WGS.111 | Spring 2016 | Undergraduate

Gender & Media: Collaborations in Feminism and Technology


Course Texts

boyd, danah. “Introduction.” In It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Yale University Press, 2015, pp. 1–3, 6, and 8. ISBN: 9780300199000.

Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780814743508. [Preview with Google Books]


Introduction to Course

In-class Video

Newsom, Jennifer Siebel and Kimberlee Acquaro. Miss Representation. Girls Club Entertainment, 2014. Watch on YouTube.

zandria. “We Slay, Part I.” New South Negress.


Gallery visit to the MIT List Visual Arts Center

Special Event: List Reading Group: Role-Playing, focused on Ann Hirsch exhibit

How do media platforms simultaneously construct and maintain a range of characters and social roles? Join List Curatorial Fellow Monica Steinberg for a reading and discussion group exploring the tensions between the personal and the performed, nonfictional and fictionalized beings, and complex self-conceptions and static identities in List Projects: Ann Hirsch.

Smith, Cherise. “Re-member the Audience: Adrian Piper’s Mythic Being Advertisements.” Art Journal 66, no. 1 (2007): 46–58.

Buy at MIT Press Joselit, David. Feedback: Television Against Democracy. MIT Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780262514026.

Fateman, Johanna. “Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media.” Art Forum, April 2015.

Ballard, Thea. “Messy Networks: Tactical Visibility in Ann Hirsch’s Horny Lil Feminist.” Modern Painters, October 2015.

Beyonce’s ‘Formation’ Is a Visual Anthem.” All Things Considered. National Public Radio. February 8, 2016.

Caramanica, Jon, Wesley Morris, et al. “Beyoncé in ‘Formation’: Entertainer, Activist, Both?The New York Times, February 6, 2016.

White People: Shut Up About Beyoncé.” Bitter Gertude. February 8, 2016.


2016 Super Bowl Ads

Beyoncé. “Formation.” February 6, 2016. YouTube.

Noah, Trevor. “Beyonce’s Halftime Show Message.” The Daily Show. February 8, 2016.

3 Media Effects: Representation and Why It Matters

Van Zoonen, L. “Feminist Perspectives on the Media.” In Mass Media and Society. 2nd edition. Edited by J. Curran and M. Gurevitch. Hoddar Education Publishers, 1996, pp. 31–52. ISBN: 9780340614181.

Tuchman, Gaye, Arlene Kaplan Daniels, et al. “The Symbolic Annihilation of Women by the Mass Media.” In Hearth and Home: Images of Women in the Mass Media. Oxford University Press, 1978. ISBN: 9780195023527.

Gorham, Bradley C. “The Social Psychology of Stereotypes: Implications for Media Audiences.” In Race/Gender/Class/Media. Edited by Rebecca Ann Lind. Pearson, 2012. ISBN: 9790205006105.

Lind, Rebecca Ann, eds. “Laying a Foundation for Studying Race, Gender, and the Media.” In Race/Gender/Class/Media. 2012. ISBN: 9790205006105.

Timpane, John. “How the Media Shaped Katrina.” Philly.com. September 7, 2010.


Fox Host to Hillary Clinton: ‘Stop Complaining About Your Gender’.” Media Matters, February 16, 2016.

The Day Beyoncé Turned Black.” Saturday Night Live. February 14, 2016. YouTube.

The Daily Show Blasts Fox News’ Problematic Coverage of Race in Ferguson.” Media Matters. August 27, 2014.

Fox News Worried That Referring to Michael Brown as ‘Unarmed Teen’ Might be Misleading.” Media Matters. August 25, 2015.


Heisler, Todd. “Wary ‘Normal’ In Ferguson, Mo,” The New York Times, September 5, 2014. See slideshow of images from Ferguson.

Gettys, Travis. “Attorney: Video Shows Police Shot Ohio Man ‘On Sight’ as He Leaned on Toy Gun in Walmart.” Alternet. August 26, 2014.

———. “Man Who Called 911 in Ohio Walmart Shooting Changes His S tory After Viewing Video.” Raw Story, September 9, 2014.

McKenzie, Mia. “Things to Stop Being Distracted By When a Black Person Gets Murdered By Police.” BGD. August 12, 2014.

