Skip to content
2021 Spring

GENDER, MINORITY & CULTURE - SOC251 Spring 2021


Course
Pavla Jonssonova
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

Lessons

Here is the course outline:

1. Gender Introductory Lecture

Feb 8, online

Gender as a category of analysis. CEDAW. EU gender mainstreaming, Women’s Lobby Description: Difference between sex and gender. What is the main idea of The Second Sex? What is CEDAW? What is gender mainstreaming? What is Judith Butler’s concept of gender? What is the difference between social constructivism and biological determinism? Film excerpts: The Ascent of Woman BBC Youtube The Human Sexes by Desmond Morris - episode 6: The Gender Wars Youtube Reading: the syllabus Recommended films: The Handmaid’s Tale, Top of the Lake, The German Sisters

2. Communist concepts of gender equality

Topic: Communist concepts of gender equality. Diversity in the USSR and Soviet bloc countries compared to the US. Representation of women and men in SORELA art (socialist realism). Description: The relationship of dictatorships and women’s bodies has been fascinating scholars and artists alike Midterm questions: Name three communist theorists of gender equality (Navailh): how did they analyze the status of men and women of their time and what plans they had for the new woman and man? Who was Alexandra Kollontai? What pro-women laws were introduced shortly after October 1917 revolution? What does Slavenka Drakulic see as the main reason of failure of the East block system? Reading: F. Navailh 1994: “The Soviet Model.” From: A History of Women in the West. Toward a Cultural Identity in the Twentieth Century, ed F. Thébaud, London: The Belknap Press of Harvard UP. Slavenka Drakulic: 1992: How we Survived Communism and Even Laughed Documentary film: Gender Montage Post-Soviet Space Assignments/deadlines: reading check 1 Sept 11

3. Czech Gender Specifics, Globalization, Post-Socialist Transformation

Description: What are some of the Czech specifics of gender affairs under communism compared to the USSR? How were the different phases of gender regime for Czechoslovaks unique during 1948-1989? What were the positives and what were the paradoxes? Did civil society exist before 1989? Did women tend to go to high politics or did they devote their energies to establishing NGOs and public benefit corporations? What is the history of gender studies in the Czech Republic? What happened to Czech women after 1989 in politics, in the workplace, in childcare, in the media? Reading: Havelkova, H., L. Oates-Indruchova. 2014. “Expropriated Voice: Transformation of Gender Culture under State Socialism; Czech Society,1948-1989.” Pp. 3–27 in H. Havelkova, L. Oates-Indruchova (eds.). The Politics of Gender Culture under State Socialism. Abingdon, New York: Routledge. Jacqui True: “Chapter 2 Gendering State Socialism” Gender, Globalization, and Postsocialism. Columbia UP, New York, 2003 Assignments/deadlines: reading check 2 September 18

4. Gender and Advertising

Topic: Gender and advertising EU versus the US. Sexually Explicit Billboards. Beer commercials Description: Midterm questions: Libora Oates-Indruchova studies the gender dimension of rebirth of advertisement in Czechoslovakia after 1989: what are the strategies she discovered? Why does Lance Strate see beer commercial as “manual on masculinity”? Is it the same in the Czech Republic as in US? Reading: Oates-Indruchova, Libora. 2002. “Discourses of Femininity and Masculinity in Transition: Billboards in the Czech Republic.” in Discourses of Gender in Pre- and Post-1989 Czech Culture. Pardubice UP, pp. 167-202. Strate, Lance, 1992. “Beer Commercials: A Manual on Masculinity” In: Men, Masculinity, and the Media. Ed. Steve Craig, London: Sage, 78-93. RECOMMENDED: Goffman, Erving. 1979. Gender Advertisements. Harvard UP, Cambridge. Assignments/deadlines: reading check 3 September 25

5. The Beauty Myth

Topic: The Beauty Myth in diverse cultures Description: What is the beauty myth, how universal is it? What are the main claims of N. Wolf? How is Erika Hnikova’s film different? What is the US/Czech ration of plastic surgeries? Why is anorexia gender specific? How resistant can we be to the Barbie culture? How do media shape out identity? Reading: Naomi Wolf. The Beauty Myth. New York: Doubleday, 1991. pp. 86-130 Susan Bordo Twighlight Zones. The Hidden Life of Cultural Images from Plato to O. J. “Never Just Pictures.” Berkeley: U of California Press, 1997. Documentary film showing: The Beauty Exchange

6. Gender and Minority

Topic: Gender and Minority Description: guest lecture by Daniela Penickova, Ph.D. Film showing: Where the Spirit Lives Reading: Brave Bird & Erdoes: Civilize Them with a Stick Sisters of Resistance: Why We Need A Feminism Movement Now? [A Journal for and About Social Movement] Sweatshop Warriors: Holding up Half the Sky: Chinese Immigrant Women Workers, p. 1 - 62 Assignments/deadlines: reading check 5 October 9

7. Queer Theory

Topic: Queer Theory Description: Reading: Sullivan, Niki. 2003. “Preface & Same Sex” from A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory. New York: NYU Press. Sullivan, Niki. 2003. “Transgender” from A Critical Introduction to Queer Theory. New York: NYU Press.

8. Gender and art

Topic: Gender and Art, possibly a visit to DOX gallery or a vernisage Description: Reading: Nochlin, Linda. 1971. “Why There Have Not Been Any Great Women Artists” In: The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, ed. Amelia Jones, Routledge, 2003 Klienhamplova, Barbora, Stejskalova, Tereza. Who Is an Artist? Praha: Academy of Fine Arts, 2015. Assignments/deadlines: reading check 10 November 27

9. Midterm break

Be safe, take photos, use gender lenses to observe the world around you, and finish your Gender Lognotes midterm project

10. Midterm project

share with the class your Gender Lognotes

11. Gender and Music

Topic: Who can create music? Why there have not been any great women composers? Rock Music as a platform for women’s rebellion. Description: Reading: REQUIRED READING: Reynolds, Simon, Press, Joy. The Sex Revolts. 1995. Powers, Amy. 2005 „Angry Women“ Spin magazine Film: The Runaways, Punk Attitude II Assignments/deadlines: reading check 9 November 20

12. Living on the edge

gender and drug use

13. Gender and Film

Film feminist avant-garde. Laura Mulvey and Vera Chytilova

14. Gender and Subcultures

Street art and graffiti are masculine subcultures, yet, from the beginning there is the photographer Martha Cooper, Swan and the Czech Suny.

15. Final projects presentation

Topic: Final Projects Presentation Description: Final paper 40% of grade – 8 pages, MLA format, research paper on a topic covered in class. The project is evaluated according to the following criteria: depth and focus – no overviews, summaries & simplistic comparisons. Database search of the topic required. Material covered in class, lectures and readings MUST be utilized to prove you have learned from the offered knowledge. A five minute presentation is an integral part of the final project. A creative project is a possibility, with a two page description applying terminology of the class/showing your knowledge of critical theory. Visual projects should be uploaded on youtube with the name of the course. Reading: Assignments/deadlines: Final Project December 12

Back to top