In this class we will examine and evaluate the cultural construction and representation of gender and sexuality in contemporary American mass media, and trace their development throughout the 20th century. We will focus on a variety of mass-produced commercial media texts, surveying television, magazines, advertising, and popular music. Although gender is the primary identity construction examined in the course, we will also pay close attention to other aspects of identity that define American women, such as ethnicity, class, and sexuality. We will investigate representational issues in relation to their political repercussion, and draw from a broad range of academic literature, including feminist television criticism, film theory, cultural studies, communication theory, and popular music criticism. Cross listed with COMM 229.