Saturday, August 31, 2013


Women and Media Fall 2013
MEDIA 384.00
Saturdays 2:10 – 5:00pm
Department of Film and Media - Hunter College
Professor Doris Caçoilo  :: dcacoilo @
In this course students will be introduced to key issues and theoretical approaches in the study of women and media.  The course will explore representations of women in media as well as researching the work of women in the industry. Students will research and analyze how the media creates and challenges stereotypes, ideas of difference including exclusionary representations of minorities and women. Readings, class discussions and projects will explore how media shapes our attitudes and identities. Long a focus and a concern in feminist scholarship, critique of the media is crucial in the discussion of the representation of women in the media. The course will use a historic context of feminist media studies to interpret and analyze contemporary media examples. Students will read across various fields to interpret and critique images in various media: television, advertising, film and new media to explore women’s role and perception, women as audience and especially the importance of women as media makers.

This class is intended to help students develop the ability to create thoughtful and engaging projects and writing assignments. In addition to a rigorous reading schedule students are required to write various projects for the class blog and sustain continued research and writing throughout the course in addition to the scheduled projects. 

Feedback from your classmates is a valuable resource for the improvement of your writing and your work. Critiques allow us to share our projects with others and express our intentions. The idea is to be able to understand the concept behind each work and to analyze the method of every student to determine whether they achieved their goals.  Feedback from others gives us valuable information in order to keep making progress.  For this reason, class participation is essential.

Class sessions will be divided into presentations, class discussion of the readings, and group critiques of projects. Presentations will address both theoretical and analytical issues related to women and media. Some class time will be dedicated to work on individual projects but it is the student’s responsibility to finish his/her work and present it on time. Students are responsible to be prepared for class, read all assignments on time and post all writing and projects to the blog, paying attention to technical and aesthetic presentation as well as thoughtful and well-developed content.

READINGS There are no required texts. Various weekly reading assignments will be assigned and linked on the blog and posted on Blackboard. The full reading schedule will be distributed on the blog. Readings are due each week. All readings are REQUIRED unless otherwise stated.

CLASS PARTICIPATION For each reading you must prepare two questions and two quotes or passages from the readings for class discussion. Several students will be called on in each discussion and you must have these prepared for each reading.

BLOG You must consult the class blog daily to check for announcements, readings and to post your assignments. The blog is crucial to the course and completion of the requirements. You MUST have access to the blog to complete assignments, readings, post work and comment on students’ posts.

TWITTER You must create a twitter account (if you do not have one already) we will share links and comments with each other using the class hashtag: #womenmedia
Five writing assignments published to the blog as well as a class presentation and a final project will be developed during the semester. You must complete these in a professional manner and ON TIME. No late work will be accepted for a full grade evaluation unless previously discussed with the professor. The assignments will be related to the issues discussed in class, allowing students to explore new technologies by researching and responding to various class discussions and readings.

--Attendance and grading policy:
Attendance is required. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class, and will be considered when determining the final course grade.

More than three (3) absences will result in an 'F' (failure) for the class. No exceptions. This is standard policy across digital media courses. Class begins on time, so you must be punctual. Lateness, leaving early or leaving class unexcused for an extended period of time will also be recorded. Two of these instances will count as one absence.
You are required to make up any and all work that is missed if you are absent. Notify the professor if you will be absent or e-mail asap. As work will not be accepted late, please contact the professor to hand in work on time!

--Grade policy:
All assignments must be finished and handed in on time to receive a passing grade for this course.

30% 5 blog posts
10% 1 group presentation
40% final project
20% participation (Contributions to class, critiques and the blog + attendance)

NOTE: BACK-UP your work frequently, even as you are working on the projects. Write and edit your posts locally before uploading them to the web. No excuses!

* If you have a disability which will affect your coursework, please notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class to ensure suitable arrangements and a comfortable working environment.
Contact The Office for Students with Disabilities, Hunter East 1119 Phone  (212) 772-4882 or 4891, TTY: (212) 650-3230.

* This is a list of numbers which you can use if there is an emergency or crisis situation on the Hunter campus or if you need assistance at other times.
Security -B125 West - 772 - 4444; During business hours: Medical Office - Room 307 North - 772 - 4800; Office of Student Services - 1119 East - 772 - 4882 4891 (crisis counseling available), The Women's Center - 801 East - 772 - 4931.

Hunter's Reading/Writing center is where students receive tutoring in reading and writing skills, critical reading, and the writing process. Students can apply for a weekly appointment with a tutor and/or use drop-in services during scheduled hours. Students may also attend workshops offered at the Center throughout the academic year.

