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This course addresses the active nature of “representing,” “looking,” “seeing,” and “viewing.” It focuses on the politics of producing representations of ourselves and others through different types of visually-oriented disciplines, technologies and practices. We will pay particular attention to the ways everyday life, identities and desires are shaped by an increasingly commercialized and mainstream field of representations. We will also explore theoretical methods and critical tools of analysis which allow us to make sense of the mediations through which the body, gender, sexuality, subjectivity, identity and desire are constructed, comprehended and experienced. Central to our investigations are questions surrounding difference and power, particularly whose agendas establish the terms of representational practice, and how images are used and understood. Emphasis is placed on a critical engagement with the role and impact of a variety of visual forms of popular culture and mainstream media, particularly the stories they tell us about the historical moments and cultures in which they are produced. The course provides interdisciplinary perspectives on the politics of representation and draws on theoretical frameworks and cultural production specific to gender/culture/media/visual studiesThe course is organized around a series of questions: • Whose images, voices and perspectives are included or excluded in the photographs, films, television programs, newspapers, paintings, internet sites, comics, advertisements, magazines, art exhibitions, music videos and video games that constitute popular and mainstream culture?

• Who is producing and who is consuming mainstream representations?
• What theoretical methods are available to analyze the impact of visual images generated by the broad range of imaging technologies, particularly within photographic, artistic, filmic and electronic representations?
• How might individuals claim agency within the public sphere

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