are in reverse chronological order--You should go through all announcements since your last visit, as simple common sense would suggest! NOTE: excuses such as "I did not know this was available via the class homepage," or "I did not have time to go to the class home page," and so on, will not be tolerated. In this class, intellectual laziness has its price: a poor grade.
Make sure you read the policies on office hours before you come to see me.
[[]] Course Assignment Materials

[[]] Syllabus Packet

[[]] Office Hours

[[]] Test/Exam Schedule

[[]] Missed Class/Test Form

[[]] Instructions for the Essay

[[]] Rules for quizzes /tests/ exams

[[]] AAS-Related Readings 

[[]] Computer Hygiene

[[]] Films List

[[]] Film Readings 

[[]] Music--Jazz (origins/influences)

[[]] UB Spectrum (student newspaper)

[[]] UB Undergraduate Advising Services

[[]] CAS Undergraduate Advising Services

[[]] A-Z index of all UB websites

[[]] Study Guides and Strategies (effective study habits, taking notes, overcoming test anxiety, writing research papers, test-taking tips, etc.)

[[]] Khan Academy (free video tutorials on math, science, economics, finance, etc.)

[[]] Race/racism in the News

[[]] Articles on Health

[[]] Choosing safe consumer products

[[]] Sleep and Sleeplessness

[[]] WolframAlpha (fact-based knowledge engine)

[[]] Food and Nutrition Information Center

[[]] Requesting Letters of Recommendation from me.

[[]] Test/Quiz scores, plus Attendance Record 

[[]]  Occupational Outlook Handbook (critically important information compiled by the U.S. government on almost any job career you can ever think of).


Procedural democracy-related links you must also explore:

[[]] How laws are made in the U.S. 

[[]] Path to the Supreme Court (Chart)

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court Procedures

[[]] U.S. Supreme Court: Web site

[[]] The U.S. Judicial Process: The Federal Court System.

[[]] Legislation of the U.S. Congress (The Library of Congress Thomas web site)

[[]] Justice Denied.org

[[]] Famous trials in history

Posted 3/30/2020 

People, please read and digest:

1. Just in case some of you are wondering, I am not responsible for CV-19; so please work with me to help you successfully complete this super easy course (compared to your other classes). In other words, make sure you read/digest all instructions carefully--repeat, carefully. (Reminder about CV-19: it could be worse; think of the millions upon millions of people forced to live in refugee campus across the world through no fault of their own--many of them don't have access to soap, running water, medical facilities, etc.)

2. The one or two people who still claim they can't access the Google sites page via elegantbrain that has the films list page (because they did not do what they were asked to do on the computer hygiene page--link on the left), please carefully go through item 4(b) in Announcement no. 8, below.
3. Concerning Test 3 that was just administered over the past couple of days: (a) For reasons of fairness to everyone and to prevent cheating, once the test deadline has passed that test is over. The same test questions cannot be given again. (Reminder, there are about 150 students cross my classes this semester--I am sure you will agree with me that they are all entitled to fairness. After all, that is what this course is about--fairness in society. Yes?) (b) To those few who claim you had a technical problem in taking Test 3, note: PROVIDED you meet the following condition, a new make-up test will be created: prove that Test 3 was just a one-off problem. (c) How will you be able to prove this? By making sure that you have no test-taking issues for all the remaining tests; therefore, the make-up for Test 3 will NOT be available until AFTER the final exam.

4. Homework for this week: See items 4(a) and 4(b) in Announcement No. 8, below.

5. Homework for next week (to be completed by 4/8/2020): (a) Study the slide image in the top left-hand corner of this page. (b) Read and digest reading No. 17 available from the "Films Readings" page (link in the left margin of this page). (c) View and study (repeat, view AND study) these two films on overcoming interpersonal racism against the background of institutional racism: Belle--class version; and Hidden Figures. As always, make sure you pay attention to the context of the story as well. (d) See item (d) in Announcement No. 6, below.

6. All scores for all tests/exam will eventually be posted via the link in the left margin of this page.

7. To those who had permission to make up Test No. 2, it will be available on Wednesday (4/1/2020) around midday on Blackboard (under Assignments) and the same rules will apply as with Test 3 you have just taken, but with two differences: (a) it will be a short answer test and NOT multiple choice, and (b) you will have more time.

8. About sending me e-mails, see Announcement No. 3, item no. 5 below.

9. As indicated in an e-mail you were sent through HUB recently,
the in-class essay writing project is being replaced with Test 6 (see the test/exam schedule via the link in the left margin).

Posted 3/25/2020 
  (Updated 3/27/2020)

Folks, please read and digest:

1. About Test 3:

(a) It is super important that you do the assigned homework that the test will cover; otherwise you will be in the same boat as with the last test. Reminder: At the beginning of the semester, you were told that in lieu of textbooks you must purchase a USB drive so that you can download to it all assigned films as soon as they are available via the Films List page. I hope you did that. If you did not do that and you attempt to view the films through direct streaming it may not work because of server overload  (I have about 150 students this semester across my classes.)

