and Gender Studies
Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought
Political Science Department
1 Johnson Chapel
111 Chapin Hall
206 Appleton Hall
103 Clark House
This course has two interlocking aims: to explore the ways feminist and anti-feminist ideas have interacted with one another in Europe and America over the past 250 years, and to examine, in a way informed by history, gender debates going on within present-day political and cultural movements. Topics include women in the French Revolution; Owenite socialism and its critics in Britain; the intersections of evangelism, abolitionism, and feminism in mid-nineteenth-century America; women in the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; gender, race and the rise of German Fascism; the place of women within contemporary American conservatism and the evangelical Right; and gender struggles within present-day rock and rap cultures. We will read or listen to works by Sojourner Truth, Ayn Rand, Phyllis Schafly, George Gilder, Pat Robertson, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, and others.
Sexuality and Culture
Monday and Wednesday 2:00 Frank
An examination of the social and artistic construction of genders, bodies, and desires. In any given semester, the course may examine particular historical periods, ethnic groups, sexual orientations and theoretical approaches. The topic changes from year to year. In 1999, this course will examine gender and sexuality as separate categories by focusing on cross-dressing. Using a wide range of theorists (the early sexologists, anthropologists, medical doctors, historians, literary critics) and a variety of literary texts and films, the course will consider the ways in which anatomy and gender, and culture and desire can be seen as both united and disconnected.
Asian Women: Myths of Deference,
Arts of Resistance
Tuesday and Thursday 2:00
Even the most sympathetic observers often assume that Asian women are so deeply oppressed that they demure in face of intolerable conditions. Such notions of women's deference find echoes in popular conceptions of Asian American women. Part of the work of this course is to question assumptions of women's quiescence by redefining agency and activism. But an equally important challenge is to avoid romanticizing resistance by recognizing victimization in the absence of agency, agency in the absence of act ivism, and activism in the absence of social change. Thus while appreciating the inventive ways in which Asian and Asian American women resist, we will explore why such resistance may perpetuate their subjugation.
WAGS 51/ENGL 51
component Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 a.m. Parker
Surveying a range of classic and contemporary texts in the genre of science fiction, this course will explore the relation between the politics of world-making and the technologies of literary representation. Special attention will be accorded to questio ns of gender, race, class, sexuality and nation as these affect the construction of fictional worlds.
Women and Politics in Twentieth-Century America
Tuesday,Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Course will look at a number of political battles women have fought over the last one hundred years, beginning with suffrage, and including protective legislation and benefits for mothers and children. It will look at women's experiences in the Civil Rights and anti-war movements and the development of Second Wave Feminism as well as the many feminisms that emerged in its wake. Students will study the backgrounds of, and engage in debate about, a number of current battles including those over reproductive rights, pornography, and sexual harassment. We will make an effort to relate these controversies to earlier themes in twentieth-century women's politics.
Re-Imagining Law: Feminist Interpretations
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
Feminist theory raises questions about the compatibility of the legal order with women's experience and understandings and cals for a re-evaluation of the role of law in promoting social change. It invites us to inquire critical theories which promise to make forms of legal authority more responsive. This course will consider women as victims and users of legal power. We will ask how particular practices constitute gendered subjects in legal discourse. How can we imagine a legal system more reflective of women's realities? The nature of legal authority will be considered in the context of women's ordinary lives and reproductive roles, their active participation in political and professional change, their experiences with violence and pornography as well as the way they confront race, class and ethnic barriers.
Gender: An Anthropological Perspective
Thursday 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Provides an analysis of male-female relationships from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing upon the ways in which cultural factors modify and exaggerate the biological differences between men and women. Consideration will be given to the positions of men and women in the evolution of society, and in different contemporary social, political, and economic systems, including those of the industrialized nations.
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Assesses the sources and implication of changes in family structure. Focuses largely on contemporary family relationships in America, but we will necessarily have to examine family forms different from ours, particularly those that are our historical antecedents. From an historical/cross-cultural vantage point, we will be better able to understand shifting attitudes toward the family as well as the ways the family broadly shapes character and becomes an important aspect of social dynamics.
Women of Color