UMass Amherst Stonewall Center

The Stonewall Center at UMass Amherst
Photo - inside the Stonewall Center

Five-College Queer and Sexuality Studies Courses

These courses count toward the Five-College Certificate in Queer and Sexuality Studies (available at all Five Colleges).

Fall 2014

Amherst College

Anthropology of Sexuality
SWAG 210/ANTH 210
Instructor: Sahar Sadjadi
Meets: MW 10-11:20 a.m.

No description available.

Hampshire College

Constitutionally Queer: Law, Equality and Sexuality
CSI 169
Instructor: F. Risech-Ozeguera
Meets: MW 10:30-11:50 a.m.

This course is an introduction to US constitutional law through an extended interrogation of the notion of equality. By reading historical analyses and court opinions that reflect and shape debates about the proper place of the State in queer people's bedrooms and lives, we will gain basic familiarity with modes of legal analysis, constitutional politics and the law as a historically contingent system of power. Until 2003, consensual sex between adult same-gender partners was a crime in many states. Most still prohibit same-sex marriages and refuse full legal personhood to the gender-queer and trans. We will examine and critique many of the legal arguments and political strategies that have been deployed to challenge this legal landscape of inequality, and question the normative assumptions of state regulation of sexuality and gender expression. The course will include readings of many of the key race, gender and sexual civil rights rulings of the Supreme Court on what it means to enjoy the "equal protection of the law" promised to "all persons" by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Introduction to Queer Studies
CSI 182
Instructor: S. Dillon
Meets: MW 9-10:20 a.m.

Introduction to Queer Studies explores the emergence and development of the field of queer studies since the 1990s. In order to do so, the course examines the relationship between queer studies and fields like postcolonial studies, gay and lesbian studies, transgender studies, disability studies, and critical race studies. Students will come away with a broad understanding of the field, particularly foundational debates, key words, theories, and concepts. As part of their research, students will explore alternative genealogies of queer studies that exceed the academy. Some questions that guide the course include: How have art, film, activism, and literature influenced the field? What people and events are critical to queer studies that may be ignored or forgotten? Students will have a broad understanding of the field's contours, while they will also work to reimagine the field and its history.

Queer Feelings: The Affective and Emotional Life of Sexuality, Gender, and Race
CSI 218
Instructor: S. Dillon
Meets: TTh 12:30-1:50 p.m.

The Affective and Emotional Life of Sexuality, Gender, and Race: In the last decade, queer scholars have turned away from the study of identity and textuality to consider the role of affect and emotion in the production, circulation, and regulation of sexuality, race, and gender. This course examines a new body of work in queer studies and sexuality studies that explores emotion and affect as central to operation of social, political, and economic power. Topics will include, mental illness, hormones, happiness, sex, trauma, labor, identity, and social movements, among others. Students will work to consider how emotions and affect are connected to larger systems of power like capitalism; white supremacy; heteropatriarchy; terrorism and war; the prison; the media; history; and medicine.

CSI 257
Instructor: Angie Willey
Meets: M 4-7 p.m.

Grounded in queer and feminist concerns with marriage and coupled forms of social belonging, this class will consider "monogamy" from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. From the history of marriage to the science of mating systems to the politics of polyamory, the class will explore monogamy's meanings. Students will become familiar with these and other debates about monogamy, a variety of critical approaches to reading and engaging them, and fields of resistance to a variety of "monogamy stories" within and beyond the academy. The course will draw in particular on feminist critiques of the nuclear family, queer historicizations of sexuality, and science studies approaches to frame critical questions about what monogamy is and what discourses surrounding it can do. Through historical analysis and critical theory, the class will foreground the racial and national formations that produce "monogamy" as we know it. Students will develop skills in critical science literacy, interdisciplinary and collaborative research methodologies, and writing in a variety of modalities.

Mount Holyoke College

Anthropology and Sexualities
GNDST 333C-01/ANTHR 331
Instructor: Lynn Morgan
Meets: T 1:15-4:05 p.m.

This seminar focuses on contemporary anthropological scholarship concerned with the varieties of sexual expression in diverse cultural settings. We will read ethnographic accounts of sexual ideologies and the politics and practices of sexuality in Brazil, Japan, Native North America, India, and elsewhere. We will examine anthropological theories of sexuality with an emphasis on contemporary issues, including performance theory, "third gender" theories, sexual identity formulation, and techniques used by various societies to discipline the body.

