Courses

Fall 2005 Courses

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027. From Home Front to Frontline: Gender and War in the Twentieth Century
Jill Massino T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Women have always been affected by war. The advent of total war in the 20th century, however, increased women's involvement in war considerably, with wide-ranging repercussions on politics, the economy, social relations, and family life. Sometimes these repercussions were challenging; other times they worked to reinforce more traditional roles and identities. Focusing on World Wars I and II, The Vietnam War, the war in Bosnia and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and utilizing literature, memoirs, film and historical scholarship, this course explores war through the lens of gender, examining both women's and men's experiences. A central question will be how war shapes notions of masculinity and femininity. We will also explore what happens to gender roles after a war and consider whether women's increased participation in the military encourages greater equality between the sexes.
101. Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Jill Massino T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
An interdisciplinary introduction to the issues, perspectives, and findings of the new scholarship that examines the role of gender in the construction of knowledge. The course 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.
102. Cultural Choreographies: An Introduction to Dance
June Vail T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
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 hiphop—through readings, performances, workshops in the studio, and field work.
201. Feminist Theory
Jennifer Scanlon M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
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. This course 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.
203. Women in Performance
Gretchen Berg M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
An exploration of women on stage — as characters, performers, playwrights, directors, designers, and technicians. Reflecting their studies and personal experiences, students engage in historical research and in-class studio work that culminates in performance projects at the end of the semester.
206. The Archaeology of Gender and Ethnicity
Leslie Shaw T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
Explores the lives of “people without history,” using archaeological data and emphasizing gender and ethnicity. Focuses on the Americas, and covers both prehistoric and post-conquest archaeological site research, including Maya, Inca, Native American, and African American examples. The long temporal aspect of archaeological data allows exploration of such issues as how gender inequality developed in emerging civilizations, how European contact affected indigenous gender roles within the economy, and how enslaved peoples maintained and reinforced an ethnic identity.
207. Women and Work
Courtney Jackson T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Using gender as the lens for analysis, this course addresses the history of women’s work, access to different types of occupations and professions, globalization of gendered-care work, work-family balance, and differences among women in paid and unpaid work experiences.
217. Dostoevsky or Tolstoy
Raymond Miller T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
This two part course explores and compares two giants of Russian literature: Lev Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Part I: Tolstoy's development both as a novelist and a moral philosopher. Examines several works, the most important being the novel Anna Karenina, “the pinnacle of European 19th-century realism.” Special emphasis on the tension between Tolstoy-the-artist and Tolstoy-the-moralist. Discussion of the writer's role as "the conscious of Russia" in the last 30 years of his life, as well as his influence on such figures as Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Part II: Dostoevsky‘s quest for guiding principles of freedom and love in a world of growing violence, cynicism and chaos of late tsarist Russia. A close reading of several short works and the novel Brothers Karamazov set in their historical and intellectual framework. Emphasis on the novelist’s struggle between Western materialistic individualism and Eastern voluntary self-renunciation. Examines Dostoevsky’s “fantastic realism” as a polyphony of voices, archetypes, and religious symbols. Screening of Russian, American, Italian and Japanese film versions of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky's works.
224. Introduction to Human Population
Nancy Riley M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
An introduction to the major issues in the study of population. Focuses on the social aspects of the demographic processes of fertility, mortality, and migration. Also examines population change in Western Europe historically, recent demographic changes in Third World countries, population policy, and the social and environmental causes and implications of changes in births, deaths, and migration.
229. Gender and Sexuality in Classical Antiquity
Jennifer Kosak T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
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, the course 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.
245. Bearing the Untold Story: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States
Jennifer Scanlon M 8:00 - 9:25, W 8:00 - 9:25
Women of color are often ignored or pushed to the margins. There is a cost to that absence, obviously, for women of color. As Zora Neale Hurston put it, “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.” There is also a cost to those who are not women of color, as women of color are encountered as objects, rather than subjects. Addresses the gaps and explores the histories and contemporary issues affecting women of color and their ethnic/racial communities in the United States.
253. Constructions of the Body
Susan Bell T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Explores the body as a reflection and construction of language, a source of metaphor, and a political and social “space.” Considers historical and cross-cultural studies about men’s and women’s bodies, sexuality, gender, and power. Throughout the course, we draw from and compare theories of the body in sociology, women’s studies, and gay and lesbian studies.
