JOMC 111 Syllabus

JOMC 111: Minorities and Communication
Fall 2005

Mon & Wed: 11am-12:15 pm
Carroll Hall, Rm 11                   	         			
Office: 219 Carroll
Professor Harry Amana                           			Office Hours:			        	                MW: 9:30-11/1:15-2/3:30-4
URL:						TThr: by appointment

Exam Questions

Catalog description:
MINORITIES AND COMMUNICATION JOMC 111 - 3 credits, spring. An examination of racial stereotypes and minority portrayals in U.S. culture and communication. Emphasis is on the portrayal of Native-Americans, African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans in the mass media.

Required Textbooks:

Racism, Sexism, and the Media: The Rise of Class Communication in Multicultural America Communication, by Clint Wilson II, Felix Gutierrez and Lena M. Chao.
Pictures of Our Nobler Selves: A history of Native American contributions to news media, by Mark Trahant. Download this 49-page PDF file here.
100 Questions and Answers About Arab Americans: A Journalist's Guide by the Detroit Free Press. Download this 4-page pamphlet here.
Electronic Reserves [Several documents will be available by the beginning of the semester by clicking on "SEARCH for Electronic Reserves" and then by selecting either by course ("jomc111") or by instructor ("Harry Amana)" for access]
A number of Internet-link articles as indicated on the "Topics/Readings/Dates" section.

Suggested Reserve Textbooks:
* Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Media, Clara E. Rodriguez
* Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture, Robert G. Lee
* Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media, Jannette L. Dates & William Barlow
* The White Man's Indian, Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr.

Course Objective:
The course is designed to introduce students to some of the complexities of the relationships between race, culture, popular culture and mass media. Students will also be introduced to some basic tools and techniques for evaluating, analyzing and understanding these relationships as they are communicated through mass media.

Course Structure:
The class is made up of classroom lectures and discussions on the required and reserve readings, Internet listserv communication, periodic handouts and films, and three exams. Students are responsible for examining all materials assigned on the syllabus. Even though all materials assigned may not be specifically covered or discussed in class, the instructor assumes that students will have read all materials and that they understand all of the materials, unless they ask questions during class or on the listserv.

Internet Communication:
All students will be registered on the JOMC 111 listserv in order to augment classroom activities. Students also should visit the instructor's Web site and explore some of the links on the "Minority & Black Press Sites" . In particular, students should regularly monitor the News Watch Web site at, which analyzes media coverage of minorities. For advice on how to evaluate the credibility of Web sites and to distinguish between propaganda, go to:

Examinations (95 percent):

There will be two take-home exams and one in-class final exam. Examination questions will be taken from a list of questions that will be posted after each course segment. The take-home exam will be given to students 24 hours before the exam is due and must be typed and double-spaced. Exams not turned in at class time will receive a two-grade reduction, provided they are turned inwithin 24 hours of the due date and time. No exams will be accepted beyond the 24-hour extension and the grade for the assignment will be an F. The final exam is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 10, at noon.

Graduate students are required to write a research paper of 15-20 pages and may also be asked to conduct a 15- to 20-minute class session on their research findings. The paper must examine some mass medium for the way it has portrayed a U.S. minority during some specific period of time or history. This must include an examination of primary materials such as newspapers, magazines, films or advertisements. Proposed topics for this assignment must be submitted by Oct. 17. Completed papers are due no later than Dec. 5.

Writing Standards:
JOMC standards for accuracy, spelling, grammar and punctuation will apply. For research papers, consult Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, by Kate Turabian. Reviews, Critiques or Research Papers with significant spelling, grammar or punctuation errors will not receive a grade above C-, regardless of the quality of the analysis or ideas presented in the paper.

Attendance (5 percent):

Attendance is required. Significant absences could affect students' final grades by the loss of 1-5 points.


Please note: Grading for this course may not be what students expect.
        A = 95 or above      B+= 89-91        C+= 79-81      D+= 69-71
        A-= 92-94            B = 85-88        C = 75-78      D = 65-68
                             B-= 82-84        C-= 72-74      D-= 62-64

Honor Code:
Students are reminded that a failure to do all of their own research and writing would be a violation of the University Honor Code and could result in disciplinary action by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. For comprehensive information on the Honor Code, go to the UNC-CH Student Judicial System web site at

To learn how to avoid plagiarism, students should go to the university's Honor System Plagiarism site at:, or to The Writing Center's Plagiarism site at:

Students may also go to the "Avoiding Plagiarism" site at the University of California-Davis at: .


