Engaged Learning Paper
Choose one of the following assignments
CHOICE 1: Gender and comics assignment
For this choice, watch the movie Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American superheroes (not the popular Wonder Woman film! Rather a documentary that is on your Kanopy live streaming), and afterwards look at a couple of comic books or graphic novels. While you watch the film, take notes, and also take notes about what you view the comic books.
Once you have done that, write a 3-4 page paper about your impressions of what you saw, with these questions in mind:
- Overall, how are female and male comic book and superhero characters portrayed differently and unequally in terms of frequency of a particular gender in the comic itself, as the protagonist or aggressor (person with agency), with dignity etc.
- What are some particular issues regarding the representation of women and men that viewing the film and displays raised. Some issues could include body norms of both male and female characters, hypersexualization of female (or male) characters, women and men in stereotypical roles, women characters being in need of saving, representations of overly violent masculinity, rape myth acceptance, heteronormativity, etc. Give some specific examples.
- Are there any patterns in terms of race itself, and also as it overlaps with gender, that you can see in these comic book characters? For example, are there many characters of non-white race, and if so are they portrayed in a stereotypical way? Can you find ways that gender and race stereotypes work together in these images?
- Did you find any images or story lines that challenged gender and/or race stereotyping?
- Research shows that sexism and racism in the media can have a negative effect in shaping our attitudes to accept stereotypes, as well as causing children’s sense of self-worth suffer when viewing themselves through mostly negative stereotypes. Given this, do you think that the images you saw may have a negative effect, and if so what can be done to address this?
Note: to access kanopy live streaming, go to: https://www.kanopystreaming.com/
Type “Wonder Women” in the search engine and the film should come right up
Click “watch now” in the right-hand side of your screen
A screen will come up “select your library” and type in University of Michigan Dearborn which will pop up down below – click that and it will take you to the streaming site. You will have to use your campus login to access the film.
CHOICE 2. LGBTQ support on college campuses assignment
For this assignment, you will explore some of the key issues that LGBTQ students face regarding discrimination today, and ways that colleges can challenge discrimination and make college life more inclusive. The assignment includes online reading and a trip to the LGBTQ and Include center at the University Center at Dearborn to check out its resources.
What are the major issues facing LGBTQ students in higher education today? Read these articles:
(click some of the embedded links in this article to get more information)
(click some of the embedded links to get more information – important insights about sexual assault prevention needing to be intersectional)
After you do that, go visit the LGBTQ Include and it’s director, Blake Bonkowski, to find out more about programs addressing LGBTQ issues on the Dearborn campus:
Then, write up a 3-4 page paper with your impressions and experiences, addressing the following questions:
- What are the key issues facing LGBTQ students in higher educational settings today?
- What are colleges around the country doing (in general) to address these issues to promote safe campuses and LGBTQ student success?
- What kinds of supports do we have at UM-Dearborn for LGBTQ students?
- What sorts of programs and opportunities at Dearborn would you like to be involved with? What additional programs and/or issues do you think the school should be tackling?
Choice 3: Gender and STEM assignment
For this assignment, you will read the American Association of University Women 2015 report, Solving the Equation: The Variables for Women’s Success in Science and Engineering, found here: https://www.aauw.org/research/solving-the-equation/ and answer the following questions in a 3-4 page paper:
- What are the facts of gender in STEM fields – the statistics, trends, gaps by gender as it intersects with other identities such as race?
- What are the key issues facing women in STEM today that are keeping the gender gap wide?
- What are some of the implications of this for both fairness and efficiency in the STEM fields?
- What are some things that schools and workplaces (and individuals) can do to address these issues and make STEM more fair and efficient?
- How does the presentation of issues and solutions in this report conform (or not) to your own experience with gender issues in science and engineering on this campus? Here you may also want to talk to some classmates about this and include it in your paper, while noting that one or two anecdotes are not a substitute for statistical research it can provide a personal element to your analysis. What might account for any differences between national and local trends if you did find any?