Welcome to ICM 836
May 30, 2017 - Jun 29, 2017
Gender matters everywhere in the world... And I would like today to ask that we begin to dream about and plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start. We must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently. We do a great disservice to boys in how we raise them. We stifle the humanity of boys. We define masculinity in a very narrow way. - Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This course is an examination of the various ways the concepts of gender and feminism is defined and used, specifically in global contexts, and how media representations as well as communication technologies influence those processes. Contemporary cultural theories of representation, and tools for creating critical cultural analysis, are reviewed with the focus not only on how gender has been represented across cultures, but also how gender influences the production of communication. In addition, analyses of other communicative practices via the media – from education to advocacy, to marketing – are analyzed.
Units of Instruction:
I. THEORY: The Basics of Feminism, Global Feminism, and Feminist/Gendered Media Studies
II. THEORY: Views on Feminist Media Research from Around the Word
III. THEORY: Feminist Issues and the Media as a Global Issue
IV. THEORY: The Media, Gender, and Development
V. PRAXIS: An ongoing, guided, research project and a lecturer duty.
This is a very intensive course. We will meet every Tuesday and Thursday online, as well as on 3 Wednesdays. You will have several different assignments, ranging form small commentaries and reflections to your own research diary-blog and the related final essay; a book review; and a theory end-of-semester-quiz.
Tuesdays are "Theory Days" when I introduce a dimension of our topic as a written briefing. You are given a small, related assignment, due on Thursday at midnight. Thursdays are your research days, that is, I will give a small inspirational prompt and you will work on your final paper every week, your research assignment due by following Tuesday. Later in the course (22, 29 June) I will hold Google Hangouts during lunch hours and in the evening (your choice) to discuss your research work. You need to participate in one. You will also have one "lecturer duty" on a Wednesday (7, 14, 21 June, see the schedule below) during which you introduce us to a notable feminist thinker or activist with an influence in the media sector and/or global feminism in general, and design a small related assignment for the rest of us.
Following this class, all students should be able to:
1. Discuss feminist media studies in the context of international communication and media studies; be familiar with the core academic ideas and most influential research;
2. Understand the complex roles of gender and media in a globalizing world, and its role in broader global trends and developments specifically in terms of DEVELOPMENT;
3. Observe and analyze contemporary key issues and phenomena related to (a) trends in feminist media and communication studies around the world (THEORY); and (b) gendered global challenges and their relationship to the media (PRAXIS).
4. Consequently, be able to critically dissect, discuss and debate questions related legacy and digital media and gender, from local, national and global perspectives. This will be examined by one's research project, lecture duty, and book review (PRAXIS);
5. Apply learned knowledge, utilizing holistic thinking, intercultural understanding of gender challenges, and technological skills.
1. Weekly participation on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as 3 Wednesdays. Tuesdays are my theory briefings for you. We will use this wonderful collection of short essays on feminist media studies from around the world (you need the book!) as well as additional material that I share with you. Thursdays I provide you with a "research inspiration/prompt" assignment. Weekly participation thus entails: (a) weekly readings; (b) two assignments (one very small on the lectures, one more extensive and reflective on your research project. In addition, on a Wednesday you will design and post a lecture for us; and (c) weekly comments to others' research ideas.
Note: One major principle gender studies has brought to academia is that of breaking down hierarchies, and practicing transparency. The latter means engaging with "situated knowledge", i.e., openly recognizing one's own context and how that influences one's interests, thinking, work. That is why we here produce content for all of us to see and comment (your research diaries as blogs), and that is why you all also have a session as an instructor.
Tuesday theory briefings happen here:
For your Thursday research diary, your are to create a blog (wordpress, tumblr, or equivalent, e.g. a Google shareable document -- anything the rest of us can comment). You will proceed week by week with different tasks/steps toward your final essay. The rest of us will give you feedback, and help, and inspiration, and ideas, every week.
You can miss one assignment (Tue or Thu) without consequences. If you need to miss more, please contact me to discuss in advance. Please feel free to reach out to me at any point for any questions or queries regarding the weekly assignment!
2. Book Review. This will be a part of your weekly theory assignments. You are to review the incredibly popular, but also incredibly controversial, journalistic account on the status of women around the world, titled Half the Sky. Posted on your research diary-blog, equivalent to 1-2 pages, single spaced 12 pt; can include images, videos, links to other texts.
3. Lecture Duty. Write a blog post on your blog/platform about a thinker and/or activist in the field of global feminism whom you find interesting/important/controversial/up-and-coming (choose your motivation). Please include in your discussion some reference to the media: Is your person directly involved in the media (say, a journalist?), or does s/he use the media, and how? Also, please include a small assignment for the rest of us.
