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.
Note: Ten spaces are reserved in each fall section for incoming first-year students.
9L Hour: Professor A'Ness
12 Hour: Professor Ayubi
2A Hour: Professor Munafo
11 Hour: Professor Bergland (Added 9/17/14)
This course will trace the involvement of U.S. women in radical political movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the present including: Abolitionism; Anti-lynching; Socialist Trade Unionism; the Ku Klux Klan; the Communist Party; the National Welfare Rights Organization; the Civil Rights Movement; the New Left; the New Right; the direct-action wing of the anti-abortion movement; Earth First; and the neo-Nazi American Front. It will also examine the relationship between feminist ideologies and non-gender-specific radical political ideologies centered on race, class, and other social identifiers.
Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.
Why do you connect with some people and not others? What exactly is love? And how do you make smart, romantic choices for yourself? In this course, we examine the social aspects of love, romance, intimacy and dating. Using sociological theories and methods, we will investigate how cultural beliefs and structural arrangements affect our most intimate feelings and experiences, and how you can avoid that 50% divorce rate in your own life. Dist: SOC.
This course will address a range of topics concerning gender that are of particular significance to indigenous communities. These topics will be considered from historical, political, cultural and social perspectives. In the context of this class, the term "indigenous" is a category that includes tribal nations of the United States including Hawaii, the First Nations of Canada, and the indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand. The material is presented with particular concern for the diversity of indigenous groups and the variety of their own experiences and autochthony. We will explore their responses to misconceptions of tribal gender roles and identities projected upon Native people by the agents and institutions of settler colonialism. This approach opens a broader discussion about the many actions of indigenous communities to deconstruct and decolonize gender categories that are alien to the continuity, integrity, and vitality of their own traditions. The interdisciplinary approach of this course will engage texts from the fields of anthropology, philosophy, literature, history, and government policy. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.
This course introduces students to the diversity of feminist approaches on a transnational scale, by examining the movements, activism, media, literature, and Islamic debates produced in predominantly Muslim countries and beyond. We will interrogate concepts of transnationalism, feminism and modernity in terms of historical developments, theoretical usage, the context of colonialism, Islamic theologies, and the modern Muslim nation states. We will explore similarities and differences in women's experiences and feminist methodologies across global Muslim contexts. Course materials will be made up of several primary sources in translation that deal with intersectional issues such as religious and cultural practices, educational systems, politics, race and racism, socioeconomic class, legal rights for men and women, and marriage and the family. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW.
Japanese literature is notable for the overwhelming dominance of women writers in the classical canon and for the ways their work was later co-opted by the literary culture of warrior society. The focus of this course is an analysis of the social, economic, and political factors that 1) led to the dominance of women writers, 2) determined the conventions by which personal relationships were represented in the literary arts, and 3) gave rise to the development of a ideology of love based on the concept of karmic destiny. Primary texts for the course include The Pillow Book, Tale of Genji, and Confessions of Lady Nijô. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW.
What can Psy's "Gangnam Style" and Girls Generation's "The Boys" teach about gender roles in contemporary Korea? What roles do writers, musicians, and filmmakers play in shaping our thinking about gender? And, how do competing ideas about sex shape the current system of literary, cinematic, television, and popular music genres? These questions will be explored through case studies of Korean literature and popular media, while the course will simultaneously provide a broad introduction to the field of gender studies. Topics will include love, marriage, family, work, class, sex, intimacy, and body politics in Korean popular culture and literature. Dist: LIT; WCult: NW.
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.
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 Valley Vista, an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment center in Bradford, Vermont, and participate in an interdisciplinary arts program there. Its goal is the creation and performance of an original production that will facilitate the patients' voices. The final project for the course will combine research on themes related to addiction, rehabilitation, transition, facilitation, and critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of community-based learning and performance in rehabilitation. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.
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.
Mondays 3-6 PM
This course will examine the complex and varied roles of women in the arts, from the Renaissance to the late 20th century. Topics and themes will include women as artists, women in the academy, women as patrons, "feminine" or minor genres in art making, modernist art and the female nude, and feminist art production of the post‐modern period. We will also explore the role that notions of femininity and masculinity play in modernism.
This course explores the queer side of American literature and culture. We will discuss the ways in which American nationalism structures gender and sexuality. The course will serve as an introduction to queer theory. Readings may include work by Whitman, Melville, Crane, Cather, Baldwin, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Rich, Delany, Kushner, Foucault, Sedgwick, Butler, Berland, Edelman, Hocquenghem, Warner, Muñoz, and Puar. Dist: LIT; WCult: W.
The family is a social and political institution profoundly shaped by the law. This course examines the family as a site of justice subject to normative evaluation, and asks how the state ought to regulate the family and how citizens ought to act within it. We will consider the ethics of marriage, work-life balance and the gendered division of labor, procreation, children's rights, and parent's rights. Throughout, the focus of our theoretical inquires will be the implications for both public policy and individual practical ethics.
Last Updated: 9/29/14