COMM 6042:01 Seminar: Gender in Communication
Fall 2015, Thursday 5:00-7:50 Lang 346
under construction!!!! last updated August 10, 2015
- Instructor: Catherine H. Palczewski, Ph.D.
- Office: Lang Hall 341
- Office hours:
- Tuesday: 2:00-4:00
- Thursday: 2:00-4:30, 7:50-8:20
- no office hours September 15, 17; October 20, 22
- If these times do not
work, feel free to call or email to make an appointment.
- Office Phone: 273-2714 Mailbox: Lang Hall 326 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Acknowledgements: This syllabus would not be possible without the assistance of Victoria DeFrancisco and Danielle Dick McGeough, who also teach this course at UNI. Faculty at UNI and other universities also have shared their ideas, assignments and syllabi, and I thank them for their help: MaryBeth Stalp, Leah White, Jennifer Potter, Valeria Fabj, and Jeanne Cook. This syllabus is better because of their help.
New information will appear in pink
assignment due dates are in red
links are in blue
Course Description: People "do" gender through their communicative practices, and gender is constructed through the communication produced by social institutions. The purpose of this course is to raise students' awareness regarding the ways in which gender is created, maintained, and/or changed through communication. Students will gain theoretical insights and develop analytical skills to identify gendered expectations, and to learn how such expectations serve to limit behavior for both women and men. The course will enhance understanding of how predominant social assumptions and communication norms can devalue and silence women and other non-dominant groups, and how students can become change agents to enhance our collective lives.
Course Objectives: At the end of the course, students should understand that gender in communication is complicated by a variety of factors beyond sex. Thus, by the end of the class, students should understand how the following concepts are central to understanding gender in communication:
- Intersectionality. Persons are not just female or male, feminine or masculine. To more accurately study gender, we must study gendered lives in the context of other social identities, particularly race, ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and national origin. Students should understand that gender is always about more than a person's sex.
- Interdisciplinarity. To understand gender/sex in communication, one must fuse and balance social scientific, humanistic, and critical methods. Students should be able to identify the various contributions of these approaches to the study of gender/sex in communication.
- Gender diversity, not sex differences. Gender as a form of difference does not explain the complexity of gender in communication. Thus, students should understand the range of genders available to people, and not look at gender in communication as merely a way to track differences between men and women.
- Masculinity. Students should understand that the study of gender is not just the study of women.
- Gender is a performed social institution. Students should understand that gender is something a person does, not something a person is. Gender is not something located within individuals, but is a social construct which institutions and individuals maintain (and occasionally challenge).
- Violence. To study gender in lived experiences means to study the darker side of gender: oppression and violence. Students should more fully recognize the consequences of the prevalent gendered society in which most people live.
- Emancipation. Even as we recognize violence, we also want to recognize the emancipatory potential of gendered practice. Gender identity need not be oppressive and limiting to persons. Students should be able to identify the way their own gendered practices hold the potential for personal and social emancipation.
DeFrancisco, Victoria Pruin, Catherine Helen Palczewski, and Danielle Dick McGeough. Gender in Communication, 2nd ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014). Note: all royalties from the sale of this book to UNI students are donated to a scholarship fund for UNI students
Additional readings will be located on eLearning.
Strongly Recommended Texts
Style manual of choice – either APA Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (at bookstore) or MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (in library)
General Information: see www.uni.edu/palczews/general.htm. This site includes my late policy, the university accommodation policy, the university plagiarism policy, as well as paper format descriptions.
Student Etiquette: Lively debate, discussion, and disagreement on issues are encouraged in class. But respect for other people, their opinions, and experiences is essential. The most productive way to disagree with another is to say, “I disagree with you because…” and explain and justify your position. Some opinions may just indicate a preference (like for purple over green), but other opinions are about emperically verifiable events in the world. The reality is that some opinions are better supported and more reasonable than other opinions; thus, be able to explain why you hold the opinion you do and why you think your opinion is better supported than another’s. Engage each other in a reasoned exchange of ideas. In other words, present an argument (a claim supported by data, with reasons/warrants as to why that data is relevant to the claim).
