Skip to main content


Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Women???s and Gender Studies Program

Chair: Judith Byfield

Professors S. Ackerman (Religion, Women’s and Gender Studies), I. Amadiume (Religion), L. E. Boose (English), K. Conley (French and Italian), M. H. Darrow (History), M. Domosh (Geography), J. L. Driver (Philosophy) L. L. Fowler (Government), N. K. Frankenberry (Religion), A. C. Garrod (Education), M. J. Green (French and Italian, Women’s and Gender Studies), L. A. Higgins (French and Italian), K. J. Jewell (French and Italian), A. Lawrence (Film Studies), A. Orleck (History),G. Parati (French and Italian, Women’s and Gender Studies), B. R. Silver (English), L. Spitzer (History), V. E. Swain (French and Italian), P. W. Travis (English); Associate Professors A. R. Allen (Philosophy, Women’s and Gender Studies), L. Baldez (Government, LALACS), F. E. Beasley (French and Italian), S. J. Brison (Philosophy), J. A. Byfield (History), A. Cohen (Art History), L.E. Conkey (Geography), C. P. Cramer (Psychological and Brain Sciences), M. Desjardins (Film Studies), M. R. Dietrich (Biological Sciences), S. Heschel (Religion), I. Kacandes (German), D. K. King (Sociology), A. Martín (Spanish and Portuguese, Women’s and Gender Studies), U. Rainer (German, Comparative Literature), A. W. B. Randolph (Art History), I. Reyes (Spanish), A. Rosenthal (Art History), M. B. Sabinson (Theater), I. T. Schweitzer (English, Women’s and Gender Studies), W. P. Simons (History), S. D. Spitta (Spanish and Portuguese, Comparative Literature), R. L. Stewart (Classics), A. Tarnowski (French and Italian), R. M. Verona (French and Italian), D. Washburn (AMELL), B. E. Will (English), M. J. Williams (Film Studies), M. Williamson (Classics), M. F. Zeiger (English); Assistant Professors F. M. A’ness (Spanish and Portuguese), C. E. Boggs (English, Women’s and Gender Studies), L. A. Butler (History), A. A. Coly (African and African American Studies, Comparative Literature), J. L. Fluri (Women’s and Gender Studies, Geography), V. Fuechtner (German), M. R. Goeman (Native American Studies, English), C. H. MacEvitt (Religion), A. Merino (Spanish and Portuguese), C. E. Naylor (History), R. Ohnuma (Religion), E. Stoppino (French and Italian), T. Padilla (History); Instructor L. Gutiérrez Nájera (Anthropology, LALACS); Senior Lecturer P. B. Katz (Liberal Studies); Lecturer V. V. Sevastianova (Russian); Visiting Associate Professor C. E. R. Bohmer (Government); Visiting Instructor M. Meyers (Women’s and Gender Studies); Visiting Lecturer M. A. Bronski (Women’s and Gender Studies); Adjunct Associate Professor D. M. Harper (Women’s and Gender Studies); McKennan Postdoctoral Fellow J. Cullinane (Anthropology).

The Women’s and Gender Studies Program offers all students at Dartmouth a course of study that systematically examines the construction of gender and the historical, economic, political, social, and cultural experience of women. As such, it is an interdisciplinary program drawing on resources in the Social Sciences, the Humanities, and the Sciences.

Women’s and Gender Studies may be undertaken as a program for a major, a minor, or a certificate.


Women’s and Gender Studies offers a range of interdisciplinary courses as well as an extensive list of associated courses, offered by other departments and programs, that have a central focus on gender or women. Each student designs an individual major plan to combine diversity and concentration, course work and independent study. A student’s area of concentration will include a senior project consisting of an independent study or an Honors thesis.

The major is administered by the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee. Students design their major plans in consultation with an adviser and with the Chair. All major plans must be approved by the Steering Committee. Major cards may be signed only by the Chair. Students interested in becoming majors should consult the Chair well in advance of their intended declaration of a major.

Prerequisite: Women’s and Gender Studies 10.

Requirements: (9 additional courses)

1. Women’s and Gender Studies 20

2. Women’s and Gender Studies 21

3. Women’s and Gender Studies 80

4. at least two additional Women’s and Gender Studies courses

5. at least three additional courses selected from Women’s and Gender Studies offerings or from associated courses

6. a one-term senior project. A non-honors senior project will consist of an independent study course, Women’s and Gender Studies 85, within the student’s area of concentration (see requirement 7). A student will design the senior project in consultation with an adviser who will normally also direct the independent study. A student must secure an adviser’s preliminary endorsement of the senior project by May 1 of the junior year. A student must submit a proposal for a senior project to the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee for approval by the second week of the fall term of the senior year. See below for a description of the honors option.

7. concentration. In consultation with an adviser and the Chair, each student will include within the list of required courses an area of concentration consisting of at least two related courses and the senior project. Some examples of possible areas of concentrations are Gender in Literature, Women in the Third World, Gender in Contemporary Society, Women’s History, or Sex and Gender in Science.

