Introduction to Women's Studies (ID)
Monday, Wednesday 10:10
Friday discussions at 9:05, 10:10 and 11:15 a.m.
Placing women's experiences at the center of interpretation, course introduces basic concepts and perspectives in Women's Studies. Focusing on women's lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women's lives, the ways in which the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism shape women's lives, and how women have resisted them.
Introduction to Women's Studies (ID)
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Critical Perspectives in Women's Studies
#1 Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 a.m.
#2 Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.
Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of Women's Studies and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis integrating economic and cultural imperialism, gender, class, race, and sexual orientation. Also addresses the multifaceted dimensions of women's lived experiences within a global context.
Politics of Identity
Monday, Wednesday 11:15 - 12:30 p.m.
This course will critically examine and explore selected literary texts by women on identity formation and representation. The general focus will be on the intersections of race, gender, religion, class, sex and how these categories impact upon identity formation and representation. Specifically, we will examine and compare the way selected women literary writers re-define and represent themselves within their respective cultural and narrative environments. We will also explore the narrative modes they use and the reason for their choices. AT the end of the course, the students should be able to appreciate the consciousness and sensibilities that characterize identity formation in different and divers cultures of the world.
Black Women in the US:
Racism, Sexism and Community
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 - 12:30 p.m.
Previously listed in Women's Studies Course Guide as WOST 297B. Schedule # will be available for registration purposes sometime in July. The course examines Black women's struggles for racial and gender equality in the U.S. from slavery to the present. By virtue of being members of competing social groups (e.g. woman, mother, worker, Black, heterosexual/lesbian, feminist), Black women are often torn between group allegiances and issues. Emphasis will be on the achievements of Black women as agents of social change to balance these tensions and advance their social position. Readings will highlight instances in which Black women challenge the status quo through political activism, grassroots community change, work, writing, as well as everyday acts of resistance. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women's Studies inside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Career and Life Choices (2 credits)
Monday 12:20-2:00 p.m.
Development of a systematic approach to career, educational, and life planning. Emphasis on prioritization of values and subsequent life choices. Elements of self exploration include: distinguishing between choosing a major and a career; identifying and expanding areas of career interest; identifying current skills and skills necessary for career of choice; relating knowledge, interests and skills to career goals; and current issues for women in the workforce. Career planning skills include budgeting, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing, and use of various resources. Women's Studies students or seniors only. Mandatory Pass/Fail.
Theorizing Women's Issues
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
The objective of this course is to introduce ways of analyzing and reflecting on current issues and controversies in feminist thought within an international context. Feminist theories of the construction of gender, race, lass, and sexuality will be considered. Questions addressed are: What constitutes theory in Women's Studies? How does theory reflect, critique, challenge and change dominant sex/race/class power structures? What is theory's relationship to practice? What are the contemporary issues important to feminist/womanist theory? The common thread of this course is to provide students with some tools of analysis for addressing these issues.
Writing for Women's Studies Majors
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10 - 11:00 a.m.
Fulfills University's Junior Year Writing Requirement. Offered fall semester only. Course acquaints students with the many genres of writing within Women's Studies and is structured around a set of readings selected to represent a large variety of stylist approaches including scholarly writings in a number of fields, book and film reviews, journal writing, letters to the editor, zines, web pages, personal and self-reflexive prose, newsletter prose, and conference reports. The readings will be short, and each will be intended to serve as a model of it's kind to be analyzed, emulated, and/or critiqued. The course allows students to hone skills on modes of expository writing and argumentation useful for research and writing in a variety of fields.
Women in China
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00 - 5:15 p.m.
The People's Republic of China has experienced decades of social engineering projects and political movements. From its inception, the PRC has seen modernizing women as intrinsic to creating a modern Chinese state. This course looks at Chinese women through the prism of the project of creating a modern China. While the course assumes no prior knowledge of the PRC, readings will move quickly through ethnographies and historical discussions of the Maoist project, the era of reform, issues of identity and nationalism, as well as a discussion of current social issues. Some of the questions we will consider include - How have Chinese women been represented by the state? How does gender play into the relationship between culture and politics? What does a "modern" China mean to its citizenry? For its female citizenry? How has China returned to "tradition", and how is China using forms of traditions in new ways? How do different Chinese imagine themselves as becoming modern? Why have some gender relations persisted "despite" state attempts to change them? Readings will include: Gilmartin, Christina and Hershatter, Gail, Rofel, Lisa, White, Tyrene, eds. - Engendering China: Women, Culture and the State; Rofel, Lisa - Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China After Socialism; Anagnost, Ann - National Past-Times: Narrative, Representation, and Power in Modern China; Massonnet, Phillippe - The New China: Money, Sex, and Power, as well as a course packet. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women's Studies outside the U.S. for majors and minors.Will fulfill the Women of Color requirement outside the U.S. for the Women's Studies major and minor.
Latin American Feminisms
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 p.m.
This seminar will connect contemporary Latin American women's and feminist movements to their historical context in order to understand the development of feminist theory in selected countries in Latin America and its relation to political practice. Issues include: feminine vs. feminist movements, the relation of Central American women's movements to left political movements, relations to non-governmental organizations and the state, international feminist connections, the role of human rights discourse in women's movements, power differences between women involving class, race/ethnicity and sexuality, and alternative visions for social justice. Students will be expected to have some background in either Women's Studies, social theory, or Latin American studies and will develop their own research projects. Elementary reading knowledge of Spanish required. Fulfills the Women of Color requirement outside the U.S. for the Women's Studies major and minor.
Women in Islam
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.
Previously listed in pre-registration guide as WOST 391L. The aim of this course is to analyze Muslim women's lives in the modern period within a post-colonial context and beyond an orientalist outlook. By exploring historical, economic, political and socio-cultural issues (including sexuality), the transformation in women's lives will be examined and women's resistance to these changes will be investigated. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women's Studies outside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Agency, Resistance and Gender Violence in Caribbean Development
Monday, Wednesday 3:35 - 4:50 p.m.
This course will provide an interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary lens of analysis to the field of The Politics of Gender and Development Policies in the Caribbean with emphasis on the Anglophone Caribbean and Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS), and specific Latin American case studies. Some themes to be covered in this gendered analysis will include: public policy, political restructuring and social transformation; education reform initiatives; the public/private dichotomy; the intersection of culture, gender and imperialism; Caribbean feminist activism; gender justice and economic justice; the interplay of economic globalization, structural adjustment and patriarchy; the north/south connection, resistance and responsibility; and the Caribbean Tribunal on Violence Against Women. Fulfills the Women of Color requirement for the Women's Studies major and minor.
History of Sexuality in the Middle East
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
The aim of this course is to analyze the intersection of gender, sexuality and ethnicity in modern Middle Eastern history. The following issues will be dealt with in this course: the impact of the articulation of modern state in different countries of the Middle East, the impact of the articulation of modern state on the lives of the subaltern groups such as women and gypsies in different countries of the Middle East, the replacement of subsistence production with cash crop as a result of the rise of domestic and foreign capital and its repercussion in women's lives, and the process through which gypsies remained outside the state apparatus and became an outcast group. This course will satisfy the Woman of Color requirement outside the U.S. for Women's Studies majors and minors.
| WOST 492L/692L
Politics, Nation, Race and Gender
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.
Politics is not only about governance and the state but also about the nation and its formation. This course take the nation as its locus of study and investigates different dimensions of the making of national identities in a global context in relation to issues of gender, race, ethnicity and class. The readings have been structured so as to explore the complexity of national identities around several dimensions. First, the readings will address the ways in which national identities are constructed along different constitutive elements, such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion or colonial relations, as one or several of these elements converge in the making and contestations of national identities in different contexts. Second, the course will simultaneously explore different mediums of representation in the making and contestation of national identities, ranging from popular music, novels, architecture, art, films and mass media to clothing, food and other daily practices. The course and assignments are also designed to assist students in developing their reading, critical analysis and writing skills.
International Feminist Theory: Human Rights Issues and Analysis
Tuesday 2:30 - 5:00 p.m.
This course focuses on what counts as feminist theory in the international arena. What is emerging feminist human rights theory? The more conventional U.S. approach to the teaching of feminist theory has been to examine the alleged schools of feminist thought: eg. liberal, socialist, radical feminism. This course takes another approach grouping feminist theoretical activity around specific international political concerns and questions. Frameworks used are: 1) core themes or central issues of feminist theorizing; 2) key debates around which feminist theory has been organized; 3) feminist theorizing centered on existing bodies of thought such as critical race theory. The content of the course will focus on international feminist concerns: e.g. sex trafficking and prostitution; gendered war crimes; racial hatred "speech"; feminism and nationalism; female genital mutilation; economic "development" theory; reproductive technologies; populations programs and policy; the relationship between theory and activism in the NGO context; and the role of both national and international law in furthering women's rights. The goal of the course is to do theory emerging from a consideration of specific human rights issues, themes, debates, and existing theories.
Program Core Courses
Women of Color Courses
UMass Departmental Courses
UMass Component Courses
Continuing Ed Courses
Graduate Level Courses
Mount Holyoke College