Throughout the semester we will encounter a variety of sensitive issues given gender/sex is an intensely sensitive and personal aspect of being human. The content of this class has the potential to stir up strong emotional reactions. You will encounter ideas and theories that challenge you. Students are asked to follow some guidelines to help maintain a constructive learning environment. Participants in this class must be open to looking at gender from a variety of perspectives. Further, it is possible that films, readings, images, music, etc. used in this class may be considered “offensive” by some. A student’s decision to stay enrolled in the class is an agreement to approach all course content with a critical academic lens. Above all, participants must treat each other with respect. The most fundamental way to respect class participants is to complete daily readings, listen to others, and ground your own comments in principles of critical thinking. Class discussions should take place within the context of academic inquiry and in the spirit of understanding diverse perspectives and experiences. Do not engage in private conversations, interrupt another student who has the floor, keep pagers and cell phones on, or show general signs of disrespect for the course, professor, or other students. Non-course related materials such as newspapers and items from other courses must be stowed away when class begins.
|1. Intersectional self analysis
|2. Project part 1: topic search
|2A. Project part 2
|2A. Project part 3
|2A. Final project (written)
||December 17, 5pm
|2B. Final presentation (oral)
||December 17, 5pm
Assignments are worth a total of 100 points. However, for each assignment you can earn fractions of points (so, you can think of it as a 1000 point scale if it makes you feel better). If you need to figure your letter grade at any point in the semester, simply divide the number of points you have by the number of possible points you could have earned. For your final grade, simply add up all the points for each assignment. Points are noted in brackets. Simply doing the base requirements of each assignment will earn you a "C" -- this means you have done acceptable work. To earn a "B" you must go beyond the assignment expectations or fulfill them in an above average way. To earn an "A" you must go far beyond the assignment expectations and fulfill the base expectations in an exceptional manner.
Detailed descriptions of all assignments appear on this syllabus. You are free to ask questions in class about the assignments, or contact me outside of class by email or phone. But, please be aware, I will NOT answer any questions about an assignment in the 48 hours before it is due. I recognize that students procrastinate, so, consider this an inducement to begin work early. This means if you have a question, you need to be prepared to ask it in the class session before your paper is due. I will not answer questions after that time. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the date listed.
Page limits on all assignments will be rigorously enforced. You should spend time finding ways to write more concisely and clearly. If I find your paper long-winded, and you go over the page limit, I will quit reading. (If however, you are brilliant and keep me captivated, I may not notice). And, given the expectations of each of the assignments, you probably will need to use the number of pages required. If, however, you are exceptionally concise, then I may not notice if your paper falls short of the required pages.
A bibliography should be turned in with every assignment. It will not count toward your page limit. On the top of the page, indicate the style (APA or MLA) that you think you are using.
TurnItIn requirement: For assignments 1, 2 (and possibly 5a), students are required to use TurnItIn in order to check they are not plagiarizing. Thus, for an assignment to be considered "turned in", students must have submitted an electronic version to TurnItIn before the assignment's due date and time, and also turn in a paper copy to the professor at the assigned due date and time. I have activated the TurnItIn website in such a way that you are allowed to submit drafts of your paper and receive originality reports. These reports should be used to assist you in making sure you are attributing authorship in an ethical way. The only originality report I will see is the final report on the version of the paper you turn into me. Students can access the TurnItIn website for each assignment via the class's eLearning site. Check the TurnItIn file, and then select the icon for the appropriate assignment. Please understand: using TurnItIn is only the first step in making sure your are abiding by citation guidelines and providing fair attribution. TurnItIn is only one way to check the originality of your work, and just because your work passes the TurnItIn check does not guarantee you have not plagiarized. You are responsible for using style manuals to make sure your citation format is correct and consistent.
Amount of work expected: UNI's general guideline is that one semester hour of credit is the equivalent of approximately three hours of work (one hour of in-class time + 2 hours of out-of-class preparation) each week over the course of a whole semester. In a typical lecture/discussion course, each hour of class normally entails at least two hours of outside preparation for the average student. For graduate students, the expectation is more like at least 5 hours. That means that for every week, students should set aside 15 hours outside of class to read, research, work on assignments, study for tests, etc. This standard is the basis on which the Registrar's Office assigns hours of University credit for courses.
