Gender, History and American Film

More than any other medium, motion pictures fostered new ideals and images of modern womanhood and manhood in the United States. Through the twentieth century, gender representations on the screen bore a complex relationship to the social, economic, and political transformations marking the lives and consciousness of American men and women. This course explores the history of American gender in the last 100 years through film.  It treats the motion pictures as a primary source that, juxtaposed with other kinds of historical evidence, opens a window onto gendered work, leisure, sexuality, family life, and politics. We will view a wide range of Hollywood films since 1900, as well as films made by blacklisted artists, feminists, and alternative film-makers. Students will write several short papers and do a research project on a film of their choice. Note: Attendance at screenings is mandatory.

TR 10:30-12


  • CINE-308
  • HIST-347

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The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

3810 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 898-8740

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