Monday, February 11, 2008

Media Analysis

Media Analysis
50 Points
Due: 12:00 am 4/28

As we learned in class, new media is a great venue for feminist communities. The Internet provides a great place to publish commentary and produce new media—both are helpful to a feminist agenda. For this assignment you have two choices—create a media text or critique one. For both projects you must turn in a hard copy to me and post an entry to our class blog by the deadline. Remember that all written work must be in Times New Roman 12 point font, double spaced, and page numbered. Your blog posts will be formatted into single space automatically and that is okay. In general, all written work should be in first person “I argue that this is…” Please see the writing tips under course content for more writing help. YOU ONLY NEED TO TURN IN A BIBIOGRAPHY WITH THE WRITTEN WORK. PLEASE DO NOT ATTACH A BIBIOGRAPHY TO THE BLOG ENTRY.

Produce a feminist text:

All over Youtube are great examples of feminist artists. Many make their own videos, poems and monologues. Contribute your voice to these artists. You can make a 3-6 minute video that represents a feminist text. The video must be posted to Youtube AND then posted on our class blog (you embed the URL provided on the Youtube page). Specific guidelines:

  1. You need to provide some written commentary as well. So perhaps you explain your video montage by citing the people that you drew upon. If you write a poem about the beauty industry, your written commentary should explain the beauty standard, summarize the feminist critique and then offer up your explicit argument. You should have at least 3 sources in your entire project. They can all be in the written component if needed.
  2. The written commentary should be no less than 500 words and the video should be no less that 3 minutes.
  3. If your created text is less than 3 minutes, you can fill in the additional time by summarizing some of the critique/argument in your hard copy.

EXAMPLES: (poetic critique about the beauty industry) (Video montage showing the objectification of Disney princesses) (Video montage of female representation in commercials)

As you’ll notice, these videos would be made stronger with some evidence and explanation. As such, your blog post will be a blend of the two. Produce a text but explain the reason for it and the point behind it. Some questions to guide your writing: why is your text needed? Does your text represent something NOT found in mainstream media? Is there a reason you have to post on youtube rather than find a more mainstream outlet? Is your text a continuation of a string of positive text that can be found if one looks hard enough? What feminist authors did you draw upon for your ideas? Are there any feminists who would find your argument controversial or straight up wrong?

Media Criticism:

* You need to clear your case study by me before 4/10. You can do this via e-mail or by giving me a handwritten statement. I will give you a little feedback. As much info as you can give me about the direction of your paper the better!*

  1. The most important thing to remember is that a criticism is not necessarily a criticism. It may very well be that you analyze a media text you support and love. Rather, a criticism implies a very close look at the text with a lot of insight and analysis.
  2. Your case study can be any form of media. For example—television show, movie, popular book, a line of commercials.
  3. Your job in this criticism is not simply to say this movie stinks. Rather it is to show what assumptions are at work in the movie and perhaps what is problematic or helpful from a feminist lens.
  4. Every paper must have a clear thesis a preview. Example “This paper argues…. And it proceeds in four sections: W,X,Y,Z.”
  5. A good paper will have (a) a clear case study for analysis, (b) a clear thesis statement, (c) an analysis of the text that include a close and detailed reading of the text (d) feminist, scholarly material (e) your own argument.
  6. The paper should be between 1000-1500 words. It is fine if you go over but your grade will be penalized if you go under.
  7. Your research needs to be a blend of scholarly and publicly circulated periodicals. For example, you may need to use a simple article in the NYT to prove that a television show is popular. But you’ll also need to include feminist literature that sets up some sort of perimeters what a feminist television show looks like.
  8. You should ask yourself if you have anything NEW to add to the discussion. Many feminist have written about Sex and the City and Disney, for example. You are welcome to do those topics if you have something new to say about it.
  9. You must use 4 total sources—at least three from outside the class. If you use more than 4, you can use more than one class source.
  10. Please see both the writing tips and the sample paper under course content for more guidance about what I expect writing wise.

Some questions to guide your thinking: What are the goals of a feminist text? What are the goals/messages/opinions of the text you are analyzing? Does it comply with certain things that are “feminist” but not in other things? Is it part of some themes that are popular in lots of media? What is your opinion about the text and what feminist scholars informed your opinion?

Research Help: You need to have outside research. You need to have scholarly research. That means you should use the library databases. IF ALL YOUR SOURCES COME FROM .coms YOUR GRADE WILL SUFFER. If you are accessing the databases from outside campus you’ll need a password which is “bike.”

  1. All the blogs listed on our class syllabus (they will help with the writing style and for case study ideas)
  2. Under the alphabetical library databases:
    1. “L” Lexis nexis academic for lots of magazines and newspaper articles
    2. “C” for Communication and Mass Media which will have scholarly information about your case study (or at least the genre—television, movies, etc). You will also find some scholarly feminist articles here as well.
    3. “W” Women’s Studies International which has a variety of feminist sources including book chapters and journal articles
  3. Online books at
  4. You can use the internet but look for sources that come from .org sites rather than .com

**Please title your entry like this-- LAST NAME: MEDIA ANALYSIS

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