4950 – Women
in Popular Culture – Fall 2009
Dr. Mary Magoulick Office: A&S 3-21 Hours: M 1:30-2:30, T/R 10-10:45, W 11-12:30
LINKS: Syllabus for IDST 4999 Syllabus for ENGL 5950
Links to Fairy Tale Readings (for 9-2-09)
1. East of the Sun and West of the Moon: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/norway034.html
Alternate source (with annotations): http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/index.html
2. 4 Versions of Cinderella: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html (Read numbers 2, 3, 4 & 11)
a. Version 2: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html#perrault (France, Charles Perrault)
b. Version 3: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html#grimm (Germany, Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm)
c. Version 4: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html#woodencloak (“Katie Woodencloak” – Norway)
d. Version 11: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0510a.html#babayaga (“The Baba Yaga” – Russia)
e. French Version: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/cinderella/stories/finettecendron.html (Finette Cindron)
3. 2 Versions of Bluebeard: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0312.html (Read numbers 1 & 5)
a. Version 1: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0312.html#perrault (France, Charles Perrault)
b. Versions 5: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0312.html#india (“The Brahman Girl that Married a Tiger” – India)
4. The Robber Bridegroom: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/type0955.html (1st tale only -- Germany, Grimm brothers)
READ ALSO this article about Cinderella Tales: http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forashs.html
TEXTS Available at the bookstore (+ readings such as articles, short stories, tales, song lyrics, and/or poetry)
Valenti, Jessica. Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters. Berkeley: Seal Press, 2007. Required reading!
*NOTE: The following URLs should get you to the readings for the 2nd day of class
(1) READ the excerpt from Backlash by Susan Faludi (it should be the first entry if you google “excerpt backlash”):
(2) READ BOTH PARTS of “What is Feminism?” by Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards (4th hit if you google “What is feminism”) http://www.feminist.com/resources/artspeech/genwom/whatisfem.htm
BE SURE to click on “continue” at the end of this first part for the continuation or go to
(3) AND READ the New York Times article “What’s a Modern Girl to Do” by Maureen Dowd at
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/30/magazine/30feminism.html?ei=5088&en=ce46a890ea5b7981&ex=1288328400&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print (may need to register–free; click on “printer friendly” to get whole article)
Fiction: Books you must purchase for the course
Romance: Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. Oxford University Press, 2004 (orig. 1813)
+ a Harlequin Romance: Baxter, Claire. Pregnant: Father Wanted. Harlequin, 2008
Mystery: Keene, Carolyn. Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Series #1). Price Stern Sloan Publ, 1930.
Science Fiction: Butler, Octavia, Parable of the Sower, New York: Warner Books, 1995 (2000).
General Fiction: Kingsolver, Barbara, Prodigal Summer. New York: Harper Perennial, 2001
+ Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1982
Graphic Memoir: Satrapi, Marjane.The Complete Persepolis. Pantheon: 2007
Excerpts from fairy tales (on reserve at the library)
A Century of Women: Image & Popular Culture (1994) by Chris Harty & Barbara Kopple
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) by Ang Lee with Michelle Yeow, Yun Fat Chow & Ziyi Zhang
Frida (2002) by Julie Taymor with Salma Heyak and Alfred Molina
A Handmaid’s Tale (1990) by Volker Schlöndorff w/Natasha Richardson, Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, & Aidan Quinn
Real Women Have Curves (2002) by Patricia Cardoso with America Ferrera & Lupe Ontivero
The Vagina Monologues (2002) by Eve Ensler (HBO)
Woman of the Year (1942) by Georgia Stevens with Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn
+ Episodes/Clips from TV series, possibly including Xena: Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, La Femme Nikita, Sex and the City, South Park, and more
We will explore themes, genres, issues, and images in popular culture based on gender, especially in terms of how women are perceived and characterized therein. More and more films and television shows feature female characters in the lead roles (often very strong women). Romance novels, mysteries, and science fiction by and for women are bestsellers worldwide. More and more women are successfully writing, directing, making music and art, and becoming active in all fields (including politics and business). Yet portrayals of women today are arguably no more positive or independent than in the 1940’s, and many say women have a long way yet to go to achieve equality. We will analyze a variety of genres (films, television shows, popular music, advertisements, genre fiction, folk culture, art, and “serious” literature) to uncover messages reflecting upon women in our society. Students will be required to complete readings on time, attend class to watch films and engage in discussions, and to write essays and two exams. The course will be run seminar style, with emphasis on discussion of texts and films rather than lecture.
