FALL 2019: SELECTED WGST COURSE DESCRIPTIONS (others can be found on departmental websites or by emailing the professor)

WGST 22000: QUEER STUDIES

INSTRUCTOR: Harriet Malinowitz, Writing Department and WGST

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Combining queer theory with LGBTQ scholarship, essays, and arts across the disciplines, this course will serve as a general introduction to Queer Studies. Using an intersectional analysis, we will examine the ways that gender and sexual identities intersect with race, class, ethnic, religious, national, regional, physical, and other identities. We will encounter some of the canonical texts of Queer Studies as well as more recent contributions to the field; look at queer history, economics, literature, film, and visual arts; and consider how a political and cultural movement evolved from the “lesbian and gay,” white-and male-dominated (or so it was made to appear) moment of the Stonewall Rebellion (and earlier) to the manifold “queer” identifications and representations of today.

ARTH 24500: IMAGING AUTHORITY

ICC DESIGNATION: Diversity

INSTRUCTOR: Jennifer Germann, Art History

COURSE DESCRIPTION: What do we see when we look at images of kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers? This course will address the visual construction of power and authority and how gender impacts the representation of rulership/political leadership. We will examine images of rulers from the early modern Europe, such as Elizabeth I (1533-1603) and Louis XIV (1638-1715), to the present, including the representation of presidential candidates, in a series of case studies. In particular, this course will engage with visual constructions of power and authority in relation to culturally specific concepts of identity, including gender, sexuality, race, and class. We will look at a variety of representational formats and consider how images of authority have changed or remain unchanged over time.

ENGL 19419-01, 02 GENDER, POWER AND CLASS IN FAIRY TALES

ICC DESIGNATION: Humanities/Identities AND Mind, Body, Spirit

INSTRUCTOR: Julie Fromer, English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Why do fairy tales have such enduring power to shape the stories that we tell ourselves and our children? How have these stories shifted and transformed through time and across different media and cultures? What can we learn about gender roles, class structures, social and political values, and the goal and function of storytelling itself? We will focus on a number of “classic” fairy tales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast, reading English translations of the tales collected by German, French, and Italian folklorists. While we all know the basic plots of many of the stories we’ll be reading, we will allow the texts to speak to us in new ways. Then, we will follow these tales’ transformations, reading revisions of older tales and exploring the ways oral and literary fairy tales have shifted as they have been adapted to the big and small screen. Our discussions will be informed by critical readings in folklore and cultural studies.

ENGL 36800-01, 02: DANGEROUS WOMEN IN DRAMATIC LITERATURE

ICC DESIGNATION: Writing Intensive.

INSTRUCTOR: Claire Gleitman, English

COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will read a range of plays, beginning in the ancient Greek period and extending to the present day, all of which feature female characters who challenge status quo assumptions about femininity and a woman’s role in her society. In each case, we will investigate what constitutes female danger in the play and the culture that we are addressing. What norms are being challenged so that the female elicits male fear and violence--and often, also and simultaneously, desire? What is it about her that is so threatening that she needs to be controlled, contained, and sometimes killed? Is the playwright using her to question the norms she challenges, or to reinscribe them? As we read these plays, we will situate them within their cultural contexts and we will read secondary material (historical and theoretical) in order to better understand how notions regarding female danger change over time. Our plays will include some or all of the following: Medea, The Duchess of Malfi, Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler, A Streetcar Named Desire, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Top Girls, Harlem Duet.

HIST 12600: WOMEN AND THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, 1607-1870

ICC DESIGNATION: Diversity, Humanities/Power and Justice.

INSTRUCTOR: Vivian Bruce Conger, History

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course teaches students to think critically, analytically, and contextually about the experiences and social roles of women from settlement in the 17th century to the era of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The course explores Native American women; regional variations in the formation of colonial society; the "proper place" of white women; women and politics, early reform movements; religion, and sexuality; African-American women and slavery; women as pioneers; women and work. The course emphasizes the diversity and change over time among the various social classes and races that comprise our history.

HIST 22500: WOMEN IN SEARCH OF UTOPIA

ICC Designation: Humanities/Power & Justice; Identities.

INSTRUCTOR: Vivian Bruce Conger, History

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores how women in both America and the greater British imperial domain have analyzed the social construction of gender, particularly as it related to family, politics, work roles, and war. Using both utopian fiction written by women and the utopian experiments in which they participated, it examines issues of race, class, and gender through this prism. By exploring how women envisioned better worlds for themselves, it emphasizes historical context as a critical part of analyzing these utopias and why women’s utopian visions changed over time.

