Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
SMITH COLLEGE Fall 2013 Courses


Program for the Study of Women and Gender Seelye Hall 207B 585-3393

SWG 101 - SWG Reads: Women, Race and Culture
Susan Van Dyne
TBA

How do we read gender through, and in conversation with, race, class, and sexuality? How do we read a text differently through the lenses of sociology, literature, cultural studies, engineering, historiography, or political science? How do we read in all the ways that SWG reads? This course is designed to offer students experience with the concept of “intersectionality,” a key term in the SWG curriculum. “Intersectionality” highlights the ways societal structures of gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. work together to define, delimit, and constrain our social worlds. In this class, students will read two or three rich texts, and participate in conversation about them with the help of lectures by faculty members from different fields.

SWG 222 - Gender, Law, and Policy
Carrie Baker
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  11:00-12:10 p.m.

This course explores the legal status of women in the United States historically and today, focusing in the areas of employment, education, sexuality, reproduction, the family, and violence. We will study constitutional and statutory law as well as public policy. Some of the topics we will cover are sexual harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, and pregnancy discrimination. We will study feminist activism to reform the law and will examine how inequalities based on gender, race, class, and sexuality shape the law. We will also discuss and debate contemporary policy and future directions.

 

Afro-American Studies 102 Wright Hall 585-3572

AAS 289 - Feminism, Race and Resistance: History of Black Women in America

Paula Giddings
Tuesday, Thursday 3:00-4:20 p.m.

This interdisciplinary colloquial 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. Not open to first-year students.

 

Anthropology 15 Wright Hall 585-3500

ANT 251 – Women and Modernity in East Asia
Suzanne Gottschang
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.

This course explores the roles, representations and experiences of women in 20th-century China, Korea, Vietnam and Japan in the context of the modernization projects of these countries. Through ethnographic and historical readings, film and discussion this course examines how issues pertaining to women and gender relations have been highlighted in political, economic, and cultural institutions. The course compares the ways that Asian women have experienced these processes through three major topics: war and revolution, gendered aspects of work, and women in relation to the family.

ANT 340 - The Body

Pinky Hota
Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
component

In recent years, "the body" has emerged as a vital site of social theory and anthropological analysis. Scholars have raised questions about how bodies are produced as socially meaningful, how bodies become sites for the inculcation of ethical and political identities, and how processes of embodiment break down the divide between the body as natural and the body as socially constituted. This course considers how the body is invoked, addressed and reshaped in processes of religious movements, political mobilizations, performances of gendered identity, biomedicine and economic markets. It reviews various approaches to the study of the body- as an object, as a vehicle and as a "read" product of analysis - and asks how these shed light upon issues of embodiment, agency and personhood.

 

Comparative Literature Pierce Hall 105 585-3302

CLT/EAL 239 Contemporary Chinese Women's Fiction Sabina Knight
Monday, Wednesday  1:10-2:30 p.m.

How do stories about love, romance, and desire (including extramarital affairs, serial relationships and love between women) challenge our assumptions about identity? How do pursuits, successes, and failures of intimacy lead to personal and social change? An exploration of major themes through close readings of contemporary fiction by women from China, Taiwan, Tibet, and Chinese diasporas. Readings are in English translation and no background in China or Chinese is required.

 

English Languages and Literature 101 Wright Hall 585-3302

ENG 238 – What Jane Austen Read
Douglas Patey
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  9:00-9:50 a.m.
Component

A study of novels written in England from Aphra Behn to Jane Austen and Walter Scott (1688-1814). Emphasis on the novelists' narrative models and choices; we will conclude by reading several novels by Austen -- including one she wrote when thirteen years old.

ENG 241 – Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures
Ambreen Hai

Monday, Wednesday  1:10-2:30 p.m.

