Women and Representation

Course Number: ENGL 114WR
Prerequisites: Check on GOLD
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 114AA-ZZ
Quarter: Summer B 2011
Instructor: Boscagli, Maurizia
Day(s): MTWR
Time: 12:30 PM - 1:35 PM
Location: GIRV 1112

May be repeated for credit to a maximum of 28 units provided letter designations are different.

Medusas/the gaze/voyeurism/(leaving)home/female masochism/femme fatales/male hysteria/power/representation/things to do with Barbie dolls/reading the slender body/angry women/hungry women/eating disorders/”madness”/masquerade/desire/consumption/abjection/pleasure/writing/toxic mothers/ballbreakers/freaks/rude girls/cyborgs/women in tuxedos/dressed to kill…

This course examines a number of literary and visual texts (films, paintings, and photographs) to discuss the question of gender and representation. What happens when women, always the object of representation, reappropriate “the gaze” and the power to construct a field of vision? What does it mean to see and write “as a woman”? Even more, what is femininity and how does one become a woman? How are women taught to perceive themselves and their bodies? Where does the image of the femme fatale come from? Why are women the “designated” readers of romance? How do class, ethnicity, and emigration inflect the production of femininity? We will discuss the cultural production of gender by turning to modern and contemporary texts from different cultures.

Texts include: Jean Rhys, Wilde Sargasso Sea
Edwige Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory
Marguerite Duras, The Lover
Arundaty Roy, The God of Small Things

Films: Jane Campion, Sweetie
Marleen Gorris, A question of Silence
Todd Haynes, Safe
Cheryle Dunye, The Watermelon Woman