Unit 3 Prompt 2

Prompt 2 Two-part prompt!

Part One – Due Monday 5pm, Oct 22

Part Two – your response to your peer’s post. Due Monday 9pm, Oct 22

[Pro Tip: you need to read Arendt and Gourevitch before and at the same time as you are doing this prompt. Keep those texts forward in your mind as you do this.]

Part One

Using the library online resources, and by consulting with a librarian (make an appointment here!  http://davidson.libguides.com/askalibrarian), find a media report of violence that is other than war and genocide (climate, aesthetic, local, political, intellectual and beyond) and published within the last two months. Then with the same librarian’s help, find a visual example of the violence you are addressing. It does not have to be a photograph from the same article. It can be from different news, reportage, or art, activism, performance, etc. Make sure you get the image from your library research/consultation and have a solid citation. This Friday and Monday, the library staff will all be waiting for you to come and talk to them for this assignment. You may also visit by a small group.

In your post, make sure to list the name of the librarian you met with in a brief acknowledgement note.


Some databases useful for your image search:

Associated Press Images Collection.

The other database art images is Artstor. Both are also listed in the A-Z List of Research Tools linked on our library homepage. (Thank you, Kelly Denzer at the library!)

On the prompt site, post the image. Normally for copyright reasons, posting copyrighted art or photography online is not encouraged, but since this is a private site and it’s for our course purpose, we are excused by fitting in the range of “a reasonable and educational use.” Give a citation underneath, and if possible, a link.


Then, provide a reading of the visual image.

  1. Briefly describe why you chose this particular topic (theme?) and image, how does this relate to your definition or understanding of violence?
  2. Close-reading of the image, pay attention to the tone, frame, scope, color, mood, objects, characters, narrative(s), even things that are purposefully omitted from the image, and discuss what they do (just like you would a text). Use the visual elements to explain what emotional effects the image gives. Also, what assumptions or paradigm is this image coming from?

Think of the target audience. Do you think that the image attempts to challenge a common sense or subvert a paradigm? If there is anything provocative in this image, is that because of the incident, or is it the way it is presented?

Conclude with your comment on how this image and your reading of it speaks to or rebuts either
1. Arendt’s notion of banality of evil or
2. Gourevitch’s mode of conveying violence, society, imagination of others. Cite from either text.

(Aim for around 250 words)


Part Two

Go back to the post page and find one post that is very different from yours. Respond in the comment section, noting in what way their post is different from yours, what it informed or challenged, and how it made you think differently from your own post.

(Around 150 words)