Get Out


Week Fourteen–Final paper or project due November at 11:59 p.m.

This project is worth 30% of your final grade.

I have posted 2 rubrics to help you shape the project—one for a traditional paper, and one for a project such as a Pinterest Board or Powerpoint.

Your final project should consider the movie Get Out as part of the zombie tradition, making sure to talk about gender, class, and race in the film. This project will help you think of the tradition as a whole, and also how Jordan Peele’s movie comments on images of race, money and white privilege, and gender in that tradition. You can do this project alone, or in a group.

Your job is to use Get Out to demonstrate your range of knowledge about the zombie tradition. Projects or papers that use a range of sources will get better grades than projects that use fewer sources. In other words, think about Frankenstein in culture, images of Haiti, race and gender in Hollywood, the Cold War, Vietnam, George Romero, Black communities and horror films, 9-11, Katrina, television, video games, and politics! Don’t just mention a movie or two and paste in a bunch of internet gifs.

Assignment: For this assignment you can either do an individual paper/project or a group one. You will be graded the same for a group project as you would for an individual one—in other words, the whole group will get one grade, and so each member is responsible for making sure the work is shared evenly. A group project is a lot easier than an individual one, and the reason for this is that I want to encourage you to work in a group if you can.

1. You can do one of two things in this project: One, you can talk in some way—a paper or some other kind of visual, or written project—about how the film Get Out is both part of the zombie tradition, and how it reformulates this tradition in a new way. Don’t forget about gender! Men have gender too, not just women. How does masculinity get critiqued in the film? What is its relationship to white privilege? Heterosexuality? How are women treated? What is the place of black bodies in this world? How is it like other zombie films? How is it different?

The easiest and most basic thing you can do if you do this assignment is write a paper about how Get Out is a zombie text in the zombie tradition. Talk about parts of the movie—characters, scenes, plot devices—and compare them to texts in the zombie tradition, such as Frankenstein, The Magic Island, White Zombie, I Am Legend, 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z, The Road, etc. One good organizational strategy might be to write a compare and contrast essay, where you compare similarities and show how Get Out is also different. When you write a draft of this, you will discover your argument—how is Get Out similar? How is it different? What is the significance of this difference? In other words, if Get Out is similar to other zombie texts, why is this important? If it is different than other zombie texts, why is this important? Don’t forget politics–the social contract, the open road, etc. Don’t forget gender!

2. If you find your paper becoming something more than words on a page, you can do a creative project of some kind where you comment on Get Out. You might start to see how you could make the same argument a paper does, but do it differently. You could make a Powerpoint presentation, or a Pinterest board. You could use film clips, do a VoiceThread, or do something on tumblr or You Tube. You can make a stop action short film, or a regular short film. You can choreograph a dance or make art. I have included two videos here to get you thinking about being creative—one is a very good music video students made in my zombie class at Loyola, and the other is a short film that was a finalist in an Australian competition. These films preceded Get Out, so they don’t really have anything to do with it, but they are creative ways of thinking about zombies, so I wanted to share them.

Pinterest Boards, Powerpoints, or Zombie Survival Guides

Any creative project will have to do several things: 1. Argue that Get Out is part of the zombie tradition, 2. Talk about texts we have read or seen, 3. Talk about racism in America, showing why Get Out is a necessary film for so many reasons.

Warning: Creative Projects are not necessarily easier than papers. I will grade everything based on effort and the sense I get that you have really thought about some of these texts. Be prepared to put lots of thought and effort into your project, or your paper. If you are doing something artistic, you should accompany your project with a written text that explains it. Be somewhat accomplished, or work with someone who is accomplished enough to make this a project that can do all the things it needs to do (see below for the themes and issues in the movie). If you don’t have any ideas for a creative project, write the paper.

So for a Pinterest Board, I would make a board with a least three areas of focus along these lines. Your end result might be to see if other boards agree—where did you find your images? —and also to see if other Pinteresters are also interested in the ways the film uses horror to create an anti-racist intervention into the contemporary racist politics of the U. S.. You should do a write-up together that talks about your board and what you found out. For Powerpoints, I need to see a reason for the Powerpoint. Is it to emphasize certain visuals? Can you do that and still have the equivalent of a four- or five- page paper? I have seen great Powerpoints that make the information really pop by using visuals. If you don’t know how you want to do this, then don’t do a Powerpoint or Pinterest Board.

Pinterest Boards or Powerpoints must be accompanied by text that is the equivalent 4-5 full pages of written information, argument, and sources. You can’t just show stuff. Make an argument with your project. Students have asked me, “Why should I do a Pinterest Board (or other project) if I still have to write 4-5 pages of information? I ask them, “Can you write a truly excellent research paper? Then you should do it. But if you feel you can do a better job combining visual material and text in some way, do that.” In other words, do your best project. Don’t slap a bunch of pictures together and expect a good grade. Write a good paper, or, put together a truly interesting project that combines pictures or clips with smart, argumentative, researched text. Use links. Be creative. Have fun. But remember, you still have to make an argument either way.

For a Zombie Survival Guide for “Get Out!”, you will have to do the first two things above as a kind of introduction, then do the third thing by arguing that the zombie scenario in “Get Out” requires a special kind of guide, or addition to the Guide. In other words, you are arguing that the original Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks is inadequate to the job because it doesn’t take race and class into account. If black people are being targeted by white people who want to appropriate their bodies (the Get Out! scenario), what needs to be added to the Guide in order for black people to survive? Does “Get Out!” hint at some of these measures?

Think about the issues in Get Out.This movie talks about many of the issues raised by other zombie texts—blackness, whiteness, ownership, responsibility, bodies, masculinity, femininity, belonging, sex, outsiderhood, mad scientists/crazy white people, consumption and buying things, slavery, the social contract, economic advantage, economic disadvantage, exploitation, trust, betrayal, paranoia, and survivalism, among other things. Start mapping your argument, and see if any of your friends want to do this paper or project with you.

5 pages minimum per person (at least 7 pages if you are in a partnership or group with one other person, 9 pages with 3 people, and 12 pages with 4). This means that groups of two write less than one person writes, and groups of three or more only write three pages each!

Use the email tool to send out an email if you are interested in forming a group.

For a visual project, you should have 4-5 pages of text along with visual work with written explanation for a Pinterest Board or Powerpoint (with one person). If you have two or more people on a visual project, let me know and we can work out pages requirements.This should be a project that reflects the issues above and the breadth of the semester’s readings. Feel free to let me see drafts or proposals if you like.

Feel free to email me any questions! You will have time to work on this for the next couple weeks.

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