Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Further Details:

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture Lecture 1 x 2 hour per week
Other Viewing session 1 x 2 hour per week


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at 
Semester Assessment Assignment 2, 2500 words  Resit Information  50%
Semester Assessment Assigment 1, 2500 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

to reflect critically on the representation of gays in the media

to identify and evaluate audience responses to gay representations

to offer critical perspectives on the ways in which gay people represent themselves

Brief description

This is an optional third year module reflecting the cross-media focus of the MCS (Media and Communication Studies) degree, including film, television and the world wide web. It explores onscreen representations of gays and how gay viewers interpret these. Going beyond this, it also investigates how gay people seek to represent themselves online. Representation is thus seen as a process and not just as a matter for purely textual analysis. Students should take due notice that the primary focus is on the onscreen representation of gay men and women - which some viewers may regard as shocking (though our focus is not on pornography). Some may concur with Mae West's observation that 'those who are easily shocked should be shocked more often'. This is an opportunity to dissect some deep-seated prejudices.


The lectures are based on topics such as:

-Queer Theory and gay identities
-Homoerotic photography and the representation of the male body
-Gay readings of mainstream films
-Gay stereotypes onscreen
-The 'coming-out' theme onscreen
-The queering of advertisements
-Gay homepages, chatrooms and webcams

Reading List

Recommended Text
Barrios, Richard (2003) Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall London: Routledge Primo search Bourne, Stephen (1996) Brief Encounters: Lesbians and Gays in British Cinema 1930-1971 London: Cassell Primo search Burston, Paul (1995) A Queer Romance: Lesbians, Gay Men and Popular Culture London: Routledge Primo search Capsuto, Steven (2000) Alternate Channels: The Uncensored Story of Gay and Lesbian Images on Radio and Television, 1930's to the Present New York: Ballantine Primo search Chandler, Daniel (2002) Semiotics: The Basics London: Routledge Primo search Clum, John M (2002) He's All Man: Learning Masculinity, Gayness and Love from American Movies London: Palgrave Primo search Daniel, Lisa & Claire Jackson (Eds) (2003) The Bent Lens: A World Guide to Gay and Lesbian Film London: Alyson Primo search Darren, Alison (2000) Lesbian Film Guide London: Cassell Primo search Dawson, Jeff (1997) Gay and Lesbian Online Reading, MA: Addison Wesley Primo search Deangelis, Michael (2001) Gay Fandom and Crossover Stardom: James Dean, Mel Gibson and Keanu Reeves Durham, NH: Duke University Press Primo search Doty, Alexander (2000) Flaming Classics: Queering the Film Canon London: Routledge Primo search Doty, Alexander (1993) Making Things Perfectly Queer Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press Primo search Dyer, Richard (2003) Now You See It: Studies on Lesbian and Gay Film London: Routledge Primo search Dyer, Richard (1993) The Matter of Images: Essays on Representation London: Routledge Primo search Dyer, Richard (Ed) (1977) Gays and Film London: British Film Institute Primo search Ehrenstein, David (2000) Open Secrets: Gay Hollywood 1928-2000 New York: HarperCollins Primo search Farmer, Brett (2000) Spectacular Passions: Cinema, Fantasy, Gay Male Spectatorship Durham, NC: Duke University Press Primo search Gamson, Joshua (1998) Freaks Talk Back: Tabloid Talk Shows and Sexual Nonconformity Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press Primo search Gever, Martha, Pratibha Parmar & John Greyson (Eds) (1993) Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Video London: Routledge Primo search Gross, Larry (2002) Up From Invisibility New York: Columbia University Press Primo search Hadleigh, Boze (2001) The Lavender Screen New York: Citadel Primo search Hanson, Ellis (Ed) (1999) OutTakes: Essays on Queer Theory and Film Durham, NH: Duke University Press Primo search Jackson, Earl (1995) Strategies of Deviance: Studies in Gay Male Representation Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press Primo search Kabir, Shameem (1998) Daughters of Desire: Lesbian Representations in Film London: Cassell Primo search Keller, James R (2002) Queer (Un)Friendly Film and Television Jefferson, NC: McFarland Primo search Lang, Robert (2002) Masculine Interests: Homoerotics in Hollywood Film New York: Columbia University Press Primo search Mann, William J (2001) Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood, 1910-1969 New York: Viking Primo search Murray, Raymond (1998) Images in the Dark: An Encyclopedia of Gay and Lesbian Film and Video London: Titan Primo search Russo, Vito (1987) The Celluloid Closet: Homosexuality in the Movies (companion video also available) New York: HarperCollins Primo search Straayer, Chris (1996) Deviant Eyes, Deviant Bodies: Sexual Re-orientation in Film and Video New York: Columbia University Press Primo search Tropiano, Stephen (2002) The Prime-Time Closet New York: Applause Theatre Primo search Tyler, Parker (1993[1972]) Screening the Sexes: Homosexuality in the Movies New York: Da Capo Press Primo search Waugh, Thomas (1996) Hard to Imagine: Gay Male Erotics in Photography and Film from Their Beginnings to Stonewall New York: Columbia University Press Primo search Weiss, Andrea (1993) Vampires & Violets: Lesbians in Film New York: Penguin Primo search Wilton, Tamsin (Ed) (1995) Immortal, Invisible: Lesbians and the Moving Image London: Routledge Primo search de Lauretis, Teresa (1991) How Do I Look? Queer Film and Video Seattle, WA: Bay Press Primo search Chandler, Daniel 'Personal Home Pages and the Construction of Identities on the Web'. Paper for a conference of the Aberystwyth Post-International Group on the theme of Linking Theory and Practice: Issues in the Politics of Identity (9-11 September 1998 University of Wales, Aberystwyth) Primo search Gay Interest Films Semiotics for Beginners
Essential Reading
Module website


This module is at CQFW Level 6