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The College Catalogue

Gender and Women's Studies – Courses

First-Year Seminars

For a full description of first-year seminars, see the First-Year Seminar section.

1012 c. The Literature of Adolescent Sexuality. Fall 2014. Sarah Braunstein. (Same as English 1049 and Gay and Lesbian Studies 1049.)

[1014 {30} b. Mothers, Sisters, and Facebook Friends: Is Feminism a Dysfunctional Family?]

1017 {17} c. Christian Sexual Ethics. Spring 2015. Elizabeth Pritchard (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 1016 {16} and Religion 1017 {16}.)

1020 {20} c. In Sickness and in Health: Public Health in Europe and the United States. Fall 2015. Susan Tananbaum. (Same as History 1010{20})

1030 c. Women and the Blues. Fall 2014. Susan M. Taffe Reed. (Same as Africana Studies 1015 and Music 1015.)

1033 c. Sexuality and Imperialism: Race and Gender in Colonial Asia. Fall 2014. Frances Gouda.

Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced Courses

1101 {101} b - ESD. Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies. Fall 2014. Jennifer Scanlon. Spring 2015. Frances Gouda.

An interdisciplinary introduction to the issues, perspectives, and findings of the new scholarship that examines the role of gender in the construction of knowledge. Explores what happens when women become the subjects of study, what is learned about women, what is learned about gender, and how disciplinary knowledge itself is changed.

1102 {102} c - ESD, VPA. Cultural Choreographies: An Introduction to Dance. Fall 2015. The Department.

Dancing is a fundamental human activity, a mode of communication, and a basic force in social life. Investigates dance and movement in the studio and classroom as aesthetic and cultural phenomena. Explores how dance and movement activities reveal information about cultural norms and values and affect perspectives in our own and other societies. Using ethnographic methods, focuses on how dancing maintains and creates conceptions of one’s own body, gender relationships, and personal and community identities. Experiments with dance and movement forms from different cultures and epochs—for example, the hula, New England contradance, classical Indian dance, Balkan kolos, ballet, contact improvisation, and African American dance forms from swing to hip-hop—through readings, performances, workshops in the studio, and field work. (Same as Dance 1102 {101}.)

1321 c. Philosophical Issues of Gender and Race. Fall 2015. Kristi Olson.

A philosophical exploration of contemporary issues of gender and race. Possible topics include the social construction of race and gender, implicit bias, racial profiling, pornography, the gender wage gap, affirmative action, race and incarceration, transgender issues, and reparations for past harms. Readings drawn from philosophy, legal studies, and the social sciences. (Same as Philosophy 1321.)

1592 {140} c - ESD, VPA. History of Hip-Hop. Spring 2015. Tracy McMullen.

Traces the history of hip-hop culture (with a focus on rap music) from its beginnings in the Caribbean through its transformation into a global phenomenon. Explores constructions of race, gender, class, and sexuality in hip-hop’s production, promotion, and consumption, as well as the ways in which changing media technology and corporate consolidation influenced the music. Artists/bands investigated will include Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Spooky. (Same as Africana Studies 1592 {159} and Music 1292 {140}.)

2112 {212} b. Gender and Crime. Spring 2015. Janet Lohmann.

Examines how gender intersects with the understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. Gender is a salient issue in examining who commits what types of crimes, who is most often victimized, and how the criminal justice system responds to these victims and offenders. Students explore the social context of crime, as well as how the correctional system and social policy are affected by the issue of gender. (Same as Sociology 2112 {212}.)

Prerequisite: Sociology 1101 {101} or Anthropology 1101 {101}.

2198 c - ESD, IP. Women in South Asia: Images and Experiences. Spring 2015. Carmen Wickramagamage.

South Asia undoubtedly presents a paradox with regard to women’s status, with its veneration of Devi [Goddess] and ‘Mother’ and endorsement of strong political women, on the one hand, and spectacular, headline-grabbing violence against women on the other. What are the factors that give rise to this seeming paradox? Drawing on a variety of sources, literary and non-literary (from literary and analytical pieces to field reports, documentaries, interviews, personal narratives and oral testimonies), the course introduces students to the forces—cultural and material—that shape women’s life-experiences in South Asia. (Same as Asian Studies 2700 and Religion 2277.)

2200 c – ESD, IP. Gender, Class, and Citizenship in (West) European History. Spring 2015. Frances Gouda.

