As part of her course on “Women, Feminism and Television,” CIMS major Kaitlyn Riggio examined the role of gender as a narrative tool in the reality series, Survivor. Her insightful essay, “Real-World Gender Dynamics as Narrative Tools in Survivor: Vanuatu” explores the way that producers exploit pre-existing power relations in order to transform the so-called reality show into a highly constructed narrative of “gender battle.”
As part of her course, “Modern Korean Culture Through Cinema,” CIMS major Christina Xu investigated the critique of capitalist domesticity in Kim Ki-duk’s ethereal film, 3Iron. Focusing her analysis on the relation between verbal and non-verbal spaces in the film, Christina brilliantly shows how the film transforms our perception of the home through scenes of ghostly, silent witnessing. Ultimately, she argues, the film creates the cinematic equivalent of a silent protest against the structures of ownership and violence that otherwise define social relations.
Meanwhile, CIMS major Danielle Momoh drew on Judith Butler’s landmark theory of gender performance as a lens to analyze the Netflix series, Stranger Things. As Danielle perceptively illustrates, the show’s protagonist Eleven hollows out the expectations of “innate femininity” that are projected onto her, before finally assuming a threatening but also surprisingly powerful androgyny, like that described by Virginia Woolf, “resonant and porous…incandescent and divided.”