An introduction to Anglophone fiction, poetry, drama and film from Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia in the aftermath of the British empire. Concerns include: the cultural work of writers as they respond to histories of colonial dominance; their ambivalence towards English linguistic, literary and cultural legacies; the ways literature can (re)construct national identities and histories, and explore assumptions of race, gender, class and sexuality; the distinctiveness of women writers and their modes of contesting cultural and colonial ideologies; global diasporas, migration and U.S. imperialism. Probable writers: Achebe, Soyinka, Ngugi, Aidoo, Dangarembga, Naipaul, Walcott, Cliff, Rushdie, Kureishi, Arundhati Roy, Jhumpa Lahiri, Meera Syal, and some theoretical essays.

ENG 334 – Servants in Literature and Film
Ambreen Hai
Thursday  1:00-2:50 p.m.

Often invisible but crucial, servants in English literature have served as comic relief, go-betweens, storytellers, sexual targets, and sometimes as central protagonists. But what roles do they play in contemporary literature and film? What can we learn from them about modernity, class, power relations, sexuality, gender, marriage or family? What new responses do they evoke from us? This seminar will consider how writers from various cultures and times call upon the figure of the domestic servant for different purposes, and how a view from (or of) the margins can change how and what we see. Writers include Shakespeare, Samuel Richardson, Emily Bronte, Wilkie Collins, Kazuo Ishiguro, Nadine Gordimer, Aravind Adiga. Films include "Remains of the Day," "Gosford Park," "The Maid," and "Earth."

 

Film Studies 107 Wright Hall 585-3729

FLS 241 – Women and American Cinema:  Representation, Spectatorship, Authorship
Alexandra Keller
Monday, Wednesday  1:10-4:00 p.m., Screening Monday 7:00-10:00 p.m.

This course provides a broad survey of women in American films from the silent period to the present. It examines the topic at three levels: 1) how women are represented on film, and how those images relate to actual contemporaneous American society, culture and politics; 2) formulations, expectations and realities of female spectatorship as they relate to genre, the star and studio systems, dominant codes of narration, and developments in digital and new media modes; 3) how women as stars, writers, producers and directors shape and respond to, work within and against, dominant considerations of how women look. In other words, we'll be examining how women are seen, how women see, how women are expected to see and be seen, and consider how fields of moving images contribute to what constitutes "women," "Woman," "womanhood," "female," and other terms that refer to bodies, identities, communities, discourses and selves. Among the figures and films we will examine: Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Dorothy Arzner, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Su Friedrich, Carolee Schneemann, Julie Dash, Kathryn Bigelow, the vamp, the femme fatale, the sacrificial mother, the action heroine, chick flicks, Thelma and Louise, Boys Don't Cry, a range of contemporary works that may include Sex and the City, Girls, Bridesmaids, The Kids Are Alright, and a selection of Internet works.

 

French Studies 102 Wright Hall 585-3360

FRN 230 – Women Writers of Africa and the Caribbean
Dawn Fulton

Monday, Wednesday  11:00-12:10 p.m.

(Taught in French) An introduction to works by contemporary women writers from Francophone Africa and the Caribbean. Topics to be studied include colonialism, exile, motherhood, and intersections between class and gender. Our study of these works and of the French language will be informed by attention to the historical, political, and cultural circumstances of writing as a woman in a former French colony. Texts will include works by Mariama Bâ, Maryse Condé, Yamina Benguigui, and Marie-Célie Agnant.

FRN 230 – Consumers, Culture and the French Department Store
Jonathan Gosnell
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 
component

(Taught in French) How have French stores and shopping practices evolved since the grand opening of Le Bon Marché in 1869? In what ways have megastores influenced French “culture”? We will examine representations of mass consumption in literature, the press, history, and analyses of French popular and bourgeois culture. We will pay particular attention to the role of women in the transactions and development of culture.

FRN 320 – Women Writers of the Middle Ages
Eglal Doss-Quinby
Monday, Wednesday  1:10-2:30 p.m.

