HISTART 211-001

Gender and Popular Culture

AH Aud. B
MW 1:00-2:30pm
4 Credit Lecture

Gender and popular culture are interrelated social constructs that have a profound impact on our everyday lives. Movies, TV, magazines, and the internet not only reflect what it means to be a man or woman today, they also inform those identities. This course will focus on the visual aspects of these phenomena and survey key methods for interpreting them, including the gaze, queer theory, radical feminist theory, Foucauldean theory, and issues of socioeconomic status. We will apply these theories to examples of contemporary American culture from Facebook and Judd Apatow films to the suburban home and Sons of Anarchy. This process will also allow us to debate questions like: Does gender have to be binary? How does gender affect the experience of space? Is the availability of pornography affecting our ideas of gender? Why is child rearing such a contested domain? How does racial identity influence gender norms? And perhaps most importantly, who is missing from popular representations of gender?

Textbooks/Other Materials: Readings on CTools, Netflix for TV and Film examples, and The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, Author: Amelia Jones, Publisher: Routledge, Required (ISBN: 978-0415543705)

Estimated Cost of Materials: $50-$100.

HISTART Category for Concentration Distributions: 4.Modern and Contemporary D. Europe and the U.S.