8. diversity. Each student’s major plan must include at least two courses that are clearly outside the area of concentration to provide diversity to the major.

Requirements 3 and 6 constitute the culminating experience in the major.


Women’s and Gender Studies majors will be invited to participate in the Women’s and Gender Studies Honors Program if, after completing seven Dartmouth terms, Women’s and Gender Studies 10, and four graded courses in the Women’s and Gender Studies major, they have achieved both an overall College grade point average and a major average of 3.0.

The Honors Program consists of a two-term thesis project, Women’s and Gender Studies 98 and 99. Students will design their projects in consultation with the adviser who has agreed to direct the thesis. A student must secure an adviser’s preliminary endorsement of the senior project by May 1st of the junior year. Having secured the adviser’s endorsement, a student must submit a thesis proposal for the approval of the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee by the second week of the fall term of the senior year. Women’s and Gender Studies 98 and 99 carry two credits toward degree requirements but count as only one credit toward major requirements.


The Women’s and Gender Studies minor consists of six courses: Women’s and Gender Studies 10 (prerequisite); Women’s and Gender Studies 20 or 21; Women’s and Gender Studies 80; one other Women’s and Gender Studies course; and two additional courses selected from the Women’s and Gender Studies offerings or from associated courses. Students may petition the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee to propose an independent study, Women’s and Gender Studies 85, in place of Women’s and Gender Studies 80. The petition must include an abstract of the project and permission of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty member who will advise the project.


Students wishing a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies must take six courses as follows:

a) Women’s and Gender Studies 10

b) Two intermediate courses (Women’s and Gender Studies 20-60)

c) Three additional courses selected from the course offerings in Women’s and Gender Studies or the list of associated courses and seminars.


7. First-Year Seminars in Women’s and Gender Studies

Consult special listings


10. Sex, Gender, and Society

05F: 10A,1206W: 10A06X: 1006F: 10, 1207W: 10

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’s 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. The staff.

20. Roots of Feminisms: Texts and Contexts

06W: 1007W: 11

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. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Stewart.

21. Contemporary Issues in Feminism: Theory and Practice

06S, 07S: 11

This course explores the theoretical underpinnings of some of the most highly contested issues in society today. We will look at a spectrum of positions on such issues as: questions of difference and equality; women’s health and reproductive rights; identity and identity politics; morality-pornography-violence; eco-feminism-environmentalism; children, family, and human rights; and the representation/performance of femininity/masculinity. Special emphasis will be placed on the connection between theory and practice.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Martín.


Women, Gender and History

24. Women in United States History

06X, 06F: 10

Women and history and the ‘herstory’ of women have been an essential topic in the field of Women’s Studies. Courses under this rubric explore the experiences of American women from the early colonial settlements of the seventeenth century until today. Topics include family structure, gender expectations, and women’s increasing involvement in the labor market and in public life. Courses may focus on the history of women within particular ethnic groups (e.g. Native Americans, Latinos) or on changes in gender and race relations over time, as they affected all groups that contributed to the formation of contemporary American society.

In 06X, Gender and Power in American History, 1607-1920 (Identical to History 27). 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. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W.

In 06F, American Women’s History Since 1920 (Identical to History 28). This course traces the history of American women from 1920 to the 1980s. Topics to be discussed include: the breakup of the suffrage alliance during the 1920s; women in the radical social movements of the 1930s; women and war work in the 1940s; women in the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s; the ‘second wave’ of American feminism; institutionalization of feminism in the 1970s; and the rise of an anti-feminist women’s movement in the 1980s. The course will also examine the ways gender definitions have changed in the U.S. during this century, and the ways that race and class have shaped American ideas about gender.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Orleck.

25. Women in Europe: Historical and Literary Perspectives

06W: 10

From the writing abbesses of the Middle Ages to eighteenth-century salonnières and twentieth-century avant-garde filmmakers, women have been in the forefront of European cultural production. Courses under this rubric explore both the material situation of women in Europe from the Middle Ages until the twentieth century and their roles in their respective cultures. A study of historical and literary texts by female and male authors will provide insights into the socio-economic and political situation of women in different social classes and regions of Europe, the construction of gender at different historical moments, and women’s cultural contributions.

In 06W, Gender and European Society From Antiquity to the Reformation (Identical to History 42 in 06W). 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.

Opento sophomores, juniors and seniors. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Simons.

27. Topics in Women’s History

07W: 11, 12

Courses under this rubric provide in-depth explorations of particular issues in women’s history. They may relate to geographic regions or address transnational, comparative questions.

In 07W at 11 (Section 1), Women and American Radicalism Left and Right (Identical to History 29 in 07W). 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. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Orleck.