(b) What the test will cover: See item no. 1 in the next Announcement below.

(c) Date and time: See item no. 1 in the next Announcement  below. Update: Test will be available today at 11:30 pm
on Blackboard (UBLearns) under Assignments. Make sure you read the instructions! Please note that in the name of fairness, and to prevent cheating, the rules cannot be changed.

(d) Format: It will be a multiple choice test (with responses graded by the computer). However, points will be deducted for guessing. <-- Read this sentence again.

(e) Place: the test will be online and available via Blackboard (UBLearns).

(f) Methodology:
See item no. 1 in the next Announcement  below.

2. Reminder about e-mails policy:
See item no. 6 in the next Announcement below.

Posted 3/23/2020 

People, Spring Break is over; so please read and digest:

1. About the upcoming Test No. 3 this week, see item 2 in Announcement 7, below.

2. About class announcements for the rest of the semester, see item 4 in Announcement 7, below.

3. Homework for this week, see item 1 in Announcement 7, below.

4. Homework for next week to be completed by 4/1/2020:
(a) Download, view, and digest the film titled The 13th--Class Version available via the Films List page.
(b) Download, view, and digest Film Score: Part One (Section B)--however skip the first segment on the music of Mark Isham--available via the Films List page. (Note: instructions for getting to the Films List page are the same as in Announcement 3, item 1, below. However, the link to the Films List page in the left margin of this page also takes you directly to that page.)

5. Those of you who have to do a make-up for Test 2, you will take it after Test 3 coming up. I will post instructions about it on this page at some point.

6. About sending me e-mails, see Announcement 3, item no. 5 below.

7. About reading, digesting, and following instructions in this class: click on the slide image in the top left corner of this page.

Posted 3/12/2020 

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. Homework, to be completed by 3/25/2020:
(a) Download and view in its entirety the film we started in class yesterday, titled Into the West--class version. (Available via the Film List page-see Announcement No. 3, below, if you still do not know how to access this page.)
(b) Download and
view in its entirety the updated version of the film we started in class last week, titled Rabbit Proof Fence--class version. (Available via the Film List page--link has been updated.)

2. Test 3, which will be based on some or all of everything (repeat, everything) mentioned in Announcements 6 and 7 will be available online on 3/27/2020, by the end of the day. Once the test is available, you will have 48 hours in which to do it. Note: To prevent cheating, (a) it will be a timed test which you will have to complete in one sitting--that is, once you have begun the test you must complete it; you won't be able to go back to it if you stop before the time is up, or if you run out of time. And (b) although the questions will be based on the same material, they will not necessarily be identical for all test-takers. Make sure you study everything before you take the test; otherwise you will fail the test--that's a guarantee--because you won't be able to answer the questions (as happened on the last test you took).

3. Do NOT send me e-mails that are not in a professional format. See the syllabus. Otherwise, you may not get a response.

4. All class announcements will continue to be posted on this class home page. It is your responsibility to stay on top of all class announcements, and of course you must be on top of all assigned homework. As some of the super-intelligent among you found out during the test we had yesterday, attempting to do a test without doing the homework the test covers is a recipe for a big fat F!

Posted 3/4/2020 

Guys: Please read and digest:

1. Homework:
(a) Go through all the announcements below, starting from Announcement 1 at the bottom of this page. (Warning: failure to read announcements on a timely basis is an unacceptable excuse.)
(b) Do NOT send me e-mails about anything until after you have gone through all the announcements. (See also instructions about e-mails in Announcement no. 2, below.)
(c) Study your attendance record
--link in the left margin of this page.
(d) Study the Test/Exam schedule--link in the left margin of this page.
(e) Catch up on homework, class discussions, etc. from previous announcements.
(f) Study the
the slide image at the top of the left margin of this page.
(g) Download and finish the film we started in class on your own, after the link is available later via the Film List page.

2. Class proceedings today:
(a) Discussion--key words: Film casting; colonialism; racism-eugenics (examples: Australia, the U.S., and Nazi Germany); gender (oppression).
(b) Screened item 3, no. d from the next announcement below.
(c) Screened casting of Rabbit Proof Fence: Link: https://buffalo.box.com/v/rabbitproofCasting
(d) Screened first half of Rabbit Proof Fence--must download and finish viewing on your own, when link is available.

Posted 2/26/2020 

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. The test coming up (link to test/exam schedule on the left) will be based on all materials mentioned in announcements 3 through 5, plus class proceedings. Yes, I am allowing you to bring notes. Additional break: if your performance is 2 grade levels or more better than on the first test, it can be used to substitute your Test 1 grade. Go through the rules for tests--link is in the left column. By the way, do you know what the "lazy student rule" is?

