined? I assume it would be in terms of feminism. There would have to be a common trend which is prevalent within all the examples you would wish to use. – Ryan Errington 6 years ago
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        • In my experience, women generally don't have each other's back. Maybe that's why it's not common to see women supporting other women on film. – LaurenCarr 6 years ago
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        • It could be interesting to see the trends of target audiences as well: are films that portray women as friends and working together more targeted to female audiences? – bookworm2g9 6 years ago
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        • "Strong women build each other up rather than put each other down" - I think this could be a great article - you could even link it into the Frozen craziness, how come the sisterly love was so surprising? – Francesca Turauskis 6 years ago
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        Television Programs That Steer Clear From Stereotypes

        The show "Jane the Virgin" has been praised for representing the Latin community, steering clear of certain stereotypes. However, there are still shows that (arguably) reflect stereotypes (Mike Chang and Tina Cohen-Chang from the show "Glee" and Gloria from "Modern Family." I’d like to read an article about other shows (recent or old) that steer clear from stereotypes (i.e. gender, racial).

        • I think this topic could also explore what we think of as "stereotypes" and feel we should be offend by when sometimes those stereotypes are actual true-to-life cultural differences. I know the new show 'Fresh Off the Boat' has been accused of stereotyping Chinese characters, but the show is taken from Eddie Huang's memoir and blog about growing up with immigrant Chinese parents. – Liz Watkins 6 years ago
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