Examines the ways in which normative ideas about gender difference and class divisions shaped women’s and men’s political citizenship in western Europe since the eighteenth-century Enlightenment. By analyzing primary sources as well as current scholarship focusing on England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, explores issues such as motherhood and parental rights, gendered constructions of the private and public spheres, women’s access to education, and the evolution of legal entitlements and political agency. Ample attention devoted to the emergence of the first feminist (suffragist) movement beginning in the 1860s and the evolution of second-wave feminism during the late 1960s. A final topic to be explored is immigration into Western Europe since World War II and the controversies generated by multiculturalism, Islam, and the “politics of the veil.” (Same as History 2103.)

2201 {201} b - ESD. Feminist Theory. Fall 2014. Frances Gouda.

The history of women’s studies and its transformation into gender studies and feminist theory has always included a tension between creating “woman” and political and theoretical challenges to that unity. Examines that tension in two dimensions: the development of critical perspectives on gender and power relations, both within existing fields of knowledge and within the continuous evolution of feminist discourse itself.

Prerequisite: Gender and Women’s Studies 1101 {101} or permission of the instructor.

2203. Nation, Religion, and Gender in Indian Epics. Fall 2014. Sree Padma Holt.

Studies the Indian state-sponsored televised serials of two great Indian epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, and examines their overwhelming popularity among the general public. Explores issues surrounding the concept of Indian nationhood and its interrelation with the Hindu religion and the position of women in Indian society. Readings include scholarly translations and retellings of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; viewings of selected episodes of the televised epics are followed by engagement with the public debate through published online media and other sources. One-half credit. (Same as Asian Studies 2650 and Religion 2285.)

2204 {204} b. Families: A Comparative Perspective. Fall 2014. Nancy Riley.

Examines families in different societies. Issues addressed include definition and concept of the “family”; different types of family systems; the interaction of family change and other social, economic, and political change; the relationships between families and other social institutions; the role of gender and age in family relationships; and sources and outcomes of stability, conflict, and dissolution within families. (Same as Sociology 2204 {204}.)

Prerequisite: Sociology 1101 {101} or Anthropology 1101 {101}.

2207 {207} c - ESD, VPA. Black Women, Politics, Music, and the Divine. Fall 2014. Judith Casselberry.

Seminar. Examines the convergence of politics and spirituality in the musical work of contemporary black women singer-songwriters in the United States. Analyzes material that interrogates and articulates the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality, generated across a range of religious and spiritual terrains with African diasporic/black Atlantic spiritual moorings, including Christianity, Islam, and Yoruba. Focuses on material that reveals a womanist (black feminist) perspective by considering the ways resistant identities shape and are shaped by artistic production. Employs an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating ethnomusicology, anthropology, literature, history, and performance and social theory. Explores the work of Shirley Caesar, The Clark Sisters, Meshell Ndegeocello, Abby Lincoln, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Dianne Reeves, among others. (Same as Africana Studies 2201 {201}, Music 2291 {201}, and Religion 2201 {201}.)

2220 {229} c- ESD. Gender and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity. Fall 2014. Jennifer Clarke Kosak.

Explores male and female sexuality and gender roles in the ancient Greek and Roman world. What did it mean to be male or female? To what extent were gender roles negotiable? How did gender—and expectations based on gender—shape behavior? How did sexuality influence public life and culture? Using literary, documentary, and artistic evidence, examines the biological, social, religious, legal, and political principles that shaped the construction of male and female identities and considers the extent to which gender served as a fundamental organizational principle of ancient society. Also considers how Greek and Roman concepts of sexuality and gender have influenced our own contemporary views of male and female roles. All readings are done in translation. Note: Offered as part of the curriculum in Gay and Lesbian Studies. (Same as Classics 2229 {229}.)

2221 {221} c. Dostoevsky and the Novel. Spring 2015. Raymond Miller.

Examines Fyodor Dostoevsky’s later novels. Studies the author’s unique brand of realism (“fantastic realism,” “realism of a higher order”), which explores the depths of human psychology and spirituality. Emphasis on the anti-Western, anti-materialist bias of Dostoevsky’s quest for meaning in a world growing increasingly unstable, violent, and cynical. Special attention is given to the author’s treatment of urban poverty and the place of women in Russian society. (Same as Russian 2223 {223}.)

2222 {222} b - ESD. “The Wire”: Race, Class, Gender, and the Urban Crisis. Spring 2015. Brian Purnell.