In 07W at 12 (Section 2), Black Feminism/Womanism in Contemporary U.S. Popular Culture. In this course we will explore the emergence of Black feminism(s)/ womanism(s) in twentieth- and twenty-first-century U.S. popular culture. We will specifically address how the work of African-American women artists-scholars critiques sexism, racism, classicism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism within the U.S. context. In order to examine Black feminism(s) and womanism(s) in popular culture from myriad perspectives, the required readings for this course reflect a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, as well as a range of genres.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Naylor.

Women, Gender and Society

30. Women and Anthropology

06W, 07W: 2A

Courses under this rubric explore cultural systems and the significant variations in gender relations and in life conditions of women. These courses examine the global forces that are reshaping the ways marriage and family, religion, productive and reproductive roles, and political organization are being defined. Depending on the instructor, these courses may focus on African, Middle or Far Eastern, or Native American societies, or be comparative in their approach.

In 06W and 07W, Women in Africa (Identical to African and African American Studies 41). This course will examine different aspects of the female experience in Africa. Beginning with a consideration of roles of women in precolonial African societies, with particular reference to descent, marriage and the family, ritual and religion, productive and reproductive systems, and political organization, the focus will then move through the colonial and contemporary periods to assess changes in female roles. Contrasting experiences for contemporary African women will be emphasized through exploration of their participation in national liberation and politics, of urban and rural lifestyles, Muslim, Christian, and animist religious traditions, educational background, and status differences arising out of social class. The focus for the course includes an analysis of formal political, social, and economic institutions, yet it assumes that African society has also been shaped by the ‘muted’ perceptions and models of society held by women themselves, and by social processes to which both females and males have contributed.

Open to all students. Dist: INT; WCult: NW. Amadiume.

32. Women and Government

05F: 206W, 07W: 2A

From the Virgin Queen to the Iron Lady, women have held prominent positions in state affairs while at the same time facing increasing exclusion from the public sphere. Courses under this rubric explore the role of women in the political sphere in a variety of contemporary societies. They examine women’s actual participation in political decision-making, through voting, tenure in public office, or public theorizing, and their involvement in international issues. They study the theories and practices that have kept (or continue to keep) women restricted to certain ‘feminine’ tasks, and women’s attempts to subvert these restrictions.

In 05F, Gender and Politics in Latin America (Identical to Government 49.4 and Latin American and Caribbean Studies 52 in 05F). This course examines women’s movements in Latin America. Women in Latin America are perhaps the most highly mobilized population in the world. Throughout the region women have organized around myriad issues, including the right to vote, human rights, poverty, legal rights, anticommunism, the workplace, race, ethnicity and war. Women’s efforts to challenge fiercely repressive regimes, deeply entrenched norms of machismo and extreme poverty defy conventional stereotypes about women and provide us with inspiring examples of how to sustain hope during difficult times. The seminar will introduce students to recent scholarship on women’s movements in Latin America in the 20th century and seek to understand the emergence, evolution and outcomes of women’s movements in particular countries and cross-nationally.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Baldez.

In 06W and 07W, Gender and Law (Identical to Government 68). 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.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Bohmer.

33. Sociology and Gender

Not offered in the period from 05F through 07S

34. Psychology and Gender

Not offered in the period from 05F through 07S

35. Women and Religion

05F: 10A06W, 06S: 2A06F: 1207W: 207S: 2A

Courses in this category will explore women’s religious roles in Western and Non-Western societies, both the roles attributed to them (saints, witches, healers) and the roles they have played as seers, shamans, soothsayers, spiritual guides, priestesses, etc. Courses may have a historical perspective, concentrating on a particular geographic or cultural region; they may focus on one religion, or be comparative and synchronic in their approach.

In 05F, Women and the Bible (Identical to Religion 56). As contemporary Jewish and Christian communities of faith face the question of the role of women within their traditions, many turn to the Bible for answers. Yet the biblical materials are multivalent, and their position on the role of women unclear. This course intends to take a close look at the biblical tradition, both the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament, to ask what the Bible does - and does not say - about women. Yet the course is called “Women and the Bible,” not “Women in the Bible,” and implicit in this title is a second goal of the course: not only to look at the Bible to see what it actually says about women but also to look at differing ways that modern feminist biblical scholars have engaged in the enterprise of interpreting the biblical text.

Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: CI. Ackerman.

In 06W, Beyond God the Father: An Introduction to Gender and Religion (Identical to Religion 13). A survey of contemporary writings that explore the relations between gender and religion in the West from historical, anthropological, theological, and philosophical perspectives. The course serves as an introduction both to gender studies and to the study of religion. Topics to be discussed include: current theories of “gender” and of “religion,” androcentric scriptures, patriarchal institutions and matriarchal myths, sexual prohibitions, body politics, queering religion, feminist theology, and the emergence of feminist philosophies of religion. Authors may include: Mary Daly, Judith Butler, Caroline Walker Bynum, Donna Haraway, Pamela Anderson, Grace Jantzen, Howard Eilberg-Schwartz, Pierre Bourdieu, Rosemary Ruether, Elizabeth Schussler-Fiorenza, or others.

Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Frankenberry.

In 06S and 07S at 2A, Women’s Rituals: From Africa and Around the World (Identical to Religion 52 and African and African American Studies 66). This course focuses on women’s ritual practices in different cultures and societies, both traditional and modern. It examines and describes women’s ritual actions, cultural beliefs, values and social practices, through alternative theories and models that enable us to better understand the full possibilities of culture and religion in shaping our daily lives for a happier and more just world. It aims to de-emphasize the marginalization, invisibility and exclusion of women in male-dominated religious, cultural and social practices by studying women’s lives in a multiplicity of roles as shaped by women’s knowledge systems, religions and cultural traditions from the cradle to the grave. The course is multidisciplinary and will use sources from social history, religion, anthropology, literature, Art, documentary film, and science feminisms and religions discourses.

Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR; WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Amadiume.

In 06F, Sex, Celibacy and the Problem of Purity: Asceticism and the Human Body in Late Antiquity (Identical to Religion 31 and Classics 11 in 06F). 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. MacEvitt.

In 07W, Goddesses of India (Identical to Religion 40 in 07W). 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 students. Dist: PHR; WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: NW. Ohnuma.

36. Philosophy and Gender

05F: 11 06W, 06F: 2

Feminism has become one of the most radical forces to question the epistemological bases of Western philosophical thought. Courses under this rubric explore the particular relationship of philosophy to women, and women to philosophy. They will raise issues such as: how have philosophers contributed to shaping ideas of women’s role in society and to the ‘field’ of philosophy? How have they defined sexuality, morality, ethics for women? How have women philosophers supported or undermined these conceptions? Courses may focus on historical periods, particular philosophical schools, or specific topics within contemporary feminist approaches to philosophy.

In 05F, Love and Friendship (Identical to Philosophy 9 in 05F). In this course we will focus on feminist scholarship that argues for the moral significance of relationships of love and friendship, and advocates their inclusion into the development of a moral theory that is supposed to guide human conduct. We will look at classical texts on the nature of love and friendship, but we will mainly focus on more contemporary treatments of the subject, reading, for example, papers by Neera Badhwar, Julia Annas, and Jean Hampton.

Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Driver.

In 06W and 06F, Feminism and Philosophy (Identical to Philosophy 22). This course examines the relationship between feminism and philosophy. The focus is on such questions as: Is the Western philosophical canon inherently sexist? How should feminist philosophers read the canon? Are Western philosophical concepts such as objectivity, reason, and impartiality inherently masculinist concepts? The course may focus on either the ways in which feminists have interpreted great figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche), or on the ways in which feminists have rethought basic concepts in core areas of philosophy (e.g., epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of science), or both.

Open to all students. Class of 2007 and earlier: Dist: PHR. Class of 2008 and later: Dist: TMV; WCult: CI. Allen.

38. Gender and Geography

06W: 1206S, 06F: 1007W: 12

Courses under this rubric ground students in geographic analyses of gender relations. Students may explore the gendering and sexing of space at multiple scales (e.g., body, community, region, nation, etc.) and how gender is shaped by place, border, location, and distance. Particular topics can include analyses of women under international refugee law, gendered strategies of employers and employees in the labor market, reproductive technologies, and nature-society (environment-population) links.

In 06W and 06F, Gender, Space and Islam (Identical to Geography 41 in 06W and 06F). This course will address various aspects of Feminism, Islam and Space. This course will seek to answer various questions about space, gender and Islam such as: What constitutes a Muslim Space and the “Muslim World”? Who decides and defines these spaces? How are theses spaces gendered and influenced by Islam or Islamic practices? How do such gendering of spaces differ by place? Additionally we will explore the readings of several Islamic feminist scholars that address several gender related topics such as women’s rights, gender roles, honor and Sharia (Islamic law).

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NW. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Fluri.

In 06S and 07W, Women, Gender and Development. (Identical to Geography 26 in 06S and 07W). This course examines aspects of economic development on the lives of men and women in “development zones”, through a geo-historical and feminist approach gender and development to critically analyze its “promises” and “opportunities”. Readings, class discussions, and critical inquires into the spaces and scales of gender and economic development will include issues of: mobility, migration, intra and inter-state conflicts, post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation. This will be juxtaposed with feminist responses, resistance and transnational activism.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Fluri.

Gender and Representation

40. Women in American Literature

06S: 12, 10A, 2A07W: 10

The first single-authored volume of poetry to emerge from colonial America in 1650 was written by a woman, Anne Bradstreet. Since then, American women have continued to write, though mainstream criticism has often ignored this distinctly female tradition. Courses under this rubric examine a wide variety of literary works written by women in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Paying particular attention to historical developments and the ideological function of literature, these courses draw on various strains of feminist literary theory and criticism to explore the intersections of race, class and gender in literary representations.

