Apr 18, 2024  
2023-2024 WWCC College Catalog 
2023-2024 WWCC College Catalog

GWST 107 - Gender Perceptions In American Film

Credits: 5
LEC hours per week: 5
This class uses American films from a variety of genres and decades as primary texts to study representations and ideas of masculinity and femininity. Students will be asked to think critically about where their ideas about gender come from and how these ideas are perpetuated and reinforced in media. Student may not receive credit for both GWST 107 and HUM 107 .
Course Outcomes:
  • Construct standard, mainstream interpretations of several American films using terms and concepts related to film narrative.
  • Discuss gender issues within the context of race, social class, and sexuality.
  • Identify gender stereotypes in mainstream American films and analyze how they shape our perceptions and behaviors.
  • Evaluate the myth of the passive movie viewer by comparing interpretations of several American films from a variety of gender perspectives.
  • Compare and contrast how a film or its characters portray a gender perspective the student viewer recognizes or has experienced.
  • Apply concepts from gender theory to films to construct alternative (non-mainstream) interpretations.
Course Topics:
  1. The social construction of gender
  2. The difference between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality
  3. Queer theory
  4. Common narrative tropes related to gender, such as the hero’s journey, the Bechdel test, rugged individualism, and the male gaze
  5. The “Five Axes” of film form: cinematography, editing, literary design, mise-en-scene, and visual design
Course Attribute(s): Diversity, Humanities