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GSWS 205 Gender and Popular Culture

This guide will assist with finding information on gender, media and popular culture. 

Contact info

For Library research help, please contact Moninder Lalli, Librarian for Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies by email () or Ask a librarian.

Selected encyclopedias

Encyclopedias, handbooks or textbooks provide overviews, definitions and identify key authors and ideas.

Find books in the Library

How to use the Library Catalogue  [guide]

Do a Library Catalogue search to see if the Library owns or provides access to the sources that you've identified. 

For known items it is best to check using "Browse by title" icon.

Search by topic, using Basic or Advanced Search

Note: In the searches below, search results have been limited to "Online Resources only" and "Resource type" of "Books" and selected "Subjects"

To search for a particular television show, use Advanced Search"Subject contains" and then enter  name of the show

   Buffy, the vampire slayer (Television program)

Proper syntax for Boolean logic (words that allow you to combine concepts)

Combine different concepts using AND
Combine same concepts using OR
quotation marks to search for a phrase
Use brackets for synonyms
Use asterisk (*) for different endings of words

Note:  For Catalogue Search, when combining concepts, use CAPITAL letters ( "OR", "AND")

Look at the titles in the "results list" and for those books that look relevant, click on their subject headings to find more books on that topic.

Selected books

Browse search

Choose: Browse tab, change "title" to "subject"

For books about a person, search for the person as "Subject" using "Advanced Search" or "Browse by subject"


  Baker, Josephine


 Browse by Subject (change the default "Title" to "Subject")

Journal articles, news and primary sources

For scholarly articles, limit by "academic" or "peer reviewed".  In these databases, the Boolean logic words (and, or), can be in lower case.

  • Women's Studies International - key database for feminist perspectives
    • Keyword searches:
      • (media or popular culture) and (portray* or represent*)
      • (media or popular culture) and (women or gender or queer or gay or gays or lesbian* or homosexual*)
      • Burlesque or Neoburlesque or stripping or "strip tease"
  • Communication and Mass Media Complete  - Important database for "popular culture" and "media" topics.
  • Academic Search Premier - Multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals. Indexes many women's studies journals.
  • CBCA Fulltext Reference - Covers Canadian topics including business, politics, literature, history and news event

Dance, film, literature, music and performing arts

News databases

  • Canadian Newsstand - Full-text of major Canadian newspapers.
  • Historical Newspapers - Includes the Washington Post (1877 - 1990); Wall Street Journal (1889 - 1989); New York Times (1851 - 36-month embargo)
  • Times digital archive - Full-text and full-image articles from the Times of London for the years 1785-1985.

Primary sources databases

The databases below can be searched for "primary documents" from earlier times.

  • Archives of Sexuality & Gender - Monographs, manuscripts, correspondence, and ephemera from 1600 to 1940, as well as texts, photographs, and illustrations on health, politics, age, race/ ethnicity, and social and economic issues in relation to LGBTQ rights and women's rights since 1940.

  • Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975

    Colour images of manuscripts and rare printed materials, as well as photographs, ephemera and memorabilia covering popular culture in Britain, America, and Canada from 1950 to 1975.

    Search for "burlesque" lead you to items such as:

  A book of burlesque: sketches of English stage travestie and parody

  • Victorian Popular Culture - Search across four collections on popular entertainment in the 19th and early 20th centuries: Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic; Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks; Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment; Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema

    • Search for "burlesque" results in articles in magazines, billboards, etc.  See an example, below:

Chatfield-Taylor, O. (1936, 10). SHE STRIPS TO CONQUER. Town & Country, 91, 82. Retrieved from




    Music videos, soap operas, and television

    Writing help and other library guides