Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program Courses, Fall 2012


WOMENSST 187A – Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Alex Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Placing women's experiences at the center of interpretation, this class introduces basic concepts and key areas of gender both historically and contemporaneously.  It is an inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and cross cultural study of gender as well as an overview of theoretical perspectives of its intersection with other social constructs of difference (race/ethnicity, class, sexuality, and age).  We will move beyond the theme of "gender difference" and examine the ongoing debate about the politics of gender inequality and inequity in our societies and cultures.  Students will engage in critical reading and thinking about these interlocking systems which have shaped and influenced the historical, cultural, social, political, and economical contexts of our lives.  Specific attention will be given to resistance of those gendered inequalities, and the various ways that social movements have created new systems of change by engaging in national and global transformational politics.   (Gen.Ed. I, U)

WOMENSST 187B – Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Miliann Kang Jacquelyne Luce
Monday, Wednesday 10:10-11:00 a.m. plus Friday discussions

Same description as WOMENSST 187A. 

WOMENSST 201 – Gender & Difference: Critical Analyses
Section 1: Banu Subramaniam - Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.
Section 2: Tanisha Ford - Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 p.m.

An introduction to the vibrant field of women, gender, sexuality studies, this course introduces students to the basic concepts in the field as well as making connections to our lives. An interdisciplinary field grounded in a commitment to both intellectual rigor and individual and social transformation-to the world of ideas and the material world in which we live-women, gender, sexuality studies asks fundamental questions about the world and our lives. What does it mean to be a woman?  How is the category "woman" constructed differently across social groups, cultures and historical periods?  Are there common experiences and essential characteristics that define all women?  How do the differences among women according to race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nationality complicate our commonalities?  How do we analyze women's multiple identities and social positions?  How can an understanding of women's lives empower us to act as agents of personal and social change?  Readings include a range of women thinkers both in the U.S. and around the world, grounding our analyses in multiple voices, highlighting both the diversity, richness and power of women's ideas and reflecting the diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives in the field.

WOMENSST 291E – Feminist Health Politics
Jacquelyne Luce
Monday, Wednesday 3:35-4:50 p.m.

Health is about bodies, selves and politics. In this course we will explore a series of health topics from feminist perspectives. In what ways do axes of difference such as gender, sexuality, class, disability, and age influence the ways in which one perceives and experiences health and the access one has to health information and health care? What is meant by the phrases "social determinants of health" or "racial disparities in health"? Are homophopia or transphobia, or one's place of living, related to one's health status or one's health risk? By paying close attention to the relationships between community-based narratives, activities of informal health networks and formal organizations and theory, we will develop a solid understanding of the historical, political and cultural specificities of health issues, practices, services and movements.

WOMENSST 292 – Feminism(s) and Fashion in the African Diaspora
Tanisha Ford
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

The black feminist movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s marked a time of immense cultural and political upheaval. Images of stylish Afro-coiffed, dashiki-wearing activists often come to mind when we think of these tumultuous years. But, what is black feminism? Can feminists be fashionistas? Can fashion and hairstyles function as forms of cultural and political resistance? These three questions will inform our in-depth exploration of the relationship between the second wave feminist movement and the global fashion industry. We will examine how black women have used clothing to both construct and contest racial, gender, and class boundaries in North America, Europe, and Africa as they fought for racial liberation and gender equality. During our class meetings, we will view and analyze a wide range of primary sources—including fashion magazines, films, music videos, and album cover art—along with the most relevant secondary literature to study the vibrancy and diversity of 1970s-era fashion as well as its political limitations. Our exploration of underground and mainstream fashion cultures just might change what we think we know about black feminism and its cultural-political legacies. Students will be evaluated on their class participation, 2 short essays, and a group project.  Fulfills Women of Color inside or outside the U.S. requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

WOMENSST 294D – Introduction to Sexuality Studies
Svati Shah
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This course will help students to understand how the field of critical sexuality studies has emerged within Women's and Feminist Studies in the US over the past twenty years.  Reading both scholarly and non-academic texts, students will learn to identify key historical moments, social movements, and writers that have shaped the field.  This course will have a US-focus.

WOMENSST 301 – Theorizing Gender, Race and Power
Angie Willey Onni Gust
Tues, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

Ways of analyzing and reflecting on current issues and controversies in feminist thought within an international context sensitive to class, race, and sexual power concerns. Topics may include work and international economic development, violence against women, racism, class and poverty, heterosexism, the social construction of gender, race and sexuality, global feminism, women, nationalism and the state, reproductive issues, pornography and media representations of women. Prerequisite: WOMENSST 201 or consent of instructor.

WOMENSST 391W – Junior Year Writing Seminar        
Jacqueline Luce
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.m.

Fulfills Junior Year Writing requirement for majors. Modes of writing and argumentation useful for research, creative, and professional work in a variety of fields. Analysis of texts, organization of knowledge, and uses of evidence to articulate ideas to diverse audiences. Includes materials appropriate for popular and scholarly journal writing. Popular culture reviews, responses to public arguments, monographs, first-person narratives and grant proposals, and a section on archival and bibliographic resources in Women's Studies. May include writing for the Internet. Nonmajors admitted if space available.

WOMENSST 392B – Gender and Technology
Banu Subramaniam
Tuesdau 2:30-3:45 p.m. classroom plus online

Technology today is deeply integrated into most aspects of our lives. The course explores the multiple ways in which technology and gender shape each other. Topics will include: feminist technology studies, digital divide, internet, web, and digital technologies, social media, home technologies, biotechnology, reproductive technologies, surveillance, technology and the security "state," and digital entertainment technologies.

WOMENSST 393C – Caribbean Women Writing Identity, Politics & Resistance
Alexandrina Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:15 p.m.

The intent of this course is to use literature, fiction, the novel, poetry, performance, music, and art as vehicles to reading and analyzing how Caribbean women write and speak culture, resistance, identity, and politics.  Selected readings will demonstrate how these wide ranges of writings can be a powerful means of communication for education, influence, resistance, and protest.  Selected works will be drawn from women in the Caribbean Diaspora, Anglophone, Francophone, and Latin America.  Fulfills Women of Color inside or outside the U.S. requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

WOMENSST 695 – Transnational Feminisms
Laura Briggs
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

How does a consideration of feminist concerns - gender, sexuality, the private, the domestic - help us interpret the current conjuncture? To get at these questions, this class will take up issues of secularism, neoliberalism, human rights, health, imperialism, epistemology, transnationalism, reproduction, and sexuality as they structure the relationship of the U.S. to the global south (particularly Latin America).

WOMENSST 791B – Feminist Theory
Svati Shah
Tuesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

This is a graduate seminar in feminist theory, and constitutes a core course for students enrolled in the Graduate Certificate Program. The seminar will be organized around questions that emerge for feminism from contemporary discourses of transnationalism, economic development, and human rights. The course readings will draw from multiple fields, including history, anthropology, and legal studies, with an emphasis on interventions and developments in feminist theory that have emerged since 1985. It will also draw from numerously located feminist work, including much work that is being produced by feminists in India. Given that students will be approaching the work from multiple disciplines, and with a range of theoretical expertise, we will be emphasizing the methodological and historical contexts for each of the works we will be discussing in class.