ARH & WSS 461/561 Women in Cinema

With the aim to answer E. Ann Kaplan’s question of what female subjectivity looks like on screen and what might constitute the female gaze in cinema, this course provides an introduction to gender studies in film with an emphasis on images of women in film and films made by women. Drawing upon film history and feminist film theory, Women in Cinema takes on the construction of femininity and masculinity in cinema and the representation of both male and female bodies on-screen as well as mainstream cinema’s obsession with heterosexual romantic love and traditional gender roles. In addition to questions concerning the cinematic gaze and how it tends to reflect and reinforce already-existing power dynamics in society, we will examine how constructions and representations of gender, sexuality, work, and motherhood have changed over time. Lastly, this course also includes films and videos that transgress visual and gender binaries, such as experimental or feminist counter-cinema, as important visual texts that attempt to work through the gender problematic differently on screen and in our lives. Prerequisites: junior or senior status and either AARH 260 or six credits of AWSS coursework.

Contact: Dr. Shira Segal, Director of Film Studies Minor