Thursday, April 21, 2011

Presentation Schedule and such...

Looking forward to your final project presentations in class during the last two weeks of class. Each group will present for 10-15 minutes (the timer will go off at 15 to cut you off.) Remember that your project has two parts: the presentation and the blog post (refer to the handout with rubric that I handed out in class for specific instructions). I have high expectations for your blog post so make it rich, detailed, hyperlinked, imaged, creative, informative, engaging, resourceful, and insightful!!

Kayla has invited all of you to be authors on the Final Projects blog. If you haven't received an invitation and accepted it, you will not be able to post your final project so email Kayla is you need help!

Per our conversation in class last week, here is the schedule for the last two weeks of class.

Tuesday, April 26
4-4:30 Course evaluations
4:30-4:45 Diana's group
4:50-5:05 Blue & Melissa's group
5:10-5:25 Deirdre and Lexi's group
5:30-5:45 Jane's group
5:45-5:55 BREAK
5:55-6:10 Jess' group
6:15-6:30 Amanda's group
6:35-6:50 Ron's group

Tuesday, May 3
4:00-6:00 T-Pain Discussion (Student Union Ballroom)
6:15-6:30 Jasmine's group (back in the classroom)
6:35-6:50 Dante's group

Looking forward to it!!!

LB :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More on the domestic violence issues we talked about a few weeks ago...

We talked in class a few weeks ago about issues of violence, blame, culture and misogyny in relation to the Chris Brown/Rihanna assault. Then just last week, we talked about the constructions of boy culture and girl culture in our society, namely "boys will be boys" and "good girl-ness."

These two clips seemed to be appropriate fuel to our academic fire...

First, recent Chris Brown interview on Good Morning America ends with CB outraged, throwing a chair out of his dressing room window. He reports being very angry that people keep bringing up an incident that happened two years ago.

Then, a response that questions why Chris Brown is so angry and what historical burdens Black artists have faced.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Very cool videos

Just want to share these amazing short films... all about how media representation and beauty culture influence how we think about ourselves and each other.

You can view them for free until the end of this month using the password: Body Typed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Girls, Take II

See my blog from last week for info on the texts for this week. Also, please note that you can watch Atalanta here rather than buying the track on itunes.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

OOOPPS!!! Final Project Week!

Hi all,

NOTE: Thanks to Diana for finding my brain... I totally skipped a week on the syllabus when I put my blog up on Thursday. Please postpone your Good Girl reading and watching for this week. Rather we will be working on Final Projects in class. (Sorry about any confusion!)

For your blog post this week, I want you to brainstorm about ideas that might be spinning around in your brain for a final project. For this last assignment, you need to choose some topic that relates directly to issues of Teenagers in/and the Media. It should be something about how teenagers are represented -- in other words, what the media teaches us about teenagers. Or it can be something about how teenagers represent themselves. (Think of GLEE week as an example of the type of thing you might take up on your own.)

Suggestions: You could look at teens and video game culture, teenage sexuality (how they learn about it in sex ed/media), the prom, the mall, teen magazines, teenagers and tattoo culture, teen representation on Degrassi (or any other show), reps of gay teens, teens and social class, pre-teen culture (tweens), etc etc.

These are just a few examples of things that interest me. But your project needs to interest you!

I am hoping that most of you will choose to do this in partners or groups. Though I won't force anyone to work on a topic they don't like so if you need to work alone, I will let you. You final project will be something digital (powerpoint, movie, pictures, etc), something written (not a full paper, just a handout or other materials to teach us what you have learned) and a presentation in class. Details in class on Tuesday...

So for your blog post, explore a few topics. Post pictures, links and write out your possible ideas. Do some research about the area you are interested in. Be as deep and through as you can and we will work for these posts in class on Tuesday!

See you then...

LB :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Girls

Hi folks,

Per the syllabus, your texts for this week are three:

1) Tolman and Higgins, How Being a Good Girl an Be Bad for Girls

Read carefully and make sure that you can answer the title question. What do Tolman and Higgins say about the dangers of being a "good girl?"

2) Watch Alice in Wonderland (the recent Johnny Depp version -- this is where the Netflix part of the course expenses kicks in, though you can watch it anyway you can find it!)

Here I want you to think about how Alice resist the pull of good-girl-ness. How does she challenge the expections of being a young, white woman who follows the rules? And like we discussed during GLEE week, what happens to her in the end? is she punished for her efforts to resist? Is she rewarded for her rebellion?

