From Beyoncé’s Coachella performance to Donald Trump’s social media antics, 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.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
weekly response papers; students will also select past papers to develop and rewrite as more formal essays
first- and second-year students; a statement of interest will be solicited from pre-registrants
Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
This course requires significant attention to the craft of writing. Essential to this craft is the process of editing and rewriting materials with feedback from peers and professors. Students are expected to focus on improving analytical skills, critical thinking, and argumentation through attention to the writing process. They are also expected to give meaningful critical feedback on the writing of their peers. Students will select past response papers for development and rewriting.
This course deals substantively with questions about privilege and power as they interact along the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and other axes of difference.