LATS 241 Fall 2013 Performing Masculinity in Global Popular Culture (D)

Cross Listed as WGSS240, AMST241, THEA241
This course examines popular cultural contexts, asking what it means to be a man in contemporary societies. We focus on the manufacture and marketing of masculinity in advertising, fashion, TV/film, theater, popular music, and the shifting contours of masculinity in everyday life, asking: how does political economy change the ideal shape, appearance, and performance of men? How have products - ranging from beer to deodorant to cigarettes -- had their use value articulated in gendered ways? Why must masculinity be the purview of "males" at all; how can we change discourses to better include performances of female masculinities, butch-identified women, and trans* men? We will pay particular attention to racialized, queer, and subaltern masculinities. Some of our case studies include: the short half-life of the boy band in the US and in Asia (e.g., J/K-Pop), hip hop masculinities at home and abroad, changing standards of masculinity in pornography (e.g., thug porn), a backwards glance at 18th c. fads for eunuch opera singers, and the curious blend of chastity and homoeroticism that constitutes masculinity in the contemporary vampire genre. Through these and other examples, we learn to recognize masculinity as a performance shaped by the political economy of a given culture.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: masculinity scrapbook and journal, mid-term essay, final paper proposal, 8- to 10-page final paper, short field trip reaction essay
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: WGSS majors; American Studies majors; Theatre majors; Latina/o Studies majors; juniors/seniors; students with strong research interest in this subject matter (e.g., writing a related thesis)
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST, LATS or WGSS; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under THEA
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: LATS Comparative Race + Ethnic Studies Electives
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 1719
LATS241-01(F) SEM Performing Masculinity (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Gregory C. Mitchell
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Schapiro Hall 129 1719
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