Brandeis University

    UWS 16A: Sex and Advertising

    Instructor: Douglas Kirshen
    Prerequisites: None. UWS introduces students to the power of writing as a means of communication and a process of thinking and understanding. As students complete a series of writing assignments, they will engage in a process of reading, drafting, reviewing and revising, working in peer groups and individually with their instructors.
    Course Description: Sex Sells! It’s the immortal truism of the advertising industry. But how does sex sell? For decades, advertisers have used hot bods and innuendo to suggest that power and pleasure can be bought. In the 1970s, the battle cry, “You’ve come a long way, Baby!” pushed cigarettes as the hip accessories of feminism and the sexual revolution. Today, brands blend consumerism with gender activism, invite LGBTQ to the mainstream marketplace, and tempt millennials with new promises of sex and success. In this course, students find and write about advertising that delights, infuriates, and perplexes them. In the first essay, they dissect their choice of pornographic food commercials, Budweiser bromances, and Calvin Klein billboards that titillate consumers and reshape social constructs of masculinity and femininity. The research paper challenges students to locate and comprehend recent studies of sex and gender in advertising and apply them to a defined set of ads or a major campaign of their choice.
    Session: Session I
    Day: M, T, W, Th
    Time: 9:00am - 11:00am
    Credit Hours: 4 Credits
    Course Format: On-Campus Course for Summer 2022
    Brandeis Graduation Requirement Fulfilled: UWS
    Enrollment Limit: 10 students
    Course Classification: Undergraduate Level Course
    Course Tuition: $3,290
    Course Fees: None
    Open to High School Students: No