Women's Studies Program
Anthropology & Sociology
Russian & Eurasian Studies
109 Dickinson House
103 Merrill House
201 Clapp Lab
205 Skinner Hall
118 Ciruti Center
205 Skinner Hall
Introduction to Women's Studies
Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:15 pm
This course offers an overview of women's position in society and culture by examining women's lives from a variety of experiential and theoretical perspectives. The first section examines works by women that illuminate both the shared and the diverse social, psychological, political, and economic realities of their experience; the second section introduces analyses of sexism and oppression, with a focus on different frameworks for making and evaluating feminist arguments. The course concludes with visionary feminist views of women recreating their lives.
|WS 200f (01)||
U.S. Women Since 1890
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 pm
This course examines the history of women and the cultural construction of gender in the United States since the end of the last century. How have class, race, and ethnicity shaped the history of women's work, debates over female sexuality, women's attempts at social change, and representations of women in cultural and political contexts? In what ways has gender contributed to racial consciousness and class formation in the United States? Using primary and secondary material, we will examine "women's experience" in the realms of work, politics, sexuality, and reproduction. Speaking-intensive course.
|WS 200f (02)||
Women, Spirituality and Power
Tuesday, Thursday 8:35-9:50 am
How are the changing and varied experiences of women related to notions of the sacred? How are the very distinctions between "women" and "men" affected by such notions. In what ways is spirituality a source of power for women or a limit to their power? The critical and self-reflective use of historical analysis and interpretation are central to this inquiry into the relationships between women's experience and the boundaries between sacred and profane in various cultures. Case studies include European women during the transition from medieval to modern society, African women during early encounters with European Christians as well as in the period after "independence," and women of the African diaspora. Writing-intensive course.
WS 203f/ (01)
19th Century American Women Writers
Monday, Wednesday 8:35-9:50 am
In this cross-cultural examination of nineteenth-century American women writers, we will compare a number of works of fiction, prose, poetry, and autobiography. We will discuss how writers created sophisticated and insightful critiques of American culture, and imagined or re-presented new American identities and histories. We will also consider tensions between "sentimental" idealism and political pragmatism, restrictive domesticity and dangerous autonomy, and passionless femininity and expressed sexuality. Authors may include Alcott, Child, Fuller, Harper, Hopkins, Stowe, Taylor and Wilson.
WS 203f (02)
20th Century American Women Writers
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15 pm
This course examines the work of a variety of twentieth-century women writers located in the United States, focusing on the genre of prose fiction; the period from 1900-1970; and the themes of gender, race, and sexuality. Particular attention will be paid to developments in African American women's writing and to lesbian literary representation in this period. Writers may include Djuna Barnes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison, Tillie Olsen, Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton and Hisaye Yamamoto.
Tuesday, Thursday 1-2:15 pm
What is globalisation? What are its positive and negative effects on different regions, cultures, social classes, ethnic groups,the sexes and the environment? How are women resisting against poverty, militariasm, environmental and cultural destruction accompanying globalization? What alternative visions and models of development are offered by women's movements working for peace, justice and environmental sustainability?
Buddhism, Feminism and Ecology
Monday 1:00-3:50 pm
Buddhism, feminism and ecology are seemingly disparate philosophies of life, yet they share fundamental similarities in how they conceptualize the interconnectedness of human and nonhuman nature. We examine these similarities, as well as differences, in relation to such categories as self and other, unity in diversity, and nonviolence. Particular attention is given to the works of theorists working within ecofeminism and "engaged Buddhism."
|WS 333f (01)||
Emily Dickinson In Her Time
Tuesday 1:00-4:00 pm
This course will examine the writing of Emily Dickinson, both her poetry and her letters. We will consider the cultural, historical, and familial environment in which she wrote, with special attention paid to Dickinson's place as a woman artist in the nineteenth century. Students will be asked to complete a community-based learning project in which some aspect of Dickinson's life and work is interpreted for the general public and incorporated into an ongoing display at the Dickinson Homestead. The class will meet at the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst. Enrollment limited to ten (10). Students must apply during pre-registration for enrollment in the course at the Women's Studies Office, 109 Dickinson House.
|WS 333f (02)||
Science and the Body
Monday 1:00-3:50 pm
In this course, we examine scientific discourses on the body as well as feminist, queer, and antiracist approaches, interventions, and responses. Drawing on the literatures from cultural studies of science, technology, and medicine, gay and lesbian and queer studies, the history of science and medicine, anthropology, biology, and feminist theory, we will consider such topics as: scientific constructions of raced-sexed-gendered bodies, scientific constructions of (homo)sexualities, mainstream and counter-discourses concerning hermaphrodism and intersexuality, transgendered bodies, cyborg bodies, scientific constructions of disease, disabilities, and abnormalities, reproductive technologies, medical ethics, AIDS, lesbian health issues, and environmental racism.
