Smith College
Women’s Studies Courses
Fall 1996

15 Wright Hall

WST 250a
Methods In Women's Studies	
Nancy Stenbach
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:10 p.m.

In this course students will analyze and apply methods used in the
interdisciplinary field of women's studies. We will pay particular attention to the
nature of evidence used in interpreting women's lives and to cross-cultural
awareness. We will emphasize historiographical and textual analysis, archival
research and theory-building. Our goal is to learn to use critical methods that
will help us understand the personal, social, and political choices made by women
in the past and present. Recommended for sophomores and juniors. Required for
majors and minors, who may not elect the S/U option.  Prerequisite: at least two
courses in the Women's Studies Program. Enrollment limited to 30. 

WST 300a
Special Topics In Women's Studies	
Judith Plaskow
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Topic for Fall 1996: Feminists thinking about sex.  The course will explore the
nature and meaning of human sexuality from feminist and queer perspectives.  In
examining such topics as the feminist sex debates and the social construction of
the notion of two genders, we will look at the ways in which ideas about sexuality
are interstructured with ideas about race, class, and religion. 

WST 350a
Gender, Culture, And Representation
Monday, Wednesday 2:40-4:00 p.m.

This senior integrating seminar for the women's studies major examines how gender
is structured and represented in a variety of arenas including art, politics, law,
and popular culture. Through the critical reading of key contemporary works of
feminist theory and intensive investigation of multidisciplinary case studies, we
will study the variety and ambiguities of political and symbolic
representation--how can one woman's experience "stand for"  another's?
Prerequisite: WST 250. Enrollment limited to senior majors. WST 350 is required of
all Smith College women's studies majors, and may not be elected S/U. A second
section of the seminar is offered in the spring. 

WST 404a/b
Special Studies

For qualified juniors and seniors. Credit may vary from 1-4 for a project completed
during a single semester. The content of the special studies must not duplicate
that offered in a regular course. Admission by permission of an instructor from the
women's studies faculty and the chair of the program. 

130 Wright Hall	

AAS 216a
Colloquium: Afro-American Folk Culture	
Ann Ferguson
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:10 p.m.

The identification and clarification of Afro-American folk culture as an artistic
and cultural entity through an examination of its relationship to Western culture. 
Analysis of values, cultural mores and artistic expressions through the study of
African backgrounds, the oral tradition of the Afro-American slave, the dynamics of
the slave community, stereotypes and their relation to folk culture, folk culture
of the New South and urban North, evaluation of folk heroes, self-concept and the
artistic image as related to cultural and political forces within the popular

AAS 317a	
Seminar: History Of Afro-American Women And The Feminist 
Movement, 1930 To Present	
Ann Ferguson
Monday  7:30-9:30 p.m.

The essential concerns of Afro-American women and white feminists.  Points of
convergence and differentiation and reasons for the association or dissociation
between the two groups of women from 1830 to the present.  Contemporary tentative
attempts between these groups for coalescence.  Recommended: Background in Women's
Studies or Afro-American Studies. 

AAS 348a
Black Women Writers	
Cynthia Smith 		
Monday, Wednesday 1:10-2:30 p.m. 

How does gender matter in a black context? That is the question we will ask and
attempt to answer through an examination of works by such authors as Phillis
Wheatley, Pauline Hopkins, Nella Larsen, Zora Hurston, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker,
Gayl Jones and Audre Lorde. 

112 Hillyer Hall

ARH 291a	
Art Historical Methods
Barbara Kellum
Thursday   3:00-4:50 p.m.

An examination of the work of the major theorists who have structured the
discipline of art history. Recommended for junior and senior art history majors.
Prerequisite: ARH l00d and one 200-level art history course, or permission of the
instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20. 

101 Wright Hall

CLT 230a
"Unnatural" Women:   Mothers Who Kill Their Children
Thalia Pandiri
Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:50 p.m.

Some cultures give the murdering mother a central place in myth and literature
while others treat the subject as taboo. How is such a woman depicted-as monster,
lunatic, victim, savior? What do the motives attributed to her reveal about a
society's assumptions and values? What difference does it make if the author is a
woman? Authors to be studied include Euripides, Seneca, Ovid, Grillparzer, Anouilh,
Papadiamandis, Atwood, Walker, Morrison. Offered in alternate years. 

CLT 233a
Forms Of Autobiography
Ann Jones		
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Topic for 1996-97:  Women's Autobiography in Context.  An exploration of changes in
the concept of the self and of literary techniques devised to empower that self as
a public figure, whether outsider, social critic and innovator, or defender of a
principle or tribe.  Texts by Margery Kempe, Harriet Jacobs, Rigoberta Menchu,
Christa Wolf, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sara Suleri. 


