Saturday, January 29, 2011


Women and Media Spring 2011
MEDIA384.00 Sec:001
Saturdays 2:10 – 5:00pm
Department of Film and Media - Hunter College
Professor Doris Caçoilo :: dcacoilo @

In this course students will be introduced to key issues and theoretical approaches in the study of women and media. The course will explore representations of women in media as well as researching the work of women in the industry. Students will research and analyze how the media creates and challenges stereotypes, ideas of difference including exclusionary representations of minorities and women. Readings, class discussions and projects will explore how media shapes our attitudes and identities. Long a focus and a concern in feminist scholarship, critique of the media is crucial in the discussion of the representation of women in the media. The course will use a historic context of feminist media studies to interpret and analyze contemporary media examples. Students will read across various fields to interpret and critique images in various media: television, advertising, film and new media to explore women’s role and perception, women as audience and especially the importance of women as media makers.

This class is intended to help students develop the ability to create thoughtful and engaging projects and writing assignments. In addition to a rigorous reading schedule students are required to write various projects for the class blog and sustain continued research and writing throughout the course in addition to the scheduled projects.

Feedback from your classmates is a valuable resource for the improvement of your writing and your work. Critiques allow us to share our projects with others and express our intentions. The idea is to be able to understand the concept behind each work and to analyze the method of every student to determine whether they achieved their goals. Feedback from others gives us valuable information in order to keep making progress. For this reason, class participation is essential.

Class sessions will be divided into presentations, class discussion of the readings, and group critiques of projects. Presentations will address both theoretical and analytical issues related to women and media. Some class time will be dedicated to work on individual projects but it is the student’s responsibility to finish his/her work and present it on time. Students are responsible to be prepared for class, read all assignments on time and post all writing and projects to the blog, paying attention to technical and aesthetic presentation as well as thoughtful and well-developed content.

READINGS: Various weekly reading assignments will be linked, posted for download or passed out in print in class. The reading schedule will be distributed in class. Readings are due each week.

BLOG: You must consult the class blog daily to check for announcements, readings and to post your assignments. The blog is crucial to the course and your completion of the requirements. You MUST have access to the blog to complete assignments, get readings, post work and comment on students’ posts.

Five writing assignments published to the blog as well as a class presentation and a final project will be developed during the semester. You must complete these in a professional manner and ON TIME. No late work will be accepted for a full grade evaluation. The assignments will be related to the issues discussed in class, allowing students to explore new technologies by researching and responding to various class discussions and readings. It is suggested to keep a process notebook to record ideas and phases of a project: research, brainstorming, development of the idea etc.

Critiques are important both for developing your own projects and in helping to form important skills in communication and in forming developed opinions and ideas. Participation in critiques and in class discussions will be very important in forming your grade.

--Attendance and grading policy:
Attendance is required. Attendance is taken at the beginning of each class, and will be considered when determining the final course grade.

More than three (3) absences will result in an 'F' (failure) for the class. No exceptions. This is standard policy across digital media courses. Class begins on time, so you must be punctual. Lateness, leaving early or leaving class unexcused for an extended period of time will also be recorded. Two of these instances will count as one absence.
You are required to make up any and all work that is missed if you are absent. Notify the professor if you will be absent or e-mail asap. As work will not be accepted late, please contact the professor to hand in work on time!

--Grade policy:
All assignments must be finished and handed in on time to receive a passing grade for this course.

30% 5 blog posts
10% 1 presentation
40% final project
20% participation (Contributions to class, critiques and the blog + attendance + delicious links)

NOTE: BACK-UP your work frequently, even as you are working on the projects. Write and edit your posts locally before uploading them to the web. No excuses!

* If you have a disability which will affect your coursework, please notify the instructor within the first two weeks of class to ensure suitable arrangements and a comfortable working environment.
Contact The Office for Students with Disabilities, Hunter East 1119 Phone (212) 772-4882 or 4891, TTY: (212) 650-3230.

* This is a list of numbers which you can use if there is an emergency or crisis situation on the Hunter campus or if you need assistance at other times.
Security -B125 West - 772 - 4444; During business hours: Medical Office - Room 307 North - 772 - 4800; Office of Student Services - 1119 East - 772 - 4882 4891 (crisis counseling available), The Women's Center - 801 East - 772 - 4931.

Hunter's Reading/Writing center is where students receive tutoring in reading and writing skills, critical reading, and the writing process. Students can apply for a weekly appointment with a tutor and/or use drop-in services during scheduled hours. Students may also attend workshops offered at the Center throughout the academic year.