Smith College

Debates in the Historiography of Gender and Sexuality
HST 355
Instructor: D. Buerkle
Meets: Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.

No description available.

Queering Disability
SWG 202 –
Instructor: Anna Ward
Meets: TTh 10:30-11:15 a.m.

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of disability studies with a specific focus on the intersection between dis/ability and sexuality. We will focus on key frameworks in disability studies and explore scholarship that seeks to destabilize our ideas regarding difference. Through disability, we will think critically about conventional conceptualizations of disability and normality of communities. Special attention will be paid to the theoretical junctions between disability studies and critical theories of embodiment in feminism and queer studies.

Introduction to Queer Studies
SWG 220
Instructor: Anna Ward
Meets: MW 1:10-2:30 p.m.

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of queer studies, including its historical formations and recent innovations. Particular attention will be paid to the roots of queer theory in feminist theories of subjectivity and desire, queer of color critique, and queer critiques of traditional domains of knowledge production.

LGBT Politics Internationally
SWG 300
Instructor: G. Lehring
Meets: Th 1-2:50 p.m.

This course will examine LGBT movements around the globe. Focusing on LGBT and human rights movements for equality, recognition and survival in an international and comparative contexts. Topics will include internal political struggles; failures and successes; cultural differences in the framing of "sexuality" and sexual identities ; gay marriage globally; international law and sexuality; NGO's and international activism; human rights violations and the United Nations, sexual health and AIDS.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

LGBTQ Movements, Law and Policy: Global Perspectives
Instructor: Svati Shah
Meets: TTh 11:30-12:45 p.m.

LGBTQ Movements are now active around the world, in almost every country, and in every major city. This course reviews the histories, politics and artistic production, particularly the visual art and films, of LGBTQ movements globally. Drawing on theories of the production and politics of gender and sexuality, the course poses a number of questions that help us to analyze LGBTQ movements today. For example, what does it mean to use terms like “gay”, “lesbian,” and “queer” to speak of people and movements in such a wide range of places? What are the politics of speaking of transgender rights in the context of LGBTQ rights in these various contexts? How may we understand intersex politics and identity in instances where intersex rights are understood to be part of LGBTQ rights? Why are LGBTQ movements so visible in this moment, particularly those in countries in the Global South? How do the domestic politics of queer and trans movements in the U.S., particularly with respect to race and class, shape American foreign policy on these issues? What is the political economy of these movements and categories, especially with regard to the politics of funding? Students will be encouraged to engage with these questions in relation to specific examples of LGBTQ movements through reading, films and visual art, writing projects, and class discussions.

Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin America
Instructor: Cora Fernandez Anderson
Meets: TTh 10-11:15 a.m.

Since the 1990s Latin America has witnessed increasing societal and political debates over sexual and reproductive rights. Issues such as contraceptives, abortion, gay marriage, transgender rights, sexual education and assisted reproductive technology have risen to the top of some countries’ agendas after decades of silence, taboos, and restrictive or non-existent legislation. The course aims to provide a survey of sexual and reproductive rights in Latin America comparing the region as a whole with other areas of the world, while at the same time highlighting the disparities that exist within it. The course analyzes the multiple factors behind the current policies focusing particularly on the role of women and gay rights movements in advancing more liberal legislation. In addition, we will look at the role of the Catholic Church in these debates and their struggles to prevent any legislative change that goes against their doctrine from happening. Among the cases we will explore are Argentina’s gay marriage and gender identity legislation, Uruguay’s decriminalization of abortion, Costa Rica’s ban on IVF technologies and Peru’s coercive sterilization program of indigenous populations.

Transgender Politics and Critical Thought
Instructor: Sonny Nordmarken
Meets: MWF 10:10-11 a.m.

Transgender studies is a new and rapidly-growing interdisciplinary field today. This course will examine both long-standing and recent political debates, critiques, and practices of resistance in the field, among scholars, activists, and artists. Investigating these issues, we will consider the following questions. How are trans and gender diverse individuals’ lives implicated by interrelated regulatory regimes of gender, racism, colonization, neoliberal global capitalism, nationalism and homonationalism, ableism, medicalization, empire, state governmentality, and ideals of normative embodiment? How do cultural assumptions of sex as fixed and binary shape interpretive frames and thus policies, institutions, administrative systems and social practices that trans people must negotiate? What discursive processes produce, discipline, expel, and erase bodies, and which bodies do they expel and erase? What political debates animate trans and gender diverse communities in the U.S. and across global sites, in this historical moment? How are trans and gender diverse people resisting complex systems of oppression? Through active engagement, both in and outside of class, we will build a critical analytical framework around contemporary trans politics and theory. This is an advanced course requiring basic knowledge of transgender issues.

