Representing Gender: Global Perspectives on Art, Media, and Popular Culture

Thursdays, 6 – 9 PM / 9.6.07 – 12.13.07

This course explores and interrogates the ways in which social and cultural conventions construct sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity and nationality across a broad range of representations in art, popular culture and the communications media.  Utilizing a global feminist perspective and drawing on examples from the US, China, India, Mexico, Japan, and South Africa, we will focus on thematic intersections and patterns of representation.
We examine the ways in which cultural, ideological, and generic conventions converge in a wide range of contemporary representational practices and how feminist theoretical and analytical approaches have attempted to account for a diverse range of influences and impulses.


Pamela Allara is Associate Professor Emerita at Brandeis University. An art historian, she teaches courses the history of women’s art, contemporary art, film, photography and visual culture. The author of a monograph on the American painter Alice Neel, (Pictures of People: Alice Neel’s American Portrait Gallery, [1998/2000]), her recent research has been on activist art in South Africa. In 2003, she organized the exhibition, “Co-existence: Contemporary Cultural Production in South Africa” for the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis and the South African National Gallery in Cape Town. During the 2005-6 academic year, she organized two exhibitions: “Geobodies: A Question of Boundaries” for the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, and “Cross-Current In Recent Video Installation: Water as Metaphor for Identity” for the Tufts University Art Gallery.

Lisa Cuklanz is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication at Boston College.  She is author of Rape on Trial:  How the Mass Media Construct Legal Reform and Social Change (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) and Rape on Prime Time:  Television, Masculinity, and Sexual Violence (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000).  Her research interests focus on mass media representations of gendered violence.  Her work has been published in journals including Critical Studies in Media Communication, Women's Studies in Communication, Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Gender Studies.

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Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085