(Taught in French) What genres did women practice in the Middle Ages and in what way did they transform those genres for their own purposes? What access did women have to education and to the works of other writers, male and female? To what extent did women writers question the traditional gender roles of their society? How did they represent female characters in their works and what do their statements about authorship reveal about their understanding of themselves as writing women? What do we make of anonymous works written in the feminine voice? Readings will include the love letters of Héloϊse, the lais and fables of Marie de France, the songs of the trobairitz and women trouvères, and the writings of Christine de Pizan.

FRN 340 – Marie Antoinette’s Semiotic Body
Janie Vanpee
Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:00 p.m.
component

(Taught in French) Naïve pawn in European geopolitics or political intriguer? Fashion leader or obsessive consumer? Scandalous pleasure seeker or devoted mother? French Queen or Austrian spy? Instigator of the French Revolution or innocent victim? More than two hundred years after her execution, Marie Antoinette continues to fascinate, caught between history and myth and open to conflicting interpretations. How can we understand the persona behind or in the body that proliferated so many meanings? How can we trace the origins and the impacts of those meanings? Does Marie-Antoinette’s semiotic body continue to signify for us? We'll examine Marie Antoinette from a variety of perspectives: archival sources, documents and letters, biographies, portraits, both official and unofficial, caricatures, pornographic pamphlets, and fictional works such as plays, novels and films in which she figures. The course will incorporate a role-playing unit reenacting her trial, during which every member of the class will play the role of one of the important participants. Some film screenings.

 

Government                                                          226 Wright Hall                                   585-3500

GOV 305 – Strange Bedfellows:  State Power and Regulation of the Family
Alice Hearst
Tuesday  1:00-2:50 p.m.
Component

This seminar explores the status of the family in American political life, and its role as a mediating structure between the individual and the state. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the courts in articulating the rights of the family and its members.

 

History 227 Wright Hall 585-3702

HST 238 – Gender and British Empire
Jennifer Hall-Witt
Monday, Wednesday  1:10-2:30 p.m.

Traditionally, historians portrayed the British Empire as the province of male explorers, merchants, missionaries, soldiers and bureaucrats. This course treats such men as gendered subjects, investigating intersections between the empire and masculinity. It surveys debates about white women’s colonial experiences and studies the experience of women who were colonized and enslaved. It examines the gendered structure of racial ideologies and the imperial features of feminist concerns. Focus is on the West Indies, Africa, and India from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries.

HST 252 – Women and Gender in Modern Europe, 1789-1918
Darcy Buerkle
Monday  11:00-12:10, Discussion Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:10 p.m.

A survey of European women's experiences and constructions of gender from the French Revolution through World War I, focusing on Western Europe. Gendered relationships to work, family, politics, society, religion, and the body, as well as shifting conceptions of femininity and masculinity, as revealed in novels, films, treatises, letters, paintings, plays, and various secondary sources.

HST 259 – Women in African Colonial Histories
Jeffrey Ahlman
Monday, Wednesday  1:10-2:30 p.m.

This course examines the political, social, and economic role of women in African history, while paying particular attention to the ways in which a wide variety of women - rural and urban, Christian and Muslim, married and unmarried, and literate and non-literate - engaged, understood, and negotiated the changing political and social landscapes associated with life under colonial rule. Key issues addressed in the course include marriage and respectability, colonial domesticity regimes, and women and religion. Additionally, students will interrogate the diversity of methodological techniques scholars have employed in their attempts to write African women's history.

HST 260/LAS 260 – Colonial Latin America
Ann Zulawski
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.

The development of Latin American society during the period of Spanish and Portuguese rule. Social and cultural change in Native American societies as a result of colonialism. The contributions of Africans, Europeans and Native Americans to the new multi-ethnic societies that emerged during the three centuries of colonization and resistance. The study of sexuality, gender ideologies and the experiences of women are integral to the course and essential for understanding political power and cultural change in colonial Latin America.

HST 278 – Women in the United States, 1865 to Present Jennifer Guglielmo
Wednesday, Friday  2:40-4:00 p.m.

