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Fall 06

WGST 07/First Year Seminar: Representations of African-American Women in American Cinema

This course examines the representation of black women in American cinema — or lack thereof — as evidence of the dominant cultures’ historical insistence on the invisibility and powerlessness of African American femininity. Why is the black female voice inherently missing in Hollywood? What are the stereotypes? Who profits from their absence, powerlessness and silence? Films screened include works by directors Oscar Micheaux, Gordon Parks, Spike Lee, Julie Dash, Kasi Lemmons, Steven Spielberg, John Singleton, and Cheryl Dunye. Students will also be introduced to independent black women filmmakers who articulate an empowering, active black female voice through their progressive, substantive and universally-compelling representations of black femininity — in spite of the dominance of western imperialist culture and the formidable commercial constraints of the industry. Dist: ART.

Professor Nottage

WGST 10.1/ Sex, Gender and Society

This course will investigate the roles of women and men in society from an interdiscipli­nary point of view. We will analyze both the theoretical and practical aspects of gender attribution — how it shapes social roles within diverse cultures, and defines women’s and men’s personal sense of identity. We will discuss the following questions: What are the actual differences between the sexes in the areas of biology, psychology, and moral devel­opment? What is the effect of gender on participation in the work force and politics, on lan­guage, and on artistic expression? We will also explore the changing patterns of relationships between the sexes and possibilities for the future.
Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. The staff.

Professor Katz

WGST 10.2/ Sex, Gender and Society

See course description for WGST 10.1

Professor Fluri

WGST 18 Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

This course will examine the ways in which “deviant” sexual and gender behavior and identities, and the political movements that emerge from them, have been conceptualized in U.S. culture. We will cover basic g/l/b/t cultural and political history and the interplay between sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and economics. Classes will be a mix of lecture and discus­sion. Students will be expected to work with primary documents (including novels and film), recent work in queer theory and historical analysis.
Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Bronski.

Professor Bronski

WGST 23.2/HIST 28 American Women's History Since 1920

This course traces the history of American women from 1920 to the 1980s. Topics to be discussed include: the breakup of the suffrage alliance during the 1920s; women in the radical social movements of the 1930s; women and war work in the 1940s; women in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s; the ‘second wave’ of American feminism; institutional­ization of feminism in the 1970s; and the rise of an anti-feminist women’s movement in the 1980s. The course will also examine the ways gender definitions have changed in the U.S. during this century, and the ways that race and class have shaped American ideas about gender.
Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W.

Professor Orleck

WGST 37.2/GEOG 41 Gender, Islam and Space

This course will address various aspects of Feminism, Islam and Space. This course will seek to answer various questions about space, gender and Islam such as: What constitutes a Muslim Space and the “Muslim World”? Who decides and defines these spaces? How are theses spaces gendered and influenced by Islam or Islamic practices? How do such gender­ing of spaces differ by place? Additionally, we will explore the readings of several Islamic feminist scholars that address several gender related topics such as women’s rights, gender roles, honor and Sharia (Islamic law).
Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI.

Professor Fluri

WGST 40.1/NAS 42 Gender Issues in Native American Life

We will address issues of gender in indigenous communities as it relates to culture, policy, history, and social life. Indigenous, in the context of this class, will focus on the diversity of Native people within/across settler-colonial nation-states. The project-based assignments will tackle common misperceptions, the complexity of changing gender patterns, the methods Native communities develop to balance out gender inequities, and various organizing of Native women’s activism. The aim of this class is to create an under­standing of how gender issues are a vital component in the process of decolonization,
Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Goeman.

Professor Goeman

WGST 46.1/PHIL 22 Feminism and Philosophy

This course examines the relationship between feminism and philosophy. The focus is on such questions as: Is the Western philosophical canon inherently sexist? How should feminist philosophers read the canon? Are Western philosophical concepts such as objectivity, reason, and impartiality inherently masculinist concepts? The course may focus on either the ways in which feminists have interpreted great figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche), or on the ways in which feminists have rethought basic concepts in core areas of philosophy (e.g., epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of science), or both.
Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

Professor Brison

WGST 52.1/COLT 67 Colonial and Post Colonial Masculinities

In this course, we will develop an understanding of masculinity as a construct which varies in time and space, and is constantly (re)shaped by such factors as race, class, and sexuality. The contexts of the colonial encounter and its postcolonial aftermath will set the stage for our examination of the ways in which social, political, economic, and cultural factors foster the production of specific masculinities. Texts include Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Lafferiere's How to Make Love to a Negro, and additional writings by Irish, Indian, and Australian authors. Our study will be organized around the questions of the production of hegemonic and subaltern masculinities, the representation of the colonial and postcolonial male body, the militarization of masculinity, and the relation between masculinity and nationalism. Theoretical material on masculinities will frame our readings. 

Professor Coly

WGST 80/Feminist Theory and Methodology

The seminar in Women's and Gender Studies is designed to be both a culminating experience for Women's and Gender Studies students and an intensive preparation for future work (such as independent study, honors theses, graduate work, or any kind of advanced feminist scholarship). Consequently, this course will address such questions as what is a feminist approach? What kinds of questions do feminists ask? What is the relation between feminist theory and feminist activism? The focus will be on feminist methodology, examining through reading, exercises in class, written assignments, and research projects, how feminist scholarship is done within a given area.
In 06F, Transnational Feminism. Possible texts will include close readings of Chandra Mohanty's Feminism without Borders and Ketu Katrak's Politics of  the Female Body: Postcolonial Women Writers of the Third World. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Schweitzer

Professor Schweitzer

Associated WGST Courses

EDUC 54/Moral Development, Moral Education

Professor Garrod

ENGL 67.5/Black Women Writers

Professor Vasquez

Last Updated: 12/10/08