The website companion to the blog for the TCNJ Women's & Gender Studies course, Gender & Popular Culture
The home of the big blog project! Approximately 27 students enrolled in Gender
& Popular Culture (Women's & Gender Studies) at The College of
New Jersey blog in Jessie's section of the course (WGS220). Each student's blog is the primary element of this
(on-campus, non-distance/online learning) course, which is where s/he
will examine topics in contemporary popular culture primarily through the lens of gender. Please visit their
blogs and feel free to leave comments!
Gender and Popular Culture is a course that examines the rarely analyzed dimensions of contemporary, popular media and cultural products. From a vantage point of curiosity, we’ll be focused on the aspects of pop culture that remain unspoken; specifically, we’ll examine the codified messages of inclusion and exclusion from the primary sources of information and entertainment. Innocuous, taken-for-granted sources of news, information, entertainment, etc. all have cultural, gendered, and political economic ties that are readily propagated to their target audiences and groups of consumers. By focusing on gender, we’ll analyze the messages that popular culture disseminates, which define what it means to be “men” and “women” (the ideals of masculinity and femininity). However, this focus on gender is not meant to limit the categories that popular culture encompasses. Using gender as a point of departure from the “it’s only entertainment” mentality, we’ll map the many intersecting social categories (such as race, class, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexuality, etc) that together, form the idealized definitions of “men” and “women” through popular culture. Because we’re examining these topics in a historical moment wherein information flows at a speed unparalleled to any previous era, the format for the course will be one of inquiry through technology. Using a project-based approach to popular culture, we will intervene in the ongoing dissemination of information consciously, and with the intent to transform the hegemonic ideals. Primarily, this course will be an interventionist experiment into popular culture. If the basic premise that popular culture is not produced within a vacuum, but is instead the product and producer of culture at a given time, then our response must attempt to address the climate in which it is produced (and the climate which popular culture mirrors).
Therefore, the Blog project will be an evolving, analytical dialogue with popular culture, focused on a specific genre/area of interest. As with any research project or Blog, the project is ongoing and ever-evolving. Therefore, the challenge is to maintain this critical dialogue and open as many channels of communication and analytical depth in an area of interest. I designed this approach to maintain a vast array of possibilities for you to pursue your specific interests within popular culture. Therefore, attendance, reading, and communication will be crucial to success in this course.
It's a big classroom!
(Sites & Blogs associated with Jessie's Gender & Pop Culture Blog Project)