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 Essay 1 (2500 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2 (2500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Either essay to be re-submitted for 50% of the marks  100%

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

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students¿ written communication skills will be developed over the two pieces of assessed work that they produce. They will be encouraged to produce arguments about the subject, using appropriate language and style and through structuring their argument and writing effectively. Students will develop their oral communication shills through seminar sessions which will encourage both individual contributions and group discussion, and, in some cases, will ask students to give brief presentations (in groups). Students will also be encouraged to answer and to ask questions in lectures.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will develop their critical thinking skills, and their ability to apply, evaluate and compare contrasting theoretical and critical perspectives and methods. Through small group discussions in seminars, students will be given opportunities to develop an awareness of the opinions of others and reconsider initial ideas if necessary, to apply and test theoretical claims and arguments, and to articulate and communicate their ideas.
Information Technology Students will be given opportunities to develop their skills using electronic search and retrieval of sources both on the web and on the AU LIS (including LexisNexis) in the research they undertake for seminar preparation and their assessed assignments. Students will develop their research and referencing skills when analyzing, evaluating and referencing materials from the web and related sources, and will focus on the selection of materials appropriate to the task (seminar work and assessed work). E-mail and Blackboard will be the main forms of communication and information sharing in this module, so students will be encouraged to actively engage in these processes.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning by preparing work independently for seminar sessions. Students will be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained from lectures through developing skills in self study (supported by the general and specific reading lists and other resources distributed throughout the module) Students will be encouraged to develop their confidence in articulating and discussing their ideas (individually and in groups) in seminar sessions and lectures.
Problem solving Students should be able to identify tensions and debates in the field. They will be encouraged to engage with, compare and evaluate existing critical thought and theory, and to identify and select the most appropriate material (academic reading, films and reception materials) to use in their assessed work.
Research skills Students will be given the opportunity to develop their research skills and apply and test the research methods necessary for their assignments within seminar provision. Students will be encouraged to evaluate, analyse, interpret and reflect upon a variety of primary sources that they will use in their assessed work and in seminars.
Subject Specific Skills See QAA Subject Benchmark Statement Communication, media, film and cultural studies (2008)
Team work All seminar sessions will enable students to work within a small group, and discuss and compare ideas. Furthermore, some of the required pre-seminar preparation will ask students to engage in particular preparation tasks in small groups.

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