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).

Summer 2015

Mount Holyoke College

Queering the Curriculum: A Critical Approach to Teaching LGBTQ Topics in K-12 Schools
EDUC 222
Online Summer Session 2: July 7-August 12
Kirsten Helmer

Drawing on work from the fields of anti-oppression education, critical pedagogy, and queer theory, we will explore ways to promote sexuality and gender equity within schools and beyond. Through online discussions, reflective writings and the culminating development of a curriculum project of your choice, we will integrate theory and praxis. To Apply:

Fall 2015

Amherst College

Anthropology of Sexuality
SWAG 210/ANTH 210
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
Sahar Sadjadi

This course draws on anthropological literature to study the socio-cultural making of human sexuality and its variations. We will critically examine theories of sexuality as a domain of human experience and locate sexual acts, desires and relations in particular historical and cultural contexts. The course offers analytical tools to understand and evaluate different methods and approaches to the study of human sexuality. We will examine the relation of sex to kinship/family, to reproduction and to romance. As we read about the bodily experience of sexual pleasure, we will explore how sexual taboos, norms and morality develop in various cultures and why sex acquires explosive political dimensions during certain historical periods. The course will explore the gendered and racial dimensions of human sexual experience in the context of class, nation and empire. How do class divisions produce different sexual cultures? What economies of sex are involved in sex work, marriage and immigration? What has been the role of sexuality in projects of nation building and in colonial encounters? When, where and how did sexuality become a matter of identity? In addition to a focus on contemporary ethnographic studies of sexuality in various parts of the world, we will read theoretical and historical texts that have been influential in shaping the anthropological approaches to sexuality. We will also briefly address scientific theories of sexuality.

Hampshire College

Introduction to Queer Studies
CSI 182
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
S. Dillon

Introduction to Queer Studies explores the emergence and development of the field of queer studies since the 1990s. Together, we will examine the relationship between queer studies and fields like postcolonial studies, feminist 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. The course begins by examining the ways queerness has been defined and theorized and then explores the ways artists, scholars, and activists have engaged the queer politics of topics like: the racial state; science and medicine; the U.S.
Mexico-Border; slavery and colonialism; sex and love. The course also focuses on critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Students will have a broad understanding of Queer studies while also working to reimagine its history and future.

The Battle Between Science and Religion in Reproductive Health Policy
CSI 225
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3:20 p.m.
Marlene Fried

This course explores past and current debates over the role of religion and science in public policy, specifically in the areas reproductive rights, health and justice. We look both at claims that science and religion are inevitably in conflict, as well as arguments for their compatibility. Topics may include: the FDA's initial refusal to approve over the counter distribution of emergency contraception; claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer and causes a form of post-traumatic stress disorder; the debates over public funding for abstinence-only sexuality education, and coverage of abortion and contraception in the Affordable Care Act. We will look at these issues in the context of broader societal debates over the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in public schools and challenges to claims about the objectivity of science.

Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Digital Age
HACU 293
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
S. Loza

This seminar will explore the interface of technology with gender and race, how the concepts of gender, race, and sexuality are embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape our notions of gender, race, and sexuality. It will examine how contemporary products - such as film, TV, video games, science fiction, social networking technologies, and biotech - reflect and mediate long-standing but ever-shifting anxieties about race, gender, and sexuality. The course will consider the following questions: How do cybertechnologies enter into our personal, social, and work lives? Do these technologies offer new perspectives on cultural difference? How does cyberculture reinscribe or rewrite gender, racial, and sexual dichotomies? Does it open up room for alternative identities, cultures, and communities? Does it offer the possibility of transcending the sociocultural limits of the body? Finally, what are the political implications of these digital technologies?

Mount Holyoke College

To be posted soon.

Smith College

To be posted soon.

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Reproductive Justice (formerly titled Politics of Reproduction and Mothering)
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Laura Briggs

From the Black Panther Party and Young Lords in the 1970s to SisterSong and Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice in the 1990s to Ferguson and Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement in the present, communities of color and socialist feminists have fought for a comprehensive reproductive freedom platform--birth control and abortion to be sure, but also the right to raise wanted children that are safe, cherished, and educated. The names of these issues have included freedom from sterilization, high quality affordable day care, IVF, immigrant justice, social reproduction and wages for housework, welfare and neoliberalism, foreclosure and affordable housing.

