Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
UMass Departmental
Fall 2013 Courses

Afro-American Studies 329 New Africa House  545-2751

AFROAM 392C – Songbirds, Blues Women and Soul Women
A. Yemisi Jimoh
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

The focus for this course is the cultural, political, and social issues found in the music and history of African American women performers. The primary emphasis in the course will be on African American women in Jazz, Blues, and Soul/R&B, but students also will study African American women composers as well as Spiritual-Gospel and Opera performers


Communications 407 Machmer Hall      545-1311

COMM 288- Gender, Sex and Representation
Sut Jhally
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  4:40-5:55 p.m.

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 9:30-10:45 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. Satisfies the IE require for BA-Comm majors.

COMM 497AO – Gender, Bread and Online Social Movements
Leda Cooks
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

See department for description.

Comparative Literature 430 Herter Hall      545-0929

COMPLIT 387H – Myths of the Feminine
Elizabeth Petroff
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 & disc Wednesday 12:20-1:10 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 11, 5:30-8:00 p.m., plus weekend of October 19-20, 2013 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 11, 5:30-8:00 p.m. plus weekend of November 2-3, 2013 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 11, 5:30-8:00 p.m., plus weekend of October 5-6, 2013 9AM-5PM

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

English 170 Bartlett Hall      545-2332

ENGLISH 132 - Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture
Lecture 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 p.m.
Lecture 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 12:20-1:10 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)

History Department 612 Herter Hall      545-1330

HISTORY 388 - US Women’s History to 1890 (HSU)
Alice Nash
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 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 397LG – U.S. LGBT History
Julio Capo
Tuesday, Thurday 2:30-3:45 p.m.

This course explores the queer American experience in the twentieth century, including how lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals influenced the social, cultural, economic, and political landscape in the United States. This class will also introduce students to histories of same-sex desires and behaviors in early America and in other historical contexts. We will explore the historical construction of the heterosexual/homosexual binary and how concepts of gender, sex, and sexuality shifted over time. The course emphasizes how queer individuals became social and political agents during the last century, paying particular attention to how sexuality and gender historically intersected with constructions of race, ethnicity, and class. Students will explore the legitimization of these communities as political minorities by observing a series of pivotal events in American history. This includes changing sexual mores in the 1920s, the exclusion of homosexuals from the armed forces, the persecution of homosexuals during the Cold War, the emergence of distinct queer subcultures, the Stonewall Riot and the gay liberation movement, the politicization of homosexuality following the Anita Bryant campaign, the emergence of HIV/AIDS, and the ongoing battle to legalize same-sex marriage. We will also dissect contemporary events and politics and offer historical analyses of representations of the queer experience in popular culture. Students will be exposed to primary sources that will complement their weekly readings. Over the course of the semester, students will provide critical responses to the material and ultimately garner a solid foundation of modern American social, cultural, and political history.

HISTORY 397VW – Public History Workshop: Valley Women’s History Collaborative
Laura Lovett
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m. & Lab on Thursday 1:00-4:00 p.m. 

This course will allow students to gain knowledge of the process of creating a detailed historical account with participants in the history. We will learn techniques for researching, interviewing, documenting, recording and editing oral histories. Because of the nature of the interview process, students will learn about the ethics of working with human subjects, and the process of vetting materials for review boards and for community presentation. Because this class will involve work with a community, time for travel to collect interviews is considered the "laboratory" part of the class.

The specific subject of this workshop will be developed in conjunction with the Valley Women's History Collaborative's project of documenting the establishment of domestic violence shelters in the Valley in the 1960s and 1970s, so an interest in Contemporary History, Women's History, Violence Prevention, Institutionalization of Social Movements or Neoliberal Welfare Restructuring would be helpful.

HISTORY 491E – Women in South Asia
Priyanka Srivastava
Monday, Wednesday 3:35-4:50 p.m.

This course explores the histories of women in South Asia from 1800 to the present. Using a combined thematic and chronological approach we will examine the following: the gendered social and economic policies of the British colonial state, women and social reform movements; debates about women's education, women and identity politics, and the gendered language of anti-colonial nationalism(s). Throughout the course, we will analyze the development of a heterogeneous women's movement in colonial and post-colonial South Asia.

Judaic and Near Eastern Studies 744 Herter Hall      545-2550

JUDAIC 395A – Family and Sexuality in Judaism
Jay Berkovitz
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

An examination of transformations in the Jewish family and attitudes toward sexuality in Judaism, from antiquity to the present.  Topics include love, sexuality, and desire in the Bible and Talmud; marriage and divorce through the ages; position and treatment of children; sexuality and spirituality in the Kabbalah; sexual stereotypes in American Jewish culture and Israeli society.  Interdisciplinary readings draw on biblical and rabbinic literature, comparative Christian and Islamic sources, historical and scientific research on family and sexuality, and contemporary fiction.

Psychology 441 Tobin Hall   545-2383

PSYCH 391ZZ - Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Experience
John Bickford
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05 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 8:00-8:50 a.m.
  2. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.m.
  3. Staff – Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-9:15 a.m.

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. plus 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 marriage, parenting and childhood, and marital dissolution.  Throughout, we will discuss differences—by gender, by race and by class.  Through we will attend to the social forces that shape these personal experiences.

SOCIOL 344 – Gender & Crime
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.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 – Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.
  2. staff – Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.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)
Amy Schalet
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.