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Fall 2007

WGST 07 First-Year Seminar Why the Devil Wears Prada:
Economics of the Fashion Industry

Women have a dynamic relationship to clothes and fashion. With the onset of behavioral economics, this topic is now becoming of interest for economists. The result is a fascinating new research agenda that gradually replaces purely sociological viewpoints (trickle down, self styling). Such a view has been neglected in standard economic theory; the course aims in particular at incorporating cognitive and feminist views into economic theory. We will discuss movies such as The Devil Wears Prada, The Overspent American, Coat of Many Countries. We will also read and discuss journal articles and book chapters such as The Theory of Leisure Class by Veblen, The Affluent Society by Galbraith, The Language of Clothes by Lurie, and Orlando by Woolf.    

Professor Gick

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. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI.

Two sections

WGST 30.1/GEOG 26 Women, Gender and Development

This course will examine various aspects of gender and development. We will begin by defining development and identifying the places where economic and social development is orchestrated and experienced. This will lead to discussions and critical inquires into the spaces and scales of economic development including issues of mobility, migration, global labor, and markets. Gender, development, and conflict will also be addressed with regard to reconstruction and reconciliation in post-conflict spaces. Dist. SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI.

Professor Fluri

WGST 43.2/REL 31/CLST 11 Sex, Celibacy and the Problem of Purity: Asceticism and the Human Body in Late Antiquity

This course examines a crucial period in the history of Christianity-Late Antiquity. Between the years 300 and 500, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, established standards of doctrine and ecclesiastical organization, and developed the attitudes towards the body, sexuality and gender which informed Christian teaching for centuries to come. In this class we will ask: why did virginity become such an important aspect of Christian religiosity? What effect did Roman concepts of gender and sexuality have on Christian understanding of the relationship between men and women? What did martyrs, gladiators and monks have in common. Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

Professor MacEvitt

WGST 52.1/COLT 67/AAAS 67 Colonial and Post Colonial Masculinities

In this course, we will develop an understanding of masculinity as a construct which varies in time and space, and is constantly (re)shaped by such factors as race, class, and sexuality. The contexts of the colonial encounter and its postcolonial aftermath will set the stage for our examination of the ways in which social, political, economic, and cultural factors foster the production of specific masculinities. Texts include Achebe's Things Fall Apart, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Lafferiere's How to Make Love to a Negro, and additional writings by Irish, Indian, and Australian authors. Our study will be organized around the questions of the production of hegemonic and subaltern masculinities, the representation of the colonial and postcolonial male body, the militarization of masculinity, and the relation between masculinity and nationalism. Theoretical material on masculinities will frame our readings.

Professor Coly

WGST 53.2/COLT 49 Writing, Eating and the Construction of Gender

This course will explore the role that food plays in the processes of gender and identity formation. We will consider the representation of food in literature and film as a complex intersection of production, consumption, and signification that can act as a creative extension of the Self as well as an ingestion of Otherness. Readings will include texts by Petronius, Robert Burns, Isak Dinesen, Clarice Lispector, Laura Esquivel, Margaret Atwood, and Marguerite Duras. Dist: SOC or INT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: EU or NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W.

Professor Reyes

WGST 56.5/Film 47 Women and the Film Industry

Women have worked in the film industry since its very beginnings in the 1890s, although there is a popular conception that this is a recent phenomenon.  This course will examine how women participated in the mainstream American film industry from the 1890s to the present as producers, directors, writers, photographers, fashion designers, performers, and audiences. Concepts about female authorship, as well as historical questions about the cultural, social, and industrial contexts for women’s power in the industry, will be explored.  Films made by prominent women producers, directors, and writers will be screened. 

Professor Desjardins

WGST 59.1/COCO 8 Inside Out: Prison and Performance

Hidden in our midst is an ever-growing incarceration system, which has become increasingly privatized and retributive, especially with regards to ethnic minorities. 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 half the week, students will study the history of prisons and women's incarceration in the traditional classroom. For the other half, students will join inmates in a performance program offered in the Windsor Women's prison whose goal is the creation and performance of an original production. The final project for the course will combine critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of service learning and performance in rehabilitation.

Professor Hernandez and Schweitzer

WGST 61.2 Plagues and Politics: The Impact of AIDS on U.S. Society

This course will survey the AIDS epidemic in the United States from 1981 to the present. We will examine the history and social impact of the epidemic by exploring its immediate and long lasting effects on issues such as health care, anti-discrimination law, immigration, education strategies, government drug policies, welfare services, as well as glbt culture. We will also be examining its effects on popular thinking on sex, gender, and sexual culture through mainstream and independent film and media. Open to all students. Dist: SOC.

Professor Bronski

WGST 80 Feminist Theory and Methodology

The 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 relation between feminist theory and feminist activism? The focus will be on feminist methodology, examining through reading, exercises in class, written assignments, and research projects, how feminist scholarship is done within a given area. Permission of the instructor is required. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI.

Professor Martin
Monday 3-6 p.m.

Associated Courses

ENGL 72.2  The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop
HIST 96       Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American History


Last Updated: 12/10/08