As a result of this course, the student will be able to do the following:
* Distinguish the ideologies, periods, and aesthetics of various examples of Women’s creative expressions;
* Evaluate the cultural significance of certain representative women writers, artists, and other important figures (historically, politically, etc.);
* Be familiar with major theoretical strands in women’s studies;
* Begin to show awareness of gender issues in biographical, historical, artistic, and intellectual contexts;
* Be able to discern and discuss the various areas, genres, and issues within cultural studies (for instance visual, aural, written, and performance genres)
* Articulate written critical arguments that require analytical close reading of texts (written, visual, etc.)
· Four total Critical Responses (Three will be shorter, 1-2 full pages minimum in typed, standard 12 pt font) discussing specific aspects of the works considered, watch, & read in that section. These essays will work directly with the texts (including film excerpts) in order to highlight the most interesting aspect of that weeks work and what you thought about the text and our discussion(s). Note: students must discuss readings (not just films) for at least two of these papers. Papers will be graded based on thoughtfulness, writing style, and clarity.
o Note that ONE of these shorter essays may be a Creative Project such as a poem (or song), short story, script, or creative non-fiction piece reflecting on women in popular culture today (and that section’s topic).
o Note as well that the FINAL (4th) of these responses should be broader in scope – considering the whole semester’s readings/films/discussions. This last paper will be longer than the previous ones (5-6 pp).
· A Midterm and a Final Examination in which students must demonstrate an ability to discuss the various texts, films and topics from class. Questions may be both objective (asking for info) and short or long essay type.
· Regular, active attendance and participation. Be prepared to ask and answer questions, and to raise and discuss issues of significance to this class. Points will be lost for absences, lack of attentiveness, tardiness, etc. Students who are absent or tardy excessively will lose points from the participation portion of the grade (10 points out of 100 per absence after the first 3). Additionally, any written work done in class (free writing and quizzes, etc.) will also be counted toward participation grades (so you will also lose 10 points off the final 100 points for participation for each such missed assignment). Note: all this counts even for excused absences.
· Timely completion of all assignments. Readings are to be completed before the due date.
Grades Midterm & Final Examinations: 20% each à 40% total
Critical Responses: 1st three = 10% each (30%); final (longer) response= 20% à 50% total
Participation: 10% (including in-class work such as worksheets, free writing, and quizzes)
NOTE: You will receive feedback on your academic performance before Midterm Examinations.
· This syllabus is a guide and as such is subject to revision. It is your responsibility as a student to attend class faithfully, note and adhere to any changes announced, & to complete all work on time. If you miss a class, contact me for any changes in readings or assignments. I DO NOT keep track of what you have missed or must make up – that is YOUR responsibility (and one of the consequences of being absent or tardy).
· I encourage you to communicate with me about any concerns, problems, or questions you may have during the semester during my office hours, by appointment or email.
· Plagiarism and cheating are unethical and unacceptable. If you have any doubt as to what constitutes plagiarism and/or cheating, see me or consult http://www.gcsu.edu/studentlife/conduct.html. ANY COPYING of information, ideas or words without proper citation constitutes a violation of the honor code and will receive a grade of F. GCSU subscribes to turnitin.com plagiarism prevention technology, and the instructor may use that or other similar sources in cases of suspected plagiarism or cheating. The best way to learn and succeed is to do your own work.
· Faithful, punctual attendance is required and will be noted. If you have a situation that requires excessive absences, it is recommended that you drop and re-take the class when you will be better prepared to attend regularly. Even excused absences do not excuse you from work due on that day – plan ahead and notify the instructor in such cases. Talk to me ASAP if you must miss class. Tardiness is also strongly discouraged and will be noted.
· Classroom activities, lectures, and discussions require enormous time and preparation and cannot be repeated or re-created for one individual student at a later time or date by the instructor. Fellow students may lend you notes & keep you informed, but duplicating a class is nearly impossible, hence the attendance recommendation. Do not ask me to repeat a class for you individually at a later time or date (even for an excused absence) – I will not do so. Come to class the first time – that is when I am prepared to teach you – or get notes from other students
· Active, respectful participation is required of all students. Respectful participation means listening to others’ opinions, presentations, and ideas even if an initial reaction is to disagree. Responses should be thoughtful, respectful, and based on readings or class information. Critical thinking (the basis of all college education and higher reasoning) requires you to attend to various sides of issues. You should learn to evaluate, compare, and judge information based on reason and logic rather than emotion. Active participation involves listening attentively and respectfully as much as it involves speaking. Aggressive or rude behavior will not be tolerated.
· Cell phones (or computers with internet access) should be turned off and kept out of sight during class period.
· BREAKS during class are not allowed except in cases of sickness or real emergency. If you leave during class (even briefly), this is the same as being absent. It shows a lack of respect and responsibility on your part. Plan to be on time and to be attentive and present through the whole class if you want to do well on your grade.