WS 333f (03)/
Anthropology of Reproduction
Tuesday 1:00-3:50 pm
This course covers major issues in the anthropology of reproduction, including the relationship between production and reproduction, the gendered division of labor, the state and reproductive policy, embodied metaphors of procreation and parenthood, fertility control and abortion, cross-cultural reproductive ethics, and the social implications of new reproductive technologies. We examine the social construction of reproduction in a variety of cultural contexts.
|WS 333f (04)||
Tuesday, Thursday 11-12:15 pm
Mary Daly, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Phyllis Trible, and Naomi Goldenberg, among others, have argued that traditional Jewish and Christian theological systems have overlooked the needs, concerns, histories, and contributions of women. Their challenges range from the historical modification of a presumably unbiased religious system to the outright rejection of a so-called patriarchal establishment. Whatever their approach, feminist theologies offer diverse and incisive tools for understanding how a theological system operates, how transitory cultural assumptions become embedded in ongoing doctrines, and how apparently minor adjustments can have significant ripple effects.
Women, Life and Politics in Russia
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 pm
|Ms. Cruise Mr. Pleshakov|
Over the last two hundred years, women in Russia have experienced massive changes in their lives and status. We will study four distinct periods in women's movement in Russia: the first gains of limited emancipation in late tsarist Russia; the emergence of revolutionary heroines in the brave new world of Soviet Russia; the significant social status of women during World War II followed by the rapid collapse of feminism; and, finally, the "second feminist revolution," which began with the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Texts include fiction, memoirs, film and contemporary documents.
Women, Cultures, Identities in France and the French Speaking World
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:45 pm
Study of the relationships between gender, culture, race or ethnicity, sexuality, and language as represented in 20th century works by women writing in French. Preliminary readings will address multiple conceptions of individual and collective identities and the continuities and discontinuities among those identities (Beauvoir, Todorov, Kristeva, Scott, Minh-ha, Finkieldraut, Lionnet). The major portion of the course will involve readings of fiction - in their specific French, Caribbean, African and Quebecois contexts -- that depict women negotiating these complex and problematic components of their lives: What are the obstacles to women's sense of "self" in particular cultures? What quests do women undertake to arrive at self-understanding? Is their search for wholeness possible or impossible, successful or unsuccessful? Authors will be selected from among the following: Ernaux, Wittig, Atlan, Ba, Conde, Djebar, Sebbar, Theoret, Cardinal, Warner-Wieyra, Schwarz-Bart. Also, films by Safi Faye, Euzhan, Palcy, Marguerite Duras, and Martine Dugowson.
Engendering Judaism: Women and Jewish Tradition
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 pm
The study of Judaism has been revolutionized by the emerging scholarship on Jewish women. This course examines the representations and roles of women in Jewish culture, from the literature of the Hebrew Bible to the contemporary period. What were the distinctive ways in which women's religious life expressed itself by way of prayer and ritual practice? Were there women mystics and visionaries? How did women exert their influence as mothers and wives? There will be significant focus on the dramatic developments taking place among contemporary Jewish women: innovative rituals and experimental liturgies, opportunities to become rabbis, new approaches to God, theology, and social issues, the Jewish lesbian movement, women's writing and documentary filmmaking.
Developments in Feminist Philosophy: Rethinking the World
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Feminist philosophy is in the midst of a revolutionary transformation. Rather than remaining content with the task of indicating the shortcomings of the philosophical canon, feminist philosophers are constructing their own distinctively feminist version of philosophy. In this course, we undertake an intensive examination of how feminists have begun to rethink the traditional philosophical domains of epistemology, social theory, and philosophy of science. We are particularly concerned with discovering the underlying connections between contemporary feminist theory in these apparently distinct areas.
Women of Color
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