This course addresses the active nature of “representing,” “looking,” “seeing,” and “viewing. ” It focuses on the politics of producing representations of ourselves and others through dfferent types of visually-oriented disciplines, technologies and practices.

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We will pay particular attention to the ways everyday life, identities and desires are shaped by an increasingly commercialized and mainstream field of representations. We will also explore theoretical methods and critical tools of analysis which allow us to make sense of the mediations through which the body, ender, sexuality, subjectivity, Identity and desire are constructed, comprehended and experienced.

Central to our Investigations are questions surrounding difference and power, particularly whose agendas establish the terms of representational practice, and how Images are used and understood. Emphasis Is placed on a crltlcal engagement with the role and Impact of a variety of visual forms of popular culture and mainstream media, particularly the stories they tell us about the historical moments and cultures In which they are produced.

The course provides nterdisciplinary perspectives on the politics of representation and draws on theoretical frameworks and cultural production specific to gender/culture/media,’ visual studiesThe course is organized around a series of questions: Whose images, voices and perspectives are included or excluded in the photographs, films, television programs, newspapers, paintings, internet sites, comics, advertisements, magazines, art exhibitions, music videos and video games that constitute popular and mainstream culture?

Who is producing and who is consuming mainstream representations? What heoretical methods are available to analyze the impact of visual images generated by the broad range of imaging technologies, particularly within photographic, artistic, filmic and electronic representations? How might individuals claim agency within the public sphere of popular culture and mass media? How are individuals resisting and destabilizing the effects and meanings generated by mainstream images and representational practices? Ђ Where might we encounter alternative, socially engaged and critically- minded representations and representational practices? How do terms and theories associated with active and passive viewing, such as “the gaze,” “spectatorship,” and “a counter gaze” apply to sites of everyday life and social exchange? Course Objectives: The aim of this course Is to provide an Introduction to the polltlcs of representation, particularly the Impact of Images of gender, Identity, masculinity and femlnlnlty circulating In popular and mainstream culture.

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