In 06S at 12 (Section 1), Women’s Identities in Migration (Identical to Comparative Literature 67 in 06S). Writings by immigrant women in the United States probe complications in representation and self-definition, of conceptual as well as physical displacement. We will examine literary, cinematic and theoretical texts about immigrant and second generation women, focussing on Latina and Asian American literature and theory, but including a range of such immigrant texts as Pineda, Face; the Ortiz Taylors, Imaginary Parents; Tajiri, History and Memory; Lowe, Immigrant Acts; Paley, Stories; Kincaid, Lucy; Hammad, Pariah; and McDermott, Charming Billy.

Open to all students. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Spitta, Zeiger.

In 06S at 10A (Section 2),Women, Race and Writing (Identical to English 62 in 06S).This class explores the way women writers, from various racial and ethnic backgrounds, and at different points in U.S. history, represent the challenges and dilemmas of interracial friendship. Focusing on specifically female conceptions of “race” and friendship, we will explore several methodological approaches to the literature. Readings may include works by Catharine Sedgwick, Harriet Jacobs, Toni Morrison, Grace Paley, Alice Walker, Sherley Anne Williams, Cherrie Moraga, Ana Castillo, Jo Sinclair, Ellen Douglas and others. A Women’s and Gender Studies class, English 15 or 62, Comparative Literature 71 or the equivalent is highly recommended. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Schweitzer.

In 06S at 2A (section 3), Immigrant Women’s Writing in America (Identical to English 62). In responding to the obstacles facing America’s immigrants, women often assume special burdens and find themselves having to invent new roles. They often also bring powerful bicultural perspectives to a struggle for survival, social and economic justice, and cultural expression. We will read widely in new work on immigrancy, and across genres and national/cultural/religious groups, examining such writers as Danticat, Kincaid, Paley, Hong Kingston, Alvarez, Obejas, Hoffman, Song, Bersenbrugge. Dist: LIT; Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Zeiger.

In 07W, The Borderlands: Latina/o Writers in the United States (Identical to Comparative Literature 52 in 07W). In this course we will focus on the writings of US Latina/o writers. We will analyze how writers (Anzaldua, Alvarez, Cisneros, Castillo and others) negotiate a path between the two cultures (the US and Latin America) and the two languages that inform their literary production and shape their identity. This in-between status translates into an experimentation with genres and a questioning of traditional gender divisions as well as the construction of transcultural icons and objects.

Open to all students. Dist: LIT or INT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Spitta.

41. European Women Writers

Not offered in the period from 05F through 07S

42. Women Writers in the “Third World”

Not offered in the period from 05F through 07S

43. Gender and Writing

05F: 2A

Courses under this rubric explore the dynamics of gender in writings (literary and other) by women and men throughout a variety of cultures and historical moments. These courses study the way gender operates as a motive even in writings which do not explicitly announce gender as a topic; the way women’s writing is linked to their changing roles in many cultures; the way aesthetic theories create separate spaces for male and female authors; the way authors of both genders have upheld, circumvented, undermined or revised these aesthetic boundaries. Writing by women will be emphasized, but not treated in isolation from the always interactive process of literary production.

In 05F, From Hand to Mouth: Writing, Eating, and the Construction of Gender (Identical to Comparative Literature 67 in 05F). Our perceptions of food are often limited to familiarity with its preparation and consumption, but do we consider food as an extension of the self or as a marker of class, gender, and sexuality? This course will look at food as an intersection of production, consumption, and signification, and at how different cultural traditions regulate gender by infusing food with socially determined codes. Readings include Margaret Atwood, Isak Dinesen, Marguerite Duras, Laura Esquivel, among others.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC or INT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA or EU. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Reyes.

45. Women in Film, Music, and the Arts

07W: 10A

In the arts, women have been traditionally cast in the role of object. More recently, and in growing numbers, they have taken up the roles of subject and artist, radically changing the content, form, and effect of art. Courses under this rubric explore the role of women as subject, object, and artist in film, music, and the visual and performing arts. We will examine the political, social, and historical barriers that confronted women in their struggle to become successful practicing artists in their field, as well as study the works of key figures. More generally, these courses raise questions about the existence and specificity of a feminine aesthetic and about the function of art in the sexual politics of patriarchy.

In 07W, Television and Histories of Gender (Identical to Film Studies 46 in 07W).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. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Desjardins.

46. Gender and Culture

05F: 1106W: 10, 1206S: 10A, 2A06X: 10A06F: 11

Perhaps the richest source of gender analysis has come from interdisciplinary approaches to various themes across different cultures. Covering a variety of topics, courses under this rubric examine culture through the lens of gender. A major theme is the construction of gendered identity, especially, though not solely, the impact of cultural phenomena on female identity, which we will examine from an historical, social, psychological, mythological, and literary perspective.

