WGSS 240 Spring 2015 Performing Masculinity in Global Popular Culture (D)

Cross Listed as LATS241, SOC240, 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, 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. The course includes a field trip to a drag performance in Northampton.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: masculinity journal, mid-term essay, visual analyses of pop culture artifact, choice of final essay or 8-10 page final paper, short field trip reaction essay
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Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: in the event of over-enrollment, a short statement of interest will be solicited
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Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST, LATS, SOC or WGSS; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under THEA
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: EXPE Experiential Education Courses,LATS Comparative Race + Ethnic Studies Electives
Enrollment Limit: 20
Expected Enrollment: 20
Class Number: 3799
WGSS 240 - 01 (S) SEM Performing Masculinity (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Gregory C. Mitchell
W 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Sawyer Mabie Room 3799
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