Crystal Boson, PhD
“Get Out” Syllabus
The “Get Out” Syllabus focuses intently on the conversations surrounding White violence, the consumption of Black Bodies, and the erasure of Black Women that the movie elicits. The syllabus is divided into two parts; the first closely examines the historical and cultural violences that made the movie possible. The second section examines the absences and erasures that make sections of the film explicitly more horrifying. My “Get Out” syllabus is in no way meant to be exhaustive or complete. Rather, it is an entry to point to key conversations that must be continued after the movie falls from theatres and our current popular culture attention span.
Part One: This Shit Ain’t New.
This section of the syllabus examines both the intimate history of racial violences initiated and perpetuated by white women, cultural and racial cannibalism, and the sexual objectification of Black bodies. Each book in this section focuses on a specific incident in the film, and attempts to address multiple questions.
“White Women Racism?” These books explore the explicit connections between White Women, overt and covert racism, sexuality, desire and disgust.
“What do we really feel?” Chris gets to exhibit the wide range of human emotion that is traditionally denied Black men in film, including vulnerability, horror, sorrow, and depression. There is a significant show of Black empathy that is not shockingly absent from any of the white characters. What is lacking, in many points, is a physical response to pain. What does it mean to focus on the emotional while negating the physical?
- Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting. - Terrie M. Williams.
“Do White Folk Really Do That?” “Yes.” These few texts explore and elaborate on the long and brutal history of white medical experimentation on and consumption of Black bodies.
Part Two: But I Got Questions
This section of the reading explores the erasures and omissions that must be examined in the film. The most glaring of which is the unquestioned dehumanization and erasure of Black women in the film. While there was graphic exposition of the violence and disregard of Black Women’s pain by the detailing of Chris’s Mother’s death, and the visual death of Georgina, the camera pans away from violence against Missy. Not to mention the ending with Rose and the implications of “mercy” vs “savagery”. Why were Black women dehumanized and erased? What is the context surrounding Black resistance and violence in this film?
“Seriously, You’re Gonna Do Black Women Like That, Again?” This book interrogates the representations of Black women in the film as crazy and controlled, absent, or apathetic.
“Let’s Talk About that Ending” I’m not gonna give spoilers, but that ending……
“SMH White Folks” These texts serve as general companion pieces for the movie in its entirety and the white response to it and the 100% Rotten Tomatoes ranking.
I will be reading these, and making a video discussion blog. A schedule and more information will be posted on my blog, Academic Expat (academicexpat.com).