256. Women in Religion
Elizabeth Pritchard T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Analysis of the ways in which religion authorizes women’s oppression and provides opportunities and resources for women’s emancipation. Topics include the enforced gender relationships of monotheism; the goddess movement as alternative society; and the conflicts generated among women by racial, class, religious, ethnic, and sexual differences. Materials drawn from Christianity, Neopaganism, Voudon, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism.
259. History of Sexuality, Gender and the Body in South Asia
Rachel Sturman T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Intermediate Seminar. Explores changing conceptions of the body, sexuality and gender in South Asia, with a focus on modern formations since the late 18th c. Topics include: practices of female seclusion; ideas of purity, pollution, and the care of the self; religious renunciation and asceticism; the erotics of religious devotion; theories of desire; modern conjugality; and the emergence of a contemporary lesbian/gay/queer movement.
262. Drama and Performance in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Marilyn Reizbaum M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
Examines dramatic trends of the century, ranging from the social realism of Ibsen to the performance art of Laurie Anderson. Traverses national and literary traditions and demonstrates that work in translation like that of Ibsen or Brecht has a place in the body of dramatic literature in English. Discusses such topics as dramatic translation (Liz Lochhead’s translation of Molière’s Tartuffe); epic theater and its millennial counterpart (Bertold Brecht, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill); political drama (Frank McGuinness, Athol Fugard): the “nihilism” of absurdist drama (Samuel Beckett); the “low “ form of the musical (as presented, for example, by Woody Allen); and the relationship of dance to theater (Henrik Ibsen, Ntozake Shange, Stomp. Enda Walsh) with an eye to the cultural and sexual politics attending all of these categories.
265. Gender and Family in East Asia
Nancy Riley M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Family and gender are central to the organization of East Asian societies, both historically and today. This course uses comparative perspectives to examine issues related to family and gender in China, Japan, and Korea. In the context of the enormous changes experienced in East Asia in recent decades, we will explore the place of Confucian influences in these societies, the different roles of the state and economy, and the ways that gender and family have been shaped by and shaped those changes.
266. Women and Writing in Modern China
Shuqin Cui M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Approaches the subject of women and writing in 20th-century China from perspectives of gender studies and literary analysis. Considers women writers and their works in the context of Chinese history and as a challenge to the master narratives of Chinese literary tradition. In addition, constructs a dialogue between Chinese women's texts and Western feminist theory.
279. HISTORICAL CONSTRUCTION OF SEXUALITY: THEMES IN EUROPEAN LESBIAN AND GAY HISTORY
Howard Solomon T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55
An historical survey of lesbians and gay men in European culture, and the changing relationships of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, with special attention to the period 1750-1980. Selected topics include: pre-eighteenth century patterns of same-sex behavior and identity; the impact of medicine, science and psychoanalysis upon theories of gender and sexuality; early homophile movements; normative masculinity and femininity pre-World War I; the relationship of race, class, and colonialism to lesbian and gay identity; homosexuals, democracy, and fascism during World War II; “Gay Liberation” from World War II to the AIDS epidemic.
305. Investigations in the Maine Landscape
Carol Wilson F 9:00 - 11:55
The setting for this course is the Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island. We will investigate the fundamental characteristics of place including climate, topography, solar patterns and tides as well as the cultural and experiential aspects of this site. We will put together a pictorial analysis of the landscape, through mapping, drawing, photographs and collage in an attempt to describe the interrelationships between the site ecologies and to dispel the myth of our culture that the world is divided into the sciences and technology on one side and the artistic, spiritual and emotional on the other. There will be readings, site exploration, student visual presentations of research, and discussions with guest scholars. The culmination and focus of this studio/seminar will be a built response demonstrating not only our understanding of the nature of the site, but also the 'culture' of the constructors with all of its implied meanings and expression: physical, spatial and experiential.
311. The Victorian Fin de Siecle
Aviva Briefel T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Focusing especially on representations of gender and sexuality, this course will examine the Victorian end of the century. We will concentrate on the works of authors and artists who sought to challenge the moralities and aesthetics of what they perceived as an earlier, restrictive period in English social and cultural history. Through an analysis of a variety of genres, including novels, short stories, plays, poems, essays, and images, we will examine these strategies of artistic resistance, while asking what it means for an artistic movement to attempt to revolutionize and rewrite cultural norms. May include texts by Beardsley, Beerbohm, Field, Gissing, Grand, Hardy, Schreiner, Symons, and Wilde.