2. Yes, we will also have regular class on test days in the same room in which the test will be given (Knox 110).

3. Homework for Wednesday, next week (3/4), study the following materials:
>>>(a) These terms (including any accompanying images) from the Course Glossary (which is PART B of online course assignment materials): Essentialism; Stereotype; Otherness; and Marginality.
>>>(b) The slide image on verisimilitude and marginality that appears as the first item in PART I (Film Class Assignments).
>>>(c) Finish viewing the two items we have been viewing in class on race, and on film scores, which are: Comprehending Race Part II (Section One); and Film Score: Part One (Section A). Make sure you also study the notes at the beginning of each of these two items. To access these two items, DOWNLOAD them via the Film List page.<-- If you still don't know the film list page, then read the instructions in Announcement No. 3 below.
>>>(d) See this video again:
4. Catch up on all the homework since the last test.

5. When you miss a class for legitimate reasons, do not send me an e-mail. Instead, complete the missed class/test form (link on the left).

Posted 2/21/2020 

Folks: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Wednesday, next week (2/26), please study the following materials:
(a) Study this reading: Music and productivity.
(b) Study reading no. 38 from the readings page of Section One
of PART I (Film Assignments page). See item 1 of the next announcement below.
(c) Video no. 25 (from the videos page of Section One of PART I (Film Assignments page).
(d) Video no. 26 (as above).

Posted 2/13/2020 

Guys: Please read and digest:

1. Homework for Wednesday next week (2/19) requires you to, first, get to know the Assignments for Film Class page for this course.
How to get to that page: click on "Course Assignment Materials" (on this page, or the preceding page) and follow the click path until you end up with a web page that states 'INTRODUCTION (read this first)" while its left column has a listing running from PART A through PART O. Now, access the Film Class Assignments page by clicking PART I (Film Class Assignments) and then scrolling down to SECTION ONE on that page. Reminder: any AV material I am able to stream in class via item (D) Film List in SECTION ONE, you should be able to stream it too. If you can't do that on your device, then you have a computer hygiene problem. Read next item.

2. WARNING: If you can't access PART I on your laptop then click on the "computer hygiene" link in the left margin, to figure out how to solve the problem.

3. Homework
for Wednesday next week (2/19):
(a) Part One of "Reading No. 38" from Readings page (of Section One)
(b) Film: La Haine--class version from the Film List page (of Section One)

4. Class proceedings, yesterday:
Video (first 30 minutes):
"Comprehending Race--Part Two (Section One)"
Class discussion: What to look out for in La Haine; The fifth main function of racism in a capitalist society; etc.

5. Reminder about e-mails:
(a) I don't answer e-mails on matters already covered in the syllabus and/or announcements/links on this page (this semester I am teaching about 150 students). (b) Your e-mails must always be in the format indicated in the syllabus, otherwise you may not get a response.

Posted 2/6/2020 


Welcome to the class home page for AAS 254 which you are required to visit on a regular basis. Please go through all the items in the following announcement carefully:

1. As announced in class last week on Wednesday, we will have our first test on Wednesday, 2/12/2020.  

2. Please go through the rules for quizzes/tests/exams in this course, available here.

3. Yes. I am allowing you to bring HANDWRITTEN notes to the test. But be careful. Your notes should not be so detailed that you will run out of time looking for information. Best way to take notes on an assigned film: use one or two key words for every scene (not shot) in the film. (See item 11 below; and if I were you, I would see the films twice.)

4. If you are a first-year or second-year student, please read this document here.

6. In the future, with rare exception, I won't be sending you e-mail reminders about announcements. Instead, you should make it your habit to visit this class-home page regularly.

7. I do not access e-mails through mobile devices; I access them only through a desktop computer. My job description does not require me to be a prisoner of communications technology. :) Therefore, you may not get a response to an e-mail you send me before the next class meets. If this happens, talk to me after class, because if you don't I will assume that your e-mail message was not important--in which case of course you, most likely, will never get a response. Warning: Your e-mails must always be in the format specified in the syllabus; otherwise you may not get a response.


9. Course Syllabus is available here.

10. Links to film/video homework assignments are in the next announcement below.

11. Links to videos:

WARNING No. 1: Do not ignore any subtitles and comments in the AV materials.

WARNING No. 2: Do not ignore any subtitles and comments in the AV materials.

12. The test will cover:
(a) item nos. 2, and 8 above;
(b) pages 1 through 2 of item no. 9 above;
(c) video items in item 11. above; and
(d) Film and video assignments in the next announcement below.

  e-mailed 1/30/2020 

This e-mail was sent to all who had registered for this class by 1/30/2020:

Dear All:

As explained in class, homework for next week:
For Wednesday (2/5/2020), view and study this film:
PLUS this short video:

Homework for the following week:
For Wednesday (2/12/2020), view and study this film:
PLUS this short video:

Class syllabus:

Reminder: To make things easier for you, as explained in class, I do not use the commercial website called "Blackboard," which here at UB is called "UBLearns." However, at some point soon I will create a web page for the class at a different site.
Do NOT reply to this e-mail; it has been sent to you via HUB.


A-Z Index of all UB websites

Miscellaneous Info (may or may not be relevant)


One of my favorite web sites (not recommended except for those with a lot of common sense): darwinawards.com Guys: If anybody knows the answer to the following question posed by the Dilbert Cartoonist, Scott Adams, let me know: "If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?"