1) Gendered Lens Analysis of the Intersectional Self: [10 points]. (5 pages). Apply course readings and discussion to reflexively identify and examine the social construction of your own gender identity. Include specific observations and descriptions from your life. Your goal is to apply an intersectional view of gender (and other relevant course concepts) to examine your own gender identity and how you might benefit or be disadvantaged from the intersections in your identity. Be sure to demonstrate your understanding of the terms you use, rather than merely name-drop. Write a coherent essay that features your voice, not just a list of concept applications. No external references are required. When analyzing yourself, you do NOT need to reveal EVERYTING about yourself. (Face it, I will not know if you choose to leave something out). Just to be clear, you only need to discuss what you are comfortable discussing. If there is an aspect of your gender/sex identity that is private, do not feel compelled to discuss it. Due: October 8.
2) Major project: You will have the following options from which to choose. Regardless of the option, they all share the following characteristics: you will begin with an exhaustive bibliographic search, they will be written in stages so you may receive feedback, they should involve immersion in the literature on gender in communication, they shold have some connection to communication. Method, format, and end product is up to you. If none of these options work for you, feel free to propose an alternative assignment track. If you choose to propose an alternate track, it must be submitted to me by September 10.
ALL PROJECTS will start with an exhaustive topic search: [10 points] Printouts of all searches should be attached (this could be a very large stack). Due: September 24. The cover page should:
*Identify the bibliographic format used (APA or MLA).
*List the search terms and databases used (e.g., CMMC, Lexis/Nexis, EBSCO's Gender Studies Database)
*Provide preliminary research questions (RQs) for social science projects, or preliminary arguments for critical projects, or preliminary goals for other projects.
*Include a practice bibliography that YOU type that includes sample citations. I want to make sure everyone knows how to do citations forms for typical sources. Thus, you need to include bibliographic entries for at least one of each of the following (even if you are not citing it yet):
2. book chapter from an edited collection
3. newspaper article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)
4. magazine article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)
5. scholarly journal article (if electronically accessed, correct form for that should be included)
6. web source
1) Research paper. [55 points total] (20 pages) This would be a traditional scholarly paper. The method is open to you, but if you use human subjects, you must receive IRB approval.
a) Part 2: Draft of first 5 pages [10 points]
Due date: October 15
b) Part 3: Draft of first 10 pages [10 points] Due date: November 19
c) Final project [35 points] Due date: December 17, 5pm
2) Review essay. [55 points total] (20 pages) For models of this approach, see the journal Review of Communication. With this assignment, instead of conducting original research, you would write up a summary of the "state of the literature" on a given topic. You would need to find all the research on a topic (say, disordered eating, sexual violence prevention, media representations of trans folks, etc.), identify themes, make judgments about utility, and identify future directions for research.
a) Part 2: Draft of first 5 pages [10 points] Due date: October 15
b) Part 3: Draft of first 10 pages [10 points] Due date: November 19
c) Final project [35 points] Due date: December 17, 5pm
3) Creative project
a) Part 2: Draft of idea, storyboard, sketch, etc. [10 points] Due date: October 15
b) Part 3: Draft of 1/2 of project[10 points] Due date: November 19
c) Final project [35 points]. For any project that is not written, a 5 page written reflection on the process and project will be required. Due date: December 17, 5pm
Good Essay link: All papers should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in basic writing classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing an essay.
4) Teaching project: For this, you could either develop a gender in communication unit for a class on a broader topic (or identify how you would weave gender throughout the class) OR develop a complete syllabus (with readings, assignments, exercises, lectures, etc.) for an entire class on gender in communication.
a) Part 2: Draft of 25% of content [10 points] Due date: October 15
b) Part 3: Draft of half of content [10 points] Due date: November 19
c) Final project [35 points] Due date: December 17, 5pm
B) Oral presentation: [5 points]. Students will have 7-8 minutes to present their projects. Please bring 2 copies of your presentation outline (one for you to use and one for me to write on).Depending on class size, the duration of the presentation may be altered. You can take a more performative turn in your presentations, or you can choose to combine your time for a group presentation/debate. If you do choose to combine your time, make sure it is a GROUP presentation, and not just a series of 3 speeches. The presentation should focus on the core point the student made in the final exam.
