Location: Bowdoin / Gender and Women's Studies / Courses / Fall 2012

Gender and Women's Studies

Fall 2012

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015. Women in the European Union
Kristen Ghodsee M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 CT-16 Whiteside Room
The European Union (EU) is an economic and political coalition of twenty-seven European countries. Created in the aftermath of World War II, the basic goal of the EU has been to ensure peace and prosperity to the continent by forging greater political ties between member states. Headquartered in Brussels, the EU Parliament and its associated Directorates try to coordinate social policies for all member states. Achieving gender equality is a core principle of the European Union and there is a large supranational bureaucracy whose sole aim is to promote and support women’s full political, economic, and social participation in the EU. Examines the internal structure and politics of the EU with regards to its gender mainstreaming initiatives as they are implemented across the twenty-seven member states. Discusses electoral quotas, immigration, headscarves and religious minorities, demographic trends, maternity leaves, abortion, trafficking, prostitution, and the rise of women as leaders across the continent. Students write a series of research papers on specific countries and topics.

016. The Sexual Life of Colonialism: Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial World
Durba Mitra T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Chase Barn Chamber
Explores histories of state control of sexuality and intimacy in the non-Western world in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. Addresses different forms of sexuality including interracial relationships between colonizers and the colonized, queer and same-sex desires, sexual outcasts like prostitutes, and the lives of transgender individuals. Readings cover histories of gender and sexuality in the Arab-Islamic world, colonial South Asia, and colonial sub-Saharan Africa.

020. In Sickness and in Health: Public Health in Europe and the United States
Susan Tananbaum T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Buck Center-211
Introduces a variety of historical perspectives on illness and health. Considers the development of scientific knowledge, and the social, political, and economic forces that have influenced public health policy. Topics include epidemics, maternal and child welfare, AIDS, and national health care.

027. From Flowers of Evil to Pretty Woman: Prostitutes in Modern Western Culture
Jill Smith M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-207
Explores the myriad ways that prostitutes have been represented in modern Western culture from the end of the nineteenth century to the present. By analyzing literary texts, visual artworks, and films from Europe and the United States, examines prostitution as a complex urban phenomenon and a vehicle through which artists and writers grapple with issues of labor, morality, sexuality, and gender roles. Introduces students to a variety of literary, artistic, musical, and filmic genres, as well as to different disciplinary approaches to the study of prostitution. Authors, artists, and film directors may include Baudelaire, Toulouse-Lautrec, Kirchner, Brecht/Weill, Pabst, Marshall, Scorsese, Spielmann, and Sting.

101. Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Samaa Abdurraqib M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Banister-106
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.

117. Christian Sexual Ethics
Elizabeth Pritchard T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Kanbar Hall-107
An examination of the themes, varieties, and conflicts of Christian teachings and practices regarding sex and sexuality. Source materials include the Bible, historical analyses, Church dogmatics, legal cases, and ethnographic studies. Topics include celibacy and marriage, the development and status of sexual orientations, natural law, conversion therapy, reproductive rights and technologies, and comparative religious ethics.

140. History of Hip Hop
Tracy McMullen T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Gibson-101 Tillotson Room
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 include Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, MC Lyte, Lil’ Kim, Snoop Dog, Eminem, Nicki Minaj, and DJ Spooky.

201. Feminist Theory
Samaa Abdurraqib M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Banister-106
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.

202. Victorian Urban Narratives
Aviva Briefel T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
Seminar. An exploration of London as space and character in Victorian literary narratives. Considers such topics as the intersections between identity and urban setting; the relationship between genre and literary space; and the overlaps in mappings of cities and narrative. Consideration of literary and cultural theory and criticism is central. Authors may include Conrad, Dickens, Dixon, Doyle, Gissing, Marsh, and Wilde.

210. Global Sexualities, Local Desires
Krista Van Vleet T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Sills-207
Explores the variety of practices, performances, and ideologies of sexuality through a cross-cultural perspective. Focusing on contemporary anthropological scholarship on sexuality and gender, asks whether Western conceptions of “sexuality,” “sex,” and “gender” help us understand the lives and desires of people in other social and cultural contexts. Topics may include Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (travestí), intersexuality, and the naturalization of sex; “third gendered” individuals and religion in Native North America, India, and Chile; language and the performance of sexuality by drag queens in the United States; transnationalism and the global construction of “gay” identity in Indonesia; lesbian and gay kinship; AIDS in Cuba and Brazil; and Japanese Takarazuka theater. In addition to ethnographic examples of alternative genders and sexualities (so called “third genders” and non-heterosexual sexualities) in both Western and non-Western contexts, also presents the major theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches used by anthropologists to understand sexuality, and considers how shifts in feminist and queer politics have also required anthropologists to focus on other social differences such as class, race, ethnicity, and post-colonial relations.