Lawson, Richard. “Haiti: Looting? Or Surviving?Mabinogogiblog. July 16, 2016.

Finders, Looters and the Media.” Media Watch. September 12, 2005.


Race, Class, and Gender in Media Content

In-class Video

Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women Directed by Sut Jhally. Color, 2010. Watch an excerpt on YouTube.

Mulvey, Laura. “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema.” In Movies and Methods: Vol II: An Anthology. University of California Press, 1985. ISBN: 9780520054097. [Preview with Google Books]

 hooks, bell. “The Oppositional Gaze: Black Female Spectators.” In Black Looks: Race and Representation. South End Press, 1992, pp. 600–609. ISBN: 9780896084339.

Kilbourne Jean. “The More You Subtract, The More You Add.” In Deadly Persuasion: Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising. Free Press, 1999. ISBN: 9780684865997.

Hesse-Biber, Sharlene. Am I Thin Enough Yet?: The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity. Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780195117912.

Ross, Karen. “The Body in Question: Less Than the Sum of Our Parts.” In Gendered Media: Women, Men, and Identity Politics. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009. ISBN: 9780742554061. [Preview with Google Books]

Optional Extra Readings

Berger, Maurice. “White Lies.” In Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. Worth Publishers, 2013. ISBN: 9781429242172.

Wolf, Michelle A., Sandy Nichols, et al. “Body Image, Mass Media, Self-Concept.” In Race/Gender/Class/Media. Edited by Rebecca Ann Lind. Pearson, 2012. ISBN: 9790205006105.


Kirk, Ashley. “Oscars 2016 Race Row: How Representative is the Academy Awards?” The Telegraph, February 29, 2016.

Chaney, Jen. “Watch Eddie Murphy Give an #OscarsSoWhite Speech, Long Before Hashtags Were Invented.” Yahoo. February 24, 2016. See the video: Heru Duenas. “People Forgot When Eddie Murphy Spoke Out at the Oscars About Racist Hollywood.” April 21, 2015. YouTube.

Williams, Stereo. “Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson: A Symptom of Hollywood’s Deep-Seated Race Problem.” The Daily Beast, January 27, 2016.

Thrasher, Steven W. “Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson Shows Race Problems Before Oscars Row,” The Guardian, January 28, 2016.

Brown, Kara. Matt Damon Interrupts Successful Black Woman Filmmaker to Explain Diversity to Her." Jezebel, September 2015.


gullysiderz. “Funny New Cheerios Commercial with Interracial Family.” June 1, 2013. YouTube.

Interracial Cheerios Commercial Generates Debate.” ABC News.

Cecka, Tyson. “K-Swiss Parkour Commercial with Anna Kournikova.” June 5, 2008. YouTube.

Elbagir, Nima. “Actors Address Oscar Diversity Issue at BAFTAS.” CNN. February 15, 2016.

Good Morning America. “Matt Damon, Shonda Rimes Weigh in on Oscars Diversity Controversy.” January 25, 2016. YouTube. 

Massachusetts Conference for Women. “Shonda Rhimes at the 2015 Massachusetts Conference for Women.” December 18, 2015. YouTube.

5 Advertising and Consumerism


Jhally, Sut. “Advertising at the Edge of the Apocalypse.”

Steinem, Gloria. “Sex, Lies, and Advertising.” Ms. Magazine, July / August 1990, 18–28.

Kirkham, Pat, and Alex Weller. “Cosmetics: A Clinique Case Study.” In The Gendered Object. Manchester University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780719044755. [Preview with Google Books]

Wilson, Clint C., and Félix Gutiérrez. “Advertising and People of Color.” In Race, Multiculturalism, and the Media: From Mass to Class Communication. SAGE Publications, Incorporation, 1995. ISBN: 9780803946293.

Schor, Juliet. “The New Politics of Consumption.” Boston Review, 1999.

Stabile, Carol A. “Nike, Social Responsibility, and the Hidden Abode of Production.” Critical Studies in Media Communication 17, no. 2 (2000): 186–204.


Bradley, Laura. “The Academy Finally Announced Major Changes So the Oscars Won’t Be #SoWhite.” Slate, January 2016.

Wasow, Omar. Where Chris Rock Went Wrong in His Oscars Monologue."The Root, March 2016.