More helpful hints:
1) Do NOT simply read your exam for your presentation. The presentation should be formal and professional, but not scripted. I suggest you speak from a detailed outline (remember to include quotations from the textbook in the outline to illustrate the points you want to make). Please bring two copies of the outline: one to speak from and one for me. DO practice the presentation to make sure your outline fits within the time limits. Time limits will be strictly enforced.
2) Presume the audience is not familiar with your exam, but is educated about gender in communication. Your presentation does NOT need to include detailed definitions of common terms from the textbook. However, do provide sufficient theoretical explanation of more complicated concepts so that the audience can follow your analysis.
3) Do not try to present all the arguments in your exam. You will not be able to cover everything in just 5 minutes. Instead, give a brief overview of all your arguments, and then pick one or two on which to focus the presentation.
4) Good Speech link: All presentations should put into practice the skills and techniques learned in Oral Communication and/or Public Speaking classes. Here is a link to a general checklist to consult when preparing a speech.
Due date: December 17, 5pm
3) Discussion: [20 points]. The success of this class depends on your participation. You will be expected to read assignments prior to the date assigned and to join in ALL class discussions. Students are encouraged to participate by bringing in relevant artifacts (newspaper articles, advertisements, TV shows, songs, job ads, etc.) to discuss. It is expected that we will have varying view points on issues discussed in class, and that we can learn from such disagreement. The professor should serve as a muse or a guide, but not a drill sergeant. For a class to be a location of invention, and not just regurgitation, you must come ready to talk, to think, to rethink and to engage. Otherwise, a seminar format class can devolve into just being an instance where the professor tells you what to think. Being a good participant does not mean that you always have the answer; it can also mean that you know when to ask the right questions and when to recognize that the answers have already been offered by the class but need to be synthesized. Discussion is a central component of this class insofar as each person's analysis of the readings can be enhanced by others' insights. For a detailed description of the criteria used in the assessment of discussion, see my discussion link.
|Syllabus: (This syllabus is subject to change, although that rarely happens.) If changes happen, they will be in hot pink.
||Readings (Chapters are from book; articles are on eLearning)
|1: August 27: Introduction to studying gender/sex in communication
Jack, Jordynn. (2012, March). Gender copia: Feminist rhetorical perspectives on an autistic concept of sex/gender. Women's Studies in Communication, 35(1), 1-17. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.667519
Sloop, John. (2004). Introduction (not chapter 3). Disciplining gender: Rhetorics of sex identity in contemporary U.S. culture. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.
West, Candace, & Zimmerman, Don H. (1987). Doing gender. Gender & Society, 1(2), 125-151.
Read one or the other of the following two essays:
Deutsch, Francine M. (2007). Undoing gender. Gender & Society, 21(1), 106-127.
Connell, Catherine. (2010). Doing, Undoing, or Redoing Gender? : Learning from the Workplace Experiences of Transpeople. Gender & Society, 24, 31-55.
|2: September 3: Theories of gender/sex,
LeMaster, Benny. (2015). Discontents of being and becoming fabulous on RuPaul's Drag U : Queer criticism in neoliberal times. Women's Studies in Communication, 38(2), 167-186. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2014.988776
Chávez, Karma R. (2010, April). Spatializing gender performativity: Ecstasy and possibilities for livable life in the tragic case of Victoria Arellano. Women's Studies in Communication, 33(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1080/07491401003669729
Sloop, John M. (2012, June). "This is not natural:" Caster Semenya's gender threats. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 29(2), 81-96.
|3: September 10: Gendered/sexed voices
Griffin, Rachel Alicia. (2012, January). I AM an angry black woman: Black feminist autoethnography, voice, and resistance. Women's Studies in Communication, 35(2), 138-157. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.724524
Ahmad, Asam. (2015, March 4). What makes call-out culture so toxic. Films for Action.
