Response Paper 1
2-4 pages, 600-1200 words
Due in Week #3
In her book Women for President, Erika Falk identifies many biases in press coverage of female Presidential candidates in the United States. For this short essay (2-4 pages), choose a "text" (article, video news coverage, campaign commercial, related blog or video content) pertaining to Sarah Palin and the 2008 election coverage and analyze it in light of one or more of her frames. Do you see evidence of the bias Falk has observed in other campaigns, or reactions to perceived bias on the part of the candidates? What conclusions can we draw from these observations? Does Palin's candidacy help or hurt women politicians? Don't forget to include a coherent thesis statement and to support your argument with concrete examples from the text(s) you choose.
Response Paper 2
2-4 pages, 600-1200 words
Due in Week #7
The representation of women and racial/sexual minorities in advertising and in journalism (both news and sports journalism) have been critiqued and addressed in different ways by several of our authors this semester (e.g. Oulette, Kilbourne, Stabile, Griffin, Steinem, Kirkham & Weller, Wilson & Gutierrez, Crane, Katz, Jenkinsetc.). For this short essay (2-4 pages), choose a "text" (print or television advertisement, news story, or sports article) and analyze it in light of one or more of the articles we have read. For example, you might develop an analysis of a particular ad campaign using tools set forth by Jean Kilbourne in "Cutting Us Down to Size," or examine the news coverage of Cho Seung-Hui (the Virginia Tech shooter) in relationship to Jenkin's argument about media effects and video game violence.
Your essay should comment specifically on elements of the text you have chosen – use direct quotes if working with a print text, and describe visual aspects of broadcast or visual advertisements. In other words, the essay should be a close reading of a specific text using concepts and tools we have encountered in one of our readings. Please include a copy of the ad or article you are analyzing (a link will do if it is video or otherwise available online). Don't forget to include a coherent thesis statement and to support your argument with concrete examples from the text(s) you choose.
12-15 pages or equivalent
Due in Week #15
The final research paper or project represents the cumulative effort of your work this semester. It should be 12-15 pages in length, or represent a comparable effort if it is in an alternative format (such as a Web site or video). The final will demonstrate your proficiency in applying concepts we have been studying to a topic of your choice pertaining to gender and media.
Your project should reference a minimum of three secondary source readings (these may be assigned readings from our course or outside readings you have found in your own research of your topic). Ideally, you will do a close reading of a particular "text", which may be chosen from a variety of media (print, broadcast, film, TV, etc), taking gender, race, and class into consideration as you make an argument about how we "read" the source you have chosen.
A successful strategy for the final project is to answer a specific question in relationship to the text you have chosen – that answer, or reading, becomes your thesis in the paper. Be sure that you are incorporating actual quotes from your primary text and secondary sources as you develop your analysis.