MP6052 - Media, Gender and Sexualities

What will I learn on this module?

Through critical and theoretical study of gender, sex and sexualities across a wide range of media this module untangles the relationships of community, entertainment, identity, pleasure and media technologies. It explores key theoretical approaches to gender and sexuality and engages with the heated social, cultural and political debates over how gender, sex and sexuality ‘should be’ represented. We examine framings of masculinity and femininity, and explore gender beyond the binary, building on both developments in queer and transgender studies, as well as on the long history of different understandings of gender in cultures around the world. This module thus takes a broad and transnational approach to questions of gender, sexuality, media and human rights, and works to decolonise understandings of these concepts. Similarly, questions of sex and sexuality – recognised as more than effects or questions of biology – will be interrogated. Exploring ideas about, and attitudes to, gender and sexuality and the role(s) that media of various kinds have played in making meanings about intimate life students will examine contemporary media texts and the conceptual framings of ‘the sexualisation of culture’, alongside social media practices and experiences in order to investigate identity politics, sexual subcultures and theories of mediated representations and practices. Our analyses will trace the ways dominant discourses of sexuality from the past jostle for position in contemporary media particularly about gendered and 'normal' vs 'transgressive' sexualities. Gendered relations within media industries themselves are also explored. As we engage with the ways people have moved beyond ‘simple’ consumption of media, to become producers of their own representations via social media platforms, digital technologies and other media artefacts we also explore the possibilities for subverting traditional understandings of what it means to gendered and/or sexed in the 21st Century.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn via a variety of mechanisms. These include lectures, seminars, online activities (where appropriate) and independent learning.

Lectures will provide the contextual and theoretical information you need to understand the module’s themes and approaches. The lecturer will provide examples that will demonstrate how to apply relevant critical techniques, and to stimulate your engagement with the course material (by, for example, presenting various challenges and conflicts raised in the field).

Seminars will provide space for you to interrogate and discuss the ideas raised in the lectures, both with your peers and with the tutor. Seminars are oriented around discussion questions and activities to stimulate your engagement.

Outside of the taught sessions, you will be expected to engage with module-relevant reading in preparation for the sessions. An electronic reading list is supplied via the e-Learning Portal, which will guide you towards appropriate resources, although you are encouraged to explore the wider library catalogue to engage with additional sources too. During your independent working time, it is also expected that you will apply the ideas raised in the reading and the taught content to contemporary media examples beyond those cited in the lectures.

Where appropriate, additional materials will be supplied on the eLearning Portal. These independent activities will facilitate your development as you progress through the module, laying a foundation for your assessed work.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported by the module lead; they will introduce the module at the start of the semester and offer advice and guidance throughout. Your learning is mapped out via documentation on Blackboard Ultra, the Northumbria University online electronic learning portal; this is accessible online on and off campus. The e-Learning Portal will include guidance notes and key dates to help you organise and plan your time. It will also include teaching materials, announcements and updates, and detailed information on assessment. You will have a university email that we contact you through.??

?We support your learning by providing on-going feedback (Formative and?Summative) through the range of teaching and learning approaches offered. We ask you to submit your work electronically, and we will supply feedback via Turnitin. You will be able to compare your feedback across modules so that you can assess your development as you progress through the programme.

Formative assessment is offered throughout the module, and summative assignments will receive written feedback within 20 working days of assignment submission.?Every tutor has set weekly feedback and tutorial drop in hours, wherein you can seek advice on your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• KU1: Demonstrate your ability to develop appropriately sophisticated analyses of the ways gendered and/or sexual identities, practices and/or representations have been categorised and how these are connected to historical, social, cultural and political processes, exploring forms of media production and consumption.



Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• IPSA1: Draw upon the transferable skills (methods, approaches and communicative skills) you have developed to-date to independently formulate critical opinions about the debates raised in the module

• IPSA2: Demonstrate confidence in your ability to discuss topics raised within the module in a lucid manner, with a degree of sophistication that is commensurate with undergraduate study at Level 6, and with a sensitivity to other people’s experiences and viewpoints.



Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• PVA: The debates covered during the module will encourage you to reflect on questions of identity, recognising the ways in which social and cultural pressures for conformity and normativity may affect understandings of what it means to be a citizen, taking into account political and social responsibilities.

How will I be assessed?

Summative Assessment

At the end of the semester, students will produce a portfolio consisting of three different parts; 1) a 10-minute podcast on a topic related to media representations of gender and sexuality (35% of mark); 2) a 1000-word annotated bibliography in which they summarise and engage with the sources used in your podcast analysis (35%); and 3) a 1000-word analysis of how gender and sexuality is represented in a specific scene from a media work of their choosing (30%). The purpose of the portfolio is for students to productively utilise the academic approaches they have learned about in this course, as well as demonstrate their capacity for independent research and analysis. Students will benefit from a multifaceted assessment method, which allows them to demonstrate their knowledge and independent thinking through three different formats, as well as further developing their transferable skills of expressing themselves creatively via different media, ranging from writing to podcast production. Detailed guidance will be provided in class on how to produce a podcast, as well as on producing an annotated bibliography and on scene analysis. Students who feel so inclined may produce a video essay instead of a podcast, with this choice bearing no influence on their mark. Taken together, the portfolio will allow students to demonstrate: a) analytical depth and detail; b) understanding of the issues raised in the module; c) the ability to develop a sustained argument; d) the ability to perform independent research; e) a greater degree of reflection and contemplation than a sole assessment form would permit, and f) a capacity to express themselves in multiple formats. The assessment will test their skills of organisation, communication, research, and critical engagement.



Formative:

During the semester you will give a short presentation to your seminar group – equivalent to 500 words – on a topic of your choosing but which draws on the themes and approaches introduced during the module. The presentation will enable you to research, plan and construct a presentation, offering a coherent short discussion of your chosen topic. In addition, the presentation offers the opportunity to test out ideas in front of an audience of your peers. The presentation will be peer-assessed (with guidance from tutors) and is intended to offer constructive formative feedback in preparation for the summative assessment portfolio. You will also receive formative feedback from your peers and the module tutor during the seminars throughout the course, allowing you to apprehend how your critical skills are developing.



Feedback:

You will receive a detailed commentary and a summative mark on your written work in accordance with the assessment criteria (supplied on the eLP). Under normal circumstances, you will receive written feedback on your summative submissions within 20 working days. The feedback will normally be supplied electronically as part of the ESAF process. This feedback will provide a detailed account of your skills, critical engagement and communicative ability, as well as supporting future learning by indicating areas for development. You can also request additional verbal feedback on your submissions by arranging a meeting with the module tutor.

Pre-requisite(s)

N/A

Co-requisite(s)

N/A

Module abstract

Through critical and theoretical study of gender, sex and sexualities across a wide range of media this module untangles the relationships of community, entertainment, identity, pleasure and media technologies. It explores key theoretical approaches to gender and sexuality and engages with the heated social, cultural and political debates over how gender, sex and sexuality ‘should be’ represented. We examine framings of masculinity and femininity, and explore gender beyond the binary, building on both developments in queer and transgender studies, as well as on the long history of different understandings of gender in cultures around the world. This module thus takes a broad and transnational approach to questions of gender, sexuality, media and human rights, and works to decolonise understandings of these concepts. Similarly, questions of sex and sexuality – recognised as more than effects or questions of biology – will be interrogated. Exploring ideas about, and attitudes to, gender and sexuality and the role(s) that media of various kinds have played in making meanings about intimate life students will examine contemporary media texts and the conceptual framings of ‘the sexualisation of culture’, alongside social media practices and experiences in order to investigate identity politics, sexual subcultures and theories of mediated representations and practices. Our analyses will trace the ways dominant discourses of sexuality from the past jostle for position in contemporary media particularly about gendered and 'normal' vs 'transgressive' sexualities. Gendered relations within media industries themselves are also explored. As we engage with the ways people have moved beyond ‘simple’ consumption of media, to become producers of their own representations via social media platforms, digital technologies and other media artefacts we also explore the possibilities for subverting traditional understandings of what it means to gendered and/or sexed in the 21st Century.

Course info

UCAS Code P305

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Arts

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.

 

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