Speculative or "science" fiction has often been the domain of male-oriented, rocket-propelled, fantasy writers who have often relegated women into secondary roles of submission or exploitation. However, feminist writers of speculative fiction have created alternative worlds and explored radical feminist theory in order to challenge concepts of gender, genetics, and the intractability of patriarchal societies. In this class we will explore these worlds of resistance which confront our current conceptions of gender as we boldly go where no man has gone before. Some of our course readings include: Margaret Atwood, Octavia Butler, Samuel R. Delany, Donna Harraway, Marge Piercy, and Joanna Russ. Dist: LIT.
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; WCult: CI.
Section 1: Professor Rabig
Section 2: Professor Bergland
This course examines how gender and law in the United States are used to confer rights, create obligations, and define identities. We explore the theoretical, historical, and empirical basis for gender in law, and pay particular attention to how and when gender-based laws have changed over time. Specific topics covered include, for example, federal legislation on educational and workplace equity, constitutional doctrines of equality and privacy, and state policies on family law, criminal responsibility, and domestic violence. We analyze the relationship between gender politics, legal theory, legal doctrine, and social policy. We also ask whether the gender of legal actors (litigants, lawyers, judges) makes a difference in their reasoning or decision-making. Prerequisite: Government 3 or a law course strongly recommended. Dist: SOC; W Cult: W.
Sex (biological differences between men and women) and gender (social constructions of those differences) are not straightforward or natural, and it naturally follows that gender inequalities and gender oppression are also not straightforward and natural. Therefore, we will pay close attention to the issue of power - in terms of control and distribution of resources and the enforcement of gender roles and sexuality. We will also look at how Western gender ideals have been imposed on people in other parts of the world. We will talk about concepts, perceptions, images, stories, encounters, games, connections and disconnections. Finally, we will explore questions of practice and resistance. (TOPICAL) Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: CI.
This course will use both elite and popular Hindu religious texts in conjunction with contemporary sociological and anthropological accounts, scholarly analyses, visual art, and film to explore the diverse identities and roles of India’s many goddesses, both ancient and modern. Special emphasis will also be given to the relationship between goddesses and women. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.
This course analyses the women's writings from various Caribbean territories. The exploration of novels, short fiction, poetry and personal narratives will be complimented by essays by and about Caribbean women. The literary texts will be studied with reference to their varied historical, social, ethnic and cultural contexts. The course will require close textual reading of the primary material, as well as comparative thematic and stylistic analyses. It will explore what these texts reveal about how diverse Caribbean women are defining and taking agency for themselves in and through their writing. Students will be encouraged to locate these expressions within the broader categories of Caribbean writing, postcolonial/ postmodernist writing, and women's writing in general. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI, pending faculty approval.
Students analyze and identify a diversity of cultural experiences in relation to subject positions such as race, class, culture, and gender through the study of theatre and performance. The course reviews and assesses the strategies used by playwrights and theater-makers to describe their perspectives of U.S. American life as racialized or gendered subjects. We consider the politics of representation as it relates to the positions of race and gender. Open to all classes. Dist: ART; WCult: CI. NOTE: As of 8/26/11, this cross-list is still in process, but we expect it to be approved shortly.
Our social structure is full of unseen, unspoken, and unheard dynamics. These hidden and irresponsible social behaviors have always contributed to the building of visible and invisible social walls. Behind these walls, a growing invisible population has found a way into visibility into society through addiction, violence, and crime. This course offers students the unique opportunity to collaborate with a group of people from behind those social walls from two different perspectives: theoretical and practical. For one class each week, students will study the root cause of social isolations and invisibility mainly pertaining to incarceration and addiction, in an active learning classroom. For the other half, students will travel to Sullivan County House of Corrections, in Unity, NH, and participate in an interdisciplinary arts program there. Its goal is the creation and performance of an original production that will facilitate the inmates' voices. The final project for the course will combine research on themes related to incarceration, rehabilitation, transition, facilitation, and critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of community-based learning and performance in rehabilitation. Dist: ART; WCult: CI (pending faculty approval).
This course explores conceptions of gender and sexuality in Weimar Republic Germany - up until today considered the "laboratory of modernity." After a general introduction into Weimar Republic history and culture through the eyes of the American graphic novel Berlin: City of Stones, we will examine a variety of historical practices, theoretical reflections and artistic representations. We will read pioneering theoretical texts from the fields of psychoanalysis and sexology (e.g., by Magnus Hirschfeld and Wilhelm Reich) as well as literary texts (e.g., by the poet Else Lasker-Schüler). We will also analyze feature films (e.g., the silent film "Different from the Others") and artwork (e.g., by George Grosz and Hannah Höch) and discuss the status of the women's and gay rights movements, and legislation concerning gender and sexuality. The class will focus on the close connections between political and cultural movements and also relate our readings to discussions of modernity and urbanity in general. Throughout this course we will investigate different perceptions and representations of sexuality, homosexuality, transvestitism, sexual reproduction, prostitution, marriage and love. These theoretical discussions and artistic representations still continue to impact our discussions today, e.g., in political controversies about abortion or gay marriage. All readings and discussions are in English.
The seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies is designed as a culminating experience for Women’s and Gender Studies students and preparation for future work such as independent research, honors thesis, graduate studies and advanced scholarship. Enrollment is restricted to WGST majors and minors. Declared WGST majors and minors in the class of 2012 will be automatically granted permission to enroll. Otherwise, to request permission to enroll, please contact the WGST office.
Mondays 3-6 PM
Last Updated: 8/26/11