UMass Departmental Courses, Fall 2012

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.

Afro-American Studies 329 New Africa House  545-2751

AFROAM 591A – Gender in Pan African Studies
Karen Morrison
Wednesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.

This course reviews the historical literature related to the social construction of masculinity and femininity for African and African-descended peoples.  The course compares the ways gendered notions of family, community, and nation have impacted local and international projects of black liberation.  In addition to the U.S. and Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America will be important regions of consideration.

HISTORY 591GE – The Struggle for Gender and Sexuality Equality in Western Massachusetts, 1960-2012
Joyce Berkman
Tuesday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

The goals of this Junior Year Writing Seminar are two-fold: (1) Understanding of the relationship between broad national movements and related local struggles through exploration of a profound, sweeping and highly controversial campaigns during the past half century, and (2) Growth in historical research and writing skills. We will examine, as well, scholarship and journalism on specific Valley struggles. We will visit the UMass Archives to learn about their relevant documents and possibly visit, too, the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College. The second half of the semester will focus on research methods and writing techniques as well as oral presentations of seminar participants' research.

AFROAM 690P – New Approaches to Early African American Literature
Britt Rusert
Tuesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.

This course serves as an intensive introduction to early (pre-1900) African American literary studies.  In addition to surveying works and authors in the period (Wheatley, Walker, Douglass, Delany, Wilson, Wells Brown, Jacobs, Harper, Chesnutt, and others), the course will focus on recent methodological turns and emerging scholarship in the field, including the (re)turn to the archive; performance; gender, sexuality, and queer studies; race and science; the New Southern Studies; hemispheric and global approaches to early African American literature; the black print sphere and material culture. The course will also include an introduction to archival research on literary and cultural topics.


Anthropology Department 215 Machmer Hall 545-5939

ANTHRO 397SE – Sex and Evolution
Seamus Decker
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00 a.m.
Students must have completed their BS GenEd

See department for description. 

ANTHRO 494BI-Global Bodies
Elizabeth Krause
Wednesday 9:05-12:05 p.m.                                                                     

The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of "normalization" and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today and scholarly work on embodiment. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity as they articulate with nationality, race, class, sex, gender, domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will tend to the body in three main stages over the life course, including birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies from each stage (e.g., organ trafficking and transplanting, breastfeeding, reproductive politics, drug trials, and undocumented bodies). This course has been approved as an Integrative Education (IE) course. The human body has increasingly become an object of anthropological study. The body is rich as a site of meaning and materiality. Similarly, culture inscribes itself on the body in terms of “normalization” and governance. This course will explore pertinent issues surrounding the body today. Topics such as personhood, natural vs. artificial bodies, identity and subjectivity (nationality, race, class, sex, gender), domination and marginalization, and policy will be discussed. We will focus on the body in three main stages: birth, life, and death, with relevant case studies in each stage (e.g., embryos, reproduction, breastfeeding, organs, immigrant bodies, etc.) The course has a digital ethnography component as a final project option.


Art History 317B Bartlett Hall 545-3595

ART-HIST 791E – 19th Century Orientalism, Hegemony, Feminism
Gulru Cakmak
Tuesday 1:00-3:45 p.m.

See department for description.


Asian Languages and Literature 440 Herter Hall   545-0886

JAPANESE 391S/591S – Women Writers of Japan
Amanda Seaman
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

See department for description.

JAPANESE 391M/591M – Queer Japan in Literature and Culture
Stephen Miller
Monday 3:35-6:30

See department for description.


Communications 407 Machmer Hall      545-1311

COMM 288- Gender, Sex and Representation
Sut Jhally

This course will examine the relationship between commercialized systems of representation and the way that gender and sexuality are thought of and organized in the culture. In particular, we will look at how commercial imagery impacts upon gender identity and the process of gender socialization. Central to this discussion will be the related issues of sexuality and sexual representation (and the key role played by advertising).

COMM 394RI - 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.


Comparative Literature 430 Herter Hall      545-0929

COMPLIT 387H – Myths of the Feminine
Elizabeth Petroff
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.m.

Myths about women and the life cycle from many cultures: ancient near east, classical antiquity, Old Europe, India, Asia, the Islamic world. Women writers from those same cultures, showing the interplay between the cultural construction of the feminine and personal voices.