In 05F and 06F, Gender Issues in Native American Life (Identical to Native American Studies 42 in 05F).We will address issues of gender in indigenous communities as it relates to culture, policy, history, and social life. Indigenous, in the context of this class, will focus on the diversity of Native people within/across settler-colonial nation-states. The project based assignments will tackle common misperceptions, the complexity of changing gender patterns, the methods Native communities develop to balance out gender inequities, and various organizing of Native women’s activism. The aim of this class is to create an understanding of how gender issues are a vital component in the process of decolonization,

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Goeman.

In 06W at 10 (Section 1), Slaves, Wives and Concubines: Did Roman Women Have a History (Identical to Classical Studies 11 in 06W). In this course we explore the lives of Roman women first in terms of the larger institutional frameworks that structured and gave meaning to women’s lives, either by inclusion (family, marriage) or exclusion (law, politics). From this basis we investigate the characterization and self-representation of women in literary texts: women as mothers and wives, women as political actors, women as priests and ritual participants. Selected readings of Roman literary and legal sources will be supplemented by evidence from Roman inscriptions, domestic architecture, sculpture and coinage.

Open to all students. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: EU. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Stewart.

In 06W at 12 (Section 2), Freud: Psychoanalysis, Jews, and Gender (Identical to German 42 and Jewish Studies 61 in 06W). After a brief historical introduction to Freud’s time and environment, Fin-de-Siécle Vienna, we will discuss how Freud’s own writings, his biography and his biographers have shaped the perception of psychoanalysis as a specifically Jewish theory and practice. Through a close reading of Freud’s seminal texts on gender, sexuality and religion, we will trace the connections between psychoanalysis, Jewishness and gender that have impacted theoretical discussions until today, i.e. on hysteria or on anti-Semitism. We will close the class with historical, theoretical readings that explore and critique Freudian psychoanalysis on issues of anti-Semitism, politics, gender and sexuality (among others Karen Horney, Wilhelm Reich and Herbert Marcuse) and discuss the most recent debates on the status of Freud in the U.S.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Fuechtner.

In 06S at 10A (section 1), African and African American Women Writers: Race, Class and Social Justice (Identical to African and African American Studies 62). This course examines the problems of the past and the present in the politics of culture. Facing, negotiating interconnections of race, class and social justice, we will analyze the many ways in which African ideas and experiences of Africa are reinvented in the minds and writings of African American women. When and how are African ideas based on ethnographic writings re-interpreted and mediated between African cultural values and a Western audience? We will study documentary films, fiction and non-fiction texts. Major writers include Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, etc. The course is multidisciplinary, combining religion, culture social history and oral traditions. Open to all students. Dist: SOC: WCult: NW. Amadiume.

In 06S at 2A (section 2), War and Gender (Identical to English 62). Throughout history, war has been constructed into a powerfully gendered binary. From The Iliad onward, battle is posed as a sacred domain for initiating young men into the masculine gender and the male bond, and the feminine as that which both instigates male-male conflict and that which wars are fought to protect. With a special concentration on U.S. culture of the past century, this course will examine the way our modern myths and narratives instantiate this cultural polarity through film, fiction, non fiction and various media material. Dist: LIT; Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Boose.

In 06X, From Frankenstein to the 50 Foot Woman: Monsters and Women in Fiction and Film. We often think of monsters as the enemies by definition of all we know as “human.” Creatures such as the harpy, the blob, the witch, and the android threaten to destroy our sense of power and to usurp our human consciousness or intelligence. In this way, monster myths actually work to form a culture’s “self-definition” against some “thing” else. The course takes a feminist approach to these problems and explores how cultures juxtapose not only the human and lesser beings but also the male and the female and their respective powers and abilities to act (their “agency”). Topics include representations of the “abnormal” bodies, the monstrosity of the female reproductive body, fear of female desire, and the association of the female and the “unknown.”

Open to all students. Dist: LIT. Jewell.

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

47. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

06F: 2A

Using texts from drama, film, literature, and medical science, courses under this rubric will examine the construction of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender identities in historical and contemporary contexts. These courses will explore the history of the struggle to find appropriate discourses for these identities, as well as the ways these discourses challenge dominant heterosexual ones and are in turn shaped by them. The introductory course will focus on theoretical issues and debates around homosexuality, both within gay studies and within western culture as a whole.

In 06F, Introduction to Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies. This course will examine the ways in which “deviant” sexual and gender behavior and identities, and the political movements that emerge from them, have been conceptualized in U.S. culture. We will cover basic g/l/b/t cultural and political history and the interplay between sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and economics. Classes will be a mix of lecture and discussion. Students will be expected to work with primary documents (including novels and film), recent work in queer theory and historical analysis.

Open to all students. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Bronski.

