Women/Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Film and Media: History and Theory

Intermediate, Advanced—Year

This yearlong seminar analyzes the representations of gender, race, sexuality, and class in American cinema and media from its origins to the present. Students develop critical understandings of cinema and media, not only as part of American cultural and social history but also as political vehicles for activism and change. We study cinema and media as part of historical processes and assess interpretations often rooted in feminist, sociopolitical, and postcolonial theories. We explore new ways to view cinema and media, identifying explicit and implicit meanings. A variety of cinema and media will be examined: early motion pictures, classical Hollywood, woman’s films, early and contemporary African American cinema, avant-garde, film noir, feminist cinema, documentary, new queer cinema, action/adventure, fantasy, transnational cinema, television, and new-media programming.