Economics 1006 Thompson Hall      545-3815

ECON 348 - The Political Economy of Women
Lisa Saunders            
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 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  125 Furcolo Hall      545-0234

EDUC 392E - Social Issues Workshop: Sexism (1 credit)
Kerrita Mayfield
September 12, 5:30-8:00 p.m., plus weekend of October 20-21, 2012 9AM-5PM

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

EDUC 392I – Social Issues Workshop: Transgender Oppression (1 credit)
Kerrita Mayfield
September 12, 5:30-8:00 p.m. plus weekend of November 17-18, 2012 9AM-5PM

This course addresses the dynamics of transgender oppression in personal and institutional levels.

EDUC 392L – Social Issues Workshop: Heterosexism (1 credit)
Kerrita Mayfield
September 12, 5:30-8:00 p.m., plus weekend of November 13-14, 2012 9AM-5PM

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

EDUC 697A – Women in Higher Education
Benita Barnes
Wednesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Women now comprise a majority of all American undergraduate students, but only a minority of senior professors, senior administrators, or presidents.  This course is an introduction to the issues affecting women in the academy as students, educators, leaders, and scholars.  Some of the topics include:  barriers to women's full participation in higher education, including sexual harassment and racism; the question of coeducation versus single-sex education; conditions for women undergraduates including the so-called "chilly climate."  In addition, the course will explore issues germane to female faculty members, barriers to institutional leadership, and the goals and contributions of women's studies as well as the current attack on feminist scholarship.  This is a seminar style course where students are expected to participant fully.


English 170 Bartlett Hall      545-2332

ENGLISH 132 - American Experience
Christopher Hennessy
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.m.

The course will investigate, think critically about, and problematize the so-called "American Experience." For a critical lens we will look at this concept as uniquely tied to the experience and influence of the outsider, specifically the sexual outsider. To this end, we wil take GLBT texts, which one might assume to be situated on the perphery as non-heteronormative, and see what happens when we put them at the center of our study of American literature.

ENGLISH 132 - Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.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.

See department for description.


History Department 612 Herter Hall      545-1330

HISTORY 394H – Topics in European History: Sex and Society
Jennifer Heuer
Monday, Wednesday 3:35-4:50 p.m.

This seminar examines the social organization and cultural construction of gender and sexuality.  We will look at how women and men experienced the dramatic changes that have affected Europe since 1789 and consider how much such developments were themselves influenced by ideas about masculinity and femininity.  We will explore topics such as revolutionary definitions of citizenship; changing patterns of work and family life; fin-de-siècle links between crime, madness, and sexual perversion; the fascist cult of the body; battle grounds and home fronts during the world wars; gendered aspects of nationalism and European colonialism, and the sexual revolution of the post-war era.  As an honors course, the class will include considerable reading, independent research, and oral presentations.

HISTORY 388 – U.S. Women's History to 1890 (HSU)
Joyce Berkman
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-1:50 with Discussions Monday 10:10, 12:20, 1:25

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.  

HISTORY 391F – Women & Slavery in the Americas
Irene Krauthamer
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This class examines the history of African and African American women’s enslavement in the United States and the West Indies in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Readings and lectures examine women’s experiences in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade; women's labor patterns; reproduction and family life; resistance and rebellion; abolitionist movements; and slave narratives written by African American women.  Course requirements include: exams, short papers, class participation and presentations.

HISTORY 393I – Indigenous Women of North America
Alice Nash
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

This course examines the lives and struggles of indigenous women in North America through variety of sources and conceptual frameworks.  We will consider both the ways in which indigenous women defined and understood themselves, and the ways in which they have been defined and (mis)understood by others, from before the arrival to Europeans through the present day.  Coursework includes heavy reading, a research paper, and several shorter assignments.

HISTORY 791B – U.S. Women & Gender History
Joyce Berkman
Monday 6:45-9:15 p.m.

Research seminar encourages research and writing on the history of women and/or gender in America from 1600 to the present.  Focus will be on historical methods, including varieties of modes of historical research and writing.


