WGSS 313 Fall 2012 Gender, Race, Beauty, and Power in the Age of Transnational Media (D)

Cross Listed as COMP313, AMST313, LATS313
This lecture and discussion course focuses on the politics of personal style among U.S. women of color in an era of viral video clips, the 24-hour news cycle, and e-commerce sites dedicated to the dermatological concerns of "minority" females. With a comparative, transnational emphasis on the ways in which gender, sexuality, ethno-racial identity, and class inform standards of beauty, we will examine a variety of materials ranging from documentary films, commercial websites, poetry and sociological case studies to feminist theory. Departing from the assumption that personal aesthetics are intimately tied to issues of power and privilege, we will engage the following questions: What are the everyday functions of personal style among women of color? Is it feasible to assert that an easily identifiable "African-American," "Latina," or "Asian-American" female aesthetic exists? What role do transnational media play in the development and circulation of popular aesthetic forms? How might the belief in personal style as a tactic of resistance challenge traditional understandings of what it means to be a "feminist" in the first place? Readings include works by Julie Bettie, Rosalinda Fregoso, Tiffany M. Gill, Margaret L. Hunter, Linda Leung, Lisa Nakamura, Catherine Ramirez, Felicity Schaefer-Grabiel, and Sandra K. Soto, among others.
Class Format: discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation to be based on student participation, 1 student-led discussion period, and 2 written essays of 5-7 pages each
Additional Info:
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: LATS 105, AFR 200, AMST 201, WGSS 101 or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: Latina/o Studies concentrators, American Studies majors, Africana Studies concentrators, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies majors
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Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under AMST, LATS or WGSS; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under COMP
Divisional Attributes: Division II,Exploring Diversity
Other Attributes: WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
Enrollment Limit: 12
Expected Enrollment: 12
Class Number: 1656
WGSS313-01(F) SEM Gender, Race, Beauty, Power (D) Division 2: Social StudiesExploring Diversity Initiative Maria Elena Cepeda
TF 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Hollander 240 1656
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