As times change, so do the courses at Seton Hall, specifically the revamped Gender and the Media class now being offered to students.
Previously known as Women in the Media, this credited course is taught by Dr. Madison Krall, assistant professor of Communication.
Along with the name change, the new content of Gender and the Media was adapted in Fall 2023. Krall said that courses need to be formulated based on the areas of expertise the professors teaching can bring to the students.
“Gender and the Media really opens it up to a more relevant and more appropriate vantage point through which to have conversations about the media in 2023,” Krall said.
Krall said this course can appeal to all students, as it will expand their knowledge about topics regarding gender and the media. The beginning of the course was more focused on general theories connected to gender and sex in the media, while the second half was more about how gender and sex are showcased in those media locations.
Gender and the Media is theory-based, which Krall said gave her room for both lectures and activities. She prioritized time in class to explain theoretical terms that are usually new to students.
Krall said her favorite section of the course is the historical criticism paper on a media object found in the archives and special collections at Seton Hall. She mentioned the importance and excitement of historical research and how applicable it can be to the modern day.
“I wanted [students] to be able to see through my eyes why it’s enjoyable to do historical research,” Krall said. “I think it’ll give them a better appreciation for some of the critical skills that they’re learning when they do apply these theories and concepts and ideas to contemporary media artifacts for their final projects.”
Krall said her approach to teaching includes encouraging students to be open-minded, which she added is the beautiful thing about teaching. She allowed students to have the space to share their opinions if they were comfortable doing so, which gave her an opportunity to see how students felt about these ideas.
Krall said being open to different ideas and asking questions is key. She added that she enjoys exposing her students to different authors and new ideas while giving them a space to question those ideas.
“My goal as an instructor is to help you all go out into the world to be not only open-minded to difference, but to also be respectful of differing identities,” Krall said. “I do think that meeting the students where they’re at, providing them with opportunities to ask questions, and simultaneously helping them to see me as a support system if they’re confused or if they want to discuss any concepts, really does provide everybody independently to grow at their own pace.”
Krall said the course will continue to evolve because some of the readings she assigned will no longer be relevant in two to three years, as normative standards change and develop over time. She added that society can anticipate rewriting the gender binary so that it is no longer something to have as a conversation point.
“I’m learning from our class that a lot of you want to be able to have these conversations with your friends, or with your family members, or with other people,” Krall said. “That’s why it’s important to look at media from all perspectives, but now you do have those skills.”
Italia Wiley submitted this article from her Writing for the Media course. She can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org.