INHABITING OTHER LIVES: REACTING TO THE PAST
FIU HONORS COLLEGE
Faculty: John Bailly, Gwyn Davies, Jose Rodriguez
DEMOCRACY FILM PROJECT
Honors Collegeemail@example.com/EV 124C/305.348.0297/Office Hours by appointment
This project is designed to be in conjunction with the Reacting to the Past game The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C. by Marc C. Carnes and Josiah Ober
Carnes and Ober describe the purpose of the Reacting to the Past games as seeking “to promote speaking, writing, and reasoning skills, to familiarize students with a significant historical moment, and to introduce them to classic texts.” But the further objective of the Athens game is for students to reflect on their individual ideas and lives in our contemporary US democracy. Is the US a democracy? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual in a direct democracy? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual in the US’s version of democracy? How do or should democracies interact with other states? Is it acceptable to utilize non-democratic methods to achieve or maintain a democracy? These are only a sampling of the many issues we may reflect upon.
For this project you will create a film to define or explore your position in relation to the difficult questions/dilemmas about democracy that arise from the Athens game. You select the issues to address and the format in which you address them. The films can take the form of a narrative, documentary, comedy, or artistic reflection. They can address very specific issues (trial of Socrates, Patriot Act) or address larger questions (Is a true democracy possible?). Conceptually, you can take a strong and definite stand on an issue or you may create a more reflective film that poses questions rather than declares a position.
Students have a great amount of creative freedom for this project. They must, however, demonstrate a thorough understanding of the issues they address.
The format of this project must a time-based media: PowerPoint, iMovie, video, film or other media. You may appropriate existing images, but they must be altered in some manner. For example, you may edit the work heavily or distort it in some manner. You may recruit actors and/or other film crew, such as an editor. However, students must assume and retain the role of directors. The film must be your ideas and you must oversee every aspect of it, but you may delegate responsibilities.
NOTE: DO NOT simply put existing images to existing music. DO NOT include any extended, unedited clips from existing videos.
Students will work individually for this project. Each student will produce one video/slideshow for presentation to the class. It must be 3 minutes duration or less (strictly enforced).
You must upload a copy of your film onto the internet, on Facebook or Youtube (free). Please make sure to test your upload prior to attending class.
You must provide a link of your project to John Bailly. You must also provide two written descriptions. One must be an abstract that is no longer than 150 words that is posted with the link. The other should be a more detailed explanation of the project. Both must be submitted to http://www.turnitin.com/static/home.html.
Similar to a research paper, all sources must be cited for a film project. If you uitlize an exisiting film for inspiration or incorporate clips or pictures from someone else, you cite those sources in your film credits. Failure to do is plagiarism.
Originality of content
Originality of method
Relationship of content to method
All current FIU students can loan media equipment from University Technology Services. UTS is located on the ground floor of the Green Library.
Watch film projects made by students of The Honors College at FIU:
TOPICS FOR FILMS
Below are questions provided by Marc Carnes and Josiah Ober. If a student wishes to address a different issue, please discuss it with John Bailly.
What is democracy?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of democracy?
What is the proper relation between democracy and free speech?
What “rights” and responsibilities does an individual possess to participate in government and why?
Are democratic states more prone to imperialism?
What are the obligations of the rich to the poor, and vice versa?
What should be the role of the state in educating its citizens?
Should men and women have different roles in governance?
Are representative governments—such as that of the United States—true democracies?
What are the origins of society?
What caused the rise of the first democracy in Athens in the 6th and 5th century B.C.?
What sort of democracy did the ancient Athenians construct?
What were its strengths and weaknesses?
What happened to democracy in the ancient world?
What is the relationship between imperialism and democracy?
What precipitated the tension between Athens and Sparta and what was the outcome?
What are the foundation assumptions about democratic rule? Are they justified?
What type of society did Plato envision in The Republic and how did he justify it?
What is the Platonic conception of justice? Of human nature? Of the meaning of truth and the purposes of knowledge?
How did oligarchs justify their system of government?
Can democracy tolerate critics who wish to destroy it?
Is free speech good?
Here are more ideas to discuss from Professors Bailly, Davies, & Garrote
Is the US a democracy?
What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual in a direct democracy?
What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual in the US democracy?
How do or should democracies interact with other states?
Should democracies act democratically when dealing with other states?
Is it acceptable to utilize non-democratic methods to achieve or maintain a democracy?
How does the prison system at Guantanamo relate to US democracy?
Is the Patriot Act positive or negative for democracy?
How does the US system for elections relate to democracy?
Do you vote?