AMHERST COLLEGE WOMEN'S STUDIES COURSES - Fall 2003

WAGS (Women and Gender Studies) 14 Grosvenor 542-5781
Asian Studies 110 Webster 542-5841
Black Studies 108 Cooper 542-5800
English 1 Johnson Chapel 542-2672
History 11 Chapin 542-2229
Political Science 103 Clark House 542-2380
Sociology/Anthropology 205 Morgan Hall 542-2193

WAGS 11 The Cross-Cultural Construction of Gender
Monday,Wednesday 2 p.m.
Margaret Hunt

Introduction to the issues involved in the social and historical construction of gender and gender roles from a cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. Topics will include women and social change; male and female sexualities including homosexualities; the uses and limits of biology in explaining human gender differences; women's participation in production and reproduction; the relationship among gender, race and class as intertwining oppressions; women, men and globalization; and gender and warfare.

WAGS 53/
POLSCI 53
Representing Domestic Violence
Tuesday 2:00 p.m.
Karen Sanchez-Eppler
Kristin Bumiller

This course is concerned with literary, political and legal representations of domestic violence and the relations between them. 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 at a variety of area agencies and organizations that respond to situations of domestic violence.

WAGS 62f/
HISTORY 62f
Women in the Middle East
TBA
Ringer

This course examines the major developments, themes and issues in women's history in the Middle East from the advent of Islam to the present. By tracing women's legal status, sexual morality, family and social life, and economic and political participation, the course will shed light on the process of women's roles in society and challenge the notion that gender divisions and roles have been static over time. The course will provide a familiarity with the major primary texts concerning the study of women in the Middle East, as well as with the debates concerning the interpretation and meaning of texts, law, religion, and history in the shaping of women's status in the Middle East today.

WAGS 63/ HISTORY 45 Women's History, America: 1607-1865
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30
Martha Saxton

This course looks at the experiences of Native American, European and African women from the colonial period throughout the Civil War. The course will explore economic change over time and its impact on women, family structure and work.

ASIAN 27 Reading the Tale of Genji as a Novel
Monday, Wednesday 12:30-1:40 p.m.
Patrick Caddeau

This course focuses on the most revered work of the classical Japanese canon, The Tale of Genji. Written by a woman in service to the imperial court in the early eleventh century, Genji is rich in details concerning Japan's aristocratic culture at its zenith. We will read all 54 chapters of Genji in translation at a fairly leisurely pace, taking regular detours to examine works of criticism, theater, and cinema created in response to this touchstone of sophisticated prose fiction. Theoretical analysis will be integrated with readings on topics ranging from gender and feminist theory to the relevance of the term "novel" in describing a work of fiction written nearly a millennium ago in classical Japanese. Students gain an appreciation for Genji as a masterpiece of Japanese fiction and of world literature.

ASIAN 67 Flowers in the Mirror
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
Zamperini

This course will look at texts written by and about women during the course of Chinese literature, from the early period all the way to the present. Thus we will deal with a variety of sources, from poetry to drama, from novels and short stories to movies. We will address the issue of women's representation and self-portrayals, and the complex dynamics involved in the relationship between women as objects of writing and women as writing subjects. In particular, we will try to detect the presence (or the absence) of a "woman's voice" in various historical periods, trying also to understand how it related to the presence of a male voice. We will also analyze writing and reading practices and their relationship to issues of gender, sexuality, social class, and material culture. In addition to literary texts, representative theoretical work in the field of pre-modern, modern and contemporary Chinese literature will also be incorporated in the course.

BLKST 57
Component
African-American History from the Slave Trade to Reconstruction
TBA
R. Bonner

This course is a survey of the history of African-American men and women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The content is a mixture of the social, cultural, and political history of blacks during two and a half centuries of slavery with the story of the black freedom struggle and its role in America's national development. Among the major questions addressed: the slave trade in its moral and economic dimensions; African retentions in African-American culture; origins of racism in colonial America; how blacks used the rhetoric and reality of the American and Haitian Revolutions to their advancement; antebellum slavery; black religion and family under slavery and freedom; the free black experience in the North and South; the crises of the 1850s; the role of race and slavery in the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War; and the meaning of emancipation and Reconstruction for blacks. Readings include historical monographs, slave narratives by men and women, and one work of fiction.

ENGL 62 Component Studies in American Literature Writing and Reform
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
Karen Sanchez-Eppler

This course will treat literature as a response to and even in some cases a participant in the reforming ferment of the antebellum period. The writings of Rebecca Harding Davis, Emily Dickinson, Frederick Douglass, Fanny Fern, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, David Walker, Walt Whitman, Harriet Wilson, and Hannah Crafts will be read in conjunction with historical discussions and documents on temperance, moral reform, abolition, labor and women's rights. Such an approach should help us assess how these manifold efforts to reform American society influenced the intellectual climate of the period, affecting both the themes and style of American literature. Conversely, we will go on to ask how these literary texts worked to change the way that political and social issues were understood. The Pioneer Valley is rich in archival resources, providing an opportunity to work with original nineteenth-century reform documents. Students' final projects will draw in part on such archival findings.

ANTH 39 Component The Anthropology of Food
Thursday 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Deborah Gewertz

Because food is necessary to sustain biological life, its production and provision occupy humans everywhere. Due to this essential importance, food also operates to create and symbolize collective life. This seminar will examine the social and cultural significance of food. Topics to be discussed include: the evolution of human food systems, the social and cultural relationships between food production and human reproduction, the development of women's association with the domestic sphere, the meaning and experience of eating disorders, and the connection between ethnic cuisines, nationalist movements and social classes.
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