This is Lead TA Sallie Blanks and I am here to tell you about my elective this summer.
Electives are sort of mini classes that the TAs create for you to enjoy, usually on topics we find interesting within classics. You have a choice of which elective you want to watch, but I encourage you to check them all out. You won’t regret it--sine dubio!
This year mine will be all about Hollywood films whitewashing the Mediterranean. I say Mediterranean because we will talk about ancient Greece, Rome, AND Egypt in film. And if you’re saying to yourself, “What is whitewashing?” or maybe, “What’s the big deal? Rome and Greece were and are white…” DEI is this the elective for you. And I don’t mean that in a bad way— I actually chose to teach this topic because I had zero exposure to it when I was a student at academy. So if you have no exposure to talking about whitewashing, film, or race, noli timere! I would love for you to participate.
What we will essentially do is first talk about what whitewashing is, then dive into a condensed, very brief history of race studies in classes just to dip your toes in the water. We will watch a couple clips from movies and talk about them. Of course, this is a prerecorded lecture, so I will offer you the chance to pause the video and share your thoughts on a google doc or peardeck before offering some of my own.
So why should we care about whitewashing? Why does the portrayal of people of color or lack thereof matter in film? What preconceived notions do we have about the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians because of their media portrayals? And what can we do about it? It’s my hope that we will explore these questions together and provide some clarity on each one. Keep in mind, nil humani alienum. We may be diving into more familiar territory than you think. I added a little preview below.
Can’t wait to meet you all in a few weeks!
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This blog will document the MMXX virtual session of the Virginia Governor's Latin Academy.