Communication and Culture | Communication, Culture, and Community (Topic: LGBT Film Festivals and the Politics of Representation)
C385 | 27510 | Gray, M.
W, 5:30 PM-8:00 PM, C2 272
Call 855-2367 for authorization
Service Learning Course
Instructor: Mary Gray
Office: C2 243
This stand-alone, service-learning seminar will offer a small group
of advanced CMCL students hands-on experience working with community-
based cultural production. The goal of this course will be to
provide students with the opportunity to work with community
partners in close consultation with a CMCL professor towards the
development of a cultural event (i.e., thematic media screening,
presentation, performance, or multi-media experience). Want to see
the process behind putting together an international film festival?
Interested in filmmaking and/or gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender culture? Planning on a career in event planning,
marketing, sales, or arts administration? Here is your chance to
gain hands-on experience in these fields while working with media
and film scholars, community members from diverse backgrounds, and
the professional staff of the Buskirk-Chumley Theater (BCT).
Students will attend monthly planning meetings of the 4th Annual
Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival Steering Committee and work closely
with one of five different work groups – Film Selection, Marketing,
Fund Development, Additional Performance & Venues, and Party
Planning. Students will accomplish tasks as varied as compiling a
database of the films submitted to the festival, gathering
advertising quotes from various sources, investigating partnership
opportunities with other performance and social venues, organizing
other volunteers, and decorating the theater for the opening party.
Alongside the hands-on experience of developing a community-based
cultural production, students will reflect on the cultural meanings,
rhetorical strategies, and political economy of representation,
identity, and community communicative practice.
This seminar and workgroup-based course examines the contemporary
concerns and promise of what has been dubbed “new queer cinema.”
Specifically we will take up how (if?) new queer cinema offers
something different from mainstream representations of LGBT or queer
subjectivities which have served as key, U.S. popular culture sites
for the circulation of gender and sexual norms from the turn of the
20th Century to the present. Drawing on critical media and cultural
studies approaches, students will learn to comparatively read the
historical texts of popular films against the grain of more
contemporary, independently produced queer cinema as presented at
the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival and as investigated in groups
and independently through course assignments. Through a seminar-
formatted discussion, we will examine the logics of the gaze, the
pleasure and danger in looking, and the relationships between
various social categories of identity (most notably race and class)
and the visibility of queer representations. Assignments may
include: 10 hours per week minimum of on-site community service, 40-
50 pages of scholarly reading per week, 2 ˝ hours of lecture per
week, short reading response papers, and a term research paper (7-10
pages in length) based on the student’s service experience and
engaging arguments from the class readings.
• Because this is a 300-level service-learning course, it will
provide a focused interrogation of current scholarship in the field
and hands-on experiences applying concepts discussed.
• Course will be a mixture of seminar discussion, and
required, weekly participation in service with community partners;
attendance will be taken daily and count towards final course
• Authors studied will include Richard Barrios, Harry
Benshoff, Alexander Doty, Richard Dyer, Sean Griffin, Lisa
Henderson, Judith Halberstam, B. Ruby Rich, and Vito Russo.
• Continues themes and ideas presented in C205: Introduction
to Communication and Culture and C203: Gender, Sexuality, and the
• Designed to improve students’ abilities to critically
examine the representation of communities and the meaning of
community-based cultural production.
• Assignments will include written reading summaries, a group
presentation and associated paper approximately 3-5 pages in length,
and a final paper approximately 7-10 pages in length.