3) Listen to the children's story called "Atalanta" from the Free to Be You and Me album (available on itunes for $.99).

This album was released in 1972 just in the heart of second wave feminism. What does it teach us about what it means to be a good girl and what costs are involved?

On you blog, connect these three texts in some way to explain Tolman and Higgins' claims and use Alice and Atalanta as examples.

See ya Tuesday!

LB :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hip Hop Pedagogy

Hey folks,

This week in class we will have a guest speaker, Marco McWillliams, who will help us explore hip hop culture in the United States and how it relates to the questions of media representation, power and privilege that we have been asking this semester. To prepare for his session, we will divide into four groups and each group will read one of the very short but dense articles by Dr. Jared Ball that are linked on the side of my blog. (You can certainly read all four if you want to!)

You are accountable to your group members here, so please read carefully (and use the hyperlinks he includes to help clarify issues you don't understand). Further, you are demonstrating your smartness and curiosity to our guest speaker by being well prepared as well, so show off a little. :)

Jared Ball, Hip Hop I

Jared Ball, Hip Hop II
Jessica G.
Jessica K.

Jared Ball, Hip Hop III

Jared Ball, Hip Hop IV

(NOTE: The images above are just examples of the rising scholarship around hip hop... they are not directly related to the readings)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Two more ways to watch GLEE

Hmmmmm... not many blogs are up yet. Really hoping everyone will be prepared for class tomorrow. Grrrrrr... :(

Here are two more ways to watch glee online:

Never Been Kissed or Here (via Blue)
Never Been Kissed/Furt (on Amazon)
Never Been Kissed/Furt (search on itunes)

Check out Lexi's Blog for a great analysis rich with quotes and detail...

See you all tomorrow!

LB :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Some GLEE resources to check out....

After you read my post below with advice on watching and writing about GLEE this week, you might also check out these resources I found just poking around online:

Glee Resources:

Overview and analysis from The Daily Beast

Feminist Analysis: Top Five Problems with GLEE

Review of Never Been Kissed

LGBT Themes in GLEE

Talking to Teens about GLEE

Episode Summary: Never Been Kissed

Episode Summary: Furt


Hey folks,

Hope you had a great break and were as restful or productive as you needed it to be.

So excited to talk about GLEE this week in class. Check out Kayla's Blog for links to the Pilot Episode. There are also links to Never Been Kissed (season 2, episode 6) and Furt (season 2, episode 8) on

But if you go to HULU you will not be able to watch them in full unless you join HuluPlus for a ONE WEEK FREE TRIAL. (This is because these episodes are in the current season of the show.) Signing up will not cost you any money as long as you cancel your membership within a week. But it does require you to sign up with a credit card. It took me 3 minutes to do it. Literally.

If anyone found other sites, please post them as well.

Once you watch all three episodes, please post on your blog about them. Use the tools we have already developed in class including the three assumptions of the course, Raby's dominant discourses of youth, Grinner's SCWAAMP, or Christensen's "secret education" to talk about what this show teaches us about teenagers. I am not so interested in whether you like the show, or if it is realistic, or if you think "teenagers would never do that," etc. I want you to think abut how this show TEACHES US about what is "normal" about teenagers, and how it naturalizes certain ideas about who teenagers are.

Please use examples from Never Been Kissed and Furt in your post.

(I am going to focus class on issues of masculinity and sexuality, so you can put that in your brain as well.)

See ya on Tuesday!

LB :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

More video resources to check out

Hope your Digital Life projects are going well!! Here are some links that might be helpful to you as you work this weekend...

Mike Wesch student projects I showed in class

Great video from Amanda's blog -- great use of data and interesting presentation

Camtasia -- for taking video of your live computer screen

RSA animate project

Check out the other links I posted on the right column with some other software resources to play with as well...

GOOD LUCK!!! And have fun with it!

LB :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A visit to Paradise...

I was visiting my grandparents over winter break in Paradise, California. They are in their 80s and they are traditional folks living in a small town. They don't own a computer. There is no wireless signal to 'borrow' anywhere on their street. They watch a little bit of TV from the antenna on their roof, but don't have cable. They get news from the local paper. I had a lovely visit with them, but I spent a few days jonesing for my digital life. I did have cell service, so I could pull up the NY Times, post pictures to facebook, pull up my email, check my flight information, text to verify my ride home from the airport... and I enjoyed explaining to them how all that information lives in the air we breathe, not merely in my little iphone.

