PSCI 18/WGSS 17: Girl Meets World: Films from 5 Continents
Last offered: Winter 2019

This course brings together a selection of films that challenge the narrative of girl-meets-boy as the privileged formula for representing the growth and development of young women around the world.  Sometimes girl does meet boy, but the challenge that these films put to us is to re-imagine the path to womanhood as mediated by other factors as well: girls’ own curiosity and ambition, their resourcefulness in the face of poverty and exploitation, resistance against being gendered in conventional ways, their friendships and romantic ties with one another, and their many creative ways of defining how one becomes a woman.  To support our analysis of the films, we will also consider how some transnational feminist movements have responded to the challenges and creative energies of girlhood.  Special attention will be given to the difficulty of securing girls’ rights through international conventions that implicitly treat all children (ages 0-18) as male, and all women as adults.  Films and film-makers will likely be selected from the following countries: Korea, India, Thailand, Great Britain, Senegal,  Australia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.

Key texts:
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi
The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie