UMass Departmental Courses, Fall 2011

Departmental courses automatically count towards the major or minor with the exception of 100-level courses, which only count towards the minor.  For additional courses covering applied areas of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, consult the Component Course section.

Anthropology Department 215 Machmer Hall 545-5939

ANTHRO 397SE – Sex and Evolution
Seamus Decker
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

Goals for this course:
To build scientific proficiency by reading, synthesizing and commenting on recent peer-reviewed literature in biology and behavioral sciences; to understand the concept of epigenesis and how it complements biocultural approaches in anthropology; to understand the differences between sex, sexuality and gender how these typologies overlap and interact with and complement one another in biocultural anthropology; to apply evolutionary theory to understand prevailing hypotheses about why the adaptation of sexual reproduction evolved; to use the concept of an evolved psychological mechanism to understand evidence for sexual dimorphism in human behavior and the interactions of such dimorphisms with developmental contextual forces such as culture; to learn some evolutionary perspectives on questions you probably never thought to ask such as: Why do women have orgasms? Do males and females differ in terms of predisposition to jealousy, promiscuity, or other behaviors? How do sex hormones influence behavior and brain development?; and to become immersed in a small body of recent literature dealing with the subject of sex and evolution as it fits within anthropology, and gain a foothold for more extensive or advanced studies in this area.

Asian Languages and Literature 440 Herter Hall   545-0886

JAPANESE 391S/591S – Women Writers of Japan
Amanda Seaman
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 p.m.

See department for description.


Classics Department 524 Herter Hall 545-0512

CLASSICS 335 – Women In Antiquity
Teresa Ramsby
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Lives, roles, contributions, and status of women in Greek and Roman societies, as reflected in classical literature and the archaeological record.   


Communications 407 Machmer Hall      545-1311

COMM 397NN - Race, Gender and the Sitcom
Demetria Shabazz
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This course examines the situation comedy from sociological and artistic perspectives. We will seek, first of all, to understand how situation-comedy is a rich and dynamic meaning-producing genre within the medium of television. Secondly we will work to dissect narrative structures, and the genre’s uses of mise-en-scene, cinematography/videography, editing, and sound to create specific images of the family through social constructions of race, class, and gender. In addition we will use various critical methods such as semiotics, genre study, ideological criticism, cultural studies, and so on to interrogate why the sitcom form since its inception in the 1950s has remained one of the most popular genres for audiences and industry personnel alike and assess what the genre might offer us in terms of a larger commentary on notions of difference and identity in the US and beyond. Open to Senior & Junior Communication majors only.

COMM 397VV - Women in Cinemas of the African Diaspora
Demetria Shabazz
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 p.m.


Economics 1004 Thompson Hall      545-2590

ECON 348 - The Political Economy of Women
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.m.

A critical review of neoclassical, Marxist, and feminist economic theories pertaining to inequality between men and women in both the family and the firm.


School of Education  124 Furcolo Hall      545-0234

EDUC 392E - Social Issues Workshop: Sexism (1 credit)
Mary Lynn Boscardin
September 14, 5:30-8:00 p.m.,
plus weekend of October 29-30, 2011 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Workshop addresses the dynamics of sexism on personal and institutional levels.

EDUC 392I – Social Issues Workshop: Gender Oppression (1 credit)
Mary Lynn Boscardin
September 14, 5:30-8:00 p.m.
plus weekend of November 12-13, 2011 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Workshop addresses the dynamics of gender oppression on personal and institutional levels.

EDUC 392L – Social Issues Workshop: Heterosexism (1 credit)
Mary Lynn Boscardin
September 14, 5:30-8:00 p.m., plus weekend of November 5-6, 2011 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Workshop addresses the dynamics of heterosexism on personal and institutional levels.

EDUC 704 - Issues of Gender in Science and Science Education
Kathleen Davis
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Issues of gender relative to the participations of all individuals in science activity; historical and on-going structures, policies, and practices that influence legitimacy and participation; and the intersection and relationships between social groups.


English 170 Bartlett Hall      545-2332

ENGLISH 132 - Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00 a.m.

This course investigates images of men and women in poetry, drama, and fiction. It aims at appreciating the literature itself, with increasing awareness of the ways in which men and women grow up, seek identity, mature, love, marry, and during different historical times, relate in families, classes, races, ethnic groups, societies, cultures. What are the conventional perspectives and relationships of “Man” and “Woman”? How does literature accept or question these conventions? What alternative perspectives and relationships are imagined in literature? (Gen Ed. AL, G)

ENGLISH 891JO – Historicizing Women’s Literacies
Janine Solberg
Wednesday 4:40-7:10 p.m.

In this seminar we'll examine literate and rhetorical practices of U.S. women during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This period saw dramatic changes that transformed the texture of American life, some of which included the rise of the modern corporation, development of new communication technologies (typewriter, telephone, phonograph), and a proliferation of printed matter about women’s changing roles and activities (suffrage, club, and reform work). Our readings will draw from the growing body of historical scholarship produced by scholars of composition, rhetoric, and literacy studies, and we will give particular attention to the methods represented (both implicitly and explicitly) in these texts. Students may be asked to engage in relevant archival research—-for example, visiting a local archive, identifying materials of interest, and preparing an analysis or discussion of those materials.


