Summer 2015 Online Course: Gender, Aesthetics, & Media

GAM course flyer 1

This summer (May-June 2015) I’m teaching a fully course on Gender, Aesthetics, & Media.

It’s listed at the 4000/5000 level, which means it’s open to both upper-level undergraduates (4000) and graduate students (5000). Because the course is fully online, any student anywhere can register for it, as long as they register through UNCC as a visiting student. For undergraduates, here is info about applying as a visiting student. If you have a bachelor’s degree and are not currently enrolled in a graduate program, you can enroll in the course as a post-bac student. Info about that is here. For graduate students at other schools, [I’m working on figuring out the visiting student thing; more info soon]. The deadline to apply for visiting student status–which is required to enroll in the course–is MAY 1 2015.
The class runs from May 19-June 22 (it’s a condensed summer term). It is fully online, and will be run through the UNCC Moodle platform and Google Hangouts. It will be largely asynchronous, with synchronous Google Hangout group meetings (with me) scheduled each Wednesday afternoon/evening (EDT); there will be at least two time options for each Hangout.


Here’s the complete syllabus, and here’s the official course description:

As many late 20th century feminist philosophers, art historians, musicologists, and media studies scholars have shown, our definitions for “art” and “artist” (or “music,” or “gaming”…you get the idea) are cisheterogendered as masculine. Because the definition of “art” and “artist” itself privileges masculinity, it is very difficult for women and gender minorities to be considered as an artist, just as feminized and genderqueer phenomena (like domestic work, or art for female audiences, like “chick lit” or teen pop) have been trivialized and their artistic value seriously overlooked. That is, it’s not so much overt sexism that prevents women and gender minorities from being taken seriously as great artists–it’s built into the concept of “art” itself. Moreover, our aesthetic values–like what counts as good and bad music or art, what we find pleasing or displeasing–are likewise structured by cisheteropatriarchy and white supremacy.

Beyond the world of fine art, media industries and amateur creative cultures exhibit similar gender/race dynamics. Rapping, DJing, gaming–all these creative endeavors both reflect and reinforce the white supremacist, cisheteropatriarchal order of society at large.

In this course, we will examine the role that gender plays in aesthetic values, in art and media technologies, and in art/media-making and consumption/fandom practices. We will also consider feminist, queer, and trans approaches to these aesthetics, technologies, and practices. We will draw on both the Western canon (in art and in philosophy), and more contemporary US/UK pop culture.


We’ll talk about everything from gender in Kantian aesthetics to Beyonce’s, Nicki’s, and Rihanna’s various approaches to black feminist aesthetics and performance traditions, to the role of gender in Iggy Azalea’s appropriation of blackness and black aesthetics, to feminist and queer film theory, to the gender politics of social media.


If you have any questions, my uncc email is in the syllabus–I’m happy to talk.