Section 10: Self and Social Identity in Justin Simien’s Dear White People

Skills Focus: Exposition Close Reading—Paying attention to details, patterns, and contrasts

HW, part 1: ‚ÄúReading" Watch episodes 1-4 of Dear White People, available on Netflix (if you don’t subscribe, you can get a one-month trial subscription for free or purchase a month-long subscription for $7.99). As you watch, take note of scenes you find particularly striking in some way—especially thought-provoking, surprising, or confusing, etc. Among other things, you might consider
  • The role of the voice-over narrator at the beginning of each episode
  • The way each episode is shot from a different character’s point of view
  • The complicated chronology—the way the story moves back and forth in time
  • The way some episodes (especially the first few episodes of season 1) revisit scenes depicted in prior episodes but present them from a different character’s point of view
  • Striking interactions between characters
  • Surprises (e.g. unexpected revelations about characters)
  • Moments of hyperbolic theatricality or satire—how do they shape the meaning of the episode?
HW, Part 2: Online Discussion In the discussion section of our canvas website
  1. Identify a specific episode and scene that intrigued you and briefly explain what you found striking or surprising
  2. Read through and respond to one or more other students’ remarks

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