Tag Archives: gender studies

Tips for Using New Day Films in the Classroom

  • Choose films that tell a compelling story. Stories provide the conduit for conveying information. Most people don’t remember pure facts – but we are hard-wired to remember stories. Ask students to share their own stories as a counterpoint to the film’s stories.
Students take in a screening of "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines"
Students screen New Day film “Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines
  • Check if the film has a companion study guide. Many New Day films include guides that offer detailed background information on the film’s subject, notes on running a successful discussion, a sample lesson plan, and additional resources.
  • Frame the film prior to viewing. Explain which elements relate to the course, e.g. anthropology students might identify moments of cultural significance and their relationship to the topic of study. Film is a rich medium, and students often need framing to notice and process the types of information most relevant to their learning.
  • Assign a feature film like you would assign a book. Use class time for discussion and collaboration. This allows students to time-shift their learning, review the film on their own, and take notes at their own pace. Most New Day titles are available via online streaming.
  • Don’t discount the power of the moving image. Students often learn in a deeper and more thorough way through visual media!
  • Pair two films together. Contrasting films on similar subjects from different regions, eras, or cultures can highlight commonalities and differences across a wide spectrum of issues.
  • Use a film to open up discussion on a difficult topic, such as race, gender, religion, adoption, or sexuality. Film is an emotional medium, and social justice documentaries can often elicit deeper and more thoughtful classroom discussions than texts.
  • Ask students to write down three quick “take-aways” from the film, before discussion starts. What did they find enlightening, compelling, or relevant? Collect the statements and share them aloud. The variety of observations may be surprising.
  • Organize a cross-disciplinary screening series. Including multiple departments helps save funds in tight budget times, and also inspires rich interdisciplinary discussions about issues that can be looked at from many points of view.
  • Use a film as a starting point for research or project assignments. Films are a powerful tool for getting students interested in a particular topic. Ask students to identify an element in the film – a character, a group, a location – and create an independent project around it.
  • Invite the filmmaker to your class, to enrich the students’ understanding of the material. Ask students to turn in questions for the filmmaker ahead of time, and prepare a few questions of your own. Many New Day filmmakers are available for Q&A, either via Skype or in person.
Filmmaker Kristy Guevara Flanagan fields some questions
“Wonder Women!” filmmaker Kristy Guevara-Flanagan participates in a student-led Q&A

I Am New Day: Debbie Lum

DLum_Headshot2I’m a San Francisco-based Asian American woman who was born in Virginia and raised in the Midwest. All my life I’ve been hit on and harassed by men who are obsessed with Asian women, and I’ve always wanted to know why so many Western men develop “Yellow Fever” or “Asian Fetish.”

My documentary film Seeking Asian Female tells the story of two strangers – an aging white man with an “Asian fetish” and a young woman from China. They meet online and attempt to build a marriage from scratch in California. During the filming, I became their translator and eventually their marriage counselor.

“Asian fetish” and the objectification of Asian women is a very loaded issue in the Asian American community, yet had always been unrecognized by the mainstream. I tried to approach the subject with honesty and a sense of humor to engender open discussion and shed light the assumptions and prejudices that exist on all sides. Seeking Asian Female ‘s raw, intimate drama is a universal love story for the ages — albeit a complicated one.

Learn more about Debbie and her work here.

 

Films for July and August

July 17th is International Criminal Justice Day

Criminal JusticeJuly 17th marks the establishment of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC), the world’s only permanent international court with a mandate to investigate and prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Over the past year, we have added important films in our Law and Criminal Justice collection, many of which address the work of the ICC.

August 12th is International Youth Day

YouthThe theme of the United Nations‘ of International Youth Day 2014 is
“Mental Health Matters”. According to the U.N., “on a global level, it  is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of adolescents and youth experience a mental health condition each year.” Check out the many voices represented in our films about youth.

August 26th is Women’s Equality Day

WomenThis year, we are celebrating the 94th anniversary of national women’s suffrage, an important step towards equality in a world where there is still much work to be done. New Day started as a feminist co-op and has some of the earliest feminist titles. Enjoy our vast Women’s and Gender Studies collection.