· Any student requiring modifications due to a documented disability should make an appointment to meet with the instructor as soon as possible. An official letter from GC&SU documenting the disability will be required in order to receive accommodation.
· During a fire drill or other emergency, students will promptly and safely exit the classroom in an orderly fashion according to posted routes and teacher’s instructions, then congregate in the designated spot as instructed. Class will resume if possible.
NOTES ABOUT COMPUTER WORK
· Assignments are due at the beginning of class or by the announced deadline. If you wait until the last minute to print out your paper, you rely on temperamental technology at your own risk. Be in control of the technology you use! “My computer (or printer) broke” & “I lost my jumpdrive” are NOT valid excuses. Back-up, print in a timely manner, and work far enough in advance so that you have time to spare. Retain a back-up copy of work you turn in to me.
· When a print version of your paper is required, an electronic submission may NOT be substituted (in other words you can’t email your paper to me as an attachment unless the assignment calls for such electronic submission).
RESOURCES (recommended reading)
De Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. New York: Vintage, 1989 (reissue).
Faludi, Susan. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1991.
Farrer, Claire R. ed. Women and Folklore: Images and Genres. Prospect Heights, Ill: Waveland Press, Inc., 1975.
Helford, Elyce Rae ed. Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television. New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000.
Lakoff, Robin. “You Are What You Say” article from the Bedford Reader.
Inness, Sherrie. Tough Girls: Women Warriors and Wonder Women in Popular Culture. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
NOTE: All readings are to be completed before the beginning of class on the day they are assigned.
8/17 (Mon) Introduction to Concepts/Issues Watch Century of Women: Image & Popular Culture
8/19 (Wed) What is Feminism? Finish film and READ: Faludi, Baumgardner, Dowd (Internet)
8/24 (Mon) More on Feminism READ: Valenti, pp. 1-40 & 61-80 & begin film
9/26 (Wed) Early 20th c images of women Watch Woman of the Year & Read Valenti, pp. 165-181
8/31 (Mon) Early 20th c images (cont) Read Keene, The Secret of the Old Clock (1st ed.)
9/2 (Wed) Historic Images of Women Read fairy tales &1001 Nights (copies) 1st response due
9/7 (Mon) Labor Day NO CLASS
9/9 (Wed) Early Romance READ Austen, Pride & Prejudice, pp. 1-184 (vols. 1&2)
9/14 (Mon) Early Romance (cont) READ Austen, pp. 185-198 (vol 3); begin film
9/16 (Wed) Fantasy & Foreign Cultures (& heroes) Watch: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
9/21 (Mon) Contemporary Romance READ Harlequin Romance (Pregnant: Father Wanted): all
9/23 (Wed) More Contemp Romance Watch: Sex & The City Episodes; READ Valenti, pp. 213-226
9/28 (Mon) Midterm Exam
9/30 (Wed) Fantasy Women “Frustrating Heroes” (lecture); READ Valenti, pp. 151-164
10/5 (Mon) More Fantasy Women Watch Buffy, South Park & READ Valenti, pp. 41-59
10/7 (Wed.) Fantasy Women (cont.) READ Butler (Sower), pp. 1-99
10/12 (Mon) FALL BREAK – NO CLASS
10/14 (Wed) Dystopia & Gender READ Butler, pp. 100-257 2nd response due
10/19 (Mon) Dystopia & Gender READ Butler, pp. 258-329
10/21 (Wed) No class – professor at conference Watch A Handmaid’s Tale (library reserve) & do worksheet
10/26 (Mon) Artistic Vision/Freedom Watch film Frida; Read Valenti, pp. 197-212
10/28 (Wed) Artistic Vision/Freedom Complete Film and Begin Persepolis; READ: Satrapi (part 1)
11/2 (Mon) Women & Images Complete Persepolis; READ: Satrapi (part 2)
11/4 (Wed) “ Women and Advertising (lecture)
11/9 (Mon) Gender and Race Read Walker, pp. 1-125
11/11 (Wed) “ Read Walker, pp. 126-178
11/16 (Mon) “ Read Walker, pp. 179-294
11/18 (Wed) Gender, Race, & Class Watch Real Women Have Curves 3rd response due
11/23 (Mon) Race, Class, & Gender Continue Film & Read Valenti, pp. 131-164
11/25 (Wed) THANKSGIVING BREAK
11/30 (Mon) Reality & Activism Read Barbara Kingsolver, Prodigal Summer, pp. 1-343
12/2 (Wed) Reality & Activism (cont) Read Kingsolver, pp. 344-444
WDay eal Lives Week 17
26 (Thurs) “ & Humor 12/7 (Mon) More Reality &Humor The Vagina Monologues & 4th response due (longer)
12/11 (Fri) 5:30-8:15 pm Final Exam (in class)
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