HACU 128m Gendered America
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Gender is neither fixed nor stable. Rather, what we think of as "masculine" and "feminine" evolves over time and changes from era to era. Additionally, people in different racial and ethnic groups and in different classes have held contradictory ideas about gender even in the same era. Are these shifts due to developments and changes in our socio-economic system-the advent of large and impersonal cities and workplaces populated with new immigrant workers? Do our ideas about gender change in response to war? What role does the new social science play in changing our conceptualizations of masculinity and femininity, heterosexuality and homosexuality? What kinds of cultural representations are created to convey changing concepts of gender? Using novels, memoir, biography, film, and historical and cultural studies, this multidisciplinary course will examine competing conceptualizations of gender and sexuality in U.S. society and culture in the late 19th and 20th century.

HACU 130f Women's Lives, Women's Stories
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3:20

In this course we will analyze the lives and work of some women writers and will consider the interrelationship between the writer's life, the historical period in which she lives, and work she produces. We will examine the different paths these women took to become writers, the obstacles they overcame, and the themes which emerge from their work. Among the writers we will consider are Zora Neal Hurston, Tillie Olsen, Joy Kogawa, Adrienne Rich, and Cherrie Moraga. Students will write several short papers and will have the option to write a research paper suitable for consideration as a Division I exam. Reading, writing, and research skills will be emphasized.

HACU 147
Ethnic American Lit: Latino/a Novels
Tuesday, Thursday 9-10:20

The course focuses on recent novels by Ana Castillo, Oscar Hijuelos, Ana Veciana Suarez, Dagoberto Gilb, Francisco Goldman, and Laida Maritza Perez that help define the Latino/a experience. The novels are populated by people who have been systematically missing from public spaces. To be simultaneously inside and outside is to live at the intersections of histories and memories. This drama, rarely freely chosen, draws our attention to the political urgencies of our present. Films and songs will supplement the readings. The course offers intensive training in college-level expository writing.

HACU 226
Faulkner and Morrison
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50

Our purpose in this class will not be narrowly comparative but rather to read intensively and extensively in each of these master practitioners of the modern novel, thinking particularly about how they each frame issues of personal identity, think about family, history and memory, and confront the American 20th century dilemma of "the color line."

CS 231
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50

At a time when the buzz phrase "no child should be left behind" has become ubiquitous, the schoolroom remains contested ground. Even as the national legacy of failure in educating diverse students--those whose race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, or abilities fail to mirror that of the governing society--is more widely recognized than in the past, explanations are multiple and recommended solutions remain contradictory. This course is designed to address three goals. First, we will explore the underlying issues imbedded in the debates on marginality and educational outcomes. Second, based on our understanding of these, we will develop a set of principles of good practice for the education of neglected groups. Finally, we will propose school structures, curricular objectives and pedagogical strategies that promote excellence and equity in our nation's schools. Students will be asked to write response papers to selected readings, make a class presentation on an educational model and participate in a group research project on a current educational issue. This course is designed to meet the objectives of the Education Studies program. It is, however, open to any Division II or III student who is interested in the current national education debate.

CS 136
Love, Sex and Death
Monday, Wednesday 1-2:20

Many of the prominent moral controversies of our time involve some of our most elementary concerns: love, sex, life and death. In this class we will explore a number of ethical theories and use these to investigate various philosophical arguments and positions on topics such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, pornography, perversion and prostitution.

IA 132f Feminist Fictions
Wednesday, Friday 10:30-11:50

In this course we will explore what we can bring from our knowledge as readers to the act of creating fiction and how writing fiction might shape the way we approach women's narratives as readers. Discussion will focus on the representation of gender, sexuality, race and culture, the use of language and structure, and the relation of the acts of writing and reading to feminist theory and practice. Several classes will be devoted to the presentation and discussion of student work. Readings may include A Room of One's Own, Beloved, The Fifth Child, Autobiography of My Mother, Stone Butch Blues, Red Azalea, and selected short stories and critical essays. Students should expect to keep a journal, to write in a variety of genres (fiction, personal essay, biography, autobiography), and to attend a series of films on Wednesday evenings.

SS 116f
Contemporary China
Tuesday, Thursday 9-10:20

In the last half of the 20th century, China changed from a self-reliant, Maoist socialism to a globally-linked, mixed capitalist/state socialist economy and society. We will examine the impact of these major socio-economic transformations on Chinese society, politics and popular culture. We will pay particular attention to debates surrounding the impact of globalization on local societies and developing economies. Do ties to the global economic order improve or repress living standards, increase or decrease class inequality, fuel nationalism or promote cosmopolitanism, improve the prospects for democratization and human rights or support increased repression and authoritarianism? An effort will be made to expose students to the varying experiences of different segments of Chinese society, such as intellectuals, peasants, workers, and women in various social classes, and to look at the impact of changes and global links from the bottom up. Classes will be structured around informal lectures and group discussions, some of which will be led by students.

SS 143f
European Jewish Communities
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Jewish life in Europe was profoundly affected by all that is meant by "modernity." Writers who had been born into traditional communities, and had personal knowledge of their ways of life, gained fresh perspective as they moved into wider social environments, enabling them to transform remembered experiences into creative literature. We'll read outstanding examples of their stories, novels, and memoirs (in translation), learning from them about life in European Jewish communities. Among the topics to be considered are gender roles and relationships, beliefs about childhood, and conflicts between traditional values and the demands and attractions of modern life. Students will be encouraged (not required) to participate actively in discussions. Everyone will write one or two pages of critical commentary each week and a final paper to be submitted as a Division I examination.

