MAC 244 Topics in Media Representation

This intermediate topical course of varying emphases focuses on representations of difference, while underscoring the connections between race, class, gender, and sexual identity. Through screenings and key texts from film and media studies, cultural studies, gender studies, and visual culture studies, students will learn critical methodologies for analyzing a range of media forms and the complex relationship between authors and spectators.

 
From Cyborgs to Siri: Gender, Technology and Media. In this course, we will examine the fembots, cyborgs, and female AIs imagined in film, television, and advertising, as well as the dialogue between these fictional creations and their real-life counterparts, from historical automata to the current development of robotic and virtual companions. How does techno-fantasy inform scientific reality and vice versa in the construction of these figures? What roles do we ask them to play in both realms? What might they reveal about our cultural hopes and fears around love, sex, and relationships? What social, cultural, and historical conditions, give rise to and shape their appearance? Why are they simultaneously so disturbing and fascinating for us? In answering these questions, we will examine issues around gender, sexuality, and race, while drawing from a wide range of critical discourses, including cyborg feminism, post-humanism, and afrofuturism. Screenings will include Metropolis (1927), Stepford Wives (1927), Ghost in the Shell (2003), Her (2013), and Ex Machina (2015).

Credits

4

Core Requirements Met

  • Fine Arts