Statement on Originality of the Work
All work completed for this course must be completed by the student enrolled in the course. All work for this course must be made in this course and not fulfilling the requirements of another prior or current course unless pre-approved by the instructor. Plagiarism is a very serious academic offense which will result in penalties ranging from reduction of class grade to failure in the course. Plagiarism occurs when the ideas, images, and words, published or unpublished, of others are presented as one's own without citing the original source. Plagiarism also occurs when the papers, research, or creative works of another person are presented as one's own work.

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All students need to be on the listserv FM-L to receive important departmental notices. Just email and leaving the subject line blank, write SUBSCRIBE fm-l (that's an "L" not a 1) in the body of message and you're set!


All readings for each class will be listed on the class blog every week. It is the student’s responsibility to check the blog for required readings and assignments. All readings can be found on Blackboard, online (linked from the blog) or otherwise specified on the blog.

If you ever have questions or concerns about the schedule, due dates, changes or anything else please ask me after class or e-mail me:

Students are required to read the appropriate readings for each class, complete all assignments on time and post 2 links to delicious each week.

Week 1: Saturday 8/31 What is Media? Culture? Gender roles? Introduction and discussion.
Week 2: Saturday 9/07 (class starts at 3pm) Ways of viewing--the gaze Discussion. Readings Due. Discussion session. Bring in media example for discussion Post 1 Due #passesbechdeltest
Week 3: Saturday 9/14 NO CLASS 
Week 4: Saturday 9/21 Signifying Gender: Femininity Discussion. Readings Due. Post 2 Due
Week 5: Saturday 9/28 Signifying Gender: Masculinity Discussion. Readings Due. 
Week 6: Saturday 10/5 Gender and Advertising Discussion. Readings Due.
Final project topics due.
Week 7: Saturday 10/12 Body Image Discussion. Readings Due. Post 3 Due
Week 8: Saturday 10/19 News Media and Ownership Discussion. Readings Due.
Final project proposals due.
Week 9: Saturday 10/26 Alternative Media -- response, identity and roles. Discussion. Readings Due.
Week 10: Saturday 11/2 Women and Movies Discussion. Readings Due. Post 4 Due
Week 11: Saturday 11/9 Independent, Documentary Film Discussion. Readings Due. (Draft) Bibliography due.
Week 12: Saturday 11/16 Media Activism, Art/New Media Discussion. Readings Due. Post 5 Due
Week 13: Saturday 11/21 Art/New Media Discussion. Presentation of Final Projects in progress.
Week 14: Saturday 11/30 NO CLASS J THANKSGIVING 

Week 15: Saturday 12/7 Presentation of Final Projects + papers due. – Group Critique
Week 16: Saturday 12/14 Presentation of Final Projects + papers due. – Group Critique

Week 17: Saturday 12/21 – TBD no class if all presentations are completed

 *Weekly presentations:
Present the work of a media artist, activist or leader who has used media to further address women’s issues, the lives of women and/or global awareness of women’s rights. A small group of students will present each week. Presentations should be organized, clear and engaging and should include a visual component in addition to a well prepared verbal presentation. These should be 7-10 minutes. The topics should be relevant to the classwork and should spur discussion within the classroom. Presentations must be posted to the blog. Every student will present once throughout the semester.

*Posts 1-5.
Students must develop well-edited and researched responses to readings and discussions in class. Each post will be specific to the topics covered in class at that time and will be explained during class. Students are responsible to write and edit these posts as well as illustrate them and successfully post them to the blog for discussion and critique in class.

*Final Project – Creating Your Own Media: A Cultural Intervention
Based on the discussions, readings and projects presented in class and on the blog, please create a short piece of media which focuses on a social or political issue to specifically address the role of media, technology, audience, gender, owners and media makers. Your project should address how media affects the lives of women and/or how women can be instrumental in solving or raising awareness. Your project must be published and somehow distributed to your audience.

Ultimately your project should:
1)    Be publically visible.
2)    Provide clear criticism of a specific media narrative or aspect of popular culture.
3)    Encourage its audience to shift their perspective and take social action.

These must also be published to the class blog and presented in class.

The assignment can take many forms:
-Essay with embedded images.
-Video- music, documentary, performance.
-Researched article or paper.
-Extensive slideshow with captions or narration (think NYTimes)
-Interactive Web Project/Site

*You must create a post on the blog for your final project. This will include a link to your project, a summary and explanation, images and or videos. You will present using/from your post - this will be much easier. ALL projects must be posted to the class blog and resource lists and summaries printed and handed in to me. Projects in print such as: papers, zines etc must be physically handed in to me. I have invited guests to attend our final presentations.

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