Statement on Originality of the Work
All work completed for this course must be completed by the student enrolled in the course. All work for this course must be made in this course and not fulfilling the requirements of another prior or current course unless pre-approved by the instructor. Plagiarism is a very serious academic offense which will result in penalties ranging from reduction of class grade to failure in the course. Plagiarism occurs when the ideas, images, and words, published or unpublished, of others are presented as one's own without citing the original source. Plagiarism also occurs when the papers, research, or creative works of another person are presented as one's own work.

+ + +
All students need to be on the listserv FM-L to receive important departmental notices. Just email and leaving the subject line blank, write SUBSCRIBE fm-l (that's an "L" not a 1) in the body of message and you're set!

******PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING SCHEDULE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND I WILL INFORM YOU OF SPECIFICS AND CHANGES PERTAINING TO THIS SCHEDULE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE if you ever have questions or concerns about the schedule, due dates, changes or anything else please e-mail me at dcacoilo @
Class meetings are also subject to surprise critique sessions. Students should always be prepared to present work in progress on any class meeting day whether or not it is announced on this schedule.

Students are required to read the appropriate readings for each class, complete all assignments on time and post 2 links to delicious each week.

Week 1: Saturday 1/29 Introduction and discussion.

Week 2: Saturday 2/5 What is Culture? What is Media? Discussion session. Bring in media example for discussion. Post 1 Due

Week 3: **Saturday 2/12 President’s Day Weekend—NO CLASS

Week 4: Saturday 2/19 Ways of viewing--the gaze Discussion and work session. Readings Due.

Week 5: Saturday 2/26 Women as Audience Soap Operas to Advertising. Discussion and work session. Readings Due. Post 2 Due – Group Critique

Week 6: Saturday 3/5 Gender and Advertising Discussion and work session. Readings Due.

Week 7: **Saturday 3/12 NO CLASS

Week 8: Saturday 3/19 Body Image Discussion and work session. Readings Due. Post 3 Due – Group Critique. Final project topics due.

Week 9: Saturday 3/26 News Media Discussion and work session. Readings Due.

Week 10: Saturday 4/2 News Media and Ownership Discussion and work session. Readings Due. Final project proposals due.

Week 11: Saturday 4/9 Alternative Media -- response, identity and roles. Discussion and work session. Readings Due. Post 4 Due – Group Critique

Week 12: Saturday 4/16 Women and Movies Discussion and work session. Readings Due. (Draft) Bibliography due.

Week 13: **Saturday 4/23 Spring Break - NO CLASS

Week 14: Saturday 4/30 Independent, Documentary Film, Media Activism Discussion and work session. Post 5 Due – Group Critique

Week 15: Saturday 5/7 Art/New Media Discussion and work session. Readings Due. Final projects: critique of works in progress.

Week 16: Saturday 5/14 Presentation of Final Projects + papers due. – Group Critique
Week 17: Saturday 5/21 Presentation of Final Projects + papers due. – Group Critique

*Weekly presentations:
Present the work of a media artist, activist or leader who has used media to further address women’s issues, the lives of women and/or global awareness of women’s rights. A small group of students will present each week. Presentations should be organized, clear and engaging and should include a visual component in addition to a well prepared verbal presentation. These should be 7-10 minutes. The topics should be relevant to the classwork and should spur discussion within the classroom. Presentations must be posted to the blog. Every student will present once throughout the semester.

*Posts 1-5.
Students must develop well written and researched responses to readings and discussions in class. Each post will be specific to the topics covered in class at that time and will be explained during class. Students are responsible to write and edit these posts as well as illustrate them and successfully post them to the blog for discussion and critique in class.

*Shared links on Delicious
Students are required to bookmark 2 links per week and tag them with the class tag MEDP384. These links will be shared with the class as well as create a resource list for the class. Links must be relevant and add to the readings, projects and discussions in the class.

*Final Project
Based on the discussions and projects presented in class and on the blog please create a short piece of media which focuses on a social issue and reframe the issue to specifically address how this affects the lives of women and/or how women can be instrumental in solving or raising awareness about this issue. Choose one of the following formats for your project.

1. Essay with embedded images.
2. Video- music, documentary, performance
3. Researched article or extensive slideshow with captions or narration (think NYTimes)
4. Magazine/Zine
5. Interactive Web Project/Site

The length and requirements for each project will be explained in depth to each student when the project is introduced and discussed in class. The project will be completed in parts:

1. Proposal (1-2 pages) [Due Saturday 3/26]
2. Draft Bibliography [Saturday 4/16]
3. Critique of work in progress [Saturday 5/7]
4. Presentation of final project [Saturday 5/14 or Saturday 5/21]

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