Postwar US cities were considered social, economic, political, and cultural zones of “crisis.” African Americans—their families, gender relations; their relationship to urban political economy, politics, and culture—were at the center of this discourse. Uses David Simon’s epic series The Wire as a critical source on postindustrial urban life, politics, conflict, and economics, to cover the origins of the “urban crisis,” the rise of an “underclass” theory of urban class relations, the evolution of the urban “underground economy,” and the ways the “urban crisis” shaped depictions of African Americans in American popular culture. (Same as Africana Studies 2220 {220} and Sociology 2220 {220}.)

Prerequisite: One of the following: Africana Studies 1101 {101}, Education 1101 {101}, Gender and Women’s Studies 1101 {101}, or Sociology 1101 {101}, or permission of the instructor.

2223 {223} b - ESD. Cultural Interpretations of Medicine. Fall 2014. Susan Bell.

Explores a series of topics in health studies from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences: medical ethics, the development and use of reproductive technologies, relationships between doctors and patients, disability, public health, and the experience of illness. Encourages reflection about these topics through ethnographies, monographs, novels, plays, poetry, and visual arts. (Same as Sociology 2223 {223}.)

Prerequisite: Sociology 1101 {101} or Anthropology 1101 {101}.

[2224 {224} b - ESD. Introduction to Human Population. (Same as Environmental Studies 2332 {222} and Sociology 2222 {222}.)]

2225 {225} c - ESD. Family Affairs: Changing Patterns of Family in Europe. Spring 2016. Susan Tananbaum.

Seminar. Explores topics and debates in European family history from the early modern period to the present. Considers the impact of social, political, religious, and economic forces on family structures and functions. Students will complete individual research projects. (Same as History 2561{222}.)

[2229 c - ESD, IP. Global Pentecostalism: The Roots and Routes of Twentieth-Century Christianity. (Same as Africana Studies 2235 {242} and Religion 2247 {247}.)]

2236 c - IP. The Fantastic and Demonic in Japanese Literature. Spring 2016.
Vyjayanthi Selinger.

From possessing spirits and serpentine creatures to hungry ghosts and spectral visions, Japanese literary history is alive with supernatural beings. The focus of study ranges from the earliest times to modernity, examining these motifs in both historical and theoretical contexts. Readings pose the following broad questions: How do representations of the supernatural function in both creation myths of the ancient past and the rational narratives of the modern nation? What is the relationship between liminal beings and a society’s notion of purity? How may we understand the uncanny return of dead spirits in medieval Japanese drama? How does the construction of demonic female sexuality vary between medieval and modern Japan? Draws on various genres of representation, from legends and novels to drama, paintings, and cinema. Students develop an appreciation of the hold that creatures from the “other” side maintain over our cultural and social imagination. (Same as Asian Studies 2270 {246}.)

2246 {263} c - ESD. Only a Game? Sports and Leisure in Europe and America. Fall 2014. Susan Tananbaum.

Seminar. Uses the lens of sport and leisure to analyze cultural and historical trends in modern Europe and the United States. Students read a range of primary and secondary texts exploring race, class, and gender and complete a significant research paper. Offered concurrently with History 3082. (Same as History 2560 {240}.)

Prerequisite: One course numbered 1000-2969 {010-289} in history or gender and women’s studies.

2248 {248} c - ESD. Family and Community in American History, 1600–1900. Fall 2014. Sarah McMahon.

Examines the social, economic, and cultural history of American families from 1600 to 1900 and the changing relationship between families and their kinship networks, communities, and the larger society. Topics include gender relationships; racial, ethnic, cultural, and class variations in family and community ideals, structures, and functions; the purpose and expectations of marriage; philosophies of child-rearing; organization of work and leisure time; and the effects of industrialization, urbanization, immigration, and social and geographic mobility on patterns of family life and community organization. (Same as History 2128 {248}.)

[2250 {246} b. Activist Voices in India. (Same as Anthropology 2647 {248}, Asian Studies 2562 {248}, and Cinema Studies 2248 {248}.)]

2251 {251} c - ESD. Women in American History, 1600–1900. Spring 2016. Sarah McMahon.

A social history of American women from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. Examines women’s changing roles in both public and private spheres; the circumstances of women’s lives as these were shaped by class, ethnic, and racial differences; the recurring conflict between the ideals of womanhood and the realities of women’s experience; and focuses on family responsibilities, paid and unpaid work, religion, education, reform, women’s rights, and feminism. (Same as History 2126 {246}.)