48. Special Topics in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies

05F: 2A06X: Arrange

In 05F, Queer Marriage, Hate Crimes and Will and Grace: Contemporary Issues in GLBT Studies. The GLBTS movement, now three decades old, is facing serious growing pains. Having won toleration and some mainstream acceptance it must now decide its current needs, agendas, and social and political goals. We will look at three important areas of discussion: challenges to the legal system (e.g. repeal of sodomy laws, hate crime legislation); evolving social constructions of GLBT life (e.g. gay marriage/ baby boom, effect of AIDS on community); the threat of queer sexuality (e.g. gay teens, lesbian sex clubs, transgender identity, AIDS education). Using primary source material (including Supreme Court decisions), readings in critical theory (Judith Butler, Samuel Delany), popular film (Basic Instinct, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), and television (Will and Grace, Jerry Springer Show) we will examine how race, class, gender, and “the body” are integral to these topics and how queer representation in popular culture shapes both public discourse, and the GLBT cultural and political agendas. This course will be listed on transcripts as “Special Topics in WGST.”

Open to all students. Dist. SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Bronski.

In 06X, Sexuality, Identity, and the Law. This course will examine sexual orientation, gender identity, and the law in the United States. Topics to be discussed will include: The roles of sex, gender, and sexual orientation in the law and the law’s role in shaping these categories; the rights to privacy, equal protection, free speech, and association; workplace discrimination; family law and same-sex marriage. Texts will include Supreme Court opinions and articles by legal theorists.

Open to all students. Dist. SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Brison, Robinson.

Politics of Science and Sexuality

52. Topics in Women in Science

07W: 10

Do women have a distinctive point of view, and does this point of view create problems for them as scientists? The purpose of courses under this rubric is to explore the contemporary debate around the interplay of gender and science. We will examine the current arguments about gender difference and investigate what new and radical perspective women can bring to scientific study and epistemology of knowledge.

In 07W, Women, Gender, and Science (Identical to Geography 9 in 07W). Women have played a small role in western science, and their gradual inclusion influences what we know and how we know it. We explore what science is, and how “what we know” has been affected by societal ideas, past and present. Evaluating scientific critiques ranging from Kuhn to feminists such as Fox Keller and Haraway, we ask: how many women are in science, what are the obstacles, and has feminist critique changed science?

Open to all students. Dist. SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Conkey.

60. Special Topics in Women’s and Gender Studies

Not offered in the period from 05F through 07S

80. Seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies

05F, 06F: 10A

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 instructors required.

In 05F, Feminist Theories of Subjectivity and Selfhood. In this course, we will examine a variety of feminist theories of subjectivity and selfhood, through a study of such contemporary feminist theorists as Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, Denise Riley, Judith Butler, Seyla Benhabib, Jessica Benjamin, and Diana Meyers. We will pay particular attention throughout to issues such as the (in)coherence or (dis)unity of the subject, the relationship between subjectivity and power/subjection, and the possibility of autonomy, agency and resistance. Dist: SOC. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Allen.

85. Independent Study

All terms: Arrange

This will involve an independent project carried out under the direction of one or more of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

98, 99. Honors Thesis I and II

All terms: Arrange

This two-course sequence involves an extensive investigation of a topic in a student’s area of concentration and submission of an undergraduate thesis. Only students accepted into the Honors Program may take this sequence.

Permission of the instructor and the Steering Committee required.


Associated courses, listed below, are those with a central focus on gender, women, or women’s experience, and making use of recent scholarship on women and gender. Courses not on the following list may also count as associated courses for certificate students and modified majors. To obtain credit, students must petition the Women’s and Gender Studies Steering Committee outlining how their work in a particular course corresponds to the above definition of an associated course.

African and African American Studies 40: Gender Identities and Politics in Africa

African and African American Studies 41: Women in Africa

African and African American Studies 62: African and African American Women Writers: Race, Class and Social Justice

African and African American Studies 43: Indigenous African Religions

African and African American Studies 66: Women’s Rituals From Africa and Around the World

African and African American Studies 87: Women’s Spirit Possession Narratives in Cross-Cultural Perspective: Nwapa and the Ezilis

Anthropology 12: From Lover to Mother to Witch: The Politics of Gender in Art

Anthropology 12: Gender and Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Art History 16: Age and Status in the Ancient World

Art History 16: Women Artists and Gender Theories

Art History 48: Gender, Race and Politics in Eighteenth Century Visual Culture

Art History 80: Sex, Gender and Identity in the Arts of the Ancient World

Art History 82: Angelica Kauffman: Art and Gender in 18th and early 19th Century Europe

Art History 82: Women and the Art of Japan

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies 19: Writing Gender in Islamic Space

Classics 11: Slaves, Wives and Concubines: Did Roman Women Have a History?