EAL 231a
The Culture Of The Lyric In Traditional China
Sophie Volpp
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

This course surveys the classics of Chinese literature from the Classic of Poetry
(Shi jing) to The Story of the Stone (Hong lou meng), focusing on the cultural
suppositions that govern the composition and reception of Chinese poetry.  Texts
will include shaman's hymns, pop songs, drinking songs, ballads, philosophical
ditties, praise and nature poetry and opera librettos.  We will investigate the
intellectual milieu in which poetry circulated, considering such issue as the
relation between poetry and autobiography, the interest of elites in collecting
popular song, and the development of feminine voices both simualted and genuine. 
No knowledge of Chinese language or literature required. 


ECO 222a
Women's Labor And The Economy
Mark Aldrich		
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  9:00-9:50 a.m.

An examination of the impact of changing economic conditions on women's work and
the effect of women's work patterns on the economy. Major topics include wage
differentials, occupational segregation, labor force participation, education and
women's earnings, women in the professions, women and poverty, and the economics of
child care. Strategies for improving women's options are also discussed.
Prerequisite: ECO 150. 

101 Wright Hall

ENG 342a
Seminar: Studies In 19th-Century Literature
Cornelia Pearsall	
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Topic for Fall 1996: The Brontes.  A study of the lives and works of the remarkable
Bronte sisters, exploring the historical, cultural and familiar circumstances which
aided and impeded the development of their art.  Novels and poetry by Charlotte
Bronte, Emily Bronte and Anne Bronte. 

Ainsworth/Scott Gym

ESS 550
Women and Sport	
Chris Shelton

A course documenting the role of women in sport as parallel and complimentary to
women’s role in society.  Contemporary trends will be linked to historically and
sociologically.  Focus is on historical and contemporary issues in women’s sports. 

B/10 Nelson

FRN 365a	
Francophone Literature	
Denise Rochat		
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00-9:50 a.m.

Topic for Fall 1996: French Canadian Women Writers. A study of themes and forms of
French literature outside of France in their cultural and historical contexts.
Topic for 1996: French Canadian Women Writers. A study of fiction by some of French
Canada's major writers such as Guevremont, Roy, Blais, Hebert, Maillet.  Discussion
& Readings in French.  Permission of instructor required. 

FRN 391a
Theme And Form In French Literature
Egal Doss-Quinby	
Thursday  3:00-4:50 p.m.

Topic for 1996-97: Women Writers of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.  The love
letters of Heloise, the lais and fables of Marie de France, the songs of the women
troubadours, Old French chansons de femme, Christine de Pizan's Book of the City of
Ladies, Marquerite de Navarre's Heptameron, and the poetry of Louise Labe, Pernette
du Guillet, and Catherine des Roches. 
FRN 394a
Studies In 19th-Century Literature
Martine Gantrel
Tuesday 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Topic for 1996-97: Representing Femininity:  The Case of Domestic Servants.  The
Seminar will investigate how the representation of female domestic servants in
19th-century fiction has promoted new ways of writing and thinking about women and
their role in society, while expanding literary realism out of its conventional
boundaries.  Readings will include novels by Balzac, the Goncourts, Flaubert, Sand,
Zola, and Maupassant. 

15 Wright Hall

GOV 204a
Urban Politics
Martha Ackelsberg	
Tuesday, Thursday  9:00-10:20 a.m.

This course examines the growth and development of political communities in
metropolitan areas in the United States, with specific reference to the experiences
of women, black and white.  It explores the social restructuring of space; the way
patterns of urban development reflect and reinforce prevailing societal views on
issues of race, sex and class; intergovernmental relations; and the efforts of
people --through governmental action or popular movements -- to affect the nature
and structure of the communities in which they live. 

GOV 305a
Seminar In American Government 
Alice Hearst		
Monday  7:00-9:00 p.m.

Topic for 1996-97: Law, Family and State.  Explores the status of the family in
American political life and its role as a mediating structure between the
individual and the state.  Emphasis will be placed on the role of the courts in
articulating the rights of the family and its members. Enrollment limited to 12,
permission of the instructor required. 

GOV 366a
Seminar: Ideology, Culture, And Politics	
Philip Green
Wednesday  7:30-10:00 p.m.  Thursday  3:00-4:50 p.m.
Film Showings Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
How are hierarchies of gender, class, and race maintained in a democratic society?
How does the ruling class maintain its rule?  Patterns of domination and resistance
in everyday life, with emphasis on the role of the mass media, especially
television and films, in the United States. Prerequisite: GOV l00d or SOC 212b; 
GOV 261a or equivalent recommended. Enrollment limited.  Permission of instructor

13 Wright Hall

HST 277a
History Of Women In The US, Colonial Period To 1865
Marylynn Salmon
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.