Wolk, Lesley, Abdelli-Beruh, Nassima B., & Slavin, Dianne. (2011). Habitual use of vocal fry in young adult female speakers. Journal of Voice, 26(3): 111-116.
Anderson, Rindy, C., Klofstad, Casey A., Mayew, William J., Venkatachalam, Mohan. (2014). Vocal fry may undermine the success of young women in the labor market. Plos One. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097506
4: September 17 (FAU):
Danielle McGeough guest teaches
Bell, Elizabeth. (2005). Sex acts beyond boundaries and binaries: A feminist
challenge for self care in performance studies. Text and Performance Quarterly, 25(3), 187-219. DOI: 10.1080/10462930500271752
Johnson, Javon. (2010). Manning up: Race, gender, and sexuality in Los Angeles'
slam and spoken word poetry communities. Text and Performance Quarterly, 30(4), 396-419. DOI: 10.1080/10462937.2010.511252
Miller, Shane Aaron. (2010). Making the boys cry: The performative dimensions of fluid gender. Text and Performance Quarterly, 30(2), 163-182. DOI: 10.1080/10462931003658099
|5: September 24: Gendered/sexed bodies
||Project part 1: exhaustive topic search due
Kelly, Casey Ryan, & Hoerl, Kristen E. (2015). Shaved or saved? Disciplining women's bodies. Women's Studies in Communication, 38(2), 141-145. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2015.1027088
Jack, Jordynn. (2009). Acts of institution: Embodying feminist rhetorical methodologies in space and time. Rhetoric Review, 28(3), 285-303. DOI: 10.1080/07350190902958909
Woods, Carly S. (2013, September). Repunctuated feminism: Marketing menstrual suppression through the rhetoric of choice. Women's Studies in Communication, 36(3), 267-287. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2013.829791
Rand, Erin J. (2013, June). An appetite for activism: The Lesbian Avengers and the queer politics of visibility. Women's Studies in Communication, 36(2), 121-141. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2013.794754
MacDonald, Shauna M. (2007, Fall). Leaky performances: The transformative potential of menstrual leaks. Women's Studies in Communication, 30(3), 340-357.
|6: October 1: Gendered/sexed language
Campbell, Karlyn Kohrs. (1973, February). The rhetoric of Women’s Liberation: An oxymoron. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 59, 74-86.
Lloyd, Moya. (2007). Radical democratic activism and the politics of resignification. Constellations, 14(1), 129-146.
de Onís, Kathleen M. (2015). Lost in translation: Challenging (white, monolingual feminism's) <choice> with justicia reproductiva. Women's Studies in Communication, 38(1), 1-19. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2014.989462
Dow, Bonnie J., & Wood, Julia T. (2014, January). Repeating history and learning from it: What can SlutWalks teach us about feminism? Women's Studies in Communication, 37(1), 22-43. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2013.867918
Kapur, Ratna. (2012). Pink chaddis and SlutWalk couture: The postcolonial politics of feminism lite. Feminst Legal Studies, 20, 1-20.
|7: October 8: Institutions
|| intersectional analysis of self due
Kimmel, Michael. (2000). The gender of violence. The Gendered Society. New York: Oxford University Press.
Rowe, Aimee Carrillo. (2009, Spring). Subject to power--Feminism without victims. Women's Studies in Communication, 32(1), 12-35.
|8: October 15: Citizenship part 1
||Project part 2 due
Chávez, Karma R. (2015, February). Beyond inclusion: Rethinking rhetoric's historical narrative. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 101(1), 162-172. DOI: 10.1080/00335630.2015.994908
Parker, Maegan. (2008). Desiring citizenship: A rhetorical analysis of the Wells/Willard Controversy. Women's Studies in Communication, 31(1), 56-78.
West, Isaac. (2014). Introduction: Trangender citizenship. Transforming citizenships. New York: New York University Press. s
Piepmeier, Alison. 2004. Chapter 4: The supreme right of American citizenship: Ida B. Wells, the lynch narrative, and the prodiction of the American body. Out in public. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
9: October 22:
Victoria DeFrancisco teaches
Foust, Christina R. (2004, Fall). A return to feminine public virtue: Judge Judy and the myth of the tough mother. Women's Studies in Communication, 27(3), 269-293.