2253 {253} b - ESD. Constructions of the Body. Fall 2014. Susan Bell.

Explores the body as a reflection and construction of language, a source of metaphor, and a political and social “space.” Cases are drawn from art, sports, medicine, performance, work, and body aesthetics. Draws from and compares theories of the body in sociology, women’s studies, and gay, lesbian, and transgender studies. (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 2253 {253} and Gender and Women’s Studies 2253 {253}.)

Prerequisite: Sociology 1101 {101} or Anthropology 1101 {101}, or permission of the instructor.

2256 {256} c - ESD. Gender, Body, and Religion. Fall 2014. Elizabeth Pritchard.

A significant portion of religious texts and practices is devoted to the disciplining and gendering of bodies. Examines these disciplines, including ascetic practices, dietary restrictions, sexual and purity regulations, and boundary maintenance between human and divine, public and private, and clergy and lay. Topics include desire and hunger, abortion, women-led religious movements, the power of submission, and the related intersections of race and class. Materials are drawn from Christianity, Judaism, Neopaganism, Voudou, and Buddhism. (Same as Religion 2253 {253}.)

[2259 {259} c - ESD, IP. Sex and the Politics of the Body in Modern India. (Same as Asian Studies 2583 {237} and History 2801 {259}.)]

2262 {262} c. Modern Drama and Performance. Spring 2015. Marilyn Reizbaum.

Examines dramatic trends of the modern period, beginning with a triumvirate of modern dramatists—Henrik Ibsen, Bertolt Brecht, and Samuel Beckett—and draws lines from their work in drama of ideas, epic theatre, and absurdism to developments in the dramatic arts through the modern period into the twenty-first century. Includes plays by Lorraine Hansberry, Caryl Churchill, and Martin McDonagh. Readings staged. (Same as English 2452 {246} and Theater 2846 {246}.)

[2265 {265} b. Gender and Family in East Asia. (Same as Asian Studies 2101 {264} and Sociology 2265 {265}.)]

2266 {266} c - IP. Chinese Women in Fiction and Film. Spring 2015 and Fall 2017. Shu-chin Tsui.

Approaches the subject of women and writing in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century China from perspectives of gender studies, literary analysis, and visual representations. Considers women writers, filmmakers, and their works in the context of China’s social-political history as well as its literary and visual traditions. Focuses on how women writers and directors negotiate gender identity against social-cultural norms. Also constructs a dialogue between Chinese women’s works and Western feminist assumptions. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for Cinema Studies minors. (Same as Asian Studies 2073 {266} and Cinema Studies 2266 {266}.)

2270 {270} c - ESD. Spirit Come Down: Religion, Race, and Gender in America. Spring 2015. Judith Casselberry.

Examines the ways religion, race, and gender shape people’s lives from the nineteenth century into contemporary times in America, with particular focus on black communities. Explores issues of self-representation, memory, material culture, embodiment, and civic and political engagement through autobiographical, historical, literary, anthropological, cinematic, and musical texts. (Same as Africana Studies 2271 {271} and Religion 2271 {271}.)

2402 {241} c. Victorian Race and Empire. Fall 2014. Aviva Briefel.

Examines Victorian constructions of racial difference and imperial relationships in literary texts ranging from the 1830s to the fin de siècle. Focuses on issues of representation and racialized identity; fantasies about nationhood and colonialism; narratives of “adventure” at home and abroad; and images of gender and sexuality. Literary criticism central to discussions. Authors may include C. Brontë, Conrad, Doyle, Du Maurier, Haggard, Kipling, Marsh, and F. A. Steel. (Same as English 2402 {242} and Gay and Lesbian Studies 2402 {241}.)

2510 {220} c - IP, VPA. Soviet Worker Bees, Revolution, and Red Love in Russian Film. Fall 2014. Kristina Toland.

An interdisciplinary examination of Russian culture surveying the development of literary and visual arts from the 1900s through 2010s. Focuses on the themes of the individual vis-à-vis society and on gender politics, using literary and cinematic texts. Topics include “the woman question” in Russia, scientific utopias, eternal revolution, individual freedom versus collectivism, conflict between the intelligentsia and the common man, the “new Soviet woman,” nationalism, the thaw, stagnation of the 1970s, sexual liberation, and the search for post-Soviet identity. Explores the evolution of literary genres (short story and novella) and film techniques in relation to socio-political and cultural developments, paying particular attention to questions of the interrelationship between arts, audience and critic, and the politics of form. Weekly film viewings. Note: Fulfills the non-US cinema requirement for Cinema Studies minors. (Same as Film Studies 2221 and Russian 2221 {221}.)

