Tuesday, November 29, 2011


We will be having a quiz over Jazz and Blues this Friday, December 2, 2011.  The content will be all multiple choice and matching and will be taken from class lectures and videos.  You will need to be able to identify the following people and terms.

Origin of Blues---understand the African origins of Blues  (ie slave rebellions, Slave spirituals, use of drums)
Characteristics of Blues
Know the differences and characteristics of
     Delta Blues              Chicago Blues
     Piedmont Blues
Know the following Blues musicians/terms:
     W.C. Handy             “Blues Heroes”
      Muddy Waters        “Crossroads”
      Robert Johnson       Howlin' Wolf
      Josh White                Blind Blake
       Rev. Gary Davis       B.B. King
Common motifs in Blues
Why was New Orleans the birthplace of jazz?
Roots of Jazz (Blues/Ragtime)
Components/characteristics of Jazz  (ie.  Rhythm, Swing, Syncopation, Improvisation)
Know the following Jazz artists:
      Jelly Roll Morton           Count Basie
      Cab Calloway                 Duke Ellington
      Louis Armstrong            Benny Goodman
      Bix Biederbecke             Ella Fitzgerald
      Bessie Smith                   Billie Holiday
"Bobby Soxers"
Swing music and Swing culture
Frank Sinatra

Friday, November 18, 2011


The next part of the film project is to take your treatment and write a screenplay.  This screenplay will most likely run around 10 pages or so (think of it as about 1 minute per page).

To get a good idea about what screenplay writing is all about, here is a great site that analyzes several screenplays. It has downloadable scripts and script analyses. 

On this site, there is a great section devoted to Good Will Hunting with several important downloads:

Good Will Hunting Script
Good Will Hunting Analysis

It also has a section devoted to Zombieland as well.

Here is the Zombieland Analysis

Due dates:

Narrative script due December 16
Documentary script due January 13

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Midterms will be next week, November 9 and 10th.

For Miks, the midterm will cover Catcher in the Rye.  It will be in essay format and open note.

For Janu, the midterm will be an objective, comprehensive exam.  50 Questions.  Bring a #2 pencil.  This test will not be open note.

Both midterms will account for 10% of your Final Exam Grade.

A review sheet for SOC can be downloaded here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr.

In class we watched the documentary by Errol Morris, Mr. Death:  The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr. (1999).  This film is an example of the Cinéma vérité style of documentary film making. It also highlights one of the characteristics of modern documentary film making: dramatic reenactments.

The film can be watched below:

Film Study Quiz

You will have a quiz over the film study unit this Friday, October 7, 2011.  You will need to know the following items:

History of Film
  1. Persistence of vision
  2. Development of Photography
  3. Thomas Edison
  3. Lumiere brothers

Film Techniques and Language
  1. Shot v. scene
  2. Types of shots
  3. Transitions (ie, cut, dissolve, wipe, etc)
  4. Mise-en-scene v. mise-en-shot
  5. Types and uses of Camera movements
  6. Types and uses of focus

Documentary film---History
  1. Robert Flaherty
  2. Leni Riefenstahl
  3. Cinema Verite
  4. Direct Cinema
  5. Purpose of documentaries
  5. Characteristics of Modern Documentaries
  6. Modern documentary filmmakers
      a. Michael Moore
      b. Errol Morris

Great Train Robbery
Citizen Kane
  1. Background information
  2. Plot and characters
  3. Film techniques
Mr. Death the Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr.
Pink Floyd’s The Wall
The Dark Knight

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Schedule September 12-16, 2011

Monday, September 12

Meet in Black Box to watch The Dark Knight.

Tuesday, September 13

Finish The Dark Knight in Class.  Start discussion the themes and questions the movie raises.

Wednesday, September 14

1.  Intro to Film Study:  The History of Film, Part 1
2.  Philosophy according to Bio-Mechanics, Part2

Thursday, September 15

1.  Intro to Film Study:  The History of Film, Part 2
2.  Discuss the paper

Friday, September 16

1.  Watch, "The Great Train Robbery."  Discuss.
2.  Basic Film Language:  The Shot
3.  Watch first 15 minutes of Pink Floyd's the Wall

On Monday, meet in Black Box.  We will finish the film there on Monday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Batman: See Where it All Began (Detective Comics #27)

As we get ready to jump into The Dark Knight, you can now read where it all began.  As we talked about in class on Friday, Batman made his first appearance in Detective Comic #27 in 1939. 

DC comics has now made it available online.  You can read the comic by clicking the link below:

Detective Comics #27

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review for CAT Test

Your CAT quiz over the sociology portion of the class is on Friday, September 9.  If you need another review sheet, click here.

Note:  Make sure you add Clifford Geertz to the people section.

There are also flashcards available to help you study.  Click on the links below:

Sociological Thinkers flashcards

Sociological Theories flashcards

Monday, August 29, 2011

Schedule August 29-September 2

Monday, August 29

1.  The Sociology of Max Weber
2.  Consequentialism and Deontology

HW.  Read Chapter 1 in Understanding Sociology
Optional:  Chapter 1 Reading Guide.  Due on Friday, if you chose to do it

Tuesday, August 30

1. Libertarianism and Robert Nozick
2. Sociology of Emile Durkheim, Part 1

Wednesday, August 31

1. Sociology of Emile Durkheim, Part 2
2.  Nietzsche

Thursday, September 1

1.  Sigmund Freud
2.  Carl Jung

Optional Reading Guide for Chapter 1 due tomorrow.

Friday, September 2

1. David Foster Wallace
2. Putting it all together:  The Theories of Sociology

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

SCHEDULE August 23-August 26

Tuesday, August 23

1. Intro to Course/ Course objectives
2. Lecture: What is Sociology?

Homework, Read “The Promise” by C. Wright Mills. Be prepared to take a quiz over the reading tomorrow

Wednesday, August 24

1. Quiz, “The Promise”
2. Discuss the reading
3. Discussion: “The Big Questions”

Thursday, August 25

1. Introduction to Clifford Geertz
2. Thick description and cultural interpretation

Friday, August 26

1.  Introduction to Karl Marx
2. Visions of the Good Life (Vegas?)  Part 1

Welcome to iCAT!

Welcome to Integrated Contemporary American Texts.  This class is taught by Mr. Janu and Mr. Miks and is a unique class that combines history, philosophy, sociology, literature and popular culture.  A senior-only course, this class was designed to get you to think and be prepared for college.  Welcome.  We are glad you are here.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Children of Men articles

Today in class, we read several Children of Men articles.  You need these for the test.

You can download the articles here.

Review Sheet for the Test

If you need a copy of the Postmodern Test review sheet, you can download it here.

Test is on Wednesday.

Monday, February 14, 2011