Films on Demand is an online streaming video subscription available to all Clayton State students. Last month users were busy watching the following top 10 titles:
10. Alice Walker (33 mins)
“Being black, being a woman, and being a writer is just the most wonderful challenge. It’s like having three eyes, three hearts, rather than one,” says the author of The Color Purple in this profile, as she relives her journey from an impoverished childhood in rural Georgia to the peace and creativity of her present life in northern California. Alice Walker describes how the Civil Rights movement transformed her life, defines her concept of “womanism,” and explains her recurrent theme of a woman’s recovery of wholeness through resistance to racism and sexism.
9. The Language of Empire (52 mins)
“Amok,” “boomerang,” “bungalow,” “bangle,” “dumdum,” “plonk,” “assassin”-these are some of the many words that have entered English by way of colonial expansion. This program explores how the British Empire in its heyday exported its language around the globe and how different forms of speech and vocabulary, as well as different attitudes to English, developed out of that colonial expansion. Rich variations of dialect, accent, and slang are heard in many samples from India, the Caribbean, and Australia.
8. Inferential Statistics (36 mins)
Who said statistics were boring? Using magic and circus motifs, this program demonstrates the significance of probability theory and the importance of using the correct test to analyze research data.
7. Unearthing Evil: Archaeology in the Cause of Justice (28 mins)
By grim coincidence, archaeologists are ideally suited by their conventional techniques to determine whether or not war crimes have been committed. This program looks at forensic archaeologist Richard Wright, whose work has greatly helped the international community in the pursuit of justice. The program shows details of his team’s findings at the Ukrainian village of Serniki, proving with such evidence as bullet manufacture and carbon dating that the SS had carried out the executions, not Stalin’s soldiers. Based on this work, Wright was asked by the UN to investigate 29 mass graves in Bosnia. The excavations helped convict the perpetrators of some of the most heinous ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.
6. Racial Stereotypes in the Media (42 mins)
Although demeaning and offensive racial stereotypes were pervasive in popular media of every kind during the 20th century, most observers would agree that the media is much more sensitive to representations of race today. But the pernicious effects of that stereotyping live on in the new racism arising from disparities in the treatment of stories involving whites and people of color in a ratings-driven news market, media-enhanced isolationism as a result of narrowcasting, and other sources. This program examines the relationship between mass media and social constructions of race from political and economic perspectives while looking at the effects media can have on audiences.
5. Why We Do What We Do (22 mins)
Beginning with a concise history of the media, this program explores the effects of TV and other information and entertainment sources on personal attitudes and actions as well as on public opinion. The impact of how appearance, language, and behavior are portrayed is considered. Tips on becoming a more critical viewer are included.
4. The Common School: 1770–1890 (55 mins)
In the aftermath of the Revolution, a newly independent America confronted one of its most daunting challenges: how to build a united nation out of 13 disparate colonies. This program profiles the passionate crusade launched by Thomas Jefferson and continued by Noah Webster, Horace Mann, and others to create a common system of tax-supported schools that would mix people of different backgrounds and reinforce the bonds of democracy. A wealth of research illustrates how this noble experiment—the foundation of the young republic—was a radical idea opposed from the start by racial prejudice and fears of taxation.
3. English in America (52 mins)
When Massasoit hailed the Plymouth settlers in their own language, they might have taken it for a sign that English would dominate the New World. Packed with surprising etymologies and intriguing stories, this program traces the dynamic relationship between English and America, exploring the linguistic influence of westward expansion, cowboy culture, slave culture, and encounters with the French and Spanish languages. Key works examined include The New England Primer and Webster’s The American Spelling Book.
2. Birth of a Language (52 mins)
Melvyn Bragg begins the story of English in Holland, finding ancestral echoes in the Frisian dialect. What follows is a chapter on survival as the English language weathers Viking and Norman invasions, vying with and eventually absorbing rival tongues. Lively settings such as village pubs and markets bring home the lasting influence of Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Old French. The connection between Christianity, Latin, and an alphabet is explored, as well as the role of the language’s first champion, King Alfred the Great. Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney reads from and discusses the first epic in English, Beowulf.
and the number 1 Films on Demand video for August is:
1. Explaining Globalization (56 mins)
Everyone talks about globalization, but what does it really mean? And what are its implications for the average American? In this compilation of NewsHour segments, experts from the U.S. and abroad speak their minds on a shrinking world and an expanding global economy.
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