Feminist Film Studies

This course offers an introduction to feminist film studies, particularly focusing on several recent sub-genres, directors, and themes that have become central to feminist film culture and scholarship. Utilizing a transnational feminist cultural studies approach, we will explore questions of what feminist media practices might be at the levels of production, circulation, consumption, and representation. We will explore constructions of sexuality, gender, race, and nation in a variety of media practices in an attempt to understand the stakes that institutions such as law, medicine, and film industries have in such productions. Particular attention will be paid to the role of medium in constructing meaning, as the films we will focus on include those made through celluloid and digital technologies, films critiquing visual surveillance practices, short films involving mixed media, and animated films adapted from graphic novels. As a whole, the course will encourage students to develop a critical understanding of the mutual imbrications of sexuality, race, nation, class, and gender in cinema, and explore the ways cinema cultures both reinforce and critique various hegemonies.

The course is not an introduction to film studies, but does spend time reviewing basic film concepts (editing, cinematography,mise-en-scène, etc.) so that students can apply them to the films we watch. In the course, students will learn to incorporate formal film analysis with an analysis of ideology, production, circulation, and consumption, and will develop the skills to construct compelling arguments about the politics of cinema.

Course website and syllabus

  • Categories:
  • University:
    University of California, Berkeley
  • When:
    Summer 2010