Survey of women's and gender history with focus on race, class, and sexuality. Draws on feminist methodologies to consider how study of women's lives changes our understanding of history, knowledge, culture, and the politics of resistance. Topics include labor, racial formation, empire, im/migration, popular culture, citizenship, education, religion, medicine, war, consumerism, feminism, queer cultures, and globalizing capitalism.

HST 313 – Women and Gender in Early Modern East Asia
Marnie Anderson
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Gives students the opportunity to think about gender in a non-modern, non-Western context by focusing on women’s and gender histories of China, Japan and Korea from the sixteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries. After reading several exemplary works of scholarship and translation, students conduct their own research and write up their findings in a seminar paper. By examining a period before modern conceptions of rights and feminism existed, the course encourages students to grapple with the complexity of the historical past.

HST 350 - Gender and Histories of the Holocaust
Darcy Buerkle
Tuesday  1:00-2:50 p.m.

In this course, we will read and discuss testimony, texts and images that have been pivotal to the study of women and gender in the Holocaust, while also exploring recent debates and new directions in research.

HST 383 – The Sophia Smith Collection
Jennifer Guglielmo
Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.

An advanced research and writing workshop in U.S. women's history. Students develop historical research methods as they work with archival materials from the Sophia Smith Collection (letters, diaries, oral histories, newspaper articles, government documents, photographs, etc.) as well as historical scholarship, to research, analyze and write a 20-25 page research paper on a topic of their own choosing.

Interdisciplinary Studies 207B Seelye Hall

IDP 320 – Women’s Health of Tibetan Refugees in India
Leslie Jaffee
Tuesday  7:00-9:00 p.m.

The purpose of this seminar is to study women's health and cultural issues within India, with a focus on Tibetan refugees, and then apply the knowledge experientially.  During J-term, the students will travel to India and deliver workshops on reproductive health topics to young Tibetan women living at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in Sarnath where they will be further educated in Tibetan medicine. The seminar will be by permission of the instructor with interested students required to write an essay explaining their interest and how the seminar furthers their educational goals. Enrollment limited to 5 students.

 

Psychology Bass 218 585-4399

PSY 265- Political Psychology
Lauren Duncan
Monday, Wednesday  9:00-10:20 a.m.
Component

This colloquium is concerned with the psychological processes underlying political phenomena. The course is divided into 3 sections: Leader, Followers, and Social Movements. In each of these sections, we will examine how psychological factors influence political behavior, and how political acts affect individual psychology.

 

Religion Dewey Hall II 585-3662

REL 238 – Mary:  Images and Cults
Vera Shevoz
Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:20 p.m.
Component

Whether revered as the Birth-Giver of God or remembered as a simple Jewish woman, Mary has both inspired and challenged generations of Christian women and men. This course focuses on key developments in the “history of Mary” since early Christian times to the present. How has her image shaped Christianity? What does her image in any given age tell us about personal and collective Christian identities? Topics include: the development of Mary’s “life”; the rise of the Marian cult in the Christian East and West; icons and Black Madonnas; apparitions (e.g., Guadalupe and Lourdes) and miracles; Mary, liberation and feminism; Mary and the goddess figure. Devotional, literary, and theological texts, art, and film.

 

Sociology 224 Wright Hall 585-3520

SOC 214 - Sociology of Hispanic Caribbean Communities in the United States
Ginetta Candelario
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  11:00-12:00 p.m.

This service learning course surveys social science research, literary texts and film media on Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican communities in the United States. Historic and contemporary causes and contexts of (im)migration, settlement patterns, labor market experiences, demographic profiles, identity formations, and cultural expressions will be considered. Special attention will be paid to both inter- and intra-group diversity, particularly along the lines of race, gender, sexuality and class. Students are required to dedicate four (4) hours per week to a local community based organization. In addition, students are required to participate in a laboratory component (time to be arranged individually by the instructor)

SOC 229 - Sex and Gender in American Society
Nancy Whittier
Tuesday, Thursday  9:00-10:20 a.m.

An examination of the ways in which the social system creates, maintains, and reproduces gender dichotomies with specific attention to the significance of gender in interaction, culture, and a number of institutional contexts, including work, politics, families and sexuality.