4. Final Review Exam at the end of the course, on some core concepts discussed in the “theory lectures”.
5. Final Essay on your research project. You have been working on the topic form the first Thursday on, receiving support from the rest of us, so this is just using your material and compiling it into a final product. You will see how easy it is once you work in small steps, and with everyone's help! Detailed instructions will be distributed on 22 June: 15 min. video or audio (podcast), or a 10-15-page written reflection (1.5 space, 12 pt Times New Roman or equivalent). Whichever format you choose, please submit in addition a list of sources you used.
This class is an intensive five-week experience. Hence your
weekly participation amounts to 45% of your grade. This includes the research assignments as well as the small theory reflections. Please
note also that this course seeks to follow the core principles of
feminist scholarship: Self-reflection and transparency. Please
feel free to contextualize your ideas and thoughts; feel free to
question the readings and critically analyze your own
assumptions and research findings as well as any assignments
and ideas presented in the lectures. Here's a link to my general principles when grading online participation.
In addition, Book Review (10%) and Lecturer Duty (10%) will count separately toward your final grade. Final Review Quiz: 15% of the final grade.
Final Research Reflection (written, audio, or video): 20% of the
Remember: Tuesdays: Theory - assignments due by the following Thursday at midnight. Thursdays: Research - assignments due by the following Tuesday at midnight. Comments on your colleagues' research due asap after they have posted, but by Thursday midday before the next research assignment.
Tue 5/30: Introduction to the Course. The way of working: what & why? Practical instructions. Assignment: Get your books and begin reading Half the Sky!
Thu 6/1: Step 1 of research. Introduction to feminist research approaches. Assignment: Create your blog and an intro post of your potential research interest by 6/6 midnight (prompts will be given). Send me the link and I will share it with everyone. Then check out and comment everyone's first post by Thu 6/8.
Tue 6/6: What is Feminism? What is GLOBAL Feminism? Where do the Media and Communication Technologies Come In? Readings: https://vialogue.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/ted-we-should-all-be-feminists-chimamanda-ngozi-adichie-at-tedxeuston-transcript/ ; Current Perspectives: Chapters 3 and 15. Assignment due by Thu 6/8 midnight.
Wed 6/7: ALEXIS and LAUREN introduce us to 2 intriguing thinkers or activists. They can work together and create one post featuring two people, or work independently and post separate posts, in their respective blogs (research diary platforms). They will also give us a small assignment, due within a week as a comment to their post.
Thu 6/8: Step 2 of research. Start to search for resources and sources. Assignment due 6/13 midnight (prompts will be given). Then check out and comment - help everyone else by Thu 6/15.
Tue 6/13: Global Outlooks on Feminist Media Studies. Readings: Current Perspectives: Chapters 4,5,6,10,14,18,19 (choose 5); http://www.feminisminchina.com/. Assignment due by Thu 6/15 midnight. NOTE: Your Book Review will be due Thu 6/22! Make sure you keep reading Half the Sky!
Wed 6/14: NICOLE and SARAH introduce us to 2 intriguing thinkers or activists. They can work together and create one post featuring two people, or work independently and post separate posts, in their respective blogs (research diary platforms). They will also give us a small assignment, due within a week as a comment to their post.
Thu 6/15: Step 3 of research. Start to hone in specific research angles and point: identify 3. Assignment due Tue 6/20 midnight (prompts will be given). Then check out and comment - help everyone to clarify their points by Thu 6/22.
Tue 6/20: Global Feminism and Fields of Feminist Media Studies: From Representations to Security and Policy. Readings: Current Perspectives: 7,11, 17 http://whomakesthenews.org/gmmp/gmmp-reports/gmmp-2015-reports. No assignment, but: Your Book Review on Half the Sky due on Thu 6/22 at midnight. Posted on your research diary-blog, equivalent to 1-2 pages, single spaced 12 pt; can include images, videos, links to other texts.
Wed 6/21: KIAH and JEHAN introduce us to 2 intriguing thinkers or activists. They can work together and create one post featuring two people, or work independently and post separate posts, in their respective blogs (research diary platforms). They will also give us a small assignment, due within a week as a comment to their post.
Thu 6/22: Step 4 of research. Write your outline and introductory paragraph. Assignment due Tue 6/27 midnight (prompts will be given). Then check out and comment by Thu 6/29. Several Google Hangouts for you choose from, to discuss your final paper; final essay instructions emailed to you as well. (You can participate today, or following Thu). Remember: The Book Review is due tonight.
Tue 6/27: Synthesis. Reflections on Global Feminism and the Media, from Theory and Praxis, based on your book reviews and other related texts. Online quiz will be distributed; you will have until Thu 7/6 midnight to complete it.
Thu 6/29: Synthesis. Reflections on research. Google Hangout to discuss your final essay; you will have until Thu 7/6 midnight to complete it.
Thu 7/6 midnight: Final Quiz and Essay due.