Teaching Ethnic Diversity with Film

Essays and Resources for Educators in History, Social Studies, Literature and Film Studies

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About the Book

From the beginning of the 20th century, Hollywood filmmakers have shaped public beliefs about and attitudes toward African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. Challenging and updating the historical record, ethnic minority filmmakers have been re-presenting their histories, cultures, and literature from the perspectives of their own experience. The resulting films offer teachers an effective means for teaching ethnic diversity in today’s media-saturated culture.
This work details rationales and methods for incorporating readily available films into the high school and college undergraduate curriculum, particularly in history, social studies, literature, and film studies courses. It includes definitions of race and ethnicity and essays on the film history of African American, Asian American, American Indian, and Latino representation. Subsequent chapters, organized by disciplines, describe specific ways to teach visual and multicultural literacy with films, including suggestions for topics, methods, and films, and ending with four discipline-specific curriculum units for high school students. Film terminology and a list of resources to help teachers create their own curriculum units complete the work.

About the Author(s)

Professor emeritus of film and literature at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls, Carole Gerster has published extensively on the relationship between film and multiculturalism. She currently teaches film and ethnic studies at the University of California–Santa Cruz.
Laura W. Zlogar is an English professor at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls where she teaches ethnic film and literature.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Carole Gerster with Laura W. Zlogar
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 328
Bibliographic Info: 36 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2195-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1477-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       v

Preface      1

Introduction: Why Teach Visual and Multicultural Literacy?      7

PART I. FILM HISTORIES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN, ASIAN AMERICAN, AMERICAN INDIAN AND LATINO/A REPRESENTATIONS

1. Historical Overview of African Americans on Film: Challenges to Racial Ideology      21

2. Using Film and Video to Teach About Asians and Asian Americans Across the Curriculum      41

3. American Indians and Film in the Classroom      58

4. Changing Faces: Exploring Latino/a History, Culture, and Identity Through U.S. Cinema      77

PART II. METHODS FOR TEACHING ETHNIC FILM IN AMERICAN HISTORY, SOCIAL STUDIES, LITERATURE, AND FILM STUDIES BY CAROLE GERSTER

5. Methods of Film Analysis      97

6. History: Teaching Ethnic-American History with Film      104

7. Social Studies: Teaching Ethnic-American Topics with Film      129

8. Literature: Teaching Ethnic-American Literature on Film and as Film      168

9. Film Studies: Teaching Representations of American Ethnicity on Film      198

PART III. HIGH SCHOOL CLASSROOM-TESTED CURRICULUM UNITS

10. Teaching American History: The American Dream and the History of Latinos and Latinas in America      235

11. Teaching Social Studies: The U.S. (Unfinished Sojourn) on Freedom Road      244

12. Teaching American Literature: Representations of Japanese American Internment      253

13. Teaching Film Studies: Images of Ethnicity and Justice in America      264

Appendix: Selected Video Distributors and Websites      273

Notes      275

Glossary: The Language of Film      289

Selected Filmography      297

Selected Bibliography      305

Index      309