Bacon, Jen. (2012, January). Until death do us part: Lesbian rhetorics of relational divorce. Women's Studies in Communication, 35(2), 158-177. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.724523
|10: October 29: Education
Samek, Alyssa A., & Donofrio, Theresa A. (2013, February). “Academic drag” and the performance of the critical personae: An exchange on sexuality, politics, and identity in the academy. Women's Studies in Communication, 36(1), 28-55. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.754388
Varallo, Sharon M. (2008, Summer). Motherwork in academe: Intensive caring for the millenial student. Women's Studies in Communication, 31(2), 151-157.
Patton, Tracey Owens. (2004, Spring). In the guise of civility: The complications maintenance of inferential forms of sexism and racism in higher education. Women's Studies in Communication, 27(1), 60-87.
|11: November 5: Work
Pfafman, Tessa M., & McEwan, Bree. (2014, May). Polite women at work: Negotiating professional identity through strategic assertiveness. Women's Studies in Communication, 37(2), 202-219. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2014.911231
Meisenbach, Rebecca J., Remke, Robyn V., Buzzanell, Patrice M., and Liu, Meina. (2008, March). "They allowed": Pentadic mapping of women's maternity leave discourse as organizational rhetoric. Communication Monographs, 75(1), 1-24. link DOI: 10.1080/03637750801952727.
|12: November 12: Religion
Abbott, Jennifer Young. (2006, November). Religion and gender in the news: The case of Promise Keepers, feminists, and the "Stand in the Gap" rally. Journal of Communication & Religion, 29(2), 224-261.
Gunning, Isabelle. (1992, Summer). Arrogant perception, world-travelling and multicultural feminism: The case of female genital surgeries. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 23(2), 189-248.
James, Stanlie M. (1998). Shades of othering: Reflections on female circumcision/genital mutilation. Signs, 23(4), 1031. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 July 2010.
Maddux, Kristy. (2012, March). The feminized gospel: Aimee Semple McPherson and the gendered performance of Christianity. Women's Studies in Communication, 35(1), 42-67. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.667520
Piela, Anna. (2013, November). I am just doing my bit to promote modesty: Niqabis' self-portraits on photo-sharing websites. Feminist Media Studies, 13(5), 781-790. DOI: 10.1080/14680777.2013.838358
|13: November 19: Citizenshp part 2
|| Project part 3 due
Cram, E. (2012). “Angie was Our Sister:” Witnessing the Trans-Formation of Disgust in the Citizenry of Photography. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 98(4), 411-438.
|14: November 26: Thanksgiving Break
|15: December 3: Media
Dow, Bonnie J. (2003, Spring). Feminism, Miss America, and media mythology. Rhetoric & Public Affairs, 6(1), 127-149.
Vavrus, Mary Douglas. (2013, February). Lifetime's Army Wives , or I married the media-military-industrial complex. Women's Studies in Communication, 36(1), 92-112. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2012.756441
Vats, Anjali, & Nishime, LeiLani. (2013, November). Containment as neocolonial visual rhetoric: Fashion, yellowface, and Karl Lagerfeld's “Idea of China”. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 99(4), p423-447. DOI: 10.1080/00335630.2013.833668
|16: December 10: One Last Consideration
Shome, Raka. (1996, February). Postcolonial interventions in the rhetorical canon: An "other" view. Communication Theory, 6(1), 40-59. on eLearning
Chávez, Karma R.; & Griffin, Cindy L. (2014, September). Women's studies in communication still matters. Women's Studies in Communication, 37(3), 262-265. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2014.955434
Dow, Bonnie J. (2014, September). The lessons of history: Women's Studies in Communication approaches 40. Women's Studies in Communication, 37(3), 259-261. DOI: 10.1080/07491409.2014.955431
|17: December 17: Final exam period:
December 17, 5:00-6:50 p.m. Thursday
|Final project and presentations due