WGS 345 • INTRO WOM/GEND STD FINE ARTS-W
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
This course will provide an introduction to women's and gender studies in relation to visual, performance, theatrical, and musical culture by focusing on two genres or modes that have been of central interest to feminists in the United States and Europe: melodrama and documentary. We will begin by reading one of the foundational examples of U.S. melodrama, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin or Life Among The Lowly, followed by a number of essays and works of art that have addressed this book and its impact on the relationship between race and gender in the United States and elsewhere. In the second part of the course, we will look at James Agee and Walker Evans's 1941 documentary study of Southern sharecroppers Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. This text and its accompanying images address the boundary between documentary and autobiographical representation. We will then consider a number of artists and scholars who have made these boundaries or limits central to their work as feminists. Finally, we will consider two films which deal with the same subject, the murder of Brandon Teena, through the two genres of documentary or melodrama in order to draw some conclusions about the relationships between these two genres and their effectiveness as feminist tools.
CONTAINS A SUBSTANTIAL WRITING COMPONENT AND FULFILLS PART OF THE BASIC EDUCATION REQUIREMENT IN WRITING. UPPER-DIVISION STANDING REQUIRED. RESTRICTED ENROLLMENT; CONTACT THE DEPARTMENT FOR PERMISSION TO REGISTER FOR THIS COURSE. COURSE NUMBER MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT WHEN THE TOPICS VARY. MEETS WITH F A 350.