Feminism in Film (Literature Elective; US)

Fall; Grades 11–12

Students explore various feminisms (i.e. Marxist/capitalist, womanism/Black feminism, eco-feminism, radical feminism), as well as racial identity development, through the study of film. The course is front-loaded with readings that cover racial literacy, feminist theory, and heteropatriarchy, looking at the ways all of these intersect outside of and within people who identify as women. The narrative of “one perspective” is reframed by examining the wide variety of women’s stories within an inclusive gender framework. Essential questions include: How do women directors portray characters across gender in film? What are the differences between movies about women that are written within gender affinity and those written across gender difference? Whose stories are included/excluded? How can social movements like #MeToo and Times Up, as well as inclusion riders, impact the future of movie-making for women? How does diaspora affect storytelling? What role does fantasy play in the construction of worlds for women characters in film? How is film a vehicle for cultural thinking? Students engage in brief analyses (written and verbal) throughout the course. The semester culminates in the creation of an original film treatment that centers gender and race. Some films will be for mature audiences and rated “R”; please discuss any conflicts with the instructor.  

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