MC438      Half Unit
Mediated Feminisms

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Sarah Banet-Weiser PEL.7.01E

Professor Sarah Banet-Weiser 


This course is available on the MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and Fudan), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and UCT), MSc in Global Media and Communications (LSE and USC), MSc in Media and Communications, MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Politics and Communication. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is also available with permission to MSc students from other Departments (including Anthropology, Psychological and Behavioural Sciences, and Sociology)  

Course content

Media have been crucial to feminist politics across the globe, from 19th century pamphlets to early television representations to 90s zine culture to the multitude of hashtag feminisms in contemporary social media.  This course explores the ways that feminisms, in both the Global North and Global South, materialize as a kind of media, appearing on a variety of media platforms from print to digital.  The course addresses the relationship between forms of feminisms in different geographical regions and media contexts.  There are many different feminisms that circulate in popular media in different historical moments, and some of these feminisms become more visible than others. Mediated feminisms are networked across all media platforms, some connecting with synergy, others struggling for priority and visibility.

The goal of the course is to critically examine the ways in which feminism, and its intersections with race, ethnicity, nationality, and class, is enacted and represented in the media, and how mediated feminisms have  an impact on cultural formations and communication. The course will also examine misogynistic and sexist reactions to feminism, within the frame of the normalization of hierarchy and violence.

The course is designed to historicize and conceptualize past and current developments, as well as recurrent themes and movements, in media representations of feminisms. Specifically, the course historicizes the recent explosion of mediated feminisms, and offers students a long-term theoretically-informed critical perspective on the ways feminisms have been mediated. It presents a historical examination of “mediated feminisms” as sites for the restructuring of knowledge. Furthermore, the course insists that in order to develop a complex and inclusive understanding of how media representations of feminism influence viewers and users, we must consider feminism beyond the West in terms of global and transnational perspectives. 

The course is framed around broad histories of feminist media productions (from newspapers to zines to hashtags) and feminist consumption/commodity feminism. Using theories from cultural and media studies, creative industry studies, film and gender studies, and communication studies, it explores different processes and practices of feminism and their relationship to media forms and media production.  The discussions will examine feminist media production from early suffrage movements to global feminist practices of the mid 20th century to post-colonial feminist productions of the later 20th century, to queer feminist and post- and popular feminist productions of the current moment.

The course is structured into three parts:

Part One, Historical Mediated Feminisms (Lectures 1-5), will review historic approaches to the ways feminisms have been mediated, from the 19th century to the present;

Part Two, Feminist Media Productions (Lectures 7-9) will explore feminist media productions both within and outside the mainstream media (ranging from alternative press to zines to digital media production);

Part Three, Popular Feminism and Activism Today (Lectures 10-11) will draw together the course’s themes with a particular focus on the contemporary moment of popular feminism, asking students to engage in the ambivalent spaces of mediated feminisms.

The course is intended for all MSc students interested in acquiring a broad cultural-theoretical understanding of the role that media institutions play in defining feminisms for broad audiences, as well as those who are interested in feminist media productions across history.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of seminars in the MT.

Teaching will commence in MT2 and additional office hours will be held in LT11

Part 1: Historical Mediated Feminisms

Week 6: Reading Week

Part 2: Feminist Media Productions

Part 3: Popular Feminism and Activism Today

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 project in the MT.

Students will be given the option of choosing one of two alternative forms of preparation for the summative project:


(1) A 1200-1500 word Short Analysis in which an individual student explains the relationship between media and its representation of feminism(s) during a specific historical period; 


(2) A Group Project: students can work in groups of 3-4, and will write a 2000-2500 word analysis of the relationship between media and its representations of feminisms during a specific historical period.  The aim of the group project is for students to work collaboratively and reflect on the analysis in a group setting.  

Indicative reading

Additional reading: 


Essay (80%, 2000 words) and project (20%) in the LT.

 The summative assignment consists of a 2000 word essay and a media product, about a particular historical period we discuss in class.

For the essay component (80%) students will be asked to choose a case study from a particular historical period that was discussed in the course and analyze how particular media from that period represents, engages with and/or negotiates the meanings of feminism. Students will be instructed to write their summative essay on a different historical period from that on which they wrote their formative essay.  

For the media production component (20%), students will be required to produce an example of a media form that relates to the period on which they write their summative essay.   This task asks students to create a media artifact, with “media” understood as a broad category.

For the purposes of this class, media production involves the use of technology (from print to music to digital media) to be able to produce a tactile, visual, digital, or audio artifact. These media products could range from creating a social media plan for a feminist action, or a hashtag campaign that would cross platforms, to a YouTube channel where they can give tutorials on feminism. Students can create a short documentary or educational video, or a pitch for a reality show, or storyboard, zine, comic strip, podcast, etc. The media product does not have to correspond with the actual historical period analyzed, so students can imagine a different medium paired with the era: a podcast “from” suffragette era, a Tumblr from the Second Wave era, etc.

Students do not have to have experience in production; this is more of a creative assignment to think through the connections between feminist theories and how these theories might be represented in media productions. Assessment will be based on a well-thought out product, the amount of difficulty inherent in chosen medium, and the ability to apply ideas from the course to a media product.

Key facts

Department: Media & Communications

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills