week 15 ~ Asian images in the media

week 13 ~ Native American images in the media

week 11 ~ representing race in popular culture

week 2 ~ reading the image in society

course information

course lectures

essay questions

course reader

week 1 ~ what is "normal"?

week 3 ~ men and masculinities

week 4 ~ women and femininity

week 6 ~ stereotypes and fear of the "Other"

week 7 ~ news media project presentations

week 8 ~ class systems in media

week 10 ~ video games, virtual reality, and cyberspace

week 12 ~ Hispanic images in the media

week 14 ~ African American images in the media

week 9 ~ music and music videos

week 16 ~ entertainment media project presentations

week 5 ~ representing lgbtq identities

4-5 pg. Essay #1

Choose one of the following and answer in essay form:

~1~  Choose an advertising image from a billboard, magazine, or internet site and write an analysis of it as an example of "everyday

        pornography" as defined by Jane Caputi. Discuss the different meanings that are encoded into the image, and how they

        function to reflect specific aspects of race, gender, and/or class in popular American culture.

~2~  Discuss the representation of gender in Lethal Weapon. How does the film perpetuate patriarchal notions of masculinity and


4-5 pg. Essay #2

Choose one of the following and answer in essay form:

~1~  Choose a music video from a popular recording artist (singer/band/group) and provide an analysis of the images and the

        lyrical content of the song. What kind of image is the artist/group trying to portray, and how is this expressed in their

        appearance, attitude, lyrics, etc.? How does this image reflect an aspect of contemporary culture (race, sex/gender, class,


~2~  Analyze the varying representations in the "Hamsterdam" and "Straight and True" episodes of The Wire. How do the episodes

        function to challenge stereotypes surrounding race, gender, and class in television? Identify and discuss specific characters

        and events from the show to support your ideas.


project assignment

News Media Project

Complete an analysis of a particular aspect of the news media, with specific attention paid to the way in which race, gender, and class are represented. Choose a newspaper, magazine, website, or TV news program and collect a body of texts to study (page-one or homepage stories, obituaries, sports articles, internet features, or several days worth of reporting from the same source about an event/story, etc.). Write a 4-5 page report with your findings to present to the class, and include your descriptive analysis, any relevant patterns or themes you discover, and any charts or graphs you want to create to represent the data you've collected.

Entertainment Media Project

Choose a particular aspect of the mass media discussed in class this semester, and design your own vision of  this media form, paying special attention to the social, cultural, and political implications of your idea. The emphasis is on you to be creative. For example, you may choose to develop a pilot for a television show or radio program, create shoot a short film, design a billboard advertising campaign, a magazine cover, a CD booklet, compose a song, publish a web site/blog, or develop a video game concept. Along with your finished project, include a 4-5 page description of your idea, detailing your critical thought processes throughout its development. You can choose to complete your project in a group if you like (of no more than three persons).

adam p. wadenius