Concern on Object of Popular Culture for Gender in Media own close reading and analysis of a film, tv show, advertisement, music video, or other “object” of popular culture, as a way to investigate ideas about gender in the media
For this paper, you will be performing your own close reading and analysis of a film, tv show, advertisement, music video, or other “object” of popular
culture, as a way to investigate ideas about gender in the media. Judith Butler’s essay and the film Miss Representation will serve as your two main sources,
from which you will draw theoretical and applied ideas about cultural representations and “performances” of gender. This does not necessarily mean you must
agree absolutely with Butler or Miss Representation; whether your own argument follows their ideas or diverges from them, you will need to carefully analyze
their ideas and show precisely how and why your own thesis says something different.
Concern on Object of Popular Culture for Gender in Media Primary Sources
Your primary source will be up to you to choose. It may be something that explicitly deals with gender issues (either subversively, like No Doubt’s “Just a
Girl” or problematically, like Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”) or something that reveals embedded or internalized ideas about gender. If you feel your
argument will be best supported by focusing on Butler’s essay more than the film, or the film more than the essay, that is fine, but you must show that you
are considering the ideas and problems presented by both. You must also demonstrate a thorough understanding of the arguments in your secondary sources, and
must provide specific textual references (i.e., quotations). Your ability to present an understanding of these sources and to use them to effectively support
your argument will constitute a significant portion of the paper’s grade.
We will work in the next few classes on questions and modes of analysis to use in close readings of primary material, as well as a continuing discussion of
Butler’s ideas and the film. It will be important for you to understand and engage with these discussions, so that you are best prepared to construct a
strong and effective argument for your paper.