Communication And Culture | Gender and Communication
C450 | 1123 | Evans


TOPIC: CONTEMPORARY MASCULINITIES/FEMININITIES

What does it mean to be a man - to be a white man, an African American
man? How does a "real" woman behave - and why?  How do gay men and
lesbians negotiate masculinity and femininity?  Do we still need feminism
and if so what for?  Do we need a men's movement? This course looks at the
kinds of answers to these questions offered to us by popular culture.
Using fiction, film and autobiography we will critically examine what kind
of options are made available to us as men and women, and what kinds of
limitations are placed upon the performance of gender.

The course places an emphasis on how ideals and norms of gender vary
across different sexualities, races and nationalities.  For this reason,
films and texts for the course have been chosen to reflect diverse
cultures and disciplines, ranging from anthropological accounts of
sub-Saharan societies where men take part in beauty contests, to the
autobiography of an Asian American woman confronting the limits of gender
and ethnicity, to the powerful masculine images communicated through
Hollywood cyborg films.  Course topics include a look at some of the
movements that have struggled to change perceptions of men and women in
America.  The aim of the course as a whole is to create room for
discussion and debate about current representations of gender and to
imagine new possibilities for the men and women of the future.