Gender and the Politics of Representation

Credit Hours
Core Course
Course Description

"Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" inquires Glinda the Good Witch of Dorothy in the film adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Dressed in opulent, bubblegum pink regalia, she contrasts the shabby, grotesque Wicked Witch of the West. These two characters form a binary between good and evil that we often see in film and literature, particularly in stories that include female monsters. To that end, they tend to establish normative behavior, as well as what falls outside of the realm of acceptable and respectable. In this class, we will explore these boundaries. We will consider such topics as: the binary between good and evil, depictions and representations of witches, gender roles and performativity, and feminist and queer perspectives. Films will include The Wizard of Oz (1939), Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Craft (1996), The Witch (2015) and Suspiria (2018). Major assignments will include a close reading of a film, an analysis paper, and a multimodal final project.