The Niceties Character Profiles
An esteemed white liberal professor of History at a top Ivy League university. Janine lives in a world of scholarship, and seeks to teach and model the historical method to the next generation of historians. She challenges her students to formulate fundamentally sound arguments supported by reliable, critically scrutinized research—with primary sources as the highest standard of legitimate evidence from which to interpret the historical past.
You may be right. You’re probably right. About feelings that were there. It’s possible you’re right about the effects those feelings had. But that isn’t history.
Yes it is history. It’s part of American History.
I don’t mean it’s not important or it’s not part of the American Story. I mean, you’re using your personal experiences to embellish on the past. That’s historical fiction. It’s not what historians do. Historians sift through evidence – documents, objects, recordings – to draw informed conclusions about the past. That’s our trade. Ordinary people guess.
A bright, precocious and highly engaged black student who is majoring in political science and working on a paper for Janine’s class. Like many undergraduates, Zoe is juggling many academic and extracurricular commitments as she tries to make her ambitious goals a reality. While Zoe’s heart is in her busy extracurricular life of radical political action and social justice, she also needs to keep her grades up in order to get into her dream future activist’s fellowship program after graduation.
No I don’t need help. I mean I don’t have time. My schedule is already crazy. I used Spring Break to write this paper, I thought I had already done this essay. More than / done it.
[…] You know I never do this. But I can offer you a one week extension.
Thank you. But… There’s a rally next week in Bridgeport for police reform.
You don’t live in Bridgeport.
That’s why it’s going to take so long, we have to get there. And we’re doing a recruitment event the day before. And then Howard Stern is visiting campus.
And you’re…going to see him or protesting him?
Protesting him obviously.
January 11–February 10, 2019
By Eleanor Burgess
Directed by Kimberly Senior
Discussions of grammar and Google between a professor and student turn to race and reputation. And before they know it, they’re in dangerous territory, facing stunning implications that can’t be undone.MORE INFO