Introduction to the course
Understanding DuBois' concept of "double consciousness"
Aug. 31; Sept. 5

Wilson, et. al., chapter 1 (pp. 3-34)
Web Site:
DuBois, W.E.B., The Souls of Black Folk Read: "The Forethought," and "Of Our Spiritual Strivings"

Evaluation Tools: Critiquing and Analyzing Media and Culture
Sept. 7

Wilson, chapter 2 (pp. 35 - 61)
Gillespie, Nick. ""The audiences's power over media's message" (the debate over the effects of pop culture and TV)," Reason, Feb. 1, 1996

Minorities in Media
Sept. 12, 14, 19
Wilson, chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (pp. 65-168)
"Ethnic Notions"

Native Americans and the Media
Sept. 21, 26, 28
[Sept. 21: Exam # 1 Due]

"Pictures of our Nobler Selves" (History of news media contributions)
"Native American Media," History of the Mass Media in the United States An Encyclopedia, Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. Electronic Reserves
"The Battle at Elderbush Gulch" (1913)
"Iolaís Promise" (1912), D.W. Griffith
Web Site:
Lone Ranger Page (See Web TV "Tonto Tells All")
Optional Reading:
The White Manís Indian, Robert F. Berkhofer

African Americans and the Media
Oct. 3, 5, 10, (Oct. 12, University Day, no class 10 am - 1 pm) Oct. 17

"African American Media," History of the Mass Media in the United States An Encyclopedia, Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. Electronic Reserves
"Anatomy of a Controversy," (Critique of the "Amos 'n' Andy" TV show).
Web Sites:
Uncle Remus (Background & sample stories from Univ. of Va. site)
Bamboozled Again, and Again, Harry Amana.
African-American Sheet Music 1850-1920 ("Coon-show" stereotypes in early theater).
Amos 'n' Andy (Web Page by an admirer).
Optional Readings
Split Image: African Americans in the Mass Media, Jannette I. Dates & William Barlow
The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin.
Prime Time Blues: African Americans on Network Television, Donald Bogle
Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks: An interpretive history of Blacks in American films, Donald Bogle
Unlikely Couples: Movie Romance as Social Criticism, Thomas E. Wartenberg

Latino/Latina Americans and the Media
Oct. 19, 24, 26, 31

Woll, Allen I. "Hollywood's Good Neighbor Policy. The Latin Image In American Film, 1939-1946," Journal of Popular Film, 3 Fall 1975, pp. 278-293
Electronic Reserves
"Hispanic Media," History of the Mass Media in the United States An Encyclopedia, Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. Electronic Reserves
Cisco Kid episode
Web Sites:
(Cisco Kid and Pancho):
"Double Trouble" (A 26-minute TV film on RealPlayer)
"Ransom" (A 25-minute radio show on ReadAudio)
Optional Readings
Latin Looks: Images of Latinas and Latinos in the U.S. Media, Clara E. Rodriguez
Images of the Mexican American in Fiction and Film, Arthur G. Pettit.

Asian Americans and the Media
Nov. 2, 7, 9, 14
[Nov. 2: Exam # 2 Due]

B Marchetti, Gina. "Broken Blossoms: Sexual Perversity and Spiritual Salvation," Romance and the "Yellow Peril": Race, Sex, and Discursive Strategies in Hollywood Fiction. Electronic Reserves

Spoehr, Luther W. "Sambo and the Heathen Chinee: Californiansí Racial Stereotypes in the Late 1870s," Pacific Historical Review, 2d Sev. 42 (1973) pp. 185-204 Electronic Reserves

"Asian American Media," History of the Mass Media in the United States An Encyclopedia, Margaret A. Blanchard, ed. Electronic Reserves
"Broken Blossom: or, The Yellow Man and the Girl" (1919), D.W. Griffith
Charlie Chan clips.
Web Sites:
Charlie Chan proverbs (Soundbites of Chan reciting "proverbs")
The Fiendish Fu Manchu (Seven 10-minute radio shows)
Optional Readings
Orientals: Asia Americans in Popular Culture, Robert G. Lee

Arab Americans and the Media
Nov. 16, 21, 23 [Thanksgiving Recess begins 1 pm]

100 Questions and Answers about Arab Americans: A Journalist's Guide, Detroit Free Press
Shaheen, Jack G. "The Hollywood Arab (1984-1986)," Journal of Popular Film and Television Electronic Reserves

Optional Readings
Split Vision: Arab Portrayal in the American Media, Edmund Ghareeb, editor
The TV Arab, Jack Shaheen

Strategies for Dealing With Racially Insensitive Media
Nov. 28, 30

Wilson, chapters 8, 9, 10, 11 (pp. 191-290)
"News media and the disorders," National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Chapter 15) Electronic Reserves

21st Century Challenges and Opportunities
Dec. 5, 7
Wilson, chapter 12
Graduate-student presentations