Jakthelombax mar. “Dr. Pepper TEN Action Commercial.” November 30, 2011. YouTube.

Hitman799. “Pepsi MAX-Diner 2pointZero 2010 Commercial.” July 21, 2010. YouTube.

———. “The Classic Coke Vs. Pepsi Commercial 1995.” July 21, 2010. YouTube.

Windsor, Ryan. “Adbusters Whirlmart.” July 31, 2007. YouTube.

Adbusters. “Kalle Lasn on CNN Buy Nothing Day.” October 29, 2007. YouTube.

Cesario, Sergio. “Levi’s Gay Commercial.” August 8, 2007. YouTube.

shedwa. “Levi’s Commercial.” July 16, 2007. YouTube.

6 Postfeminism and the “Problem” of the Woman Political Candidate

Falk, Erika. Women for President: Media Bias in Nine Campaigns. University of Illinois Press, 2010. ISBN: 9780252076916. [Preview with Google Books]

Banet-Weiser, Sarah, and Laura Portwood-Stacer. “‘I Just Want to Be Me Again!’.” Feminist Theory 7, no. 2 (2006): 255–72.

Gill, Rosalind. “Postfeminist Media Culture: Elements of a Sensibility.” European Journal of Cultural Studies 10, no. 2 (2007): 147–66.

Vedrashko, Ilya. “How Spreadability Changes How We Think about Advertising.” Spreadable Media.


TheEllenShow. “Bic Pens for Women.” October 12, 2012. The Ellen Show. YouTube.

BodyformChannel. “Bodyform Responds :: The Truth.” October 16, 2012. YouTube.

JVTDexpo. “New U by Kotex Covert Tactics 30.” June 3, 2013. YouTube.

UbyKotex. “Buy Me Tampons-Social Experiment.” April 29, 2010. Daily Motion.

———. “UbyKotex: Help Me Choose-Social Experiment.” March 10, 2010. YouTube.

spark byinsync. “Apology: U by Kotex.” August 10, 2011. YouTube.

Today. “Hillary Clinton: ‘Who Could Be More of an Outsider Than a Woman President?’” October 5, 2015. YouTube.

Ruptly TV. “USA: ‘Special Place in Hell’ for Women Who Don’t Help Clinton.” February 6, 2016. YouTube.

Cruz, Ted. “Always Has-Ted Cruz TV Ad.” March 9, 2016. YouTube.

Bernie 2016. “Real Change.” November 1, 2015. YouTube.

Park, Robert. “New Bernie Sanders Ad-Together.” February 11, 2016. YouTube.

Clinton, Hillary. “Family Strong.” August 2, 2015. YouTube.

———. “All the Good.” February 19, 2016. YouTube.

Entertainment News Gaming. “Donald Trump Ad, First Commercial TV Ad Campaign.” January 4, 2016. YouTube.


Ubykotex Website

7 Elections and Participatory (Citizen) Media, Blogging, and “Spreadability”


Rosen, Jay. “The People Formerly Known as the Audience.” PressThink. June 27, 2006.

Anderson, C. W. “From Indymedia to Demand Media: Journalism’s Visions of Its Audience and the Horizons of Democracy.” In The Social Media Reader. Edited by Michael Mandiberg. New York University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780814764060. [Preview with Google Books]

Jenkins, Henry, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green. “Introduction: Why Media Spreads.” In Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture. New York University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780814743508. [Preview with Google Books]

Gillmor, Dan. “The Gates Come Down.” In We the Media: Grassroots Journalism By the People for the People. O’Reilly Media, 2006. ISBN: 9780596102272. [Preview with Google Books]

8 Remix: Fandom, Memes, and Social Media

Lessig, Lawrence. “Re-examining the Remix.” TED. April 2010.

Davison, Patrick. “The Language of Internet Memes.” In The Social Media Reader. Edited by Michael Mandiberg. New York University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780814764060. [Preview with Google Books]

Wallsten, Kevin. “’Yes We Can’: How Online Viewership, Blog Discussion, Campaign Statements, and Mainstream Media Coverage Produced a Viral Video Phenomenon.” Journal of Information Technology & Politics 7, no. 2–3 (2010): 163–81.


Liebelson, Dana. “Obama Urges FCC to Set ‘Strongest Possible Rules’ To Protect Net Neutrality,” The Huffington Post, November 10, 2014.

