Author Archives: Lori Chen

Blog Post #4

In the Introduction to his book Seeing through Race, Martin A. Berger (not related to John Berger) lays out the thesis of his book’s interpretation of the photography associated with the U.S. Civil Rights era (1950s &1960s). According to Berger, newspaper and magazine editors selected photographs based on their perceived power to draw out the of their white readers. The result, Berger continues, was that “the media could not assuage the racial anxieties of whites without affecting the depiction of blacks.” This meant that photographs that featured the black protestors succumbing to white violence was more common than depictions of black-led political action. In other words, editors, especially white ones, were more likely to use photographs featuring black people as victims as opposed to black people standing up for their rights.

Recently, we have seen a similar dynamic at play as media depictions of the killing of George Floyd caused many white allies to take to the streets in solidarity with black Americans. We have also seen media depictions of African-American protests incite white racial anxieties about black violence.

What do you make of Berger’s argument? Do you agree, disagree, or something in between? Use the information from Chapter 4 of They Say/I Say and the “Sheridan Baker Thesis Machine” and write a thesis statement in which you take a position on Berger’s argument.

Blog Post #3

  1. According to Berger, “publicity” influences us to purchase products to feel glamorous and rich.
  2. Theses differences are important because it helps us recognize reality from fantasy. The oil paintings illustrated the owner’s wealth and worth within the picture and around it (gold frames) whereas the publicity images portrays what we want and if we buy what it’s offering, our life would be better
  3. The dream of a faraway place uses imagery to manipulate consumers by insisting that consumers could be away on vacation and feel stress-free, relaxed, and live their fantasy. But once it’s over, consumers come back to reality which may not be so pleasurable. Advertising and publicity helps us escape this reality it makes us believe the more we have, the more glamorous and desirable we will become.

Blog Post #2

Representations of women today objectify them in the same or similar ways as what Berger argues about women depicted in Renaissance paintings. Typical representations of the female nude in the European artistic tradition were made by male artists, who put woman on display for the pleasure of a presumed male spectator. However, women now have more control over their images in the media and are less determined by the male gaze. As a woman, I don’t think sexuality plays the same role in images of women today but a woman will always be judged no matter the time we are in

Blog #1

According to Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein, writers should use the model of “entering the conversation” in their writing because it allows you to listen to other people’s perspectives while you contribute your own ideas. I agree that learning to look at art work can help us analyze other situations because it can help enhance our communication and analytical skills. It helps use your imagination by looking at small details that can hold a larger meaning.