Department of English

Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University

2210441 Gender and Cultural Representation

Puckpan Tipayamontri

Office: Boromrajakumari Building room 1106.1

Office Hours: M 13 and by appointment

Phone: 0-2218-4703


! Final Exam Update: The final will consist of short and long essay-type questions on the topics covered by your three instructors this latter half of the semester, so roughly on 1) youth, African American, the virtual and Thailand, USA, world, 2) gender, disability and cultural representation, and 3) gender, displacement and trauma. More details below.

March 22 Class Feedback: Please e-mail me 1) what struck you most about Friday, March 22 class? and 2) anything you'd like to say to me
. Thanks for sharing your ideas in class and about class. And thank you, our Fisherman's Friend angel, for saving me from a terrible coughing fit!

Tentative Schedule

Week 10

Mar. 16

Who Are You?


In-class writing 1: "Who Are You?" (respond; 10 minutes)

Discussion: How do you identify or represent yourself? What are some cultural representations of youth? What concerns and perceptions do they reflect? How do you respond to these representations of your age group? And how do they differ from or reflect your self-description or self-construction? How and why might gender representations change? Who are African Americans? How are they portrayed in culture? How is masculinity or femininity expressed and created through Afro-American cultural means? In what ways is it specific or non-specific to that culture? Does the virtual identity disrupt, reconfigure, or otherwise change gender conceptualizations? Does it reinforce types? How should or shouldn't one be gendered? How does digital space allow us to manage identity? How does gender figure in the virtual world? In what ways does the virtual affect reality and vice versa?

Week 11
Mar. 22

Where Are We?


In-class writing 2: Image Analysis (15 minutes) Watch the following video clip carefully. Then describe and analyze its composition, features, content, etc. to show how they “work,” as Stuart Hall calls it, to produce meaning. What meanings are created, refuted, contested, problematized, and how are they related to gender?

In-class writing 3: Practice Exam (30 minutes) The following two images by Belgian surreal artist Rene Magritte are well-known critiques of the process of representation. Using them as a starting point to discuss examples and topics in these two classes thus far, examine how the complexities, problems, and meanings in cultural representation that these two images call attention to may also be evident in material we have encountered regarding identity (Who Are You?) and place (Where Are We?).

  • Sample Student Responses (pdf)
Discussion: How are places represented? In what ways are they implicitly or overtly gendered? How does gender function in cultural representations of places such as Thailand, the US and the world? What are some characteristics of these conceptualizations of places in which we live? What factors shape these portrayals and how we perceive them?

Final Exam (place and time TBA)
The final (worth 30% of your grade) consists of image analysis and essay-type questions on the topics covered by your instructors this latter half of the semester, so roughly they will ask you to engage with ideas and issues on 1) youth, African American, the virtual and Thailand, USA, world, 2) gender, disability and cultural representation, and 3) gender, displacement and trauma. Here is your opportunity to show not only information recall, but also thinking skills--your ability to reason, create, apply, analyze and synthesize. Each exam prompt may consist of several questions but what the entire prompt does is give you a topic with a scope. You should formulate an argument/thesis in response to that topic within that scope and structure your essay around your argument, citing specific images, scenes, lines, words, examples or information to illustrate and support the points you are making.

Keep in mind the following course objectives that you will be evaluated on as you plan your response: by the end of this course students should be able to 1) explain the development of gender studies, 2) explain the fundamental concepts of gender studies by key theorists, and 3) analyze cultural representations that are related to gender.

Again, you do not need to answer every single question in the prompt cluster in order and separately. Rather, your writing should be designed as a coherent unified piece, not unconnected answers to different questions strung together or a bulleted list. The multiple questions are there to help you brainstorm on the topic and to spark critical engagement with it. You should draw on your own close reading of the syllabus material, lectures, your discussion in and outside of class, and relevant reading and research you have done. Think critically about the material we have encountered and be prepared to think critically on the topic prompted by the test question as well. When writing, follow academic conventions and try to be as legible, clear, effective, and compelling as you can. Rest well, eat clean good food, arrive at least fifteen minutes before exam time, and make sure your student ID, watch, and writing implements are in order. Good luck!




Last updated May 2, 2013