The course sets out to provide an overview of the movements in feminist theory and of more recent approaches to feminist media studies. It is therefore placed at the intersection of gender studies and media studies, while preserving an engaged feminist direction. Basic concepts in feminist approaches to the media will be discussed and further identified in close readings of media texts. The course will consider the construction of gendered identities and bodies, their representations in media texts, the post-feminist perspective that they more often than not have been following. The course will investigate the intersection between post-feminism and globalization in main stream media as well as the new media. It will raise questions such as the following: in what ways do the latter offer new opportunities to women, in what ways do they enable the re-emergence of sexist discourses and practices? What masculine identity constructions have been re-asserted in these media? Why do they seem to be successful and what alternative constructions of masculinity are emerging? The emphasis on globalization begs the question of the transnational dimension of both feminism and feminist media studies. How can the danger of a renewed media imperialism or of the domination of Western oriented theoretical views be averted? What does the transnational dimension mean for students in a country like Romania?
Course instructor: Prof Mădălina Nicolaescu
Week 1: Introduction – syllabus, history of feminism(s)
Week 2: Feminisms- Post feminism(s)
Readings:Rivers, Nicola. Postfeminism(s) (chapters 2, 5)
Week 3: Performativity and embodiment. Construction of sexed and gendered bodies
Readings: Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theories (chapters. 10, 28)
Week 4: Representation – visual culture and feminist approaches
Readings: Oxford Handbook (chap 32), Alison Harvey. Feminist Media Studies. (chap. 3)
Week 5: Postfeminist films and representation of women: Sherlock Holmes (the BBC serial); The Portrait of a Lady
Readings: Sherlock Holmes, Antonija Primorac. Neo-Victorianism on Screen. (chaps 2, 4)
Week 6: Postfeminist TV serials: Girls; first three episodes of the serial
Readings: I. Wheelan (ed) Reading Lena Dunham’s “Girls”. (chap 6)
Week 7: Transnational approaches to women and feminisms in the media; b)
Readings: Alison Harvey. Feminist Media Studies (chap 4), Dustin Harper. Feminist Approaches to Media Theory and Research. (chap 12)
Week 8: Women in the digital media – empowered and harassed
Readings: Alison Harvey. Feminist Media Studies (chap 5), Ryan Vickery. Mediating Misogyny (chap 1, 2), Nicola Rivers. Postfeminism(s) and the Arrival of the fourth Wave. (chap 6)
Weeks 9-10: Constructing masculinities in the public and/or private sphere and in the digital world
Readings: Meredith Conroy. Masculinity, Media and the American Presidency , (chaps 1, 2) , Anastasia Salter. Toxic Geek Masculinity in the Media, (chaps 1, 6) and Thomas Johansson . Fatherhood in Transition. (chaps 2, 5, 6)
Weeks 11-14: Course round-up and discussion of final projects
The movies and serials indicated above; Digital material (i.e youtube, facebook, various sites or platforms, video games) that are relevant to the topics and concepts discussed: material to be compiled, shared and discussed in class.
Conroy, Meredith. Masculinity, Media and the American Presidency. Palgrave 2015.
Disch, Lisa, Mary Hawkeworth. Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theories, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Harp, Dustin, Jaime Locke, Ingrid Bachman (eds.) Feminist Approaches to Media Theory and Research . Palgrave 2018.
Harvey, Alison. Feminist Media Studies. Polity Press, 2020.
Johansson, Thomas . Fatherhood in Transition. Palgrave 2017.
Primorac, Antonija. Neo-Victorianism on Screen. Palgrave 2018.
Rivers, Nicola. Postfeminism(s) and the Arrival of the fourth Wave. Palgrave 2017.
Ryan Vickery, Jaquline, Tracy Everbach. Mediating Misogyny. Gender, Technology and Harassment. Palgrave, 2018.
Salter, Anastasia. Toxic Geek Masculinity in the Media. Palgrave 2017.
Wheelan, Imelda. (ed) Reading Lena Dunham’s “Girls”. Palgrave 2017.
REQUIREMENTS AND EVALUATION
- Over 50% attendance
- Active participation in class discussions (30%)
- Project teams to present their work in progress during seminars (30%)
- Reports of project work (~12 pages) to be presented in a session after the end of the term (40% of the mark)