Germanic and Scandinavian Studies 513 Herter Hall      545-2350

GERMAN 363 – Witches: Myth and Reality (GI)
Susan Cocalis
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

This course focuses on various aspects of witches/witchcraft in order to examine the historical construction of the witch in the context of the social realities of women (and men) labeled as witches.  The main areas covered are:  European pagan religions and the spread of Christianity; the "Burning Times" in early modern Europe, with an emphasis on the German situation; 17th-century New England and the Salem witch trials; the images of witches in folk lore and fairy tales in the context of the historical persecutions; and contemporary Wiccan/witch practices in their historical context.  The goal of the course is to deconstruct the stereotypes that many of us have about witches/witchcraft, especially concerning sexuality, gender, age, physical appearance, occult powers, and Satanism.  Readings are drawn from documentary records of the witch persecutions and witch trials, literary representations, scholarly analyses of witch-related phenomena, and essays examining witches, witchcraft, and the witch persecutions from a contemporary feminist or neo-pagan perspective.  The lectures will be supplemented by related material taken from current events in addition to visual material (videos, slides) drawn from art history, early modern witch literature, popular culture, and documentary sources.  Conducted in English.


History Department 612 Herter Hall      545-1330

HISTORY 388 - US Women’s History to 1890 (HSU)

Joyce Berkman

Lecture:  Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-1:50

Discussions Wednesdays  9:05, 10:10, or 12:20 p.m.

Surveys the social, cultural, economic and political developments shaping American women's lives from the colonial period to 1890, and explores women's participation in and responses to those changes. Topics include: the transformation of work and family life, women's culture, the emergence of the feminist movement, sexuality and women's health, race and ethnic issues.  Sophomore level and above.  

HISTORY 697D – U.S. Women & Gender History
Joyce Berkman
Monday 7:00-9:30 p.m.

This graduate topics course spans women and gender history from the colonial era to the present. It prepares students for a research seminar and graduate exams in the field of women and gender history. Our study of historiography on key questions in the field will feature recent scholarship combined with pathbreaking earlier writings. Although the role of gender and gender relations is critical to understanding both female and male experience, the emphasis of this course is on the way gender intersects with other major societal and cultural influences in shaping women’s lives. This, of course, includes gender relations in the context of how men are gendered. The aims of the course, then, are to deepen understanding of the array of and interconnections among time and place-specific influences that shape women’s consciousness and behavior; to compare and contrast women’s experience across the axes of social class, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality; to explore what we know with how we know it through our attention to a variety of kinds of historical sources and scholarly modes of presentation; and to grapple with some of the central debates within the field of women and gender history.  The course follows a chronological framework so as to analyze changed and continuities over time. 

Labor Center Thompson Hall      545-4875

LABOR 201 – Issues of Women and Work
Dale Melcher
Tuesday 2:30-3:45 p.m.

The role of women at a variety of workplaces from historical, economic, sociological, and political points of view. Among areas considered: discrimination, health care, women in the labor movement and in management, and civil rights legislation. 


Public Health & Health Sciences 408 Arnold House      545-4603

PUBHLTH 213 - Peer Health Educ. I
Amanda Vann, April McNally
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

Training course.  Students participate in campus outreach projects while learning specific information on the primary health issues for college students: alcohol and other drug use, sexual decision-making, contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders and stress management techniques.  Class involves personal health assessment such as personal alcohol and drug survey, small group discussions, guest lectures, role playing, team building and public speaking exercises.  Class size limited to 20.  Students must complete an application and process for admission to the Peer Health Education Program.  This course is the first course in a year long academic course.

PUBHLTH 214 - Peer Health Education II
April McNally, Amanda Vann
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Using skills and knowledge from PUBHLTH 213, students will plan events, use technology and facilitate programs on contemporary health issues.  Advanced skills in facilitation, public speaking, program planning and group dynamics will be put into practice through various class assignments.  Some evening work required.  Prerequisites:  PUBHLTH 213 and consent of instructor.

PUBHLTH 582 - Family Planning/Women’s Health
Aline Gubrium
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

The interface of social and clinical issues, health policy, research, and community health education in the area of women's health across the lifespan. Also open to seniors from the Five Colleges.

Psychology 441 Tobin Hall   545-2383

PSYCH 391ZZ - Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Experience
John Bickford
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Students in this course will explore psychological theory and research pertaining to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Topics include sexual orientation, sexual identity development, stigma management, heterosexism & homonegativity, gender roles, same-sex relationships, LGB families, LGB diversity, and LGB mental health.

Sociology 710 Thompson Hall      545-0577

SOCIOL 106 - Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity  (SBU)                       

  1. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00-8:50AM
  2. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55AM
  3. Staff – Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:20-1:10PM
  4. Staff – Monday, Wednesday 1:25-2:15 plus discussion M,TH, or F

Introduction to sociology. Analysis of how the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, and social class affect people's lives in relation to political power, social status, economic mobility, interactions with various subgroups in American society, etc. Emphasis on the role of social institutions and structural-level dynamics in maintaining these identities and areas of inequality.

SOCIOL 222 - The Family  (SBU)                                                                     

  1. Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-9:15 a.m.
  2. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:25-2:15 p.m.

Using lectures and discussion groups, we will explore how we define family, the ways we construct families, and the relationship between our families and larger social forces. Beginning with an examination of the history of families, we will look at changes in seemingly impersonal forces that are associated with changes in personal relations--between partners and spouses, between parents and children, among extended kin. Then we will turn to contemporary families across the life course, looking at the choice of a partner and experiences in marriage, parenting and childhood, and marital dissolution. Throughout, we will discuss differences--by gender, by race, and by class. Throughout we will attend to the social forces that shape these personal experiences.

SOCIOL 383 - Gender and Society

  1. staff – Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05PM
  2. Joya Misra - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.m.

Sociological analyses of women's and men's gendered experiences, through examination of: 1) historical and cross-cultural variations in gender systems; 2) contemporary interactional and institutional creation and internalization of gender and maintenance of gender differences; 3) how gender experiences vary by race/ethnicity, social class and other differences. Biological, psychological, sociological and feminist theories are examined.

SOCIOL 385 – Gender and the Family
Jennifer Lundquist
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

This course explores the family as a gendered social construction. It considers how the family reflects and reproduces gender roles that are woven into the social norms of our society.

SOCIOL 387 - Sexuality and Society (SB U)
Amy Schalet
Tuesday, Thursday 5:30-6:45 p.m.

The many ways in which social factors shape sexuality. Focus on cultural diversity, including such factors as race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity in organizing sexuality in both individuals and social groups. Also includes adolescent sexuality; the invention of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality; the medicalization of sexuality; and social theories about how people become sexual. 

SOCIOL 388 – Gender and Globalization
Millie Thayer
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

Examines how globalization impacts gender relations, as well as how beliefs about  femininity and masculinity influence globalization. Focuses on particularly important contexts, including: global production, international debt, migration, sex, tourism and war.

SOCIOL 794B – Sociologies of Sexuality
Amy Schalet
Tuesday 9:30-12:00 p.m.

 See department for description.


Social Thought and Political Economy (STPEC) E 27 Machmer Hall      545-0043

STPEC 493H  - Senior Seminar II:  Feminism, Science and Religion: A Comparative Analysis
Banu Subramaniam
Wednesday 4:40-7:15 p.m.  Senior and Junior STPEC majors only.

Science and religion represent two powerful institutions, their histories intertwined and inextricably interconnected.  Patriarchal institutions, often hostile to women and gender, feminists have challenged both with great vigor. This  course examines these contestations using a comparative analysis of the United States and India. The founders of the United States imagined secularism as a separation of church and state – religion being relegated to the private,  and to non-state actors. In contrast, the founders of India imagined secularism as pluralism – the state actively supporting all religions. Despite these contrasting visions, there are animated challenges to secularism in both countries today. The “religious right” in the U. S. invokes its Judeo Christian origins to insist on the centrality of Christianity. Similarly, religious nationalists in India insist on privileging the dominant religion, Hinduism. The course will examine the complexities of the histories of science and religion, and our gendered visions of tradition and modernity. It will emphasize the defining role of gender, race, class and sexuality in the histories of science and religion in both contexts, and how these categories of difference continue to shape the gendered landscapes of religion and science India and the U. S. The course will include discussion on the new reproductive technologies, debates on evolution and the definitions of life, and our ecological futures.


Spanish and Portuguese 416 Herter Hall      545-2887

SPAN 497WC – Women’s Literature and Cinema
Barbara Zecchi
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

See department for description.

SPAN 697WF – Women and Film
Barbara Zecchi
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

A close examination of the evolution of Spanish cinema by women directors through the viewpoint of gender and feminist film theories. This class will highlight women’s mainly gynocentric cinematic scope and engage several of the most recurrent topics that shape women’s films (such as violence against women, the depiction of the female body, and the rejection of traditional female roles, among others) in comparison with how these same themes surface in hegemonic cinema (i.e. both Hollywood and Spanish male-authored production). Furthermore this class will outline the historical evolution of female cinema: 1) Film-makers who worked before the Civil War and were silenced by Francisco Franco’s dictatorship, 2) Those who had to negotiate their production within the regime’s censorship, and 3) A third group that, in democracy, contributes to a “boom” of women behind the camera. By tackling the so-called gender-genre debate, this class will analyze how each group uses (or subverts) different male-dominated cinematic forms (such as neo-realism, the road movie, the film noir, etc.), thus shaping a female discursive “difference” in each period. Taught in Spanish.