Abad-Santos, Alex. “#Pointergate: What Happened After the Mayor of Minneapolis Posed with a Black Man."Vox, November 13, 2014.

Taylor, Chris. “Pointergate! How a Local TV Station Became a National Laughingstock.” Mashable, November 7, 2014.

Other (Twitter)

Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart-Pointergate. November 7, 2014. Twitter.

Bill Clinton/Nelson Mandela-Pointergate. November 7, 2014. Twitter.


Nakamura, Lisa. “When Internet Shaming Crosses the Lines: Racial Spectacle and Memetic Culture.” January 29, 2014. YouTube

N00B2 Productions. “Lucy Liu Is Not Just a Girl.” August 22, 2011. YouTube.

other98. “Target Ain’t People.” August 15, 2010. YouTube.

Thompson, Mark. “Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream.” April 11, 2009. YouTube.

Auckland Law Revue. “Robin Thicke-Blurred Lines Feminist Parody ‘Defined Lines.’” August 30, 2013. YouTube.

Browning, Bill. “The New Sexy ‘All About That Bass’ Parody Video.” The Bilerico Project. November 12, 2014.

The Pop Culture Detective Agency. “Buffy vs. Edward: Twilight Remixed.” June 19, 2009. YouTube.

chickenphish. “David Bowie-Changes.” January 20, 2008. YouTube.

FullFrontalFreedom. “Wrong Direction’s ‘Disclosure-A Full Frontal Freedom Production’.” August 20, 2012. YouTube.

Slate Magazine. “Hillary’s Inner Tracy Flick.” January 29, 2008. YouTube.

Comediva. “Pinsanity.” May 9, 2012. YouTube.


Race, Gender, Ethnicity in Music

In-class Video

Jhally, Sut. Dreamworlds 3: Desire, Sex & Power in Music Video. The Media Education Foundation, 2007. Watch a clip on YouTube.

Bayton, Mavis. “Women and the Electric Guitar.” In Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender. Routledge, 1997. ISBN: 9780415146715.

Railton, Diane. “The Gendered Carnival of Pop.” Popular Music 20, no. 3 (2001): 321–31.

Williams, N. “Is Lady Gaga a Feminist or Isn’t She?Ms. Magazine, March 2010.

Cochrane, Kira. “Are You Sure Lady Gaga is the Feminist Icon You Think She Is?Queerty.com. September 17, 2010.

Halberstam, J. Jack. “Preface.” In Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal. Beacon Press, 2013, pp. 62–64. ISBN: 9780807010976.

Guzmán, Isabel Molina, and Angharad N Valdivia. “Brain, Brow, and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture.” The Communication Review 7, no. 2 (2004): 205–21.


BritneySpearsVEVO. “Britney Spears-Womanizer.” October 25, 2009. YouTube.

Allen, Lily. “Lily Allen-Smile.” November 27, 2008. YouTube.

Schlossberg, Mallory. “The Beyoncelogues are Back with a Very, Very, Dramatic ‘Single Ladies’—Video.” Bustle. July 18, 2014.

beyoncéVEVO. “Beyoncé-Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” October 2, 2009. YouTube.

———. “Beyoncé-Irreplaceable.” October 2, 2009. YouTube.

DestinysChildVEVO. “Destiny’s Child-Independent Women, Pt. 1.” November 24, 2009. YouTube.

JenniferLopezVEVO. “Jennifer Lopez-Papi.” September 19, 2011. YouTube.

LadyGagaVEVO. “Lady Gaga-Telephone ft. Beyoncé.” March 15, 2010. YouTube.

Labanova, Aleksandra. “Harry and Draco-Paparazzi.” October 4, 2009. YouTube.

SilverGreen98. “What Hurts the Most-Harry/Draco.” December 13, 2008. YouTube.

lovemcrgd. “Bad Romance (Harry/Draco).” December 21, 2009. YouTube.

danah2931. “Legolas and Gimli/You’re the One that I Want.” October 21, 2008. YouTube.

MyLegobuddylove. “Hello-Legolas & Aragorn.” November 27, 2015. YouTube.

BlackCatsRevenge. “Everytime We Touch-Legolas/Aragorn.” March 14, 2015. YouTube.

