WGSS 138
Spectacular Sex Spring 2018
Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed WGSS 138 / ANTH 138
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From BeyoncĂ©’s Super Bowl halftime show to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, spectacles captivate us. Spectacles may be live shows, media events, or even everyday performances ranging from interactive advertisements to viral video sensations. But what are the uses of spectacle? Why are some compelling while others fall flat? How do spectacles control society or maintain social norms? And, importantly for our purposes, how does spectacle shape gender in society? Or from another angle, how does sexuality infuse spectacle? This tutorial introduces students to theories of spectacle ranging from the ancient Greeks to Marxist-inspired thinkers in the 20th century. In particular, we will examine how feminist thinkers have contributed to this literature and how theories of spectacle relate to questions of gender and sexuality. Our weekly readings focus on pairings of theoretical readings with writing on popular cultural examples and case studies. Some possible topics include sporting events, charity ad campaigns, music videos, political events, and social media.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 3539
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly response papers
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first- and second-year students; a statement of interest will be solicited from pre-registrants
Distributions: Division II Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
WGSS 138 Division II ANTH 138 Division II

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