Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Women of Color courses, Fall 2011


COMM 397VV - Women in Cinemas of the African Diaspora
Demetria Shabazz
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Inside or Outside the U.S.

WOMENSST 291A - Gender & Resistance in African American Women’s History
Dayo Gore
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Inside the U.S.

This course examines the political thought and activism of black women in the United States from emancipation to the present.  Through primary sources, life stories, and essays, this course will explore some of the central concerns that have profoundly shaped black women's experiences in the U.S., including interracial relations, constructions of black women's sexuality, women's labor, state sanctioned racial terror, and the boundaries of citizenship.  We will pay particular attention to the range of politics and theoretical analysis black women employed to articulate their own visions of freedom.  We will also discuss and think critically about the ways identity politics has fueled solidarities and divisions within African American communities and the U.S. more broadly.  In the end, this course strives to provide a overview of black women's political thought, which not only highlights a range of women’s voices, but also complicates the historical narrative of U.S. politics and feminism.

WOMENSST 292G - Crazy Ladies!?!: Feminism(s) and the Diaspora
Allia Matta & Rani Varghese
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

"...that definition of me, and millions like us, formulated by others to serve out their fantasies, a definition we have to combat at unconscionable cost to the self and even use, at times, in order to survive; the cause of so much shame and rage as well as oddly enough, a source of pride..." ("Reena" Paule Marshall)
Using multi-media sources, including film, images, music and texts, this course examines the interplay of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other aspects of social identity in women's lives and communities. Emphasizing intersectionality, transnational feminist frameworks, intergroup and psychological theories as a critical lenses, we will examine the historical and cultural narratives of women of color. Drawing on authors such as Audre Lorde, June Jordan, bell hooks, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Chandra Mohanty, Suheir Hammad, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Andrea Smith, this course further complicates how history, positionality and culture work to create diverse narratives of women of color in the U.S.

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

See department for description.


WAGS 207 - The Home and the World:  Women and Gender in South Asia
Amrita Basu, Krupa Shandilya
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.
Outside the U.S.

This course will study South Asian women and gender through key texts in film, literature, history and politics. How did colonialism and nationalism challenge the distinctions between the “home” and the “world” and bring about partitions which splintered once shared cultural practices? What consequences did this have for postcolonial politics? How do ethnic conflicts, religious nationalisms and state repression challenge conceptions of “home”? How have migrations, globalization and diasporas complicated relations between the home and the world? Texts will include Salman Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown, Ram Gopal Varma’s epic film Sarkar and Partha Chatterjee’s The Nation and Its Fragments.

WAGS 362/HIST 397/ASLC 363 – Women in the Middle East
Monica Ringer
Tuesday, Thursday  11:30-12:50 p.m.
Outside the U.S.

The course examines the major developments, themes and issues in woman’s history in the Middle East. The first segment of the course concerns the early Islamic period and discusses the impact of the Quran on the status of women, the development of Islamic religious traditions and Islamic law. Questions concerning the historiography of this “formative” period of Islamic history, as well as hermeneutics of the Quran will be the focus of this segment. The second segment of the course concerns the 19th- and 20th-century Middle East. We will investigate the emergence and development of the “woman question,” the role of gender in the construction of Middle Eastern nationalisms, women’s political participation, and the debates concerning the connections between women, gender, and religious and cultural traditions. The third segment of the course concerns the contemporary Middle East, and investigates new developments and emerging trends of women’s political, social and religious activism in different countries. The course will provide a familiarity with the major primary texts concerning women and the study of women in the Middle East, as well as with the debates concerning the interpretation of texts, law, religion, and history in the shaping of women’s status and concerns in the Middle East today.


CSI 202 – Chicana & Latina Epistemologies & Pedagogies
Judith Flores Carmona
Monday, Wednesday  1:00-2:20 p.m.
Inside the U.S.

This course will explore the testimonios and autobiographical writings by Latinas in the United States--Chicanas, Puertorriquenas, Cubanas, Mexicanas, Dominicanas, Guatemaltecas, and Latinas of other nationalities and mixed cultural heritages. Students in the course will explore life stories through many forms: "testimonios," memoirs, autobiographies, oral histories and short stories, poetry and poetic prose pieces, essays, and audio-stories. Through reflecting on their experiences as women of color in the U.S., Latina and Chicana writers have revolutionized feminist theory and the way we think about women's identities and struggles by introducing the concepts of the "borderlands," of simultaneous oppressions, of "new mestiza" identities. Through this course, we will explore the diversity and commonality of Latina experiences gathering and using testimonio as method.


Available on 4/1/2011 – please check back


AAS 212 – Feminism, Race and Resistance:  History of Black Women in America
Paula Giddings
Wednesday  7:00-9:30 p.m.
Inside the U.S.

This interdisciplinary course will explore the historical and theoretical perspectives of African American women from the time of slavery to the post-civil rights era. A central concern of the course will be the examination of how Black women shaped, and were shaped by the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality in American culture.

AAS 212 – Family Matters:  Representations, Policy and the Black Family
Richie’ Barnes
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.

In this course we will examine contemporary African-American families from both a sociocultural and socioeconomic perspective. We will explore the issues facing African-American families as a consequence of the intersecting of race, class, and gender categories of America. The aim of this course is to broaden the student’s knowledge of the internal dynamics and diversity of African-American family life and to foster a greater understanding of the internal strengths as well as the vulnerabilities of the many varieties of African-American families.

ENG 278 – Asian American Women Writers
F. Cheung
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.
Inside the U.S.

The body of literature written by Asian American women over the past one hundred years has been recognized as forming a coherent tradition. What conditions enabled its emergence? How have the qualities and concerns of this tradition been defined? What makes a text central or marginal to the tradition? Writers to be studied include Maxine Hong Kingston, Sui Sin Far, Mitsuye Yamada, M. Eveline Galang, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Paisley Rekdal, Lynda Barry, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Bharati Mukherjee, and Smith College alumna Frances Chung.

GOV 232 – Women and Politics in Africa
M. Catharine Newbury
Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:50 p.m.
Outside the U.S.

This course will explore the genesis and effects of political activism by women in Africa, which some believe represents a new African feminism, and its implications for state/civil society relations in contemporary Africa. Topics will include the historical effects of colonialism on the economic, social, and political roles of African women, the nature of urban/rural distinctions, and the diverse responses by women to the economic and political crises of postcolonial African polities. Case studies of specific African countries, with readings of novels and women's life histories as well as analyses by social scientists.

HST 371 – Problems in 19-Century United States History:  African American Women in Slavery and Freedom
Elizabeth Pryor
Tuesday  1:00-3:30 p.m.
Inside the U.S.

Despite the particular degradation, violence and despair of enslavement in the United States, African-American women built families, traditions and a legacy of resistance that nurtured freedom movements during enslavement and fostered a trajectory of activism in the Black community throughout the nineteenth century. Close reading of enslavement and gender, protest strategies, speeches and writings including those of Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs and Sarah Remond. How did race, gender and resistance affect African-American women?