Spring 2013 Courses

023. Lesbian Personae
Peter Coviello T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 CT-16 Harrison McCann
A study of the varied representations of same-sex desire between women across a range of twentieth-century novels and films. Concerned with questions of the visibility, and invisibility, of lesbian life; of the contours of lesbian childhood and adolescence; of the forms of difference between and among lesbians; and of the tensions, as well as the affinities, that mark relations between queer women and queer men. Authors may include Nella Larsen, Willa Cather, Carson McCullers, Ann Bannon, and others.
101. Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Samaa Abdurraqib M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Hubbard-Conf Room West
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.
206. Gender and Islam
Jorunn Buckley M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Kanbar Hall-107
Explores categories for interpreting female symbolism in Islamic thought and practice, and women’s religious, legal, and political status in Islam. Attention is given to statements about women in the Qur’an, as well as other traditional and current Islamic texts. Emphasis on analysis of gender in public versus private spheres, individual vs. society, Islamization vs. modernization/Westernization, and the placement/displacement of women in the traditionally male-dominated Islamic power structures. Students may find it helpful to have taken Religion 208, but it is not a prerequisite.
216. Sociology of Gender
Kat Thomson M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Adams-406
Analyzes gender as a culturally-specific set of practices, politics, and social expectations. Content includes: gender socialization in childhood, gender as identity performance, inequality and segregation, violence, sexism in the workplace, feminism, and masculinity studies. Gender is discussed in intersection with race, ethnicity, socioeconomics, age, and sexual orientation.
221. Dostoevsky and the Novel
Raymond Miller T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-107
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.
249. History of Women's Voices in America
Sarah McMahon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Sills-209
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.
256. Gender, Body, and Religion
Elizabeth Pritchard T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
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.
257. White Negroes
Guy Foster M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Hatch Library-012
Close readings of literary and filmic texts that interrogate widespread beliefs in the fixity of racial categories and the broad assumptions these beliefs often engender. Investigates “whiteness” and “blackness” as unstable and fractured ideological constructs. These are constructs that, while socially and historically produced, are no less “real” in their tangible effects, whether internal or external. Includes works by Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Norman Mailer, Jack Kerouac, John Howard Griffin, Sandra Bernhard, and Warren Beatty.
259. Sex and the Politics of the Body in Modern India
Rachel Sturman M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-209
Seminar. Explores changing conceptions of the body, sexuality, and gender in South Asia, with a focus on modern formations since the late eighteenth century. Topics include arranged marriage; courtesanship and prostitution; ideas of purity and defilement; gender, sexuality, and nationalism; and the emergence of a contemporary lesbian/gay/queer movement.
260. African American Fiction: (Re)Writing Black Masculinities
Guy Foster M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Searles-215
In 1845, Frederick Douglass told his white readers: “You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.” This simple statement effectively describes the enduring paradox of African American male identity: although black and white males share a genital sameness, until the nation elected its first African American president the former has inhabited a culturally subjugated gender identity in a society premised on both white supremacy and patriarchy. But Douglass’s statement also suggests that black maleness is a discursive construction, i.e. that it changes over time. If this is so, how does it change? What are the modes of its production and how have black men over time operated as agents in reshaping their own masculinities? Reading a range of literary and cultural texts, both past and present, students examine the myriad ramifications of, and creative responses to, this ongoing challenge.
262. Modern Drama and Performance
Marilyn Reizbaum M 6:30 - 9:25 Mass Hall-Faculty Room
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.
263. Only a Game? Sports and Leisure in Europe and America
Susan Tananbaum T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Buck Center-211
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.
266. Chinese Women in Fiction and Film
Shu-chin Tsui M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 HL-311 (third floor)
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.
274. Writing Muslim Women's Lives: Western Muslim Women's Writing Post- 9/11
Samaa Abdurraqib M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Banister-106
Focuses on Muslim women in the West writing literature in a post-9/11 world. In particular, considers the connections between Western curiosity about Muslim women’s lives and the demand for publications by Western Muslim women. In more recent years, there has been a proliferation of memoirs and personal essays published by Muslim women—the numbers of these personal narratives have eclipsed the fictive narratives and poetry written by Muslim women in the West. Makes connections between the desire to “unveil” Muslim women’s lives and the demand for certain types of narratives written by Muslim women and looks at the different ways these demands open up and/or restrict the types of stories Muslim women can tell. Addresses themes of spirituality, religiosity, sexuality, love, and fiction vs. memoir.
275. Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Eastern Europe
Kristen Ghodsee M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Chase Barn Chamber
Seminar. Examines the current scholarship on gender and sexuality in modern Eastern Europe: the countries of the former Soviet Union, the successor states of Yugoslavia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Albania. Focusing on research produced by academics based in the region, examines the dialogue and interchange of ideas between East and West, and how knowledge about the region is dialectically produced by both Western feminists and East European gender studies scholars. Topics include the women question before 1989; nationalism, fertility, and population decline; patterns and expectations for family formation; the politics of EU gender mainstreaming; visual representations in television and film; social movements; work; romance and intimacy; spirituality; and the status of academic gender studies in the region.
281. Gender, Science, and Empire
Durba Mitra T 8:30 - 9:55, TH 8:30 - 9:55 Adams-202
This lecture course will explore the role of empire in shaping scientific knowledge and practice since the early nineteenth century, focusing in particular on the role of gender and sexuality in the making of scientific knowledge. The natural and human sciences witnessed explosive developments as European powers expanded into South Asia and Africa. This course seeks to answer two central questions. How did science and technological development influence the rise and practice of colonialism? How did people in the non-western world shape the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge? We will focus on major themes in the history of science, medicine, and Empire, including: science as a measure of civilization, racism in science and medicine, and the role of gender and sexuality in the making of scientific knowledge.
301. Doing Gender Studies: Ethnographies of Gender
Kristen Ghodsee M 10:00 - 11:25, W 10:00 - 11:25 Boody-Johnson Seminar Room
Explores how research and scholarship on gender can be an engine for social change. Students learn how to use the different “tools” of the scholar: interviews, surveys, oral history, archival research, participant observation, and discourse analysis. Through a semester-long research project, each student has a hands-on experience of designing and implementing an in-depth study on the gender issue of the student’s choice. Open to gender and women’s studies majors and minors, or with permission of the instructor.
310. Gay and Lesbian Cinema
Patricia Welsch T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-Smith Auditorium
Considers both mainstream and independent films made by or about gay men and lesbians. Four intensive special topics each semester, which may include classic Hollywood stereotypes and euphemisms; the power of the box office; coming of age and coming out; the social problem film; key figures; writing history through film; queer theory and queer aesthetics; revelation and revaluations of film over time; autobiography and documentary; the AIDS imperative. Writing intensive; attendance at evening film screenings is required.
344. Bad Girls on Stage in Early Modern Spain and Spanish America
Margaret Boyle T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-205
In both Early Modern Spain and Spanish America, the figure of the “bad girl” includes, for example, prostitutes, single women, orphans, abused wives, brainy women and back-stabbing girlfriends. Against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition, this course rethinks the category of the “bad girl” by examining early modern plays, chronicles and institutional manuals by authors including María de Zayas, Lope de Vega, Luís Vélez de Guevara, Sor Juana, and Bartolomé Arzáns. We will also consider how the figure is adapted by contemporary popular films in order to examine the relationships between gender, deviance, performance and rehabilitation. Taught in Spanish.
358. Music, Memory, and Identity
Tracy McMullen T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Gibson-206
Explores how music relates to nostalgia, identity creation, repetition, memory, history, embodiment and “liveness” in the postmodern era. Traces the ways race, gender, sexuality, and class are performed through music. Music examined ranges from classical and jazz to “world music” and pop. Artists/bands examined may include Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Beethoven, Palestrina, and their various tributes and revivals. Authors may include Baudrillard, Boym, Butler, DeNora, Freud, Gates, Goehr, hooks, Huyssen, Jameson, Sterne, and Taruskin. Primarily intended for juniors and seniors with experience in critical and cultural studies. Sophomores admitted with consent of instructor.