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Gender and Media
From childhood, individuals are presented with texts and images about what it means to be female, what it means to be male, but rarely what it means to question that binary. These images and texts also present what it means to be in relationship with one another, and what it means to reject established gender roles. In this course, students will examine and research how lessons learned from popular culture impact the treatment and expectations of people individually as well as in relationship with each other. Specifically, we will analyze the ways in which news articles, movie clips, magazine advertisements, and television commercials, as well as other texts present gender identities as binary as well as gender roles of those binary structures. How are the roles and bodies of all genders presented as objects open to scrutiny, critique, exploitation, abuse, and awe? After examining rhetorical strategies and devices, we’ll read excerpts from texts by social critics such as Susan Bordo who analyze culture and its presentation of bodies. Through case studies of films and campaign ads, visits to spaces on campus that construct gender binaries, and field trips to off-campus sites, we will explore how representations of gender challenge or reinforce messages in popular media.
This course fulfills the second-level Writing and Rhetoric Requirement (WRITE 2) and will emphasize oral and written presentations.