[2600 {275} b. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Eastern Europe. (Same as Gay and Lesbian Studies 2600 {275}.)]

2601 {249} c. History of Women’s Voices in America. Spring 2015. Sarah McMahon.

Seminar. Examines women’s voices in America from 1650 to the twentieth century, as these emerged in private letters, journals, and autobiographies; poetry, short stories, and novels; essays, addresses, and prescriptive literature. Readings from the secondary literature provide a historical framework for examining women’s writings. Research projects focus on the form and content of women’s literature and the ways that it illuminates women’s understandings, reactions, and responses to their historical situation. (Same as History 2609 {249}.)

Prerequisite: One course in history.

[2606 {240} b. Radical Politics, Radical Families.]

2970–2973 {291–294}. Intermediate Independent Study in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Program.

2999 {299}. Intermediate Collaborative Study in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Program.

[3100 {313} b - ESD, IP. Global Sexualities/Local Desires. (Same as Anthropology 3100 {313}, Gay and Lesbian Studies 3100 {313}, and Latin American Studies 3711 {311}.)]

[3103 c. Gender, Sexuality, and Popular Music. (Same as Music 3103.)]

[3211 c. Bringing the Female Maroon to Memory: Female Marronage and Douboutism in the Caribbean. (Same as Africana Studies 3211, French 3211, and Latin American Studies 3211.)]

3302 {302} b. The Economics of the Family. Fall 2015. Rachel Connelly.

Seminar. Microeconomic analysis of the family—gender roles and related institutions. Topics include marriage, fertility, married women’s labor supply, divorce, and the family as an economic organization. (Same as Economics 3531 {301}.)

Prerequisite: Economics 2555 {255} and Economics 2557 {257}, or permission of the instructor.

3304 c. Writing Women. Spring 2015. Susan Faludi.

Women have historically exerted their voice and power through writing, although the writing trades—journalism and publishing—have often been unwelcoming to their presence. Examines reporting and writing by and about women and engages students in the practice of writing about modern women’s concerns and lives. This is a hands-on workshop class, a laboratory where students produce their own investigative, magazine-style project related to women or gender, as we study the works of major writers who have confronted women’s conditions and explored women’s lives.

3305 b. Real-World Feminism: The Lives of Living Women. Spring 2015. Susan Faludi.

Students explore how feminist history and precepts operate in the real world by writing deeply reported profiles of women whose lives embody feminism in action. Students study and practice the art of the interview, oral history, and biography, and probe the complex ways that women’s liberation plays out on the street, at work, and at home. This is a hands-on writing workshop. Students craft a magazine-length story that brings alive the struggle of a particular woman—anyone from a senator to an artist to someone on a soup line. Mines the secrets to good writing through intensive edits and rewrites and close readings of profiles, biographies, obituaries, etc.

Prerequisite: Gender and Women’s Studies 2201{201} or permission of the instructor.

[3316 {316} c. Dressing and Undressing in Early Modern Spain. (Same as Spanish 3246 {346}.)]

3320 {320} c. Victorian Epics. Spring 2015. Aviva Briefel.

Examines one of the foremost literary forms of the Victorian period: the long novel. By focusing on a few central texts, investigates the ways in which narrative length shapes stories about wide-ranging issues related to nationalism, science, technology, and empire, as well as allegedly “local” issues regarding domesticity, familial relations, personal adornment, and romance. Authors may include Charles Dickens, George Eliot, William Thackeray, and Anthony Trollope. (Same as English 3024 {320}.)

Prerequisite: One course numbered 2000–2969 {200–289} in English.

[3326 {326} c. A Body “of One’s Own”: Latina and Caribbean Women Writers.

(Same as Latin American Studies 3226 {326} and Spanish 3226 {326}.)]

[3350 {355} c. Modernism and the Nude. (Same as Art History 3550 {355}.)]

4000–4003 {401–404}. Advanced Independent Study in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Program.

4029 {405}. Advanced Collaborative Study in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Program.

4050–4051. Honors Project in Gender and Women’s Studies. The Program.


Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2014. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.