MEETING TIME : To be announced
FACULTY INFORMATION: Lori Blewett, Seminar II B2127
- Gendered Lives: Communication, Gender, & Culture by Julia Woods
- Reading Packet of essay, chapters, and poems including works by feminist rhetorical theorists, communication researchers, male and female gender theorists, and public speaking educators.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR THIS COURSE:
- Understand and evaluate competing claims about differences in male and female communication behavior.
- Identify social structures and individual practices that make cross-gender communication problematic in both private and public spheres.
- Gain an understanding of the role of communication in maintaining (or reducing) systematic gender inequality.
- Become more aware of gender hierarchies in relation to other social divisions (such as race, class, sexual orientation, and age).
- Become familiar with prominent feminist rhetorical theories.
- Improve interpersonal and public communication skills
- Increase repertoire for responding to sexism and other forms of social oppression.
- Performing and Observing gendered communication. Write a short (4-5 page) paper describing an intentional modification of your typical communication practices. For one day (or a few times during the week) experiment with altering your communication to make it significantly less (or more) consistent with the gendered communication norms described in Wood’s Chapter 5 or 6. The paper should briefly describe what you did, what you expected might happen, what actually happened, how the responses you received were consistent or inconsistent with what Wood’s says about gendered communication, and how you felt about the interactions. We will discuss observations in class. NOTE: DO NOT change your behavior in any way that is potentially detrimental to you or others. I do not recommend significantly changing your behavior in your workplace or in any vulnerable relationship. If you really want to change your way of interacting in the workplace, try out behaviors that are likely to be looked on favorably (or neutrally)—for example enhancing your supportive listening behaviors, or being more (or less) direct in your problem solving communication. Choose something that is within the range of behaviors considered appropriate in the context, even if atypical for you.
- Two short oral presentations based on class readings (coordinated with other students in a group). Students in the small groups will each speak for 3-5 minute on assigned reading material. The presentations should be well outlined and rehearsed.
- An individual final project & presentation. These projects will explore gender and communication theory in relation to a particular context or social issue. The project should be a response to a clearly articulated question of inquiry and must include both a tangible form of documentation and an oral presentation. The project may take a variety of forms (academic paper, video, theater script, creative writing piece, etc.). It should draw on a minimum of four academic research or theory texts (not including those used in class) and may also include “primary research” (such as interviews with expert sources, recorded observations, or collected artifacts). The project should represent significant work (roughly equivalent to a 7-page paper). Presentation of the final project should last roughly 8 minutes.
- In-Class Learning Reflection Assignment--An in-class writing assignment reflecting students’ knowledge about the primary themes of the course (otherwise known as a quiz).
- Self-evaluation and faculty evaluation (The faculty evaluation can be handed in to the EWS secretary independent of your class portfolio.)
- In order to receive full credit for the course, students must come prepared for each class. Because we are relying on each other to co-teach many of the readings, it is vital that students complete the assignments (particularly oral presentations) in a conscientious manner. It is also important for students to reflect on their participation in relation to other students and strive to improve their listening skills as well as their speaking skills.