Sex and Liberation: The 1970s
Tuesday, Thursday 4-5:15 p.m.
Kirsten Leng

As a result of changing understandings of and attitudes towards women’s sexuality, homosexuality, and premarital sexuality, as well as the rise of new social movements such as the women’s and gay liberation movement, new technologies such as the birth control pill, and legal triumphs like Roe v. Wade, the 1960s and 1970s witnessed a “sexual revolution” in the United States and indeed in much of the world. Among other things, the sexual revolution was marked by new forms of sexual expression and practices and new visions for sexual relations, ethics, and sexual-social organization. Central to the sexual revolution was the concept of sexual liberation, the idea that repressed sexual subjects, desires, and practices were now freed of their previous constraints. This claim was seen as particularly true for women and for gay men and lesbians. But what did sexual liberation really mean for these actors? Did it mean the same thing to all? How did women differ in their understanding and experience of sexual liberation? Was liberation synonymous with pleasure? With emotional fulfillment? With independence? Was sexual liberation even financially tenable for women? And what did a politics of sexual liberation look like for different actors? This course will explore the complexity of sexual liberation by examining the history of the “sexual revolution” in the US from the 1960s and the 1980s, focusing on feminist and gay liberation thought and cultural products from the period. Moreover, we will consider the legacy of diverse visions and experiences of “sexual liberation” between 1960-1980 for the present day.

Monogamy: Queer Feminism and the Politics of Social Belonging
Monday 4-6:30 p.m.
Angie Willey

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.

Sexual and Reproductive Justice
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Chris Barcelos

This course is an interdisciplinary approach to studying sexuality, reproduction, politics, and social inequality that draws on literatures in gender and sexuality studies, public health, sociology, and public policy. The key objective of this course is to identify how racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of social oppression shape sexual and reproductive health. We will also explore the relationship between social movements, law, and public policy with regards to sexual and reproductive freedom. The course will be organized around basic concepts with added content tailored to students' learning needs.

Sex in History: A Global History of the Modern World
Monday, Wednesday 11:15-12:05 p.m.
Discussions Friday, 9:05, 10:10 and 12:20
Laura Lovett

This course will survey topics in the global history of sex and sexuality from the eighteenth to the twentieth century. We will explore continuities and changes in the definitions of sex and sexualities, the science and politics of sex and reproduction, the relationships between sex, sexuality, and imperialism, the sexual construction of social and cultural differences in different countries, changing portrayals of sex and sexuality by the state and by the media, social and legal activism with regard to issues of sex and sexuality, and the value of using sex and sexuality as a historical framework for issues in social, cultural, and political history. No prerequisites. (Gen Ed HS, G)

Topics in European Society: Sex and Society
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Jennifer Heuer

This honors course examines the social organization and cultural construction of gender and sexuality. We will look at how women and men experienced the dramatic changes that have affected Europe since 1789 and consider how much these developments were themselves influenced by ideas about masculinity and femininity. We will explore topics such as revolutionary definitions of citizenship; changing patterns of work and family life; fin-de-siecle links between crime, madness, and sexual perversion; the fascist cult of the body; battle grounds and home fronts during the world wars; gendered aspects of nationalism and European colonialism, and the sexual revolution of the post-war era.

U.S. LBGT and Queer History
Tuesday, Thursday 10-10:50 a.m.
Discussions Friday, 9:05 a.m., 10:10, 12:20
Julio Capo

Course surveys how queer individuals and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities have influenced the social, cultural, economic, and political landscape in modern American history.

Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Experience
Tuesday, Thursday 1-2:15 p.m.
John Bickford

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

Sexuality and Society
SOC 287
Tuesday, Thursday 4-5:15 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)

Queer Performance and Publics
Tuesday, Thursday 1-2:15 p.m.
Instructor TBA

The culture and legislature of the United States shape discourses that produce the rights, recognitions, relations, im/mobilities, in/visibility, and mis/understandings of LGBTQIA persons and groups. In the context of history and from various social positions, these changes are read and enacted in multiple ways. This course considers the ways LGBTQIA persons and groups use performance, on the stage and in everyday life, as a form of communication, as communicative strategies that generate dialogue, resistance, and social action in order to more fully participate in mainstream publics as well as create counterpublics and queer world-making.