SS 147 Gender and Its Development
Monday, Wednesday 9-10:20

Once an assumed category, dictated by biology and shaped by culture, gender and its development have recently been the focus of much psychological research and of extensive dialogue in both the Social Sciences and other disciplines. This course will review historic assumptions about the nature and development of gender and the work of psychologists who have questioned these assumptions. We will focus on reading and discussion of recent work on the development of gender identity in children and young adults. Contemporary ideas about the nature of gender from psychology and adjacent fields will be discussed in this context.

SS 148
Societies and Cultures of the Middle East
Monday, Wednesday 9-10:20

This course is designed to introduce students to the historical, social, political, and cultural dynamics of the contemporary Middle East. We will look at the historical and geographical contours of the region. We will explore the culture (languages and religions as well as artistic and literary forms), political systems and economic development, secularism and Islamic politics, and issues of ethnicity, and gender. Throughout the course, attention will be directed to both the region's specificities-those definite characteristics that distinguish the Middle East from other parts of the world-and to the region's internal diversity. The primary purpose of the course is to facilitate cross-cultural communication and understanding. Students will be asked to interrogate their own assumptions and to suggest fruitful ways of encountering the Middle East.

SS 160f
Affirmative Action
Tuesday, Thursday 2-3:20

What is affirmative action, and why do so many people get so worked up about it? Reverse discrimination against innocent whites? A just remedy for years of slavery, colonialism and racial discrimination? Possibly the most poorly understood yet most controversial political issue of the late 20th century, virtually every American has a strong opinion on the subject. Often these are founded on questionable assumptions stemming from ignorance of its historical, philosophical and legal foundations, and misapprehension of its actual practice. We will attempt to cut through the rhetoric to examine and debate seriously the intellectual foundations and practices of affirmative action. A willingness to question one's own assumptions and positions as well as those of others is the only prerequisite for enrollment.

SS 174 Creating Families
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50

This course will investigate the roles of law, culture and technology in creating families. We will focus on systems of reproduction as these reinforce inequalities of class, race and gender. We will examine the issues of entitlement to parenthood, domestic and international adoption, and the uses and consequences of new reproductive technologies, birth control and population control. Questions to be addressed include: How does women's status affect their relation to reproductive alternatives? What is the relationship between state reproductive policies, and practices-legal, contested, and clandestine-that develop around these policies? How are notions of family and parenting enacted and transformed in an arena that is transnational, interracial, intercultural, and cross-class?

SS 265 Family, Gender and Power
Thursday 12:30-3:20
Johnson, Cerullo, Sperling

In this course we will explore questions concerning the bases of women's power and subordination in different historical, class, race and cultural locations, with particular attention to women's position in relation to kinship and the political order. Our case material will come from Europe, China, and the U.S. In China and Europe, we will examine the emergence of different patriarchal structures and the role of the state in shaping family, gender and reproduction. In the U.S. we will focus on the racialized production of gender and kinship from the era of slavery to the rise of the U.S. welfare state and its dismantling in the name of "family values." Throughout the case studies, we will highlight various forms of resistance to subordination and the diversity of lived experiences. This course is designed as a core feminist studies course in Social Science. It will also be valuable for students concentrating in child studies or wanting to incorporate gendered perspectives into their study of European, U.S. or Chinese politics and history.

SS 306
Globalization and Subjectivity
Wednesday 2:30-5:20

Globalization has become a new paradigm for how we think about ourselves, our identities and relations to others and the communities we live in. But what does globalization mean and to whom? Who are the subjects of globalization? How does the subjective experience of living and working in a globalizing world differ across geographies, nationalities, ethnicities, classes, and genders? What kinds of conflicts and choices-over migration, work, family, sexuality, nationality, home-does globalization pose for individuals in their everyday lives? And how do people respond to, participate in, or resist the daily demands of global life? We will explore these questions through the experiences of expatriate CEOs and migrant factory workers, the newly immigrated and the formerly colonized, international scholars, domestic servants, sex workers and others whose lives are caught up in the promise and peril of globalization. We will try to enter into these disparate subject positions through ethnography, film, discussions, and most importantly examination of local-global connections in our immediate communities. This course will meet once a week for three hours and is designed for advanced Division II and Division III students.

OPRA 229 Women and Girls in the Outdoors
Thursday 1:00-5:00 p.m.

The new scholarship on female development has spawned new outdoor programs that have applied this research in creating outdoor experiences for women and girls. This course will examine that trend as well as serve as an academic and experiential exploration of topics pertaining to women and girls in the outdoors. We will look at gender sensitive outdoor leadership, ecofeminism, outdoor challenges for women in a physical, spiritual, emotional and social context, all women and girls outdoor programming, and the myths and models surrounding the female experience of the wilderness. An overnight camping practicum with a local girls group will be part of the course. This course is for women who are Division II or III students with prior knowledge, experience or studies in women's outdoor issues. The course content will involve and reflect the interests of women in the class.

Program Core Courses
Women of Color Courses
UMass Departmental Courses
UMass Component Courses
Continuing Ed Courses
Graduate Level Courses
Amherst College
Mount Holyoke College
Hampshire College Home
Smith College
UMass listings
Five-College Listings