The course will examine the historical position of women within the society and
culture.  Problems will include immigration and ethnicity, isolation and social
organization, the legal status of women (property and other rights), religion and
witchcraft, issues of race and class, the Revolution and the Civil War, women's
work within the household, slavery, education, redefinition of motherhood,
abolition and reform, emergence of women's rights and factory labor.  Emphasis on
social, cultural and spatial aspects.  Prerequisite: A Civil War or U.S. History
HST 280a
Problems Of Inquiry
Thomas Jackson		
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Topic for 1996-97:  Women's Roles, Women's Activisim.

Seelye Hall 207B

IDP 208a
Women 's Medical Issues
Barbara Brehm Curtis, Leslie Jaffee
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

A study of topics and issues relating to women's health, including menstrual cycle,
contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, and
cardiovascular disease. In addition to biological aspects, social, ethical, and
political aspects of these topics will be considered. 

#1 Hatfield

ITL 343a
Modern Italian Literature Italian Women Writers: Mothers & 
Giovanna Bellesia
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.

This course traces the development of the meaning and portrayal of motherhood by
Italian women writers in the 2Oth century. We'll concentrate on Sibilla alearmo's A
Woman and then explore the significant changes in attitudes and feelings toward
motherhood in authors such as Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg, Oriana Fallaci, and
Dacia Mariani. Limited enrollment, permission of the instructor required. Conducted
in Italian. 

111 Wright Hall

JUD 225a
Feminism And Judaism	
Judith Plaskow		
Monday, Wednesday 11:00-12:15 p.m.

An introduction to major texts and issues in the contemporary feminist
transformation of Judaism.  Topics will include the search for a usable past, women
and Jewish law, new images of God, transformation of ritual, and new understanding
of sexuality and family. 

102 Wright Hall

PSY 266a
Psychology And Women
Faye Crosby		
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:10 p.m.

Exploration of the existence, origins, and implications of the behavioral
similarities and differences between women and men and of the psychological
realities of women's lives.  Topics include gender role stereotypes and gender role
development; power issues in the family workplace, and politics; and mental health
and sexuality. Particular emphasis is given to the issue of diversity among women. 
Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors. 

12 Wright Hall

SOC 224a
Family & Society	
Rhonda Singer
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

An examination of the historical and contemporary meanings of the concept of
"family" in western society.  Special attention is given to the relationship
between work and family and the diversity in family forms and experience that may
arise due to gender, race, class and sexual preferences. 

T-204 Theatre Building	

THE 198a
Theatre And Society: Pre-History To The Renaissance	
Susan Clark
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:30 p.m.

Sex, religion, gender and politics in the theatre: a cross- cultural survey of
theatre as an expression of the values of its audience, from the birth of theatre
in ritual, to religious theatre in Japan and Europe, through the Renaissance to
theatre as fashionable diversion. How nationalism, ethnicity, gender, sexuality,
gods, class, and other social concepts are constructed through playwriting,
performance, and presentation. 

THE 199a
Theatre And Society: Renaissance To The Birth of Modern Drama	
Susan Clark
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Sex, religion, and politics in the theatre: a cross-cultural survey of theatre as
an expression of the values of its audience, from Kabuki through melodrama to
realism, anti-realism, and twentieth century art movements in Europe, Africa, and
Japan.  How nationalism, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, gods, class, and other
social concepts are constructed through playwriting, performance, and presentation. 

THE 214a
Black Theatre
Andrea Hairston		
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

A study of the Black experience as it has found expression in the theatre. Emphasis
on the Black playwrights, performers, and theatres of the 1950s to the 1980s. The
special focus on Black Theatre U.S.A. makes this course integral with Afro-American
studies offerings. More than half the playwrights considered are women, and the
investigation of gender is central to examining all plays and productions. 

THE 217a
Modern European Drama	
Leonard Berkman
Tuesday, Thursday 9-10:20 a.m.

The plays, theatres and playwrights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in
Europe.  From Ibsen, Strindberg, Shaw, Chekhov, Wedekind and Gorky to the
widespread experimentation of the 1920s (e.g., Jarry, Artaud, Stein, Witkiewicz,
Pirandello, Mayakovsky, Fleisser, early Brecht).  Special attention to issues of
gender, class, warfare and other personal/political foci.  Attendance required at
selected performances. 

THE 218a
Modern European Drama	
Leonard Berkman
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Contemporary theatre in Europe from the 1930's to the present.  The playwrights to
be studied include Later Brecht, Camus, Sartre, Anouilh, Beckett, Ionesco, Genet,
Pinter, Duras, Handke, and Churchill. Attendance required at selected performances.

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