The Third Woman
How are "Third World" women, both in the First World and in the Third, represented and understood by others? How do they represent and understand themselves? Analyzing images such as the Orientalized woman, the exoticized/eroticized woman, the earth mother, the debased and exploited laborer, or the witch/temptress, we will study how these representations developed historically, questioning how they persist and how they are resisted. Studying films, still images, and written texts, we will compare western views of Third World women with their representations of themselves.
Beginning with images from the popular media, such as magazine advertisements and book covers, which appeal to the representation of the "other" woman as exotic and erotic, we will examine how such advertisements contribute to representations of both the first and third world woman's sexuality and virtue. Are third world women objects for our delighted or lascivious contemplation? Or are they the objects of our pity and social concern? Or are they something else entirely? And how best can third world women be represented? Some writers from Africa and India, like Ama Ata Aidoo of Ghana and Lalithambika Antherjanam of India, ask how oral cultures can be represented in print, while others ask about how we can learn to listen to women in cultures where they are traditionally silenced. We will study these and other issues.
Regular attendance and participation. Students will be responsible for six response papers (1-2 pages each), one class facilitation, two essays (3-4 pages each), and a final paper (5-6 pages).
Alloula, Colonial Harem
|September 18||The Veil: Colonialism and Power
The Colonial Harem
Response paper #1 due in class
|September 25||The Veil: Representation
Woman at Point Zero
Response paper #2 due in class
|October 2||Writing and Self-Representation
Essay #1 due
|October 9||Immigration and Gender Relations
|October 16||Fall Break|
|October 23||The Power of Domesticity
Response paper #3 due in class
|October 30||The Value of "Home"
Clear Light of Day
Essay #2 due
|November 6||Sexuality and Power
God of Small Things
Response paper #4 due in class
|November 13||Engendering the New
The Bone People
Response paper #5 due in class
|November 20||The Master's Voice
Response paper #6
|November 27||Rewriting "History"
I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem
Last GLSP Class
|December 11||Final paper due in my office by 5PM|