College Course 1: Assisted Reproduction: The Scientific, Ethical, and Social Challenge of a New Biomedical Technology

College Course 4: Virtual Gender: Popular Culture and The Construction of Gender

College Course 80: Advanced Research on Special Topics in the Scientific, Ethical and Social Issues Raised by Assisted Reproduction

Comparative Literature 29: Tears, Love, Happiness: Feminine Territories/Feminist Readings

Comparative Literature 39: Trauma and Prose Fiction

Comparative Literature 47: Medea

Comparative Literature 52: The Borderlands: Latina/o Writers in the United States

Comparative Literature 67: Legends of Sappho

Comparative Literature 67: Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies

Comparative Literature 67: Writing, Eating, and the Construction of Gender

Comparative literature 67: Women’s Identities in Migration

Comparative literature 67: Colonial and Post-Colonial Masculinities

Comparative Literature 73/101: Feminist Readings

Education 10: Psychology of Women, Education of Girls

Education 54: Moral Development and Moral Education

Education 55: Adolescent Development

English 25: Gender and Power in Shakespeare

English 60: Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Literature

English 62: American Women Poets

English 62: Gender and Cyberculture

English 62: Immigrant Women’s Writing in America

English 62: Women, Race and Writing

English 62: War and Gender

English 66: Feminine/Masculine: Visions and Revisions of Early America

English 68: Contemporary Women Writers

English 68: Woolfenstein

English 70: Witchcraft and Early Modern England

English 72: Victorian Queer: Constructing Nineteenth Century Sexualities

English 72: Odi et Amo: Women and the Love Lyric

English 73: Immigrant Women in America

English 73: The Poetry of Elizabeth Bishop

English 73: Virginia Woolf: Writer/Icon

English 73: Virginia Woolf: Theory and Practice

English 73: Women, Race and Writing

Environmental Studies 15: Gender and the Environment

Film 46: Television and Histories of Gender

Film 46: Beatniks, Hot Rods and the Feminine Mystique: Sex and Gender in 1950’s Hollywood Film

Film 47: Woman/Nation

French 10: L’Enfant et L’Enfance

French 45: Masculinity/Femininity

French 50: Christine de Pizan

French 50: Marguerite de Navarre

French 50: Women and Rousseau

French 60: Gender and French Literature

French 60: Gender and Genre in the Eighteenth Century

French 60: Feminist Theory and the Practice of Writing

French 60: Maiden, Mother, Mistress, Muse: Aspects of the Representation of “Woman” in the Literature of the Nineteenth Century

French 75: Women Filmmakers in the French Tradition

Geography 9: Women, Gender and Science

Geography 19: Gender, Space and the Environment

Geography 26: Women, Gender and Development

Geography 41: Gender, Space and Islam

Geography 80: Gender, Globalization and Democratization

Government 60: Global Feminism

Government 68: Gender and the Law

Government 83: Women in Public Office

Government 84: Gender and American Politics

Government 86: Justice, Legitimacy and Power

Hebrew 31: Readings in Modern Hebrew Women’s Literature

History 6: Gender and War in Modern European History

History 6: Asian American Women’s History

History 27: Gender and Power in American History, 1607-1920

History 28: American Women’s History Since 1920

History 29: Women in American Radicalism: Left and Right

History 42: Gender and European Society From Antiquity to Reformation

History 48: European Society in the Industrial Age

History 82: Women in Latin American History

History 96: Marriage and Divorce in the African Context

History 96: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration in American History

Italian 10: What About Italian Women

Japanese 61: Gender and Nationalism in Japanese Literature and Film

Japanese 63: Karma of Love

Jewish Studies 15: The Jewish Body

Jewish Studies 15: The Middle East Conflict in Film and Literature

Jewish Studies 15: Judaism, Sexuality and Queerness

Jewish Studies 61: Freud: Psychoanalysis, Jews and Gender

Latin American and Caribbean Studies 52: Gender and Politics in Latin America

Native American Studies 30: Native Cultural Production: (Re)Mapping Race, Gender, and Nation

Native American Studies 42: Gender Issues in Native American Life

Philosophy 9: Love and Friendship

Philosophy 22: Feminism and Philosophy

Religion 13: Beyond God the Father: An Introduction to Gender and Religion

Religion 19: Gender and the Religious Imagination

Religion 31: Sex, Celibacy and the Problem of Purity: Asceticism and the Human Body in Late Antiquity

Religion 40: Goddesses of India

Religion 50: Indigenous African Religions

Religion 56: Women and the Bible

Religion 79: Feminist Ethics

Russian 38: Despair and Desire in Post-Communist Russia: Contemporary Russian Women Writers

Sociology 46: Constructing Black Womanhood

Sociology 39: Reproductive Rights and Technologies

Sociology 43: Dangerous Intersections: Race, Class and Gender

Spanish 62: Gender and Writing in Twentieth Century Spain

Spanish 62: Women Writers in Twentieth Century Spain

Spanish 72: Latin American and Latina Women: Gender, Culture, Literature

Spanish 78: Living in the Borderlands: Latino/a Culture and Identity

Spanish 79: Latino/a Literature: Between Literary Traditions, Languages and Cultures

Theater 21: American Women Playwrights

Theater 21: Feminism and Theater

Theater 24: Engendering Asian Performance

Many other courses contain material of particular interest to students in Women’s and Gender Studies. To identify those related courses that would be most important in enriching their own program of study, students should consult with their Women’s and Gender Studies adviser.