SOC 317 – Inequality in Higher Education
Tina Wildhagen
Tuesday  3:00-4:50 p.m.
Component

This course will apply a sociological lens to understanding inequality in American higher education. We will examine how the conflicting purposes of higher education have led to a highly stratified system of colleges and universities. We will also address the question of how student's social class, race, ethnicity, and gender affect their chances of successfully navigating this stratified system of higher education. Finally, we will examine selected public policies aimed at minimizing inequality in student's access to and success in college.

SOC 323 - Gender and Social Change
Nancy Whittier
Tuesday  1:00-2:50 p.m.

Theory and research on the construction of and change in gender categories in the United States, with particular attention to social movements that seek to change gender definitions and stratification, including both feminist and anti-feminist movements. Theoretical frameworks are drawn from feminist theory and social movement theory. Readings examine historical shifts in gender relations and norms, changing definitions of gender in contemporary everyday life, and politicized struggles over gender definitions. Themes throughout the course include the social construction of both femininity and masculinity, the intersection of race, class, and sexual orientation with gender, and the growth of a politics of identity. Case studies include feminist, lesbian and gay, right-wing, self help, anti-abortion, and pro-choice movements.

Spanish and Portuguese Hatfield Hall 585-3450

SPN 230 - Creative Writing with Spanish Women Writers
Reyes Lozaro
Tuesday, Thursday  3:00-4:50 p.m.

(Taught in Spanish)This is a hinge course between beginning-intermediate and advanced-intermediate courses. Students will read and practice creative writing (essays and pieces of fiction) with the aid of fictional and biographical pieces written by Spanish women from the 12th century to our day. Its goal is to develop: students’ competence and self-confidence in the analysis of short and longer fiction in Spanish; knowledge of the history of women’s writing in Spain; and acquisition of linguistic and cultural literacy in Spanish through playful fiction writing.

SPN 230 -  Transatlantic Search for Identity
Maria Estela Harretche
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.
component

(Taught in Spanish) A quest for the self and its relation to otherness through a one-poem per class approach. Readings in Modern and Contemporary works by poets from both sides of the ocean, complemented by the study of related music and visual art. We will examine the consequences of political exile as a journey to the unknown (Jiménez, Cernuda, Cortazar, Neruda, Alberti) as well as the voluntary exile of the artist in search of a new aesthetic identity (Darío, Lorca, Vallejo). Special attention will be given to the problems of subjectivity, gender and sexuality in the works of four women poets: Agustini, Storni, Parra and Pizarnik. Students will have the option of composing an original poem to supplement their final grade.

SPN 250 - Sex and the Medieval City
Ibtissam Bouachrine
Tuesday, Thursday  3:00-4:50 p.m.

(Taught in Spanish)This course examines the medieval understanding of sex and the woman's body within an urban context. We will read medieval texts on love, medicine and women's sexuality by Iberian and North African scholars. We will investigate the ways in which medieval Iberian medical traditions have viewed women's bodies and defined their health and illness. We will also address women's role as practitioners of medicine, and how such a role was affected by the gradual emergence of "modern" medical institutions such as the hospital and the medical profession.

Theatre T204 Theatre Building 585-3229

THE 221 – Rehearsing the Impossible:  Black Women Playwrights Interrupting the Master Narrative
Andrea Hairston
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m., Wednesday  7:00-10:00

Building on the legacy of Alice Childress, Lorraine Hansberry, Adrienne Kennedy, and Ntozake Shange, this course will explore the work of Pearl Cleage, Lynne Nottage, Suzan Lori Parks, Anne D. Smith and other playwrights who from the 1950's to present go about reinventing the narrative of America. We will consider their theatrical/artistic production in the context of black feminism. As artists, audiences, and critics grapple with the enduring legacy of minstrel storytelling in the late 20th early 21st, what were/are the particular artistic and intellectual challenges for these theatre artists? What are/were their strategies, missteps, triumphs?