What does it mean to have a digital life?

Mike Wesch's article reminds me that we all have to be aware of this question whether we embrace or resist the digital technologies around us... simply because they are around us all the time. As he says, "There is something in the air...."

This is a pretty stunning thought if you were born in 1927.

Looking forward to talking about YOUR digital lives and working together to construct the digital ethnography projects that you will be showing in class on March 9. If you want to start thinking this through, check out Mike Wesch's website for basic ideas of what i am going to ask you to do.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Intention vs. Implication

Last week we looked at Disney's Mulan and started to use the tools of media literacy to analyze the song "I'll Make a Man out of You." You raised great points in that discussion about gender, power, language, etc.

One of the issues that really stuck with me was the point Diana was making about "intention." In response to the room of critique, she asked something like, "Is it possible (I am paraphrasing here) that the creators of this text really wanted to give the message that girls can do anything? Could it be that they wanted to make a film to empower girls?"

Many have suggested that Mulan has the most empowering messages for girls produced by Disney. And paired against the princess stories of the past few decades, there is no doubt that this story is different as the images I include here attest. These look like feminist intentions at some level.

But here is the question.... what is the difference between INTENTION and IMPLICATION?

While the intentions may have been pure, what is the "secret education" (to borrow from Christensen) that this text offers? What does it mean that the
Diana's point is particularly important. There may have been a big meeting where the Disney team decided to make a story for girls that didn't require heels you can't run in, a dress you can't get dirty in, coifed hair and a sparkly tiara. But what does it mean that only way to be strong and powerful is to literally hide your girlhood and become a boy? What are the hidden implications of the story? Is the message of strength and power undone by the romance in the end? (The final outcome always reveals the most powerful and lasting messages of the film, so what does Mulan leave us with in the end?)

Just some food for thought... comments, critique, counterpoints, accolades, or rotten tomatoes welcome.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome to WMST 354/550

Welcome to this Women's Studies blogging adventure!

Sometime before February 1, you will set up your own blog to use this semester for all of your Talking Points assignments, and to keep track of your thoughts about any of the issues we cover.

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it. (If you want to make it private so that *only* members of this class can read it, I can show you how to do so).

In the context of this course, your blog has two purposes:

1) Your blog will provide a space for you to keep all of your Talking Points assignments over the course of our semester together. You will not hand in written assignments to me each week; rather you will post them on your blog. In this sense, your blog is merely your assignment notebook that you will use as you read and prepare for class each week. You will also be posting any additional thoughts you have: responses to class discussion, after thoughts, things you forgot to say in class, relevant experiences you have, etc.

But importantly, your blog is a public space and as you post (and comment on others'), you will gain a much richer understanding of everything we read and discuss in class. I want you to think of it as interactive and intertextual in that way.

2) Creating your own blog will also introduce you to the blogisphere if you don't know this place already. I hope that you will discover creative educational uses for this online medium. You will see how easy it is to use, and perhaps it will inspire you to bring blogs into your own classroom someday.

To start your own blog, you will go to:

The big orange box at the top right of the page will direct you to creating your own blog on a site called Follow the instructions to open up a free account. Don't forget your Username and Password!! You will need them to login everytime.

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to name your blog. This title will appear at the top of your blog. (Mine is called "Teenagers in/and the Media")

Then, you need to choose an address:

This will be the web address associated with your site. you can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you.

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later and can even find fun, creative templates at sites like PYZAM.

Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “posting” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many postings). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish Post. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you: who are you, how your semester is going so far, what do you do when you are not in class, etc. (Just a short paragraph — no big deal). You will post the rest of the entries as they are due (see course syllabus for dates), or whenever you have something to say!

When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of my first posting (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that I can post it in the link list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:
  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word DESIGN, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc. (You can only do this if you are logged in to your blog.)
  • Once you are in the DESIGN screen, you can do all kinds of things to make your blog a bit more interesting. Change your fonts and colors, edit a post, change your settings. See the tabs at the top of the screen for all kinds of options.
  • Poke around online and make a list of websites related to education, diversity, social justice or anything else relevant and post them on your blog. You can add all kinds of things by ADDING A GADGET from your Design Screen.
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... I am happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. Send me an email, come see me in office hours, or grab me after class. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!!

LB :)