220. Soviet Worker Bees, Revolution, and Red Love in Russian Film
Kristina Toland T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Searles-115
Explores twentieth-century Russian society through critical analysis of film, art, architecture, music, and literature. Topics include scientific utopias, eternal revolution, individual freedom versus collectivism, conflict between the intelligentsia and the common man, the “new Soviet woman,” nationalism, the thaw and double-think, stagnation of the 1970s, post-glastnost sexual liberation, and black hole post-soviet film. Works of Eisenstein, Vertov, Pudovkin, Tarkovsky, Kandinsky, Chagall, Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Pasternak, Brodsky, Akhmatova, Solzhenitsyn, Petrushevskaya, and Tolstaya. Weekly film viewings. Russian majors are required to do some reading in Russian. Note: May be counted towards a minor in film studies.

232. Transatlantic Crossings
Terri Nickel M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Banister-106
Traces the circulation of narratives at the height of Britain’s colonial power in the Americas. Situates such literary commerce alongside the larger exchange of people and goods and focuses on the fluctuating nature of national, racial, and sexual identities in the circum-Atlantic world. Explores how literary texts attempted, and often failed, to sustain “Englishness” in the face of separation, revolution, or insurrection. Of special interest are figures who move across the Atlantic divide and exploit the possibility of multiple roles—sailors, pirates, freed or escaped slaves, female soldiers. Texts may include General History of the Pirates; The Woman of Colour; Moll Flanders; The History of Emily Montague; Obi, or the History of Three-Fingered Jack; The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; the Journals of Janet Schaw; The History of Mary Prince; The Female American. Note: This course fulfills the pre-1800 literature requirement for English majors.

233. Gender and Secularisms: Comparative Cultures of Church-State Relations
Kristen Ghodsee M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 CT-16 Whiteside Room
Examines the gendered implications of different ideologies informing the post-Enlightenment separation of Church and State. Students will be expected to engage with recent critical scholarship on secularism, post-secularism, and the process of secularization. Asks how different configurations of religion and politics shape collective definitions of the public and private sphere and how these particular conceptions then affect gender relations between men and women. Examines competing histories of secularization as well as engages with recent controversies such as the headscarf bans in Turkey and France and the issue of abstinence-only sex education in school in the United States. In particular, explores the paradox of trying to simultaneously uphold gender equality and protect religious freedoms when these two goals are seemingly at odds.

244. Victorian Crime
Aviva Briefel T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-117
Investigates literary representations of criminality in Victorian England. Of central concern is the construction of social deviancy and criminal types; images of disciplinary figures, structures, and institutions; and the relationship between generic categories (the detective story, the Gothic tale, the sensation novel) and the period’s preoccupation with transgressive behavior and crime. Authors may include Braddon, Collins, Dickens, Doyle, Stevenson, and Wells.

248. Family and Community in American History, 1600-1900
Sarah McMahon T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-205
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.

265. Gender and Family in East Asia
Nancy Riley T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Adams-406
Family and gender are central to the organization of East Asian societies, both historically and today. Uses comparative perspectives to examine issues related to family and gender in China, Japan, and Korea. Using the enormous changes experienced in East Asia in recent decades as a context, explores 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.

282. Gender, Sexuality and Schooling
Doris Santoro T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Adams-406
Schools are sites where young people learn to “do” gender and sexuality through direct instruction, the hidden curriculum, and peer-to-peer learning. In schools, gender and sexuality are challenged, constrained, constructed, normalized, and performed. Explores instructional and curricular reforms that have attempted to address students’ and teachers’ sexual identities and behavior. Examines the effects of gender and sexual identity on students’ experience of school, their academic achievement, and the work of teaching. Topics may include Compulsory Heterosexuality in the Curriculum; The Gender of the Good Student and Good Teacher; Sex Ed in an Age of Abstinence.

283. Interracial Narratives
Guy Foster T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-109
Examines the stories that Americans have told about intimate relationships that cross the color line in twentieth- and twenty-first-century imaginative and theoretical texts. Considers how these stories have differed according to whether the participants are heterosexual or homosexual, men or women, Black, White, Asian, Latino, or indigenous. Explores the impact historically changing notions of race, gender, sexuality, and U.S. citizenship have had on the production of these stories. Texts include literature, film, Internet dating sites, and contemporary debates around mixed-race identity and the United States census.

323. Voices of Women, Voices of the People
Hanetha Vete-Congolo M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
Focuses on texts written by women from former West African and Caribbean French colonies. Themes treated—womanhood, colonization, slavery, individual and collective identity, relationships between men and women, independence, tradition, modernism, and alienation—are approached from historical, anthropological, political, social, and ideological perspectives. Readings by Mariama Bâ, Aminata Sow Fall (Sénégal); Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, Simone Schwartz-Bart (Guadeloupe); Ina Césaire, Suzanne Dracius (Martinique); and Marie Chauvet and Jan J. Dominique (Haïti).

346. Philosophy of Gender: Sex and Love
Sarah Conly T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Searles-127
Issues of sex and love preoccupy us but may not be well understood. Considers what “counts” as having sex, why that matters, and what it is to love someone. These and other relevant topics explored through readings and discussion.