HIST 38700: HISTORY OF DISEASE AND HEALTH IN LATIN AMERICA

INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Ablard, History

COURSE DESCRIPTION: "Disease and Health in Latin America" explores the social history of human well being in Latin America from the pre-Columbian era until the Zika epidemic. The course operates from the assumption that health practices and disease outcomes are shaped by a variety of social, economic, and political forces. Paramount is an analysis of how gender, sexuality ,race, and class have shaped private and public health endeavors and attitudes about disease and health. Topics that may be of particular interest to WGST students include family planning, AIDS, sex work, and Zika.

PSYC 26100: PSYCHOLOGY OF WOMEN

ICC DESIGNATION: Diversity

INSTRUCTOR: Ginger Cates, Psychology

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course examines the nature and development of gender roles and the lifelong impact of gender on women's experiences. We discuss differing theoretical perspectives and cover recent empirical research on the development of gender roles and gender differences. Topics include the influences of biology, family, culture, and society in shaping gender identity and expectations and the differential treatment of males and females in school, the workplace, and the media. This is an in-depth review of topics of special concern to women such as relationships, work, mothering, sexuality, and mental health.

PSYC 26200 : PSYCHOLOGY OF GENDER AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE

INSTRUCTOR: Natasha Bharj, Dissertation Diversity Scholar, Psychology

In this course, we will discuss different forms of sex- and gender-based violence, such as sexual harassment, hate crimes against the LGBTQIA+ community, and human trafficking. Through case-studies, we will explore different methods and theories we can use to research violence. Students also will engage in exercises aimed towards using scholarship to create a safer and more equitable society.

SOCI 32500-01 RACE, CLASS, GENDER AND SEXUALITY

INSTRUCTOR: Andrew Thompson, Sociology

Through this course, students shall both become familiar with and critically engage key texts concerning the sociological analysis of race, gender, class, and sexuality. By examining attempts to grapple with the social, historical, and cultural co-constitution of these realities from the beginning of the modern world system onward, the course will prepare students to evaluate contemporary struggles for race, gender, sexuality, and class-based justice in a new and comparative light. Designed as an interactive seminar in which students are encouraged to experiment with the practical application of the material they encounter, this course requires careful reading, writing, and reflection. Through a critical engagement with course readings and active participation in weekly seminars, students will cultivate an awareness of how contemporary approaches to the analysis of race, gender, class, and sexuality and to their co-constitutive dimensions developed historically through both research and struggle while learning to analyze contemporary social events by drawing on the historical, theoretical, and practical tools developed by scholars in the field.

SOCI 33501: HEALTH AND THE FAMILY

INSTRUCTOR: Joslyn Brenton, Sociology

COURSE DESCRIPTION:This semester we will examine the meaning of health and illness in the family context. While we all live in individual bodies, the production of health—our biological and social experiences—is navigated against—and in response to—a shifting backdrop of family policies, healthcare values and goals, and intersecting inequalities. The overarching goal of this course is to understand how people define and attempt to achieve good health in ways that reflect, reproduce, and challenge race, class, and gender inequality. Through conducting in-depth interviews students will apply the concepts and theories learned in class to examine their own health status and family dynamics.

SOCI 33503-01 SEXUALITY AND HEALTH

INSTRUCTOR: Luca Maurer, Director, LGBTQ Education, Outreach and Services

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the intersections of sexuality and health and focuses on both as social concepts. We will investigate the manner in which sexuality and health are shaped by individual, social and cultural factors and how ideas about our bodies and our sexuality are related to ideas about our health.

SOCI 43703: FEMINISM, FOOD, AND HEALTH

INSTRUCTOR: Joslyn Brenton, Sociology

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The way people experience food and health is deeply tied to gender inequality (among other things). In this course we will discuss how our food consumption and habits and health status are shaped by multiple and intersecting inequalities. To investigate these issues we will use a blend of macro and micro approaches, with an eye to how feminism can help us to identify root causes and future solutions to major social problems surrounding food and health. Throughout the course we will draw on intersectional theory, attending to how gendered experiences intersect with other systems of oppression. We will use a combination of engaging texts, film, writing assignments, and discussion to explore these issues.

SOCI 44500-01 TUTORIAL: DOING SEXUALITY & GENDER RESEARCH

ICC Designation: Writing Intensive.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to introduce students to research that utilizes gender and sexuality as foundational variables. Student will learn how to conduct either their own research or work in self-designed teams to do so. Course products include an original research project, designed and fully executed. The course is a combination of independent study and group and team work. We will meet to discuss all aspects of sociological and feminist gender and sexuality research. Student teams will likely meet outside of class as well. Individual meetings with the professor may also be necessary. The class will read, think, and learn together. Students will need to design and complete – alone or in teams – a gender-based sexuality research project. Students will need to be diligent and disciplined, ready to work, read, and learn; able to do independent and collective work. Experience in research methods not needed but willingness to learn is.