Skip to main content

WGST Courses Winter 2013

WGST 07.1: Women in Journalism

Women reporters, editors and columnists have changed the field of journalism, from newspapers and magazines to radio and television. This course will examine the historic influence of women on the field of journalism, from Nellie Bly's turn-of-the-century undercover exposés to today's newsroom professionals. How has the growing number of women journalists affected the coverage of women's issues such as welfare, abortion, and health crises such as breast cancer? How do women deal with "objectivity" in covering these issues? We will look at new styles in literary journalism pioneered by women, notably Frances Fitzgerald on Vietnam, Joan Didion on cultural issues in 60s and 70s, Oriana Fallaci on world leaders, and Sheryl WuDunn on China. We will analyze the work of women columnists who have changed the face of political discourse in the U.S., and examine the historical contributions of muckrakers like Ida Tarbell and anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells Barnett. This course will involve critical reading, original reporting and several article-length papers. Students will be expected to produce a publishable, magazine-length article at term's end. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Jetter
11 Hour

WGST 07.2: Gay Literature/Escritura Gay in the Americas

Starting from the complex question on how to define and delimit gay literature (along the author's or protagonist's sexual identity, the plot, the reader's expectations, etc.?), this course will discern some central aspects of gay writing in the Americas. As the title implies, emphasis will be both on the commonalities and the differences that shaped gay experiences in North and South America, such as notions of masculinity/femininity, the influence of religion and indigenous cultural traditions, the impact of democratic or authoritarian politics, colonialism, race and ethnicity. Readings will focus on novels, essays, plays, poems, and movies from the 1950s to the present and may include texts by Reinaldo Arenas, James Baldwin, Alison Bechdel, Leo Bersani, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Isherwood, Toni Kushner, Manuel Puig, Severo Sarduy, Michael Warner and others. Dist: INT or LIT. WCult: CI.

Professor Milich
10A Hour

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 Munafo
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 Warren
12 Hour

WGST 31.4/GOV 20.1 Women and Politics

This is a general course about gender and politics in which we will examine the roles of women and men as voters, activists, and politicians.  We will begin by examining a wide range of relevant issues, including: how gender affects political participation and partisan preferences, how boys and girls are socialized differently into politics, how public opinion regarding domestic and foreign policy sometimes differs for women and men, and how a different gender balance among office holders might be expected to affect representation, policy, and governance.  The course will then critically examine various barriers that women may face in the pursuit of elected office in the U.S., and we will also expand our view beyond politics, by analyzing women in non-political leadership positions in order to draw useful comparisons.  Finally, the course will examine the role of gender in an international context, comparing gender dynamics in the U.S. with those of other countries in order to better understand the future of women in politics in the U.S. and in the world at large. This course is appropriate for all students, from all majors (there are no prerequisites). Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor D. Brooks
12 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 33.5/SOCY 61: Women, Work, and Family

This course will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of gender inequality in society. Changing gender roles will be examined in relation to class and race, the socialization process, the experience of women in the family, and the experience of women as paid and unpaid workers under both capitalism and socialism. Finally, we shall analyze work and family conflict, looking at gender inequality, consequences for families and employers, policy, and implications for social structural change. Open to second-year students and above. Prerequisite: WGST 10, SOCY 1 (any one of these courses). Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Smith
2A Hour

WGST 33.6: Women and Suburbia (NEW)

From Leave it to Beaver to Mad Men; from Betty Friedan's Feminine Mystique to Phyllis Schlafley's opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, suburbia often emerges as the site for the literal reproduction of white, middle-class power and heterosexual gender norms. But do these examples capture the complexity of suburbs and the struggles over them? This course draws on urban and cultural history, literature, and sociology to examine deeply ingrained assumptions about suburban life, as well as new perspectives that complicate and challenge notions of suburban homogeneity. Students will explore the historical development of the suburbs as a gendered space, read classic texts on the sociology of the suburbs through a feminist lens, and critically analyze depictions of gender, race, and sexuality in popular representations of the suburbs. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor Rabig
11 Hour

WGST 34.2/AAAS 40: Gender Identities and Politics in Africa

This interdisciplinary course explores the constructions of gender identities in different African socio-cultural contexts. The emphasis is on contemporary Africa, although we will discuss some of the historical framework of these identities. We will read historical accounts of gender in some pre-colonial African societies, investigate the impact of colonialism, and examine gender in some anti-colonial movements. We will also analyze gender in urban and rural contexts, and address such questions as homosexuality and gay rights. Dist: INT; WCult: CI. 

