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Introduction to Volume 4

Published onMay 01, 2022
Introduction to Volume 4

Gender and Sexuality from the 18th to the 21st Century: Media, Race, and Culture represents the fourth collection of primary source analysis essays from students in Dr. Mir Yarfitz’s fall 2021 class “Gender and Sexuality in World History” (HST 114/WGS 214) at Wake Forest University. Through working with Dr. Yarfitz and several librarians, students learned how to identify, find, and analyze primary sources. Individually, students found a primary source related to the class that interested them, and chose a medium through which they analyzed that source. The class worked throughout the semester to comprehend the historical significance of gender and sexuality through firsthand experience with primary sources and archives. Students aimed to choose sources from around the world, as well as from different times in history, though it is acknowledged that many sources have come from the 20th-21st century United States. The class is excited that the work was able to be created in person, as the previous two classes did not have this privilege due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once each student had their primary source the class collectively divided into different chapters based on the similarities. “Where do Women Belong? Women in Professional and Domestic Spheres” is an exploration of the ever changing roles of women in a patriarchal society. “Representation of Gender and Sexuality in Visual Media” is a discussion of the stereotypical representations of various genders and sexualities in visual media (music, movies, etc). “Print Media’s Influence on Gender Expectations” is an analysis of how print media like magazines and newspapers throughout history have impacted gender expectations. “Sexuality and Oppression in Print Media” is focused on sexuality and oppression as represented in different types of media throughout various time periods and cultural movements. Finally, “Multi-dimensional Violence: Gender, Sexuality, and Race” explores the multiple dimensions of various forms of violence, including issues of nationalism, homophobia, anti-blackness, incarceration, and misogyny. By showing how these forms of violence operate, this chapter seeks to start a dialogue for discussions about a multiplicity of often forgotten violences.

December 2021

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