Spring 2015

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GWS 1017. Christian Sexual Ethics.
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.
GWS 1101. Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies.
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.
GWS 1592. Issues in Hip-Hop I.
Traces the history of hip-hop culture (with a focus on rap music) from its beginnings in the Caribbean to its transformation into a global phenomenon by the early 1990s. 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, Run-D.M.C., Public Enemy, De La Soul, Queen Latifah, N.W.A., MC Lyte, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Dr. Dre.
GWS 2112. Gender and Crime.
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.
GWS 2198. Women in South Asia: Images and Experiences.
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.
GWS 2200. Gender, Class, and Citizenship in (West) European History.
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.”
GWS 2222. “The Wire”: Race, Class, Gender, and the Urban Crisis.
Postwar U.S. 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.
GWS 2246. Only a Game? Sport and Leisure in Europe and America.
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.
GWS 2262. Modern Drama and Performance.
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.
GWS 2266. Chinese Women in Fiction and Film.
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.
GWS 2270. Spirit Come Down: Religion, Race, and Gender in America.
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.
GWS 2504. American Queen: Drag in Contemporary Art and Performance.
Explores the intersection of queer subcultures and contemporary artistic production. Also considers what constitutes drag culture, including cross- dressing, hyper-stylized language (“guuuuuuurl”) and performative gestures (e.g., “snapping”, teeth-sucking and eye-cutting). Emphasizes how “drag” links different kinds of explorations of self in a range of artistic mediums, alternately evoking gendered violence, humor and transformative possibility.
GWS 2601. History of Women's Voices in America.
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.
GWS 3305. Writing Women's LIves.
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.
GWS 3320. Victorian Epics.
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.