1/29:    Introduction / 1920s, “The New Woman,” and Harlem’s Queer Nightlife


2/5: 1940s, Sailors, Shipping, “Rosie the Riveter,” Stars as Exports, & the Zoot Suit Riots

  • Jane Marcellus, “Bo’s’n’s Whistle: Representing ‘Rosie the Riveter’ on the Job”
  • Eduardo Obregón Pagán, “Los Angeles, Geopolitics and the Zoot Suit Riot, 1943.
  • Skim: Catherine Haworth, “Million-Dollar Legs and a Desire for the ‘Primitive’”

Primary texts:

  • Fred Hogue, “Social Eugenics” (weekly column), Los Angeles Times, 8 June 1941
  • Washington Post “Zoot Suit Riot” article collection.


2/12: no class (CUNY Closed)

  • Read the Laura Mulvey reading guide
  • Read Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” and “Afterward” (this is a difficult reading, I don’t expect you to grasp in during this first round)
  • Read the Hitchcock, Birds, viewing guide
  • Screen at home: Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds (1963)


2/19: Virtual Class Meeting

  • Post a short response to the readings and film on the class blog before 2/19 (this post does not count toward your four blog posts)
  • Log onto the class blog on 2/19. Everyone should comment on at least three posts (again, this is a virtual class, so participation is mandatory, but this does not count toward your blogging requirement. However, extra and exceptional participation will earn you extra credit).
  • Begin thinking about a short media clip to use for your close analysis project.


2/ 26: 1950s-60s, Suburbia, Motherhood, Housewifery, and The Pill

  • Lynn Spigel, “Television and the Family Circle”
  • Laura Briggs, “Demon Mothers in the Social Laboratory: Development, Overpopulation, and ‘The Pill””
  • Skim: Janice Radway, “Women Read the Romance”

Primary texts:


3/4: 1950s-60s, Bachelor Pads & Aspirational, Cosmopolitan Living

  • SCREEN AT HOME: Pillow Talk, (Michael Gordon, US, 1959).
  • Pamela Robertson Wojcik, “‘We Like Our Apartment’: The Playboy Indoors”
  • Laurie Ouellette, “Inventing the Cosmo Girl”

Primary text:


3/11: Close Reading Workshop: Laura Mulvey & Alfred Hitchcock

  • Review Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” and “Afterward”
  • Bring screening notes/links/examples from your audiovisual text to workshop in class

In-class screening: Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds (1963)

Project “pitch” due (hard copy to be submitted in class)


3/18: 1960s-70s: Intersectional Feminism & Strategies from the Underground

  • Cherríe Moraga, “La Güera”
  • Audre Lorde, “The Uses of the Erotic”
  • Jessi Gan, “‘Still at the Back of the Bus’: Sylvia Rivera’s Struggle”
  • Margaret Galvan, “Feminism Underground: The Comics Rhetoric of Lee Marrs and Roberta Gregory”

Primary text:

  • Wimmin’s Comix excerpts

In class screening: Happy Birthday, Marsha (Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel, 2018)


3/25: 1970s-The Future: AfroFuturism, Cyborgs, SciFi & Glam

  • [Primary texts] Octavia Butler, “Blood Child,” Samuel Delany, “Among the Blobs” & Mark Dery interviews on Afrofuturism
  • A & B. Read Hari Kunzru, “You Are Cyborg” and TAKE A LOOK at Donna Haraway, “The Cyborg Manifesto”

Close reading projects should be posted by 5pm


4/1: 1980s-The Future, Imagining Radical Feminisms

  • bell hooks, “Visionary Feminism”
  • Lucas Hilderbrand, “In the Heat of the Moment: Notes on the Past, Present, and Future of Born in Flames
  • Mitchell, Logue & Berry, “Are You Burning?”

Primary text:

  • Interview with Lizzie Borden, BOMB Magazine

In class screening: Lizzie Borden, Born in Flames (1983)


4/22: 1980s-1990s, ACT UP and the AIDS crisis

  • Marlon Riggs, “Notes of a Signifyin’ Snap Queen” & Ron Gregg review of Tongues Untied
  • “The AIDS Crisis is Not Over,” conversation with Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky
  • Women, AIDS, and Activism, ACT UP Women and AIDS Book Group, excerpts
  • Douglas Crimp, “Right on, Girlfriend!”
  • Alexandra Juhasz, “Forgetting ACT UP”

Primary texts:

In class screening: United in Anger (Hubbard, 2012) and excerpts from Marlon Riggs, Tongues Untied (1989)


4/29: Rethinking Sex, Education, Consent, and the Media

  • Excerpt from Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan, Sexual Citizen
  • Young Women’s Empowerment Project, Bad Encounter Line
  • Excerpt from adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism
  • Excerpt from Silverberg and Smyth, Sex is a Funny Word
  • Consent workshop materials

Bring TWO copies of formal proposals to class to workshop


5/6: Case Studies: Moonlight & Lemonade

  • Farihah Zaman, “Song of Myself”
  • Michael Gillespie, Interview with Barry Jenkins
  • Feministing, “A Black Feminist Roundtable on bell hooks, Beyoncé, and ‘Moving Beyond Pain’”

Primary texts: excerpt from Saeed Jones, How We Fight for our Lives; Warsan Shire, “For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ to Love”

Screen at home: Beyoncé’s Lemonade

In class screening: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (2016)


5/13: New Media / New Labor / Rethinking Respectability

  • Racquel Gates, “Activating the Negative Image”
  • Lisa Nakamura, “The Unwanted Labour of Social Media”
  • Brooke Erin Duffy, excerpts from (Not) Getting Paid to Do What You Love: Gender, Social Media, and Aspirational Work

All blog posts and comments must be posted by 2pm.


Final Projects due 5/20 by 11:59PM via email.