Texas A&M University - Commerce

Online Class


Through the careful study of artworks and popular culture, students will be engaged in an extended, historically-based examination of issues concerning gender. In this course, we will pay particular attention to societal constructions of gender, exploring the way that art, television, film, graphic novels and other media shape the way that we understand what it means to be “male” and “female.” Students will read challenging, sophisticated and seminal texts and demonstrate their command of such texts in short responses and online discussions. Additionally, students also evaluate their own understanding of gender, by considering images and videos they see in their everyday lives. By the end of the course, the student will have a broad knowledge of varying approaches to gender and will be come critical evaluators of societal ideals.  

-    understand definitions of sex and gender, and be able to analyze and discuss various uses and misuses of the terms
-    discuss and explain historically significant works of art concerning gender
-    learn to analyze the relationships among content, context, and style
-    analyze and discuss significant popular culture texts (including a variety of types of media) and then apply the evaluation techniques to everyday life
-    enhance visual literacy and critical thinking skills

Students’ ability to meet the course objectives and learning outcomes will be evaluated by written assignments, online discussions, blog entries, and creating visual essays. 

to be determined, will include readings and films posted on ecollege

Additionally, students should be prepared to screen a variety of films and television episodes online (through Netflix, Amazon Instant, Itunes, Hulu, etc.) – whatever method you prefer. Be prepared, this might include minimal rental costs.


Participation: Each person is expected to be prepared for the class, which means having completed the reading and/or viewing the film screening and completed the assignments.  Responding to classmates blog entries and discussions is a pivotal and key part of each of the assignments for the course. 

Discussion: Each student will write numerous times to the discussion page for the class. There will be clear class prompts, with word counts for you to follow.  

Media Response Papers: Throughout the course, you will read a number of different articles that engage historical and theoretical ideas concerning gender, art, and popular culture. You will also sample a wide variety of types of media. Over the course of the class, you will write five short papers that respond to course material, but do not include research. 

Visual Essay Project:
At the end of the course, each student will create a document that compares a number of different images seen throughout the course and in their everyday life. Thoughtfully, the student will choose artwork and film/television stills to address a theme that they are interested in that aligns with the course material.  Further, each student will respond to each of their classmates work. 

Grade Breakdown:
25% Discussion posts
10% Comments on classmates’ posts
35% Media Response Assignments 
30% Visual Essay Project


*Subject to Change
-    internet access
-    access to eCollege, course documents (including pdfs of the slides shown in class) will be uploaded here

Our campus is optimized to work in a Microsoft Windows environment. This means our courses work best if you use a Windows operating system (XP or newer) and a recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (8.0). Your courses also work with Macintosh OS X along with a recent version of Safari 2.0 or better. Along with Internet Explorer and Safari, eCollege also supports the Firefox browser (3.0) on both Windows and Mac operating system.

This course will be facilitated using eCollege, the Learning Management System used by Texas A&M University-Commerce. To get started with the course, go to: https://leo.tamuc.edu/login.aspx. You will need your CWID and password to log in to the course. If you do not know your CWID or have forgotten your password, contact Technology Services at 903.468.6000 or helpdesk@tamuc.edu.  This course will use most of the features in eCollege including email, announcements, threaded discussion, assignment drop boxes, and the grade book. Students can also find the syllabus and other necessary materials posted in the course space. 

Technical Support: Texas A&M University-Commerce provides students technical support in the use of eCollege. The student help desk may be reached by the following means 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
 Chat support: Click on ‘Live support’ on the tool bar with the course to chat with an
eCollege representative.
 Phone: 1-866-656-5511 (Toll free) to speak with eCollege technical support representative.
 E-mail: helpdesk@online.tamuc.org to initiate a support request with eCollege technical support representative.
 Help: Click on the ‘help’ button on the toolbar for information regarding working with eCollege.

FORMATTING: All written assignments must be typed using the following guidelines: 12 pt. Times New Roman font, 1” margins, double-spaced, with page numbers. Failure to format properly will result in a lower grade.

EMAIL POLICY: For all emails sent, please include full name, student ID, and the class that you are attending (this is a school policy).  Do not send emails to myself and other professors at once, as each professor has different issues to address.  

Statement on Student Behavior:
    All students enrolled at the University shall follow the tenet of common decency and acceptable behavior conducive to a positive learning environment (See Student’s Guide Handbook, Policies and Procedures, Conduct). 
    All students must show respect toward the instructor and the instructor’s syllabus, presentations, assignments, and point of view.  Students should respect each others’ differences.  If the instructor determines that a student is not being respectful towards other students or the instructor, it is the instructor’s prerogative to ask the student to leave, to refer the student to the department head, and to consider referring the student to the Dean of Students who may consider requiring the student to drop the course.  Please refer to pages 42 – 46 of the Texas A&M University-commerce Student guidebook’s Codes of Conduct for details.

Academic Dishonesty: There is no tolerance for any kind of academic dishonesty in this course. This includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism, cheating on exams, theft of instructional material or exams, representing the work of someone else as one’s own, and misrepresenting absences. Academic dishonesty is a severe transgression in college and may result in referral to the Dean of Students, expulsion from class and/or the University, and a failing grade.

Discussion: In this class, we will look at a wide array of artwork, some of which might include nudity, intense language, violence, etc. Each person will bring their own experiences to the art, and should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and vulnerabilities. The classroom (even if online) is a safe environment, and each student should behave with integrity and treat their peers with respect. 

    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact:
Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, Texas A&M University-Commerce, Gee Library, Room 132, Phone (903) 886-5150 or (903) 886-5835, Fax (903) 468-8148, StudentDisabilityServices@tamu-commerce.edu

After contacting the Office of Student Disability Resources and Services, it is the student’s responsibility to notify the instructor of what accommodations are needed IN ADVANCE of when they are needed.