• Offered by School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Gender Studies
  • Areas of interest Gender Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

There has been a proliferation of television dance competition shows such as So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars and even Glee and the teenage dance film musical continues to be produced annually. This course interrogates the popularity of performative dance in film and television by examining dance musicals through an analysis of gender, sexuality, race, class as well as the sociology of the body and the history of dance in modern North America. We will draw upon two threads--film studies and dance studies: an understanding of the Hollywood musical as convention, as well as writings about dance (choreography, philosophy) and theories about the body. The course will focus on the historical roots and sociology of particular types of dance, thinking of dance as a product of mass/pop entertainment (i.e. hip hop) and bourgeois aspirations (i.e. ballet) in the era of capitalist modernity while interrogating the mind/body dualism through feminism, gender, queer theory and cultural studies. The course will problematize gendered and racialised representations in dance while interrogating our own viewing pleasures both for language/narrative and visual spectacle. We will learn about camp/postcolonial strategies of viewing the conservative genre of the musical as well as discuss more contemporary films that subvert the conventions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will:

  1. Be able to analyse dance on film and television through the complexities of race, class and gender.
  2. Become familiar with the film musical genre.
  3. Become familiar with debates on dance/body.
  4. Improve their skills in independent research, and in written communication.
  5. improve their oral communication.

Indicative Assessment

All the following written assignments aim for LO's 1, 2,3, and 4:

  • 1500-word midterm essay (30%)
  • 800-word written report accompanying presentation (10%)
  • 2200-word final essay (40%)

Presentation (10%) [LO's 1, 2, 3, 5]

Tutorial participation (10%) [LO's 1, 2, 3, 5]

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13 x 1.5 hours lecture, 12 x 1-hr tutorial and a 2 hour film screening per week. Also 5.5 hours of associated study time per week (includes readings and assignment preparation).

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed GEND1001 or GEND1002. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course.

Preliminary Reading

Desmond, Jane C. (ed.) Meaning in Motion: New cultural studies of dance (post-contemporary interventions). Durham and London: Duke UP, 1997; Sherlock, Joyce. “Dance and the Culture of the Body.” Ch. 3 in Body Matters: Essays On The Sociology Of The Body, edited by Sue Scott and David Morgan, 1993; Feuer, Jane. The Hollywood Musical. 2nd ed. Houndmills: MacMillan, 1993.

Defrantz, Thomas F. “The Black Beat Made Visible: Hip hop dance and Body power.” In Andre Lepecki (ed.) Of the Presence of the Body: Essays on dance and Performance Theory. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan UP, 2004, pp. 64- 81; Brannigan, Erin. Dancefilm: Choreography and the Moving Image. Oxford; New York: Oxford UP, 2011; Jordan, Stephanie and Dave Allen (Eds.) Parallel Lines: Media Representations of Dance. London: John Libbey, 1993; Savigliano, Marta. Tango and the Political Economy of Passion. Boulder: Westview P,1995; Wolff, J. “Dance Criticism: Feminism, Theory and Choreography.” In Resident Alien: Feminist Cultural Criticism. Cambridge: Polity P, 1995.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1164
2014 $2478
2013 $2472
2012 $2472
2011 $2424
2010 $2358
2009 $2286
2008 $2286
2007 $2286
2006 $2286
2005 $2286
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2574
2014 $3246
2013 $3240
2012 $3240
2011 $3240
2010 $3240
2009 $3240
2008 $3240
2007 $3132
2006 $3132
2005 $3132
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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