Age of Chivalry
Monday, Wednesday 2:00-3:20
Although "chivalry" is now considered a quaint term describing male conduct in love and war, the concept was originally shaped in part by women, not only as the objects of male desire but also as patrons of poets and musicians. This course will focus on the literature and music produced for the courts of two twelfth-century rulers: Ermengard of Narbonne, patron of the troubadours and Marie de Champagne, patron of the romance-writer Chretien de Troyes. To explore the power structures and ideologies of chivalric culture, we will also read chronicles, charters, and other documents; analyze the iconography of manuscript images; and sing troubadour songs (no prior knowledge of music is expected). All texts will be read in translation, and in dual-language editions where possible.
Fiction as History
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20
This course seeks to understand the shared and differing readings of gender that are offered by two disciplines: History and Literature. A series of American novels, surrounded by a grouping of critical commentaries from historians and literary critics, will be used to examine each discipline's construction - and possibly misconstruction - of gender's operation. Readings will include works by the following authors: Louisa May Alcott, Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Sarah Orne Jewett, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Harriet Wilson.
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30-12:50
Even the most sympathetic observers often assume that Asian women are so deeply oppressed that they demure in the face of intolerable conditions. Such notions of women's deference find echoes in popular conceptions of Asian Amercian 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 activism, 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. Will fulfill the Women of Color requirement outside the U.S. for the Women's Studies major and minor.
This course is concerned with literary, political and legal representations of domestic violence and the relations between them. We question how domestic violence challenges the normative cultural definitions of home as safe or love as enabling. This course will consider how these representations of domestic violence disrupt the boundaries between private and public, love and cruelty, victim and oppressor. In order to better understand the gaps and links between representation and experience, theory and praxis, students as part of the work for this course will hold internships (3 hours per week) at a variety of area agencies and organizations that respond to situations of domestic violence.
Women's History: 1607-1865
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
This course looks at the experiences of Native American, European and African women from the colonial period through the Civil War. The course will explore economic change over time and its impact on women, family structure. Awakenings and their consequences for various groups of women. Through secondary and primary sources and discussions students will look at changing educational and cultural opportunities for some women, the forces creating antebellum reform movements. Especially abolitionism and feminism, and women's participation in the Civil War.
Women: International Politics
Monday, Wednesday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Over the last 20 years, women's public participation has significantly changed all over the world. The unfolding of these changes has been structured by and in turn has shaped the politics of the countries in which they have occurred. This course examines the ways that women's political participation has challenged assumptions about women and initiated institutional and social change. The objective of this course will be to formulate an analytical framework for understanding women's political engagement. Some important questions addressed throughout the course are: how do we define feminism or of whom are we speaking when using the feminist label, how can a movement sustain itself with diversity, how do race, class, and sexual orientation intersect with gender, and how do movements begin by looking at women's activism in the given geographical and historical context they appear. Interdisciplinary readings will cover a wide geographic range of cases, including Asia, Latin American, Africa and with a more extensive emphasis on Eastern Europe.
Gender: An Anthropological Perspective
Thursay 2:00-5:00 p.m.
This seminar 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 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.
Black Women in Black Literature
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20
This cross-cultural course examines similarities and differences in portrayals of girls and women in African and its New World diaspora with special emphasis on the interaction of gender, race, class, and culture. Texts are drawn from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Topics include motherhood, work, and sexual politics. Authors vary from year to year and include: Toni Cade Bambara, Maryse Conde, Nuruddin Farah, Bessie Head, Merle Hodge, Paule Marshall, Ama Ata Aidoo, and T. Obinkaram Echewa. Will fulfill the Women of Color requirement outside the U.S. for the Women's Studies major and minor.
Sex Role Socialization
Wednesday 2:00-4:30 p.m.
An examination of the processes throughout life that produce and maintain sex-typed behaviors. The focus is on the development of the psychological characteristics of males and females and the implications of that development for participation in social roles. Consideration of the biological and cultural determinants of masculine and feminine behaviors will form the basis for an exploration of alternative developmental possibilities. Careful attention will be given to the adequacy of the assumptions underlying psychological constructs and research in the study of sex differences.
Reimaging Law: Feminist Interpretations
Monday, Wednesday 12:30-1:50
Feminist theory raises questions about the compatibility of the legal order with women's experiences and calls for a re-evaluation of the role of law in promoting social change. It invites us to inquire about the possibilities of a "feminist jurisprudence" and the adequacy of other critical perspectives which promise to transform legal authority. This course will consider women as "victims" and users of legal power. We will ask how particular strategies (e.g. equal treatment, protectionism, difference) constitute women as subjects in legal discourse. The nature of law will be considered in context of women's ordinary lives and reproductive roles, their participation in social protest, the way they confront race, class, and ethnic barriers as well as their experiences with violence.
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The Civil Rights Movement: From Moral Commitment to
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
In American the term "civil rights" conventionally signified rights of minorities and, more specifically, rights of African-Americans. It is also sometimes claimed that the expansion of these rights entailed imposing limitations on the rights of others. This course challenges these understandings by examinings the idea that all Americans have "civil rights" and that the distribution of civil rights in society need not mean limiting the rights of one group to advance the interests of another. We will explore these propositions through a study of the influence and impact of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s to 1970s on American law and American society more generally. We will examine how political movements mobilize moral commitment and the ways such commitment is received in or by legal institutions. Surveys of important legal and social changes inspired the contemporary struggles of Native Americans, women, and poor people. In addition, we will examine the meaning of legal equality and recent controversies about affirmative action. Throughout, we will seek to understand how law is changed as well as how law contributes to social change.
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