. . .
>can anyone recommend materials [a book or, perhaps even better,
>a number of essays] that would provide appropriate background
>reading for such a course . . . to the extent that the material touches on
>[or tackles] the latent gender issues in the genre i would be especially
Have you had a look at Carol Clover's 'Men, Women and Chainsaws?'
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite