Women's Studies courses, Mount Holyoke College, Fall 2009

American Studies 109 Shattuck Hall 538-3226
Anthropology/Sociology Merrill House 538-2283
English 111 Shattuck Hall 538-2146
Gender Studies 109 Shattuck Hall 538-2257
History Department 309 Skinner Hall 538-2377
Italian 105 Ciruti Center 538-2347
Religion 205 Skinner Hall 538-2132

GNDST 101-01 – Introduction to Gender Studies/Spanish
Christian Gundermann
Tuesday, Thursday  11:00-12:15 p.m.

This course, taught in Spanish, is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender studies. It also focuses on the specific implications of this new, predominantly U.S.-based discipline for and in the Spanish speaking world. The intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality in various contexts, past and present, will be central to our inquiry. Topics will include the politics of appearance, women's economic status, sexual violence, racism, legacies of colonialism, the challenges of transnational feminist and queer activism, and strategies for change. We will examine the development of feminist and queer theory and its practices in various local and transnational contexts, but especially in the Spanish-speaking world.

GNDST 101-02 – Introduction to Gender Studies
Chaia Heller
Tuesday, Thursday, 1:15-2:30 p.m.

This course examines the social and historical construction of gender from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality in various contexts, past and present, will be central to our inquiry. Topics will include the politics of appearance, women's economic status, sexual violence, racism, legacies of colonialism, the challenges of transnational feminist activism, and strategies for change. We will examine the development of feminist theory and its practices in various local and transnational contexts.

GNDST 101-03 – Introduction to Gender Studies
Christiana Croegaert
Monday, Wednesday  2:40-3:55 p.m.

This course examines the social and historical construction of gender from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. The intersections among gender, race, class, and sexuality in various contexts, past and present, will be central to our inquiry. Topics will include the politics of appearance, women's economic status, sexual violence, racism, legacies of colonialism, the challenges of transnational feminist activism, and strategies for change. We will examine the development of feminist theory and its practices in various local and transnational contexts.

GNDST 117/HISTORY 101 – Gender and Power in the History of Mount Holyoke College
Mary Renda
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
Mary Lyon, founder in 1837 of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, held out to her students the possibility that they might transform the world--a tall order for young women who were excluded from proper citizenship and political power. To Lyon, duty, discipline, and community would make it possible. What transformations ensued? And what can we learn from them about the complexities of gender and power? This course will introduce students to the craft of historical research through the richness of the College Archives. Special attention will be paid to the College's missionary past, its role in labor research and activism, and the place of racism and antiracism in its history.


GNDST 204-01/ENGLISH 270/AMST 290– 19th Century American Women Writers
Lois Brown
Tuesday, Thursday  11:00-12:15 p.m.
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, Far, Fuller, Harper, Hopkins, Ruiz de Burton Wilson, and Winnemucca.


GNDST 206-01/HIST 283 – Sexual Revolution in U.S.
Jane Gerhard
Tuesday, Thursday  1:15-2:30 p.m.

This class will evaluate the notion of "sexual revolutions" by examining three moments in U.S. history; the late eighteenth century, the turn of the twentieth century, and the 1960s and 1970s. In each, we will look at shifts in the relationships between race, class, gender, and sexuality. Our history will include the role of experts in the fields of religion, medicine, sexology, and psychology and their efforts to define sexual deviance and promote sexual "normality." At the same time, we will study popular and subcultural sexual cultures found in brothels, bars, same sex institutions, sports, bohemian circles, and political groups and look for strategies of resistance to normative regimes.

GNDST 221-01/ANTHRO 216 – Voicing Traditions
Christiana Croegaert
Tuesday, Thursday  11:00-12:15 p.m.

Do women as a group, in Gilligan's words, speak "in a different voice"? This course examines the history of feminist theory through an investigation of "voice." Does a focus on voice privilege western European feminist traditions? How have debates over who may speak for marginalized women facilitated feminist interdisciplinary dialogue on topics such as violence against women, class oppression, and racism? We will explore these questions in literature, film, and scholarship in anthropology, psychology, and socio-linguistics.

GNDST 333-01/HISTORY 301/AMST 301 – Gender and Empire
Mary Renda
Tuesday, 1:15-4:05 p.m.
Recent cultural histories of imperialism--European as well as U.S.--have illuminated the workings of race and gender at the heart of imperial encounters. This course will examine the United States' relationship to imperialism through the lens of such cultural histories. How has the encounter between Europe and America been remembered in the United States? How has the cultural construction of "America" and its "others" called into play racial and gender identities? How have the legacies of slavery been entwined with U.S. imperial ambitions at different times? And what can we learn from transnational approaches to "the intimacies of empire?"


GNDST 333-02/ITAL 311 – Sorelle di Penna/Sisters in Writing: the Development of Italian Women's Writing
Ombretta Frau
Monday, Wednesday  2:50-3:55 p.m.
During the course of the Nineteenth Century, Italian women were finally able to conquer a place in the realm of letters and society. Their Renaissance sisters having been almost completely forgotten, women writers in the new Italian kingdom had no models to follow. This course will explore the birth and development of women's writing in nineteenth and twentieth century Italy with particular emphasis on autobiography, autofiction, issues of gender, sexuality and identity. We will read and discuss works by, among others, Sibilla Aleramo, Jolanda, Matilde Serao, Benedetta, Amelia Rosselli, Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante. Special attention will be paid to the early twentieth century, to futurist women and to the condition of women in Fascist Italy.


GNDST 333-03/ANTHRO 316-02 – Gender/Power/Social Movements
Chaia Heller
Monday  1:15-4:05 p.m.
This course explores the gendered dynamics of social movements in both the global North and South. After analyzing the first and second waves of the U.S. women's movements, we will examine groups outside the U.S.--including movements that are 'all-women' and mixed. In particular, we will look critically at the imposition of western models of women's liberation onto movements in the global South. We will also examine women's 'triple burden' that occurs as women engage in domestic-subsistence, wage-earning, and activist work. Drawing from diverse literatures including feminist theory, social movement theory, anthropology, and political ecology, we will examine the challenges and possibilities women face as they engage in social movements today.


GNDST 333-04/ENGL 323 – Gender/Class/Victorian Novel
Jennifer Pyke
Tuesday, Thursday  1:15-4:05 p.m.

This course will investigate how representations of gender and class serve as a structuring principle in the development of the genre of the Victorian novel in Britain. We will devote significant attention to the construction of Victorian femininity and masculinity in relation to class identity, marriage as a sexual contract, and the gendering of labor, all the while keeping our eye on form and the sometimes mysterious narrator-as-consciousness that guides us through these concerns. Novelists will include Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, C. Bronte, and Hardy. Supplementary readings in literary criticism and theory.

GNDST 333-05 – Love, Gender-Crossing, and Women's Supremacy: A Reading of The Story of the Stone
Ying Wang
Wednesday  1:15-4:05 p.m.

A seminar on the eighteenth-century Chinese masterpiece The Story of the Stone and selected literary criticism in response to this work. Discussions will focus on love, gender-crossing, and women's supremacy and the paradoxical treatments of these themes in the novel. We will explore multiple aspects of these themes, including the sociopolitical, philosophical, and literary milieus of eighteenth-century China. We will also examine this novel in its relation to Chinese literary tradition in general and the generic conventions of premodern Chinese vernacular fiction in particular.

GNDST 333-06/REL 306 – Sex and the Early Church
Michael Penn
Thursday  1:15-4:05 p.m.

This course examines the various ways first-through fifth-century Christians addressed questions regarding human sexuality. We will concentrate on the rise of sexual asceticism and pay particular attention to the relationship between sexuality and issues of gender, culture, power, and resistance. Primary readings will include letters, narrative accounts of female and male ascetics, monastic rules, and "heretical" scriptures. These will be supplemented by modern scholarship in early Christian studies and the history of sexuality.


AMST - Reading and Writing in the World
L. Savoy/J. Lemly
Wednesday 1:15-4:05 p.m.

(component)

An introduction to reading and writing about nature, this seminar will attempt an exchange across distinct approaches to observing and describing the world around us. Do lenses of culture, discipline, and gender determine how we see and experience nature, environment, and place? Course work will include reading such authors as N. Scott Momaday, Henry David Thoreau, bell hooks, Leslie Marmon Silko, Mary Oliver, and Annie Dillard; field trips; and writing assignments--weekly field notes and journals, analytical papers, and personal essays.


ENGL 101-06 - Contemporary Autobiography: Race, Sexuality, Style
Ronaldo Wilson
Tuesday, Thursday  1:15-2:30 p.m. 
(component)

We will examine contemporary American writers who employ a variety of genres to create autobiography. Through close readings of auto-fiction, poetry, the lyric essay, memoir, and journals, we shall interrogate how African American, Asian American, and queer aesthetics intersect and address this difficult question: What is an American story of the self? Writers include Wayne Koestenbaum, Gary Fisher, Toi Derricotte, June Jordan, Claudia Rankine, Andy Warhol, Justin Chin, D.A. Powell, and Meena Alexander. Students will write and revise several short creative and critical pieces, each piece becoming part of a cohesive final project.

ENGL 101-08 – Cultural Representations of Women
William Quillian
Tuesday, Thursday  11:00-12:15 p.m.

We begin with a reading of Woolf's A Room of One's Own and a consideration of Mount Holyoke as such a "room" as an introduction to thinking about some of the ways in which women have been traditionally represented (or not represented) in Western culture. After working with a variety of short fictions by men as well as women, we will focus on one particularly notable literary representation of women, Edith Wharton's House of Mirth (both the novel and the recent film.) Through John Berger's Ways of Seeing we will extend our discussion to the tradition of oil painting, contemporary advertising, and the media. Writing intensive; brief weekly exercises; research paper.


HIST 285-01 – Native American History
Instructor TBA
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
(component)

An overview of indigenous peoples north of present-day Mexico, focusing on relations of selected American Indian peoples with one another and with non-Natives in various regions and periods. Emphasizing survival and resistance of Native peoples in the face of sustained assaults on their persons, homelands, and cultural identities; multiple dimensions of European and Euro-American colonization of North America and its indigenous peoples; experiences of Native women and issues of gender in American Indian history; ways that Native Americans have shaped "mainstream" American history; problems of historical research and interpretation, as these pertain to Indian people and Indian perspectives.