In this course, we will study Asian American women’s literary strategies and forms as expressions of their history, culture and gender roles. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which literature serves as a mode of resistance and a way of recuperating collective memory while asserting individual identity for Asian American women. Readings will include feminist treatises, creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry and drama and may include such authors as Hisaye Yamamoto, Joy Kogawa, Wang Ping, Bharatee Mukherjee, Chitra Divakaruni, Le Thi Diem Thuy, Kimiko Hahn and Denise Uehara.
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 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.
Section 1: Professor Bronski
Section 2: Professor Fluri
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; WCult: CI.
This class examines the ways American commercial television has historically “assumed” gendered positionings of its audience, as well as operates as one of the strongest cultural touchstones of gendered identity in patriarchal, consumer society. After tracing television’s place in the construction of gendered ideals through the history of the situation comedy, we examine “gender-specific” genres, such as sports, westerns, cop shows, and soap operas. Representative programs will be screened, and feminist essays on television history/theory are among assigned readings. Open to all students. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.
Hidden in our midst is an ever-growing incarceration system, which has become increasingly privatized and retributive, especially for already marginalized groups. Some critics are calling for the “abolition” of prisons. Yet, most of us know little about prisons, the prisoners in our communities or the issues they face inside and outside prison. This course offers students the unique opportunity to study the prison system from two distinct perspectives: theoretical and practical. For one class each week, students will study the history of prisons and women’s incarceration in the traditional classroom. For the other half, students will travel to Valley Vista, a substance abuse rehabilitation center in Bradford, VT, which offers a performance program for women clients. The final project for the course will combine critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of service learning and performance in rehabilitation.
Professors Schweitzer and Hernandez
This 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 relationship between theory, scholarly research in different fields, and feminist activism? The theme this term is “Transnational Feminism and the Body.” Through relevant readings, written assignments, and research projects, we will explore feminist methodology and feminist scholarship in a wide range of disciplines. Students will work in the field of their particular focus. Permission of the instructor is required. Dist: SOC. WCult: CI.
Last Updated: 12/10/08