Chan, Mako. “Legolas/Aragorn-Buttons.” March 30, 2008. YouTube.

Towle, Andy. “’Show Your ID to Pee’ Video Goes Viral in Wake of Anti-LGBT NC Law.” Towleroad.com. April 5, 2016.

10 Music / Performance: Divas, Icons, Gender, and Sexuality

Cohan, S. “Queer Eye for the Straight Guise.” In The Gender and Media Reader. Edited by Mary Celeste Kearney. Routledge, 2011. ISBN: 9780415993463.

Farmer, Brett. “The Fabulous Sublimity of Gay Diva Worship.” Camera Obscura 20, no. 2 (2005): 165–95.

Ciasullo, Ann M. “Making Her (In)Visible: Cultural Representations of Lesbianism and the Lesbian Body in the 1990s.” Feminist Studies 27, no. 3 (2001): 577–608.

A Full Head of STEAMM featuring Mrs. Trixie Cane Live!” Vimeo.
11 Social Media, Feminism, and Youth Culture

boyd, danah. “Introduction.” In It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. Yale University Press, 2015, pp. 1–3, 6, and 8. ISBN: 9780300199000.

Senft, Theresa M., and Nancy K. Baym. “What Does the Selfie Say?: Investigating a Global Phenomenon.” International Journal of Communication 9 (2015): 1588–1606.

Sweet, Natalie Grace. “How Selfies Have Changed the Face of Dating.” KQED. October 11, 2013.

#SelfiePolice Website

Thomas, Emily. “‘Selfies With Homeless People’ Is the Latest In Shameful Trends,” Huffington Post, February 10, 2014.

What Picture Would They Use? #iftheygunnedmedown. Tumblr.

Contrera, Jessica. “The Story Behind the Viral #DontShoot Photo a Howard University,” The Washington Post, August 14, 2014.

12 Hacktivism, Anonymity, and Feminist Online Resistance

Goffman, Erving. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Anchor, 1959. ISBN: 9780385094023.

Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” In Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. Monthly Review Press, 2001. ISBN: 9781583670392. 

Saltz, Jerry. “Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie.” Vulture, January 26, 2014.

I, too, am Oxford. Tumblr.

Notes on Interpellation

13 Selfies & Surveillance

Coleman, E. Gabriella. “Phreaks, Hackers, and Trolls.” In The Social Media Reader. Edited by Michael Mandiberg. New York University Press, 2012. ISBN: 9780814764060. [Preview with Google Books]

Haralanova, Christina. “Hacktivism: The Art of Practicing Life and Computer Hacking for Feminist Activism.” Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture 27.

Toupin, Sophie. “Feminist Hackerspaces as Safer Spaces.” Feminist Journal of Art and Digital Culture 27.

Shaowen Bardzell, Lilly Nguyen, et al. “Feminism and (Un)Hacking.” Journal of Peer Production, no. 8 (2016).


Marsh, Julia.” Actress in Viral Catcall Video Sues Man Who Made Her Famous," New York Post, July 14, 2015.

Buhr, Sarah. “Mattel Pulls Sexist Barbie Book ‘I Can Be a Computer Engineer’ Off Amazon.” Tech Crunch. November 19, 2014.

Ribon, Pamela. “Barbie F*cks It Up Again.” Gizmodo. November 18, 2014.

Fiesler, Casey. “Barbie Really Is a Computer Engineer: How I Remixed that Terrible Mattel Book.” Slate, November 2014.

Aran, Isha. “CNN Guest: Women Wouldn’t Care About Harassment if Catcallers Were Hot.” Jezebel, November 2014.

Charlton, Lauretta. Holla at Me: Talking to Men in Harlem About That Infamous Catcalling Video." Complex, October 31, 2014.


The Everyday Sexism Project Website

I Never Ask For It Website

Feminist Frequency Website

Hollaback Website

Gendered LEGO remixer

Feminist Hacker Barbie


Videos on Street Harassment

Rob Bliss Creative. “10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Woman.” October 28, 2014. YouTube.

Studio for Creative Inquiry. “Jen Lowe: Deep Lab Lecture Series.” December 8, 2014. Vimeo.

14 Final Project Presentations    

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2016
Learning Resource Types
Media Assignments with Examples
Written Assignments