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This is course instructions, please consider it while answering those questions in essay:
In this course, we will critically examine film representations of gender in the U.S. context, historicize these representations, analyze how those representations are inescapably entwined with representations of race, class, sexuality, and citizenship (among other things) and interrogate the ongoing relationship between cultural representations and social structures: namely how representations can reflect, reinforce or disrupt social inequalities. While we will chronologically explore cinematic representations of gender from the silent film era to the emergence of the blockbuster in the 1970s and beyond, we will not strictly adhere to a historical trajectory of film representations. This will leave us room for other explorations, which will include a life course perspective on the interplay between gender representations and social structures, an analysis of “feminist” representations of femininities, an exploration of representations of racialized masculinities, depictions of poverty, homelessness and single motherhood and an examination of transgender representations. While this course has been constructed around representations in film – that will span across many genres including chick flicks, action movies, horror films, film noir and westerns – we will also try to examine the ways in which these messages of gender reoccur across multiple platforms including advertising, television shows, the news and music videos. While better representation will occur throughout the syllabus, albeit in varying states of success, our penultimate and final classes will consist of student presentations on better gender representation in film as well as a discussion on why better representation matters and what we all can do to achieve it.
By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:Recognize that gender does not mean femininity alone!Critically and intersectionally examine representations of genderBe comfortable with nuanced analyses of gender representations in film Historicize gender representations in filmUnderstand how those representations reinforce or disrupt unequal social structures See the trajectory of feminist activity in the U.S. as one of progress, pushback and omissionCritically reflect on who your media makers are as well as their aims and perspectives
This paper will ask you to analyze why gender representations in the film that you choose are, for the most part, examples of better representation (vis a vis other films). You may choose from the following list: Moana, Spanglish, Always Be My Maybe and The Florida Project. Feel free to offer any criticisms you have of the film as well (despite it being an instance of better representation).
The paper should be 3 pages double-spaced, written in 12-point font and should utilize normal margins. Please engage relevant readings and lectures in your reflection paper as well as analyze specific scenes to support your arguments.
Learning Objectives and Purpose
This paper will not only demonstrate mastery of the material that you are assigned over the next few weeks, it will further equip you to write your final assignment for this course, as it models the sociological analysis of representations of gender in film. Such an analysis will do the following:
Historicize representations of gender
Demonstrate the ways in which representations of race, class and gender intersect (and how accurate they are)
Connect gender representations to the structures they justify/reinforce/disrupt
Think about who constructed the representation and why that matters
Have a clear thesis – your roadmap – that encapsulates your analysis
Have clear topic sentences that encapsulates the argument you are making in each body paragraph
Reference specific scenes from the movie as well as relevant course readings
Feel free to use very short introduction and conclusion paragraphs
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