Spring 2022 Undergraduate English Courses

354:385 Theories of Women and Film

01  TTH5  3:50-5:10  CAC  07905   FLITTERMAN-LEWIS  MU-301

This course will develop a feminist analysis of the cinema from the dual perspective of individual films themselves and their social/cultural context.
Using examples from both Hollywood and alternative feminist cinema, we’ll trace the development of feminist film criticism and theory, from the landmark articles of Claire Johnston and Laura Mulvey to the current work of Ginette Vincendeau and Mary Ann Doane, among others. We’ll consider such issues as female authorship, the woman viewer, woman-as-spectacle and visual pleasure. Our concern will be to 1) construct a theory of the “female voice” in cinema, 2) define and interpret the function of the woman’s image, and 3) understand the concept of sexual difference as a social construct and a phenomenon of the unconscious.
Framing our analyses of filmmaking, film viewing, and films themselves will be the ongoing search for an “alternative language of desire.”

Films will include such Hollywood classics as Stella Dallas, Marnie, Duel in the Sun, and Christopher Strong and more recent feminist films such as Vagabond, Daughters of the Dust and Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.

Attendance at lectures is required; films will be screened outside of class time; a midterm, a final, and a term paper