Media and film studies

Viewing Women

Module code: P3047
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Seminar, Film
Assessment modes: Coursework

Early work on the relation of women to film considered woman's 'to-be-looked-at-ness', examining representations of women as objects of the male gaze, constructions 'cut to the measure of [male] desire' (Laura Mulvey). You will consider the female spectator, positioned by particular film and television genres (melodrama, the 'woman's film', and soap opera). More recently, attention has shifted to women as social audiences and producers of meanings, differing from one another and constructing from texts their own meanings and pleasures. This module traces these developing and interacting strands of research, considering questions around the location of meaning, the relationship between text and context, and the usefulness of different strands of feminist research in enabling us to understand film texts and their representations and positioning of women. It considers a range of popular and feminist film texts and their viewers.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate a coherent and specialist knowledge of feminist film and media theory and criticism.
  • Identify, describe and evaluate approaches central to this body of work, including leading contemporary scholarship.
  • Apply these approaches, orally and in written form, in the critical analysis of film, and where applicable, television texts, and effectively argue a position.
  • Work effectively independently and collaboratively.