Legal Studies Thompson Hall     545-2438

LEGAL 391G – Women and the Law
Diana Yoon
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

How have legal scholars addressed the status of women in society?  We will consider different approaches to thinking about women and the law, discussing the significance of law with respect to topics such as reproductive health issues, education and the workplace.

Philosophy 352 Bartlett Hall      545-2330

PHIL 391G – Philosophy of Gender
Louise Antony
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

This course will offer systematic examination of a variety of philosophical issues raised by the existence of gender roles in human society: Is the existence or content of such roles determined by nature?  Are they inherently oppressive?  How does the category gender interact with other socially significant categories, like race, class, and sexual orientation?  What would gender equality look like?  How do differences among women complicate attempts to generalize about gender?  In the last part of the course, we will bring our theoretical insights to bear on some topical issue related to gender, chosen by the class, such as: Is affirmative action morally justifiable?  Should pornography be regulated?  Is abortion morally permissible?  Reading will be drawn from historical and contemporary sources.  Methods of analytical philosophy, particularly the construction and critical evaluation of arguments, will be emphasized throughout.   (Gen.Ed. SB, U)


Political Science 218 Thompson Hall      545-2438

POLISCI 287W – Women & Politics in USA
Maryann Barakso
Monday, Wednesday 5:45-8:15 p.m.

This course examines women's political incorporation in the United States primarily, but not exclusively, with respect to electoral politics. We explore women's pre-suffrage political activities before delving into the campaign for women's suffrage. We study the effects of achieving suffrage on women's political behavior during the period immediately following their achievement of the right to vote and beyond. The relationship between women and party politics will be probed before discussing the challenges women still face as candidates in state and federal legislatures in the U.S. The extent to which women's participation in campaigns and elections makes a substantive difference in policy making is considered. Subsequent discussions examine the role women's organizations currently play in expanding women's political representation in the U.S.


Psychology 441 Tobin Hall   545-2383

PSYCH 391ZZ - Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Experience
John Bickford
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00 a.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.


Center for Public Policy and Administration Gordon Hall 545-3940

Nancy Folbre
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This course explores interdisciplinary approaches to family policy addressing issues such as public spending on child care and elder car, divorce and child support legislation, and work/family balance.


Sociology 710 Thompson Hall      545-0577

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

  1. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00-8:50 a.m.
  2. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.m.
  3. Staff – Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-8:50 a.m. plus discussions
  4. Staff – Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-8:50 a.m. plus discussion Friday 8:00-8:50

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)                                                               
Naomi Gerstel
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:05 p.m.
Discussion sections Friday

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 344 – Gender & Crime
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

The extent and causes of gender differences in crime, from the "streets" to the "suites." Topics include problems in the general measurement of crime, historical and cross-cultural differences in the gender gap, the utility of general theories of the causes of crime in explaining the continuing gender gap, and a detailed look at the question and magnitude of gender discrimination in the American criminal justice system.

SOCIOL 383 - Gender and Society

  1. staff – Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.m.
  2. staff - 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 387 - Sexuality and Society (SB U)

  1. Monday, Wednesday 8:40-9:55 a.m.
  2. Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 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. 


Stockbridge School of Argiculture 121 Stockbridge Hall   545-2222

StockSch 297W - Herbal Approaches to Women's Health
Kristin Avonti
Mondays 11:15 a.m. - 1:05 p.m.

An introduction to the herbal approach of healing for women’s health including basic anatomy and physiology of the women’s reproductive system, normal reproductive development and common problems associated with sexual health, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Common herbs used to support and treat the various conditions associated with each of these three stages of development will be discussed along with techniques for preparing herbal medicine.


Theatre 112 Fine Arts Center      545-3490

THEATER 397T – Contemporary Repertory: Women
Megan Lewis
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Tying in with the UMASS Theater Department’s 40th anniversary season, which is dedicated to women, this course will focus on women’s theater and performance from a global perspective.  It’s been said that well-behaved women seldom make history.  In this course, we will explore the artistic creations of women who have made history with their creative works, paying attention to their personal and politic stories, the ways in which they challenge and question their worlds, and the varied voices, tactics, and interventions women offer to our understanding of theater and performance.  We will consider both plays by and about women as well as women’s performance art, tracing each work within its sociohistorical and political context.