The focus of this course is on spectatorship — feminist, lesbian, and queer. Together we will examine normative and transgressive gender and sexual identity representations in American film through a feminist lens. The readings and lectures will interrogate arguments made in feminist and queer media theory about representation and the viewer’s relationship to the moving image in terms of identification, desire, masquerade, fantasy, power, and embodied experience. The course first explores the founding essays of psychoanalytic feminist film theory, putting these ideas into dialogue with mainstream cinema to provide a vocabulary and background for our discussion. Secondly, we consider the aesthetic, narrative, and theoretical interventions posed by feminist filmmakers working in contradistinction to Hollywood’s classical positioning of its spectators. Our focus then turns to Patricia White’s lesbian re-reading of Classical Hollywood Cinema and to the viability of retrospective and alternative readings of media texts. Using White’s notions as a springboard into a discussion of “queering” contemporary media, we survey challenges and revisions to feminist film theory presented by considerations of race and ethnicity, transgender experience, and queerness.