1.15.2009

Sample Syllabi: Communicating Sex, Gender, & Sexuality

This course explores the complex and complimentary relationship between communications me-
dia and sexual and gender minorities, primarily in the era of broadcast, mass-media telecommu-
nications in the United States. Communications media are examined as tools of networking and
building identities and communities, but also channels of stereotyping and exclusion. We will
examine how different groups have used different media technologies, and approached the media
with different strategies and tactics of visibility, confrontation, deliberation, and expression. Me-
dia are also examined as extensions of various social institutions. Throughout this process, we
will examine changing historical conceptions of sex, gender, and sexuality, and explore how
those categories are socially determined, as well as inflected differently through other social
categories, such as race and class. The goal for the class is to acquire a nuanced and historically
informed understanding of how communications media are utilized both in the social construc-
tion and contestation of categories of sex, gender, and sexuality.

TEXTS
•Viviane Namaste, Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People
•Mattilda aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore, That’s Revolting! Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimi-
lation (Revised & Expanded Edition)
•Larry Gross, Up From Invisibility: Lesbians, Gay Men and the Media in America
•Additional readings: Blackboard
RECOMMENDED
• MLA, APA or Chicago style guide
• Optional readings: Blackboard

REQUIREMENTS: You must complete all course requirements to pass the class.
• Short Assignments (7) 20%
•Paper 25%
•Midterm 20%
•Final Exam 25%
• In-Class Participation 10%


COURSE PREVIEW. All assignments will be turned in through Blackboard.
Short Assignments: These are informal thoughts, reactions, responses, and reflections NOT re-
views or summaries. These will be based on readings AND media texts, and must be at minimum
500 words. All will be turned in and shared with the class via Blackboard. These count 20% of
your final grade. You need to complete seven. You must respond to:
Three media texts: Choose from the list posted on Blackboard and announced throughout
the semester. Contact instructor to approve items of your own choosing.
Three readings - Any required reading.
ONe reading OR media text of your choosing.
Paper: Two parts: A prospectus or rough outline (1-2 pages, 10 points) and the final paper (12
pages, 15 points). It will count 25% of your final grade. It is due by the start of the following
class. The assignment will be a media analysis of (re)definition of a sex, gender, or sexual iden-
tity, subculture, or group.

Exams: The midterm (take home, 20%) and final (in class, 25%) will be combinations of short
answer and essay questions.

COURSE SCHEDULE

FOUNDATIONS & FRAMEWORKS

WEEK 1 Welcome and Introduction: Sex, Gender, Sexuality
Screening: The Aggressives, (Daniel Peddle, 2005)

WEEK 2 Situating Ourselves: Histories, Narratives, Myths
Blackboard:
• W. Bennemann, from Male-male Intimacy in Early America: Beyond Romantic Friendships
• L. Doan, from Fashioning Sapphism:The Origins of a Modern English Lesbian Culture
• Thomas Laqueur, from Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud
• Judith Halberstam, from Female Masculinity

WEEK 3 Media, Society, Democracy
Gross:
• “Preface”
• “The Mediated Society”
Mattilda:
• Mattilda, “There's More to Life than Platinum: Challenging the Tyranny of Sweatshop-
produced Rainbow Flags and Participatory Patriarchy”
Blackboard:
• David Eisenbach, from Gay Power: An American Revolution
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 1 DUE
COMMUNICATION & MEDIA

WEEK 4 Independent Media: Communicating to Each Other
Gross:
• “Coming Out and Coming Together”
Mattilda:
• Blake Nemec SalMonella, “Riding Radio to Choke the IMF”
Blackboard:
• Martin Meeker, from Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Commu-
nity, 1940s-1970s
• Tristan Taormino, Karen Green, “Introduction,” from A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the
World: Writings from the Girl ‘Zine Revolution
Screening: No Skin Off My Ass, Bruce La Bruce (1991)
Communicating Sex, Gender, & Sexuality

WEEK 5 Visibility: Communicating to Others
Gross:
• “Stonewall and Beyond”
Mattilda:
• Ferd Eggan, “Church, State, Acid Trips, the Merry-go-Round, Patriots, the Conspiracy, and
Diapers Dykes and Fags Want Everything: Dreaming with the Gay Liberation Front”
• Mattilda, “Gay Shame: From Queer Autonomous Space to Direct Action Extravaganza”
• Tommi Avicolli Mecca, “It's All About Class”
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 2 DUE

WEEK 6 Representation: Being Communicated About
Gross:
• “At the Movies”
• “Television Takes Over”
• “Hollywood Under Pressure”
• “Hollywood’s Gay Nineties”
Blackboard:
• Susan Jeffords, from Hard Bodies: Hollywood Masculinity in the Reagan Era
Screening: The Celluloid Closet, (Rob Epstein, 1995)

