After my less-than-stellar experience presenting Wednesday, Thursday I started the day by having my teaching evaluated. (I might add that this was not automatic; I requested the evaluation. Since I've been at LSU, no one besides my students has seen me teach.) The new director of Women and Gender Studies sat in on my 10:40 section of Intro to WGS. Though I enjoy both of my sections, there are many more engaged, participatory students in my 10:40 class than there are in my noon one.
Class went so well. Tuesday I had handed out the final paper assignment, in which students will do a researched analysis of some sort of pop culture product; Thursday's reading was about gender construction in pop culture. In introducing the concept of the "male gaze," I showed a short clip of Ripley in her underwear in Alien, and contrasted that with the scene in Firefly where Captain Mal is completely naked. As I think the concept of the "male gaze" can be overused and a bit abstract, I was quite happy with how distinctly different the camera work is in these two different shots. Ripley's body is panned over slowly, or framed in a voyeuristic way, or the camera focuses on her crotch or her midriff. Mal is seen either from the waist up, or when we see his entire naked body, the camera is still, just including him as part of the shot. That he interacts with other people while naked takes away any vestiges of voyeurism the viewer might feel in checking out his clearly visible tattoo.
And, by yesterday afternoon, Dr. Bratton had sent me a glowing evaluation for my perusal and revision. The only revision I suggested was that, while I enjoyed reading her reference to "Dr. Miller," I'm not there yet.
I'm glad to have ended the week on a positive note. And I finished a book on both my independent study and gender exam lists today, and posted a write-up of it on bellatricksy, which is a nice feeling of accomplishment. I realized today, though, that I haven't plowed through my independent study list as much as I'd like to have, so that's definitely moved up on my priority list. Next up: Susan Bordo's Unbearable Weight--and the two presentations I'm making Tuesday. Happy weekend!