Women, Sport, and Film Course
Fall 2005: Chick Flicks and Women’s Sports Movies – are they the same?

Sponsored by the Department of Athletics and Physical Education at Bryn Mawr College,
with support from the Center for Science In Society at Bryn Mawr College and the Serendip website

A six part series that will explore the role of women and sport as seen through documentaries and popular film. We will view six films – 3 “chick flicks’ and 3 women’s sports films and examine if the sports films challenge the normative role of a ‘chick flick’ or are they the same?

What are the differences? How do they depart or confirm the traditional Hollywood movie formula? Do they challenge it? What makes a strong women’s sports movie? What makes a ‘good’ Chick Flick? What do they give their audiences? Is there a difference between the two? Are the three mainstream women’s sports movies really Chick Flicks? Or, are they on par with Bull Durham, Rocky and Field of Dreams?

This course will be taught by Amy Campbell, Bryn Mawr College Director of Athletics and Physical Education since 1999.

To promote a richer and broader discussion, students will participate in on-line discussion twice/week, following the viewing of a film once/week. Organization of the on-line forums and of web materials is the responsibility of Paul Grobstein, director of the Center for Science In Society at Bryn Mawr College, and Ann Dixon, BMC '83, Serendip's webmaster, both co-founders of the Serendip website. In addition to their weekly forum writing, students will prepare a 3 page final paper related to the material of the course which will be posted (author's name optional) together with other course materials as a contribution to continuing discussion of issues related to women and sport.

Bryn Mawr has a long and storied history of supporting sport and physical education. Constance Applebee, Bryn Mawr's first director of physical education was responsible for bringing field hockey to the United States and oversaw its rise in the early 1900's as a rigorous outdoor team sport for women.

The effort to discuss the issues that affect women's sport, more than a century after Constance Applebee first developed the physical education and sport programs at Bryn Mawr, reflects an understanding that sport and the culture of sport are pervasive features of contemporary society. They mirror and refract, in ways both positive and not, society's image of women.

Understanding the culture of sport and how women are portrayed through film and documentaries is important to the broader understanding of the role women play in today's society.

At Bryn Mawr, the course will meet from 7 pm to 10 pm on successive Tuesdays beginning October 25 in Thomas 110.

Schedule Web Links Bibliography Forum Web Papers

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