2014/Spring: Gender & Sexuality in Pop Culture


Instructed by Melanie Corn.
This course will focus on queer and feminist readings of contemporary popular visual culture in the U.S. – primarily television, viral YouTube videos, music videos, slash/fan-fiction, and advertising. Our texts will include critical theory and popular critique as well as primary source material such as True Blood, Game of Thrones, transition videos, commercials, etc. We will explore how gender and sexuality, in intersection with race, class, and other identity categories, are displayed and created through these media. How are young trans folks using YouTube to develop new identities? Is Game of Thrones really feminist? What does the metaphor of vampires as the new queers say about homophobia and heteronormativity in our society? In this course, students will have an opportunity to co-construct our major themes, to hone their critical thinking and writing, and to build their understandings of media, queer, and feminist studies through class discussions, short writing assignments, and a research paper.