Gender and Popular Culture
This course will consider representation of gender and sexuality in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American popular culture. Some of the questions we will address are: what are the distinctions between popular culture and its mass, elite, and subcultural counterparts? how does popular culture enforce intersecting gendered, racial, ethnic, sexual, and imperial norms? how does it incorporate oppositional politics? can the popular ever itself proclaim an oppositional or radical position in relation to dominant values? We will consider several forms and genres of popular entertainment: the sit-com, the melodrama, the road movie, the romantic comedy, the musical. We will read these cultural materials in relation to feminist and queer writing on race, sexuality, embodiment, imperialism, and capitalism.