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COM 370–Communicating Gender in America
Professor Dana Cloud
Note: This is a course in radical gender politics masquerading as a course in communication theory
This Senior Fellows class focuses on how our ideas about sex and gender and our identities as men, women, and sexual beings are influenced by and contested in the communication around us, from interpersonal relationships to the mass media, from legislative debates to social movements.
Schedule of Topics and Readings
Unit I: Communicating Gender and Sexuality in Culture, Mass Media and Politics
What is gender?
Gender and language
Gender, family, relationships
Gender and work
Gender and media
Gender in mainstream politics
Consequences of gender for men, women, and society
Unit II: Contesting Gender in Social Movements and Personal Life
Feminist Frameworks–Liberal Feminism
Early feminisms and suffrage movement
Feminist Frameworks–Radical & Socialist Feminism
Feminist Frameworks–Black and Chicana Feminism
Blues and Black Feminisms
Gay and Lesbian movement
Contesting Gender in the Body
Transexualism and Performance of Gender
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Feminist Theory and Rhetorical Criticism
Note: Yet another course in feminist theory masquerading as a course in communications studies.
The purpose of this class is to introduce students to a range of feminist political and critical theories and to explore the ways those theories can be combined with rhetorical critical methods to understand the gendering of public and cultural texts.
What is feminism? What is rhetoric?
Introduction to to Feminist Theories
Questions: What is liberal feminism? What is radical feminism? How might liberal and radical feminists approach rhetorical texts differently? What kinds of questions would they ask of rhetorical texts?
Continue Liberal Feminism
Continue Radical Feminism
Questions: What are some connections between feminist movements and critical methods? Can criticism be a form of activism? How so or how not? What are the similarities and differences among Marxist, Socialist, and Materialist Feminisms?
Questions: How are the rhetorics of racism, sexism, and class hierarchy linked? How are they different? What are the various ways of approaching the intersections of gender, race, and class? How might a textual critic put these approaches into practice?
Race, Sex, and Class
Race, Sex, Class cont.
Questions: What are postcolonial and third world feminisms? What are postcolonial or third-world feminisms? Approaches to texts? How do poststructuralist feminisms attempt to account for the disparate positions occupied by women? In what ways is queer theory a product of poststructuralism?
Introducing Poststructuralist Feminisms
Questions: How have poststructuralism and postmodernism changed feminism? What are the consequences of postmodern ideas about text, identity, and movement? What are some bases for identification and action among women? What is identity politics and what are criticisms of it?
Problems of Solidarity and Identity
Identity, Text, Materiality and Movement
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Rhetoric and Ideology
Note: A course in Marxism dressed up as a course in rhetoric. Marx made no contributions to rhetorical theory.
This course will explore Marxist contributions to rhetorical theory and criticism, with particular emphasis on a survey of the concepts of ideology and hegemony. We will contrast rhetorical notions of human discursive agency with classical, structuralist, and post-structuralist Marxist and Marxist-influenced discourse theories. We will also discuss what the notion of ideology, as a mode of rhetorical influence, contributes to rhetorical theory and criticism.
Readings and Topics
Materialist approach to discourse
Classical Ideology Critique I
Classical Ideology Critique II
British Cultural Studies
American Rhetorical Ideology Studies
Post-Marxisms and Ideology Critique
Gender, Sexuality, Ideology
Racism and Ideology
Culture and Imperialism
Rhetoric and Materialist Ideology Critique
Syllabus for Cloud’s Course: Rhetoric of Social Movements
Note: Yet another deceptive course presentation. This is a training course in the theory and practice of radicalism, presented as a course in rhetorical theory.
Introduction: This is a survey class covering the range of U.S. social movements from the 19th century to the present, including the labor movement, first- and second-wave women’s movements, the anti-slavery movement and civil rights movements, the gay and lesbian rights movement, the global justice movement, and other movements of interest to students (e.g., the conservative movement, the environmental movement, socialist movements). Our purposes are to become acquainted with primary rhetorical documents from each movement and to consider theoretical and critical issues in the study of social movements and their rhetorics. These issues include the question of violence and coercion in movements, the relationships among economic, political, cultural and rhetorical agency; the limits of rhetorical influence, debates between scholars of “new” and “old” social movements,” and other topics.
Stages, purposes, and effects of American social movements
Agitation and Control: Global Justice Movement
Theoretical Controversies: Ego or Altruism
Persuasion or Coercion: Labor Movement
Dilemmas of Radicals and Reformers:
Early Women’s Movement
Civil Rights Movement
Phenomenon or Meaning
Economics or Ideas
Second-wave Women’s Movement
New and Old Social Movements
Student and Anti-War Movement
Gay and Lesbian Movements
Revolution or Reform
Professor Robert Jensen
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE MEDIA
Note: Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism. He has no professional credential for teaching about justice, or how social and economic systems produce justice. Or about race, feminism, the environment and war, which are other topics covered. This course is unprofessional and non-academic. It is an exploration of Professor Jensen’s personal ideology and prejudices, which are Marxist.
Everyone is for justice, just as they are for peace, freedom, and democracy. The question is: What kind of justice? Achieved through what kinds of systems and institutions? What constitutes a just society? Which political, social, and economic systems and institutions are most likely to produce justice? We will ask these questions and then move on to assess the role of mass media in social justice. What role can journalists and media institutions play in the quest for justice? Do contemporary commercial news outlets help or hinder the work of building a more just society?
WEEK 1: January 26
topic: what is justice?
WEEK 2: February 2
topic: what is democracy?
WEEK 3: February 9
topic: this is democracy?
WEEK 4: February 16
WEEK 5: February 23
WEEK 6: March 1
WEEK 7: March 8
topic: critical race theory
reading: Du Bois, Winant, Lipsitz, Delgado/Stefancic, Parker
WEEK 8: March 22
WEEK 9: March 29
WEEK 10: April 5
topic: professional journalists
WEEK 11: April 12
topic: propaganda and professional journalists
WEEK 12: April 19
topic: war coverage