Saturday, January 19, 2008

What's Missing from this Picture?

To commemorate the Martin Luther King holiday, this parody by Virtualpolitik pal Mark Marino of Michael Wesch's much-watched video "A Vision of Students Today" raises questions about the lack of representation of students of color in the virtual angst that Wesch depicts.

Given Kansas demographics, the whiteness shown from Wesch's campus isn't much of a surprise. In many ways, for all its diversity, the University of California where I work has less justification for the small fraction of Latino/Latina students, since they occupy such a large proportion of the population of the state, even if our typical classes might look more socially just on camera.

Update: Marino provides more context and commentary for the mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because I teach at a historically black college, I found the whiteness of the students in Wesch's video almost shocking. Of course this is due in part to the demographics of Kansas itself, but to call the video "A Vision of Students Today" suggests that there is a singular experience of college education, which seems a little misleading.

I liked Marino's parody quite a bit, especially in the way that he writes over Wesch's original video.

5:19 AM  

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