Sex and Science: Power of Knowledge
Instructor: Kirsten Leng
Meets: M 11:15 a.m.-1:45 p.m.

Why and how has science assumed such a central role in defining the ‘truth’ of sex? Why and how have scientific ‘facts’ become compelling resources for grounding and asserting a sense of sexual selfhood—and for expressing political demands? In this seminar, we will explore the entangled histories of sexual science, sexual subjectivities, and sexual politics. In particular, we will examine on how science has come to define biological sex and “sexual orientation” as binary and constitutive of individual identities. Our course will take an historical perspective, with a focus on developments in Europe and the United States. As we move from the past through to the present, we will consider how scientific knowledge is shaped by the perspective of the researcher and the relationship between the researcher and her subject; how expertise about sex is determined; how scientific knowledge about sex has changed over time; and what the personal and political implications of sexual scientific knowledge are.

Psychology of the GLBT Experience
Instructor: John Bickford
Meets: TTh 2:30-3:45 p.m.

Students in this course will explore psychological theory and research pertaining to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Topics include sexual orientation, sexual identity development, stigma management, heterosexism & homonegativity, gender roles, same-sex relationships, LGB families, LGB diversity, and LGB mental health. Senior Psychology Majors only. Prerequisite: PSYCH 241

Sexuality and Society
Instructor: Amy Schalet
Meets: TTh 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

The many ways in which social factors shape sexuality. Focus on cultural diversity, including such factors as race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity in organizing sexuality in both individuals and social groups. Prerequisite: 100-level Sociology course. (Gen.Ed. SB, U)

Social Demography of Sexuality
Instructor: Anthony Palk
Meets: TTh 2:30-3:45 p.m.

In this course, we will examine several areas of the social demography of sexuality, including theoretical and conceptual developments and patterns of sexual expression, with an emphasis on populations in the United States. Specific topics include theoretical perspectives, historical and cross-cultural variation, sexuality across the life course, sexualities and sexual identities, sexually transmitted infections, and the politics of sexuality.

Marxism, Queer Theory and Materialism
Instructor: Jordana Rosenberg
Meets: T 4-6:30 p.m.

This course will consider materialist approaches to queer theory. Our main framing methodology with be Marxism, and we will seek to both review canonical understandings of the intersection of Marxist and anti-capitalist thinking with queerness, as well as develop our own theories about how these intersections might be described, understood, and felt. Special consideration will be given to the question of queerness and contemporary forms of finance capital, as well as queerness and settler-colonialism, colonial formations, and racialization. Authors will include: Karl Marx, Judith Butler, Jasbir Puar, Kara Keeling, Deleuze and Guattari, Fred Moten, Mel Chen, Scott Morgensen, David Harvey, Sandro Messadra, Rosa Luxemburg, Audre Lorde, Roderick Ferguson, Kathi Weeks, Silvia Federici, and more.

Feminist Engagements/Biomed
Instructor: Angie Willey
Meets: Th 2:30-5 p.m.

In this class we will explore how deeply biomedicine and concerns around it are premised on assumptions about the nature of difference. Through the lenses of disability, critical race, and queer feminisms, we will explore conceptions of health and ethics in the overlapping fields of feminist body theory, science studies, bioethics and health movements. The course will revolve around a series of questions that arise when we think/talk/write across disciplines, genres, and settings about what it means to engage biomedical constructions of and engagements with difference from a feminist perspective. These questions include (but are not limited to): What is biology? What is "the body"? What is ethics? What is health? What is science? What is feminism? What are the relationships among these concepts? We will explore a range of types and expressions of ethical concern with the body and with bio-medical inquiry and practice. Through interdisciplinary inquiry we will begin to map ethical questions and frameworks being proposed, debated and institutionalized across and beyond the academy with regard to the status and practice of biomedicine. In the first two sections of the course, "Feminists Theorize the Body, Embodiment, and Bio-Ethics" and "Difference as/and Illness," we will build a shared set of theoretical tools and language for thinking, talking, and writing about "the body", biology, ethics, and difference. In the final section of the class we will look in depth at "gynecology" as a site of feminist engagement with biomedicine. Drawing on a wide variety of feminist engagements, we will touch on a wide range of topics from trans health issues to menopause to intersex treatment to sexual dysfunction.