Images of Women in Mediterranean Film

You are here

Course Information
Women's Studies
Film Studies
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 


Additional student cost: 

Films from Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East will be examined with an eye to the role of women in Mediterranean societies. The course will look at how gender, kinship, division of labour, religion, tradition, and sexuality impact women’s lives.

Attendance policy: 

Attendance is mandatory for all IES Abroad classes, including course related excursions. Any exams, tests, presentations, or other work missed due to student absences can only be rescheduled in cases of documented medical or family emergencies. If a student misses more than three classes in any course 3% of the final class grade will be deducted for every unjustified student absence. Six absences in any course will result in a failing grade.

Learning outcomes: 
Method of presentation: 

With the exception of the introductory week, sessions will be distributed as follows:

  • An introduction by the instructor together with voluntary students.
  • Viewing of a film.
  • Cinema Forum: Interactive debate on the film with the whole group prompted by food-for-thought cards.
Field study: 
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Class attendance and participation (debates, weekly cards, presentations, debate summaries) - 25%
  • Half-term examination - 25%
  • 10-12 page paper - 25%
  • Final examination - 25%




Session 1

Introduction, Part 1:

  • Introduction to course contents, teaching methodology and form of assessment.
  • Discussion of class expectations.

Introduction, Part 2:

  • Background knowledge about Images of women and Mediterranean film.
  • Feminism and visual representation of women; Feminist film theory: a brief introduction.
  • Some issues for discussion: “the gaze”; visual language and the concept of “performance”; women viewers and women being viewed; women as camera: women film makers.
Clips from Psycho(Alfred Hitchcock 1960)
Session 2

Debate: Home, Kinship and women bonding. Motherhood: Mother Courage and Mater Dolorosas (part 1).

All about my Mother (Todo sobre mi madre. Pedro Almodóvar. Spain. 1999).

Session 3

Debate: Home, Kinship and women bonding. Motherhood: Mother Courage and Mater Dolorosas (part 2).

Solas (Benito Zambrano. Spain. 1998)

Session 4

Debate: Inequality, domesticity and social oppression.

What have I done to deserve this? (¿Qué he hecho yo para merecer esto? Pedro Almodóvar. Spain. 1984).

Session 5

Debate: Modern “Angels in the house”, domestic imprisonment and violence on women.

Take my eyes (Te doy mis ojos. Icíar Bollaín. Spain. 2003)

Session 6 Midterm Exam  
Session 7 Tutorials: Exam Revision  
Session 8

Debate: Women and the debate on prostitution

Princesses (Princesas. Fernando León de Aranoa. Spain. 2005).

Session 9

Debate: Women and resistance. From the Spanish Civil War to the Spanish Transition and beyond.

The naked years (Los Años Desnudos. Dunia Ayaso & Felix Sabroso. Spain. 2008)
Session 10

Debate: Women, war and conflict in the Mediterranean. The role of Women in modern Algeria.

Rachida (Yamina Bachir-Chouikh. Algeria. 2002)

Session 11

Debate: Patriarchal impositions and the oppression of traditions.

Kadosh. (Amos Gitai. Israel 1999)

Session 12 Tutorials: Assignment  
Session 13 Final Exam  
Required readings: 
Additional requirements: 
Other Resources: