Current Class (Fall 2018, Spring 2019)

Telling Her Story: Narrative, Media & #MeToo

“The #MeToo Movement Makes Its Way Into Harvard Courses” (The Crimson):
https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/2/28/metoo-movement-courses/

In a powerful essay, the late feminist and activist Audre Lorde suggested: “where the words of women are crying to be heard we must each of us recognize our responsibility to seek those words out, to read them and share them and examine them in their pertinence to our lives.” Lorde is not alone in asking us to pay attention to and take responsibility for women’s stories; for centuries scholars and activists alike have championed the words of women, including women of color and queer women, whose stories have routinely gone untold or unheard. Yet if this issue has always been pressing, the call to heed women’s stories seems especially urgent at a moment when such stories have come to dominate the cultural landscape and public consciousness from news accounts to popular shows, literature to social media . This course responds to this moment by examining how women’s stories are narrated across a variety of media and  what impact the sharing of them can have.

UNIT 1
"You Will Hear Me": Intersectional Accounts

Short stories by contemporary women authors Roxane Gay, Carmen Maria Machado, and Jenny Zhang that raise questions about the body, family, love, and society.


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UNIT 2
"Under His Eye": Authority, Power, Image

Hulu's 2017 adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel, The Handmaid's Tale, informed by readings of critical feminist theory (Laura Mulvey's "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema" & Gayle Rubin's "The Traffic in Women")


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UNIT 3
"Representational Justice": Art, Activism & Social Media

 Visual and performance art (e.g. Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle's The Evanesced & Emma Sulkowicz's "Carry That Weight") & movements like #MeToo and #SayHerName. Students pursue independent research projects that explore the relations between art, activism, and social media.