Using gender as the primary focus, this course engages students in critical analysis of the ways in which symbol systems in their cultural contexts function to create subjective spaces (e.g. assign specific roles) for particular groups of people. Students learn how communication practices shape the ways gender is viewed, how these practices constrain or promote resistance, and how individuals and groups negotiate their subjective spaces and 'genderized' practices. Students study the role of imagery and language in constructing gendered identities, the social construction of culturally defined categories such as masculinity and femininity, the gendered body, and contemporary trends of theories on gender to examine gender across race, class, nation, and empire. Additionally, students make connections between their everyday lives, their specific disciplinary backgrounds, and the course materials.