Week 1

January 21

Introduction to Feminist Film Studies

Feminism, representation, spectator, the gaze, film criticism as an analytical framework

Readings ·  Smith, Greg. (2001). “’It’s Just a Movie”: A Teaching Essay for Introductory Media Classes.” Cinema Journal 41.1: 127-134.
Screenings In Class: Miss Representation (Jennifer Siebel Newsom, 2011)
Due Introductory Tweet (your favorite movie and why) and Blog Post (your experience with feminism and film studies)
Week 2

January 28

Tools of Feminist Film Theory*

Male gaze, psychoanalysis, semiotics, ideology, to-be-looked-at-ness, scopophilia, voyeurism

Readings ·  McCabe, Janet. (2004). “Structuring a Language of Theory” in Feminist Film Studies: Writing the Woman Into Cinema.

·  Mulvey, Laura. (1975). “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” Screen 16.3: 6-18.

·  Hollinger, Karen. (2012). “Films in Focus: Vertigo.” In Feminist Film Studies.

Screenings Live Tweet: Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Due The Gaze Module (Moodle)
Week 3

February 4

Female Spectatorship and Cultural Studies

Unpacking the relationship between the text, socio-cultural context and the female spectator.

Readings ·  McCabe, Janet. (2004). “Textual Negotiations: Female Spectatorship and Cultural Studies” in Feminist Film Studies: Writing the Woman Into Cinema.

·  Hunger Games articles on Moodle

Screenings In Class: Hunger Games Clips
Week 4

February 11

Race, Ethnicity, and Post-Colonialism

African American feminist film studies, postcolonial film studies, orientalism, the imperial gaze, the oppositional gaze

Readings ·  Hollinger, Karen. (2012). “Feminist Film Studies and Race.” In Feminist Film Studies.

·  hooks, bell. (2002). “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators,” in Black Looks: Race and Representation

·  Bobo, Jacqueline. (1988). “The Color Purple: Black Women as Cultural Readers,” in E.D. Pribram (ed.) Female Spectators: Looking at Film and Television.

Screenings In Class: Clips from She’s Got to Have It, Illusions, Sex and the City 2, The Color Purple
Due Empire Module
Week 5

February 18

Queering Theory

Gay and lesbian film, queer cinema, queer spectatorship, transgender representation.

Readings · Benshoff, Harry and Sean Griffin (2004). “Introduction,” in Queer Cinema, The Film Reader.

· Doty, Alexander. (1993) “There’s Something Queer Here” and “Whose Text is it Anyway?” in Making Things Perfectly Queer.

Screenings In Class: Fabulous! The Story of Queer Cinema (Lisa Ades and Lesli Klainberg, 2006)

Due Oppositional Analysis Blog Post
Week 6

February 25

Postfeminist Media Culture*

Neoliberalism, individualism, consumption, sexualization, body image, choice, empowerment, irony.

Readings ·  Gill, Rosalind. (2007). “Postfeminist Media Culture: Elements of a Sensibility,” European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10(2).

·  McRobbie, Angela. (2009). “Post-Feminism and Popular Culture: Bridget Jones and The New Gender Regime.” In The Aftermath of Feminism.

·  Radner, Hillary. (2011). “Legally Blonde: ‘A Pink Girl in a Brown World,” in Neo-Feminist Cinema: Girly Films, Chick Flicks and Consumer Culture.

Screenings Live Tweet: Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic, 2001)


Week 7

March 4

The Woman’s Film

Chick flicks, Melodrama, New Woman’s Films

Readings ·  Hollinger, Karen. (2012). “Women and Genre Films,” in Feminist Film Studies.

·  Kuhn, Annette. (1999). “Women’s Genres: Melodrama, Soap Opera and Theory,” in Sue Thornham (ed.) Feminist Film Theory: A Reader.

Screenings Live Tweet: The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006)
Due Feminist Video Essay: Media Object Choice and Justification

Week 8

March 11

Comedic Masculinity *

Masculinity, bromance, homosociality, friendship, comedy

Readings ·  Hansen-Miller, David and Rosalind Gill. (2011). “’Lad Flicks’: Discursive Reconstructions of Masculinity in Popular Film,” in Hilary Radner and Rebecca Stringer (eds.) Feminism at the Movies.

