Category Archives: In the News

More News on SOPA

For those of you doing research on SOPA, here’s a gem:

Read “Netflix Creates Pro-SOPA Super-Pac”.



Sexual Humiliation as a Tool of Political Control?: Legalizing Strip Searches for…Well, Any Reason at All

Over the weekend, I read this article from the British paper The Guardian by feminist writer and activist Naomi Wolf. For those of you who went to the screening of Miss Representation, you might see some overlap.

The article, “How the US Uses Sexual Humiliation as a Political Tool to Control the Masses,” The article discusses, with justified concern, the recent 5 to 4 Supreme Court ruling this past week that allows anyone arrested to be strip-searched for any offense. This comes on the heel of two other recent laws that have passed: HR 347, known as the “Trespass Bill,” which gives anyone a 10-year sentence for protesting near someone under secret service protection, and the NDAA, which allows anyone to be arrested indefinitely at any time. Wold also does a sharp job of analyzing the growing use of the word “detainee” to describe, not Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan, but US citizens.

Wolf writes, “The most terrifying phrase of all in the decision is justice Kennedy’s striking use of the term ‘detainees’ for ‘United States citizens under arrest’. Some members of Occupy who were arrested in Los Angeles also reported having been referred to by police as such…Ten years of association have given ‘detainee’ the synonymous meaning in America as those to whom no rights apply – especially in prison. It has been long in use in America, habituating us to link it with a condition in which random Muslims far away may be stripped by the American state of any rights. Now the term – with its associations of ‘those to whom anything may be done’ – is being deployed systematically in the direction of … any old American citizen.”

“Miss Representation”: Free Screening on Campus

The long-awaited film Miss Representation, a documentary that takes a critical look at the media’s portrayal of women. Building on work done by scholars like Jean Kilbourne, this film focuses not just on ads but on the media as a whole. Those of you who found Killing Us Softly 4 eye-opening should find this equaly interesting.

The screening will be followed by a brief panel discussion about the film.


Tuesday, March 27th from 6:00 to 8:00pm, Lawson Computer Science Building, Room 1142

Check out the Facebook page for more details.

“This insightful documentary from director Jennifer Siebel Newsom examines how women are portrayed by the mainstream media, and how the focus on beauty and sexuality instead of intellect and talent contributes to disenfranchisement. Interviews with high-profile leaders such as Dianne Feinstein, Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem are intermingled with observations by young women who struggle with mixed messages about body image, self-worth and power.” (from

Watch the Official Trailer:

Rally for Trayvon Martin, March 28th

There will be a rally and march to show solidarity for Trayvon Martin on March 28th at 5:30pm. Participants should meet at McCutcheon Hall at 5:30pm, and the march to Stanley Coulter (SC) 277 will follow. Please wear hoodies and bring signs. The event is being sponsored by the Purdue University Black Student Union (BSU).

Seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain while walking through his father’s gated community in Florida back in February. He was returning from the local convenience store where he’d bought a bag of Skittles and an iced tea. Though the shooter is known, he has not been arrested. The case has sparked rallies and protests across the nation.

Read more about Trayvon Martin’s case.

Black Women and Beauty: Building on Jean Kilbourne

Part of our conversation following Kilbourne’s video lecture two weeks ago revolved around images of Black women, particular skin tone. As some of you noted, Black women often have their complexions lightened in fashion photos to approximate a whiter standard of beauty. The Crunk Feminist Collective recently posted an article on their blog about this. For more, click the link below:

“A Brief Reflection on the Battle of the Complexions Controversy”

Tony Earley’s “Somehow Form a Family”: Who’s Watching?

Opie, from "The Andy Griffith Show," a popular American TV show that ran from 1960-1968 and was set in the fictional small town of Mayberry.


Mr. Greenjeans (right) on an episode of "Captain Kangaroo," a long-running children's TV series (1955-1984). The show was based on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children."


Hoss, from the show "Bonanza," a popular western TV show that ran from 1959-1973.


Gomer Pyle (right) and Sgt. Carter from the show "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." (1962-1964). Jim Nabors played Gomer Pyle.


A clip from The Brady Bunch, in which Jan runs for Most Popular Girl at her school, ft. the Bradys’ housekeeper, Alice (in blue). The show ran from 1969-1974.



Like Tony Earley in his essay, consider what television shows are popular today, or were popular when you were a kid.Think about how these shows shaped your expectations of family, love and relationships, work, school, etc.

  1. How has television influenced your view of the world?
  2. What characters did you relate to and why?


HOMEWORK: More Listening for the Conversation: Education & the Occupy Movement

After reading through all of your reflective essays over the last week or so, I thought it would be helpful for all of us to return to this conversation on public education, reform, and intersections of race and class on our learning.

  1. For MONDAY, read the article, published in The New York Times: “One Percent Education.”*
  2. Listen to the January 18th report (about 15 minutes) from Democracy Now on the banning of ethnic studies programs in Tucson, AZ schools. To view, paste the following link in a new browser window:

*Not familiar with the concept of the 1 percent that the NYT author refers to in his article? Brush up on your current events and get some background on the Occupy Movement. See also Occupy Education, one wing of the larger, global Occupy movement.