This course aims to familiarize students with various approaches to the study of North American visual culture with a focus on movies and TV shows in their cultural and historical context. Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which these media narratives construct meaning, evoke specific responses, and guide, invite or obstruct the audience's gaze. Additionally, we will look at how these narratives reflect and potentially reinforce societal power relations and disparities. As the course title indicates, we will pay special attention to the analysis of the representation of gender and sexuality in the narratives under consideration. However, by exploring these categories through an intersectional lens we will also reflect on how the representations of gender and sexuality are always already influenced and impacted by other axes of power like race, class, (dis)ability, etc. In the process, students will be introduced to a diverse range of theoretical perspectives from media and cultural studies. Using these tools, they will conduct their own case studies of particular media narratives.
Students are required to have read or watched all assigned texts and videos prior to every class. Credits will be awarded on the basis of a case study (group work) that students have to develop throughout the semester and present in class. In order to attend this class, you must have registered before the beginning of the semester.