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Voyeurism and Exhibitionism: Gender and Visual Culture


Admission requirements

Not applicable


Gender studies offers a new way to watch films and look at the images surrounding you in your everyday world. Film theorists like Mulvey, Doane, and Modleski show how voyeurism and exhibitionism play a role in how women and men experience films. Art theorists like Berger, Bryson and Pollock also demonstrate how our way of looking is highly gendered. In this course, on the basis of classic Hollywood favorites, more subversive films and your own found material, we analyze how we might look differently at images of men and women. We will learn how visual texts organize who is to be seen and the ideal spectator, the question is how films and other texts from visual culture structure the gaze and to what effect. We explore genres like the nude and male pin-up, action films and melodramas as well as how whiteness/blackness and sexuality structure relations of looking.

Course objectives

After completion of the course:

  • the student has insight into the theoretical debate on gender and visual culture;

  • the student masters the most important concepts in this discussion;

  • the student is able to deploy these critical concepts and discussions in his/her analysis of visual material (film, photography and visual arts);

  • the student is independently able to select cultural phenomena that are relevant to the discussion about the “look” and to analyze the organization of “gaze”.


The timetable is available on the website.

Mode of instruction

Lectures mixed with workgroup class meetings

Course Load

Voyeurism 140 hrs total

  • Course meetings: 12 hrs

  • Preparation for meetings: 108 hrs

  • Assignments and Exams: 20 hrs

Assessment method

Oral Presentation (15%) and Written Final Essay (85%)


Blackboard will be used for communication, providing literature and/or other study material, for turnitin, and where applicable for reading and writing assignments, discussion forums, peer feedback, and to ask questions to the teacher and/or fellow students.

Reading list

Longer academic texts are available through the ‘collegeplank’ in the University Library and can be copied on site. Shorter texts are posted on Blackboard


Enrolment through uSis for classes, exams and final papers is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs



Coordinator: Dr. Eliza Steinbock
Teacher: Dr. Yasco Horsman.

Student administration: Van Wijkplaats
Coordinator of studies: ms. drs. E.M.T.Poolman


For more information please check the website of the study program Film and Literature Studies.