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Winter 2011 Course Descriptions

WGST 10 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 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.

Professor Bronski
2A hour

WGST 15 Roots of Feminism

This course will examine pre-twentieth century texts and historical events that set important precedents for the development of contemporary feminist theories and practices. We will survey some of the writings that consolidate legitimated patriarchal/misogynist ideologies in Western worlds (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, the fathers of the Church, the philosophers of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, Rousseau). We will analyze different ways in which women historically have articulated strategies of contestation and/or resistance to systems of power based on gender differentiation. Readings may include works by French medieval thinker Christine de Pizan; sixteenth-century Spanish cross-dresser Catalina de Erauso; seventeenth-century Mexican intellectual and nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz; Mary Wollstonecraft; Maria Stewart, the first African-American political woman writer; the nineteenth-century American suffragists; and anarchist leader Emma Goldman. Open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor Spitta
10A hour

WGST 22.1/HIST 42 Women and Gender in Europe: Historical Perspectives

This course examines the roles of women and men in Western Europe from late Antiquity to the Reformation period. Emphasis will be placed on the intellectual and social strictures that had a long-term effect on the concept and role of gender in European society. Topics included are biological and mythological foundations of gender concepts; attitudes toward the body and sex in pre-Christian and Christian culture; sin and ecclesiastical legislation on sex and marriage; family life and education; the individual and kinship; heresy and charismatic religious movements; and the impact of social-economic development on gender in professional life. We will discuss the textual and visual sources for our inquiry, as well as the changing contemporary views on gender roles in pre-industrial Europe. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

Professor Simons
12 hour

WGST 23.1/HIST 27 Gender and Power in American History from the Colonial Period to the Civil War

This course examines the history of men and women from the period of colonial settlement to the achievement of woman’s suffrage. We will explore the construction of gender particularly as it relates to social, political, economic, and cultural power. Topics will include: the role of gender in political thought and practice; the intersection of gender with categories of class and race; gender in the debate over slavery and the Civil War; and the rise and evolution of the woman’s rights movement. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Butler
11 hour

WGST 33.1/AAAS 25/SOCY 46 Constructing Black Womanhood

This course is a critical examination of the historical and contemporary status of black women in the United States, as presented in fiction, primary accounts, and social science literature. We will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of the multiple discriminations of race, sex, and class, as the context in which these women shaped their social roles and identities within the black community and the larger society. We will consider the themes of family, motherhood, and sexuality; educational, economic and political participation; aesthetics and religious traditions; and self and social images. Open to juniors and seniors. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor King
2 hour

WGST 36.5/HIST 6.2 Gender and Sexuality: Asians in America (NEW!)

In this course we examine the ascendance of sexuality and gender as primary categories for organizing Asian American identities int he media, economy, law, and in politics. Between 1875 and 1943, Asian women were special targets for immigration exclusion and sexual policing. This shaped the possibilities for both men's and women's citizenship, employment, and reproduction. Other events shaping Asian American gendered and sexual economies that we will review include wars, imperialism, globalization, and military expansion. (No distribution credits.)

Professor Kim
10 hour

WGST 46.5/REL 48 Body and Sex in Chinese Religions (NEW!)

In this course we will explore how different traditions in China conceptualized the relationship between the human body and the universe, and how individuals can attain immortality and transcendence. After examining different conceptions of the human body in traditional China, we will focus on sexual practices advocated by the traditions of immortality seekers, Daoism, and esoteric Buddhism as ways to enlightenment and transcendence. In our explorations we will look at the earliest records of sexual practices found in tombs of the 3rd century B.C.E. and examine Daoist sexual initiation rites and secret rites practiced by emperors. We will consider how notions of cosmic powers and forces are expressed in sexual rituals and how society views such practices. We will also compare Chinese notions of the body and of sexual practices with those found in West. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

Professor Raz
11 hour

WGST 56.8/FILM 41 Men to Boys: Masculinities and Film (NEW!)

Men to Boys is a survey course of changing images of masculinity in Hollywood films from 1950 to the present. The course will use the films themselves to chart the enormous changes in how postwar culture conceptualized “manhood” and “masculinity.” From Shaft to Jungle Fever, from Easy Rider to Risky Business and The Forty-Year-Old Virgin, we’ll examine how over decades the representations of white and African-American masculinity have radically changed in our culture. DIST: ART; WCULT: CI (Pending Faculty Approval)

Professor Bronski
10A hour

WGST 56.1/FILM 46 Television and Histories of Gender

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.

Professor Desjardins
2A hour

WGST 59.3/THEA 10/AMES 25 Unveiling the Harem Dancer (NEW!)

Images of subjugated veiled women and seductive harem dancers are arguably the pivotal figures of Western Orientalism. Stereotypes of Arab and Muslim women continue to proliferate today’s media, U.S. film industry, and even the visual and performing arts. Studying the genealogy of such images becomes ever more crucial, especially as the Middle Eastern woman and representations of her body take center stage in contemporary debate and conflict between religions, cultures, and values. Therefore, this course will focus on unpacking the histories, cultures, politics, and ideologies performed through and around the Orient, the Oriental woman and her dancing body. Through mapping the larger political economy of Oriental dance, its appropriation and circulation from the east to the west and the reverse, we will pay particular attention on the histories of race, sexuality, identity, class, nation, and gender formations that the dance tells. We will also focus on the ways in which Islam and Arab Eastern cultures have fostered their own responses and stereotypes towards female performers with a take on their rationalizations of morality, gender roles and sexuality. Topics such as self-exoticism and self-Orientalism in relation to identity and nation building politics will be discussed. Lastly, we will be asking whether and how dance, arts, and the humanities can shape, alter, and deconstruct such perceptions. Through examining and analyzing a number of theoretical texts, travelers’ accounts, and cultural productions—such as photography, theater, concert dance, and cinema—this course will explore how and why archetypal representations of the Orient have been created and continue to shape western understandings of the Middle East and its women. Dist & WCult are pending faculty approval.

Professor Abrahamian
12 hour

WGST 90.1 D.F.S.P - WGST Foreign Study, Topics Course

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a Women’s and Gender Studies course at the University of Hyderabad while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Professor Fluri (dir.)

WGST 91.1 D.F.S.P - Gender and The Modern Media in India

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a Women’s and Gender Studies course at the University of Hyderabad while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Staff

WGST 92.1 D.F.S.P - Contemporary Social Movements in India

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a Women’s and Gender Studies course at the University of Hyderabad while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Staff

Associated Courses

HIST 63 History of Recent Science and Technology

Professor Kremer
10A hour

Last Updated: 12/21/10