Showing posts from April, 2017

Blog Entry #8: Racism in Game of Thrones

In the #RaceFail article written by Nathan Rambukanna, a tweet was shared including Game of Thrones in a list of the article’s #RaceFails.

I was taken aback when I read the tweet because Game of Thrones is easily my favorite show.  I consider myself to be fairly aware of when things are whitewashed on TV, but GoT had never registered as such to me, so I did some research to see what other people are saying about it.

It appears that each of the articles was written right around the end of the third season of the show, which was in 2014, so perhaps the writers would feel differently if they were to update the articles now that we are approaching the show’s seventh season.

Pictured above is Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of H…

Blog Entry #7: My Op-ed

1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assault while in college, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.  That’s 20% of women in college who will be sexually assaulted and, frankly, that number is unacceptable.
On March 21st, 2016, the Naperville Sun published an article with what must have been a stunning headline to their readers: “Ten sex assaults at North Central in three years, reports show.”  Administrators who handle reports of sexual assaults on campus at North Central may have applauded this number, but when the Naperville Sun reported it in such a negative way, it hardly sounded like something to be proud of.
The Naperville Sun compared North Central’s number of reports to those of other local colleges, including Benedictine University, Aurora University, and the University of St. Francis, each of which had numbers much lower than ours.  The author, Bill Bird, also criticized North Central for refusing to release further details about the reports, includi…

Blog Entry #6: Op-ed Topic

The topic of my first op-ed is an article written by the Naperville Sun about the number of sexual assaults on our campus because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and it’s a topic that is very important to me.

Blog Entry #5: "Newer Formats"

“To the extent that these kinds of narratives reinforce the partisan political identification of viewers, and to the extent that they encourage those viewers to see the opposing party as morally weak or even evil, then it becomes more difficult to organize a public dialogue built around mutual respect, trust or openness.”

This quote is essentially exactly what I said in my previous blog prompts.  People are drawn to news and media outlets that reflect their own personal views and values, and those outlets, coincidentally, tend to demonize or bash the other side.  It’s extremely polarizing, especially if viewers/subscribers are not going out of their way to develop a well-rounded view and learn about perspectives different than their own.

I think that formats such as the listed shows both contribute to polarization (depending on which you watch) and raise the level of knowledge of their viewers.  I really enjoy The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver beca…

Blog Entry #4: Representation in the Media

I'm not sure I agree with the statement in this blog prompt that we came to a consensus as a class that most public intellectuals are older white men.  Perhaps it is true, but I absolutely loved the example that someone shared about Laverne Cox being a public intellectual; I'm so happy to be living in a time where she is openly acknowledged and where she is able to use her platform to lift up others who are like her.

I am afraid I can't speak to which academic fields or disciplines are most well represented in the media because I don't often watch the news or subscribe to any other media outlets regularly.  If I had to give my uninformed opinion, however, I would say that political science and economics seem to be quite commonplace.  Having earned my bachelor's degree in psychology, I would love to see more of that in the media.

From what I see on TV in general or when I do catch the news, it seems to be fairly whitewashed, which can only allow for so much diversit…

Blog Entry #3: Public Intellectuals

J.K. Rowling
Writer, philanthropist • United Kingdom

Author of the Harry Potter series and advocate for equal rights for the LGBT+ community ( and has lost billionaire status due to her charitable giving (

Stephen Colbert
Television host, satirist • United States

Previously hosted The Colbert Report, currently a late night talk show host that skewers the politically powerful while providing the public with genuine news and analysis, typically with comedy.

Barack Obama
Politician • United States

The 44th President of the United States.  Obama was an advocate for the LGBT+ community as well and is an eloquent speaker.

Bernie Sanders
Politician • United States

Senator of Vermont, Bernie has been consistent in his platform for decades.  He advocates for the middle and lower classes, promotes affordable higher education, …

Blog Entry #2: The Public Sphere in Contemporary America

I definitely believe that the rise of social media in recent years has contributed to the increased political polarization and conflict in contemporary America and that they can in turn function as public spheres.  I find it extremely interesting to observe how an individual's personality and behavior differ between in-person and online platforms.  From personal observation, it seems to me that people feel more comfortable expressing themselves and their true thoughts/feelings online, from behind the safety of a screen, where they can delete the post, close the app, or shut down the computer if things become too uncomfortable.  I've seen people be truly ugly to one another online (especially when it comes to our current political climate) in ways that they typically wouldn't be face-to-face; the online platform emboldens people and in a way, allows them to dehumanize the person or people on the other side of the argument.  If they're not really, physically present, it …