·  Alberti, John. (2013). “I Love You, Man”: Bromances, the Construction of Masculinity, and the Continuing Evolution of the Romantic Comedy,” Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 30 (2).

Screenings In Class: Judd Apatow film (TBD)


Week 9

March 25

Horror and the Body*

Horror, abjection, excess, slasher film, the final girl.

Readings ·  Williams, Linda. (1984). “When the Woman Looks,” in The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film. Grant, B.K. (ed.).

·  Clover, Carol. “Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film.” In Men, Women and Chain Saws.

Screenings Live Tweet: Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon, 2012)
Due Feminist Video Essay: Proposal
Week 10

April 1

Porn Culture*

Gendered pleasure, power, sex, hard-core, money shot, fetishism.

Readings ·  Annabelle Mooney. (2008) “Boys Will Be Boys: Men’s Magazines and the Normalization of Pornography.” Feminist Media Studies 8(3): 247-265.

·  Petersen, Helen Ann. (2013). “Don Jon and the Digital Porn Utopia,” at:

Screenings Live Tweet: Don Jon (2013). Available on Netflix.



Week 11

April 8

Women in Hollywood*

Political economy of media, women directors, auteur theory

Readings · Lane, Cristina and Nicole Richter (2011). “The Feminist Poetics of Sofia Coppola: Spectacle and Self-Consciousness in Marie Antoinette.”

· Dargis, Manohla (2014). “Making History With ‘Selma,’ Ava DuVernay Seeks a Different Equality.” New York Times.

· Dargis, Manohla (2014). “In Hollywood, It’s a Men’s, Men’s, Men’s World.” New York Times.

Screenings Live Tweet: Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola, 2006)
Due Feminist Video Essay Rough Draft
Week 12

April 15

Celebrity Culture and Stardom*

The Economy of celebrity, celebrity-commodity, gossip blogs.

Readings ·      Petersen, Anne Helen (2013). “The Rules of the Game A Century of Hollywood Publicity.” The Virginia Quarterly Review, Winter 2013.

·      Petersen, Anne Helen (2014). “Jennifer Lawrence And The History of the Cool Girl”

·      History Of Cool Girls.” Buzzfeed at

·      Meyers, Erin. (2012). “Gossip Blogs and ‘Baby Bumps’: The New Visual Spectacle of Female Celebrity in Gossip Media.” In Karen Ross (Ed.), The Handbook of Gender, Sex, and Media (pp. 53-70). Oxford, UK: Wiley.

Screenings Elaine Lui “The Sociology of Gossip”

Bring in Media Examples

Due Feminist Movie Review Blog Post


Week 14

April 22

Convergence Culture*

Social media, viral marketing, fan culture,

Readings ·  Jenkins, Henry. (2006). “Introduction” and “Conclusion,” in Convergence Culture, NYU Press.

·  Driscoll, Catherine and Melissa Gregg. (2011). “Convergence Culture and the Legacy of Feminist Cultural Studies,” Cultural Studies, 25:4-5, 566-584

Screenings Bring in Media Examples
Due Self Critique of Feminist Video Essay Draft (emailed to me and your group)

Peer Review of Feminist Video Essay Draft (emailed to me and the group you reviewed)

Week 15

April 29


Self promotion, brand culture, DIY celebrity

Readings ·  Sarah Banet-Weiser. (2011). “Branding the Post-Feminist Self: Girls’ Video Production and YouTube” in Mary Celeste Kearney (ed.) Mediated Girlhoods.

·  Senft, Theresa. (2008). “Keeping in Real on the Web: Authenticity, Celebrity, Branding,” in Camgirls: Celebrity and Community in the Age of Social Networks.

Screenings Bring in Media Examples
Week 16

May 6

Final Presentations
Screenings Feminist Video Essays!
Due Feminist Video Essay: Posted to YouTube and emailed to me by noon.

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