MODLM0023 Cultural Imagination of Gender
Draft Essay Questions 20-21
Essay length: 5000 words
Please note that these questions are subject to approval by the External Examiner.
Your essay needs to take a comparative approach and can draw on texts from the course as well as other cultural sources.
- To what extent does psychoanalysis enable us to understand the ways in which gender norms are constructed?
- Consider the legacy of Freudian psychoanalysis on gender studies.
- How have representations of the male and female psyche been represented in culture?
- ‘Like gender, love is also a cultural construct.’ To what extent do the texts that you have studies support this statement?
- ‘Critical masculinity studies seeks to answer the question “How do men get away with it?”’ (Terrell Carver). To what extent do you agree with Carver’s pithy description of the field? This question should be answered with reference to theoretical and conceptual work in the field.
- Discuss the view that critical work on men and masculinity can hinder, rather than help, feminist goals. This question should be answered with reference to theoretical and conceptual work in the field.
- What role does gender play in the cultural imagination of the nation? Your answer may include some theoretical discussion of this question, but it should also include close reading of at least TWO literary texts or films.
- To what extent does ‘doing masculinity’ in literature and/or cinema involve artistic form as well as content? Your answer may include some theoretical discussion of this question, but it should include close reading of at least TWO literary texts or films.
- In what ways, if any, does the critique of patriarchy articulated in Simone de Beauvoir’sThe Second Sex remain relevant today?
- Discuss the significance of Beauvoir’s work for later generations of feminists. In your answer, refer to the work of at least TWO feminist writers, thinkers, or artists who responded to her work following the publication of The Second Sex(1949).
- Discuss the ways in which queer form reinforces queer thought or representation, with reference to two or more textual or visual works.
- ‘[S]omeone, or something, is queer when s/he or it challenges the social processes that consolidate and normalize gendered, sexual, raced, and classed identities’. (BESSETTE) Examine the challenges mounted against normative social processes and identities in two or more textual or visual works.
- Explore the interrelations between gender, sexuality and/or the body, and systems of power, as represented in Testo Junkie and one or more textual or visual works.
- ‘[I]f we return to the root of the word queer […] we can see that the word itself “twists,” with a twist that allows us to move between sexual and social registers’ (AHMED). To what extent does queer transformation involve spatial and social reorientation in Tomboy? Answer with reference to one or more other textual or visual works.
- In what ways is gender related to clothing in at least two of the works studied in the unit?
- To what extent and how do transgender bodies reveal and/or challenge the discursive constitution of gender identities? Discuss comparatively in relation to at least two different works studied.
- ‘The off-white gangsters of the 1990s helped to shore up a nostalgic construction of white masculinity’ (Ennis). Discuss, in relation to Goodfellas.
- Discuss Siebert’s idea that in relation to the mafia ‘masculinity, which is erroneously taken to be a “natural” given, appears in reality a somewhat difficult goal to achieve’. How is masculinity ‘achieved’ and performed in The Godfather and/or Goodfellas?