Professor Coly
2A Hour

WGST 42.5/ANTH 12.3 Ethnography of Violence (NEW)

Violence is widely recognized as a problem in modern society, with policies to combat violence, or employ it, dominating political discussion. Yet the meaning of violence is seldom analyzed. Using an ethnographic lens, this course explores violence as a socially and culturally mediated phenomenon. We will trace how anthropologists have conceptualized diverse forms of violence, from state terror and gang conflict to gender inequality and everyday suffering. Case studies are drawn from Mozambique, Jamaica, and Chicago. Recommended: Anthropology 3. Dist: SOC. 

Professor Kivland
10A Hour

WGST 44.5/REL 51/LATS 35: The Virgin of Guadelupe: From Tilma to Tattoo

Beginning with her precursors in the Old and New World, this course approaches Guadalupe as a tool with which to pry open questions central to Mexican and Chicano/a identity. For some, she is a mother-figure with characteristics once attributed to pre-Columbian goddesses; for others, she is a feminist champion of political revolution. This course concentrates on the most compelling contexts in which Guadalupe has been called on to negotiate religious, racial, sexual, and national identity. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

Professor Pérez
2A Hour

WGST 47.5/AAAS 80.2/COLT 52.1/LACS 64.2 Black Brazilian Women Writers

Focus on the contemporary literary production of women of African ancestry in Brazil: poetry, short story and novel. Engage issues such as slavery and race relations, the construction of family, class divisions and spatial marginality, industrialization, and gender and sexuality politics. Discuss Afro-Brazilian music, film, and other artististic manifestations as well as contemporary Brazilian culture. Open to all classes. DIST: LIT.

Professor Salgueiro, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3B Hour: Tues/Thurs 4–5:50 PM

 WGST 51.5/ENGL 67.14/JWST 21.2: Modern Jewish-American Women Writers

This course offers a survey of women writers of Jewish background and identification. We will first take up the question of who is a "Jewish woman writer," a subset of the larger question of ethnic, national, and religious identity and identification in literary studies. We will then study a variety of writers mostly from the US and Latin America, writing in a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, memoir, essay, and drama from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. Writers include Emma Lazarus, Mary Antin, Anzia Yezierska, Jo Sinclair, Cynthia Ozick, Tillie Olsen, Grace Paley, Muriel Ruykeser, Irena Klepfisz, Wendy Wasserstein, Allegra Goodman, and Marjorie Angosin. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI.

Professor Zeiger
2 Hour

WGST 56.3: Family Matters: Gender Reversals & Community in Almodóvar (NEW)

Pedro Almodóvar is Spain's most internationally acclaimed filmmaker. We will probe into his depictions of sexual freedom, gender representation and identity to understand how his lens "queers" the family and hence builds alternative spaces for community. The course will pay special attention to how Almodóvar's lens associates feeling with knowledge, especially in the array of socio-emotional bonds explored between women. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professor Martín
2A Hour

WGST 59.5/THEA 10.4 Sex and Drama: Sexuality Theories, Theatrical Representation (NEW)

Sex & Drama examines the representation of sexuality onstage. Topics will include Mae West and 1920s New York, the gay and lesbian theater movement of the 1960s, Oscar Wilde and the Victorian era, and the lesbian performance scene of the 1980s with Split Britches and Holly Hughes. The course will also examine queer performances from the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first centuries, including Denise Uyehara, Sharon Bridgforth, and Doug Wright. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI.

Professor Thomas
12 Hour

WGST 65.3/FILM 47: Queers, Queens, and Questionable Women

This course will examine the interplay between post-war GLBT film representation and the development of a national GLBT political consciousness and movements. It will also explore how this new consciousness shaped popular culture. Open to all students. Dist: ART. WCult: CI.

Professor Bronski
2A Hour

Associated Courses

ANTH 34/LATS 45: Comparative Perspectives on the US-Mexican Borderlands

Professor Gutiérrez-Najera
12 Hour

SPAN 072: Machos and Malinches: Gender and Sexual Identities in Latin/o America

Professor Reyes
2 Hour

Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India

WGST 90.1/AMES 29.1 D.F.S.P. Director's Course: The Spatial Impacts of Globalization

Professor Fluri

WGST 91.1/AMES 27.1 D.F.S.P. Course: Gender and the Modern Media in India

University of Hyderabad Staff

WGST 92.1/AMES 28.1 D.F.S.P. Course: Contemporary Social Movements in India

University of Hyderabad Staff

Last Updated: 1/7/13