WEEK 7 Representation cont.
Gross:
• “Beyond Prime Time”
• “Old Stories and New Technologies”
• “Facing the Future”
Namaste:
• “Gendered Nationalisms and Nationalized Genders: The Use of Metaphor in Mass Culture
and U.S. Transsexual Activism”
Mattilda:
• Rocko Bulldagger, “Dr. Laura, Sit on My Face”
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 3 DUE

WEEK 8 Marketing: Communicating to Consumers
Gross:
• “A Niche of Our Own”
Mattilda:
• Chris Grinnell, “More Abercrombie Than Activist?”
Blackboard:
• Katherine Sender, from Business, not Politics: The Making of the Gay Market
MIDTERM HANDED OUT END OF CLASS
Communicating Sex, Gender, & Sexuality
COMMUNICATION & OTHER INSTITUTIONS

WEEK 9 The Academy: Communicating Theory
Blackboard:
• Esther Newton, from Mother Camp: Female Impersonators in America
• Michael Warner, from The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life
Namaste:
• “‘Tragic Misreadings’: Queer Theory's Erasure of Transgender Subjectivity”
• “Theory Trouble: Social Scientific Research and Transgendered People”
• “Beyond Texualist and Objectivist Theory: Toward a Reflective Poststructuralist Sociol-
ogy”
MIDTERM DUE START OF CLASS
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 4 DUE

WEEK 10 Culture & Art: Communicating Affect & Expression
Mattilda:
• Stephen Kent Jusick, “Gay Art Guerrillas: Interview with Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schul-
man”
• Charlie Anders, “Choice Cuts”
• Eustacia Smith, “Stripping for the Movement”
Namaste:
• “‘A Gang of Trannies’: Gendered Discourse and Punk Culture”
PROSPECTUS FOR PAPER DUE

WEEK 11 Medicine & Science: Defining & Communicating Identities
Blackboard:
• Michel Foucault, from History of Sexuality v. 1
• Janice Irvine, from Disorders of Desire: Sexuality and Gender in Modern American Sexol-
ogy
Namaste:
• “Access Denied: The Experiences of Transsexuals and Transgendered People with Health
Care and Social Services in Toronto, Ontario”
• “Clinical Research or Community Health?: Transsexual Perceptions of Gender Identity
Clinics”
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 5 DUE

Week 12 Medicine: AIDS Communication
Gross:
• “AIDS and the Media”
Mattilda:
• Sarah Schulman, “That Incredible Exhilaration: An Interview with Jim Eigo from The ACT
UP Oral History Project”
Namaste:
Communicating Sex, Gender, & Sexuality
• “The Administration of Erasure: The Bureaucracy of Legal Sex, a Vicious Circle of Admin-
istration, and HIV/AIDS in Quebec”
Screening: Fight Back, Fight AIDS: 15 Years of ACT UP (James Wentzy, 2003)
PAPER DUE

WEEK 13 Military: National Communication
Gross:
• “Breaking the Code of Silence”
Mattilda:
• Priyank Jindal, “Sites of Resistance or Sites of Racism?”
Screening: Tell (Tom Murray, 2008)
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 6 DUE

WEEK 14 Social Mores: Communicating Deviance
Mattilda:
• Eric Stanley, “Dealing Discourse: Drugs and the (Re)invention of Resistance”
• Dr. Ralowe Trinitrotoluene Ampu, DDS, “Vitoligo vs. the Drapetomania Syndrome”
Blackboard:
• Susan Bordo, from Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body
• Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality”
• Christine Robinson, Sue Spivey, “The Politics of Masculinity and the Ex-Gay Movement”

WEEK 15 Marriage: Communicating Family
Gross:
• “Journalism’s Closet Opens”
Mattilda:
• Stephanie Schroeder, “Queer Parents: An Oxymoron? Or Just Moronic?”
• Carol Queen, “Never a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride,”
• Marlon M. Bailey, Priya Kandaswamy, Mattie Udora Richardson, “Is Gay Marriage Rac-
ist?”
Blackboard:
• John Boswell, from Same-sex Unions in Premodern Europe
SHORT ASSIGNMENT 7 DUE

WEEK 16 The Law: Communicating Behavior
Namaste:
• “Genderbashing: Sexuality, Gender, and the Regulation of Public Space”
Mattilda:
• Patrick Califia, “Legalized Sodomy is Political Foreplay”
• Dean Spade, “Fighting to Win”
• Michelle O'Brien, “Stayin' Alive: Trans Survival and Struggle on the Streets of Philadel-
phia”

----> FINAL EXAM: NOTE DATE & TIME!

No comments:

Post a Comment