Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Fall 2013 Courses


WOMENSST 187B – Gender, Sexuality, and Culture
Banu Subramaniam
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:20 p.m. plus Friday discussions

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.  Lecture, discussion.  Gen Ed IU

WOMENSST 201- Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
Jacquelyne Luce
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Introduction to fundamental questions and concepts of feminist thought and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis integrating economic and cultural imperialism, gender, class, race, and sexual orientation.  Also addresses the multifaceted dimensions of women’s lived experiences within a global context.

WOMENSST 201 - Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
Tanisha Ford
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

See above description.

WOMENSST 201- Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

See above description.

WOMENSST 291E - Feminist Health Politics
Jacquelyne Luce
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 3:35-4:25 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.  In addition to our discussions of the course readings and films, we will be looking closely at health issues around us – What’s in the news? What issues don’t get coverage? Which organizations might we turn to? What might some of the barriers to access be? You will have the opportunity to experiment with the analysis of various forms of health literature and communication – e.g. policy papers, news articles, blogs, self-help books and information brochures, as well as to create your own contributions, employing multiple methodologies to situate a particular health issue in its historical and contemporary context.

WOMENSST 292A - 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.

WOMENSST 294 - Reproductive and Genetic Technologies
Jacquelyne Luce
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4:40-5:30 p.m.

This course will focus on reproductive and genetic technologies (RGTs), tracing their emergence, routinization and contemporary forms. We will look at historical and current debates about the governance of RGTs, including prohibitions on access, restrictions on commercialization, and the use of gametes and embryos for research. Tracing the appearance and continuing transformations of feminist responses to RGTs in activist and academic work will enable us to explore the complexities of this field in which issues of gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, disability, nationality and age entwine in very unique and diverse ways. We will read key ethnographies, examine current practices and debates, and experiment with implementing forms of public engagement on emerging questions.

WOMENSST 297S - Girls in the System: Gender and Juvenile Justice
Adina Giannelli
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

This interdisciplinary seminar will consider the role of gender in the juvenile justice system, in the United States and transnationally. Drawing on sociological literature, social critiques, policy papers, case law, documentary film, personal narratives, and even fiction, we will learn about and reflect upon the issues experienced by girls in the system. Final assignment will be student-driven, in consultation with instructor. 

In the context of this course, we will critically examine the history of girls in the juvenile justice system; what it means to be in “the system”; the role of “justice” in the juvenile system; and the relationship between gender and justice. We will review some of the major issues faced by the girls who are subject to this system. Finally, we will explore the following questions: What are the goals of the juvenile justice system, and whose interests does it serve? Who is tracked into the system, and why? What is the relationship between race, gender, sexuality, culture and tracking, diversion, alternatives, and outcomes for girls in the juvenile justice system? How does the system address--or fail to address--issues of education, health, wellness, and community? And how do those who are subject to this system contest its confines, demonstrating voice, vision, and agency?

WOMENSST 391W- Writing for WGSS majors
Miliann Kang
Tuesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.

Fulfills Junior Year Writing requirement for WGSS majors (non-majors admitted with permission of instructor if space available). Are there distinctively feminist forms and methods of writing?  What are the challenges and contributions of feminist writing and argumentation for research, creative, and professional work in a variety of fields.  This class will help students develop skills in analyzing texts, organizing arguments, providing persuasive evidence and articulating ideas to diverse audiences. It will address a broad range of sources and approaches including scholarly publications, creative writing, popular culture reviews, public arguments, Internet sources, monographs, first-person narratives, grant proposals, and archival and bibliographic resources.  Must have fulfilled GenEd CW requirement.

WOMENSST 392AAH/592AA- Asian American Feminisms
Miliann Kang
Thursday 2:30-5:00 p.m.

How have the figures of the Chinese bachelor, the geisha, the war bride, the hermaphrodite, the orphan, the tiger mother, the Asian nerd, the rice king, the rice queen, and the trafficked woman shaped understandings of Asian Americans, and how have these representations been critiqued by Asian American feminist scholars and writers?  Is there a body of work that constitutes “Asian American feminism(s)” and what are its distinctive contributions to the field of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies?  How does this body of work illuminate historical and contemporary configurations of gender, sexuality, race, class, nation, citizenship, migration, empire, war, neoliberalism and globalization?  In exploring these questions, this course examines Asian American histories, bodies, identities, diasporic communities, representations, and politics through multi- and interdisciplinary approaches, including social science research, literature, popular representations, film, poetry and art.  The course fulfills the critical race feminisms requirement for graduate feminist certificate students and the women of color requirement (inside or outside) for majors and minors.

WOMENSST 393T- Writing Love in the African Diaspora
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.

This course explores how various forms of intimacy and human connection are imagined in contemporary writing of the African Diaspora. From parent-child affections, to heterosexual romance, to queer intimacies, to the closeness between friends, “love” is a central theme in literature and a crucial part of how we define humanity. Focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century texts such as Junot Diaz’s This is How You Lose Her, Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter, Ben Okri’s The Famished Road, Dee Rees’s Pariah, and Toni Morrison’s Love, we will consider how various forms of intimacy are written and read in the African Diaspora.  We will take up these works alongside key texts from earlier moments in Afrodiasporic literature, as well as theoretical and critical work in Diaspora feminism, queer theory, and affect studies. Reading through these lenses, we will consider several questions: How do processes of Diaspora, including enslavement, colonization, migration, and war shape how love is imagined in Afrodiasporic literature? What do literary affective relationships reveal about cultural notions of gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and race? How are intimacy and human connection evoked through various Diasporic modernist, magical realist, and other literary techniques? How are notions of love and intimacy used to invoke transnational connection in Diasporic spoken word and hip-hop?  Course requirements include two short papers, a final paper, and a short presentation. Prior coursework in WGSS, English, African-American Studies, Latino/a Studies, or other related fields will be helpful.

 

WOMENSST 394H- Critical Race Feminisms
Alexandrina Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This course will explore the intersection of race and gender and other components of social identity from an interdisciplinary perspective. It will address and respond to the unique challenges of the inter and intra relationships of women of color with feminism, locally and globally. One of the tasks will be to (re)-visit, (re)-vision, (re)-counter existing theories and bodies of knowledge, as well as analyze how historical and contemporary realities of women of color are profoundly influenced by a legacy of structural inequalities that is neither linear nor logical. The approach to this course will be to pay particular attention to critical analysis and the importance of understanding and applying knowledge - not just "knowing". We will explore a range of activist practices of resistance and their practical applications. By the end of the semester students should be able to have mastered arguments regarding a number of Critical Race Feminist themes and issues with sensitivity, eloquence, and grounded analysis.This course fulfills the theory requirement for majors. Prerequisite WOMENSST 201 or 301 or any other 200 level & above WOMENSST course. Permission of instructor needed for others.  Contact department for more information.

WOMENSST 507 - Violence as a Public Health Issue
Tameka Gillum
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

This course provides students with a graduate-level survey introduction to the issue of violence and the public health concerns associated with its presence in our society. It will primarily address violence in a domestic context, though some international examples will be discussed. We will address the history of violence, how violence impacts contemporary society, theories of violence, contributing factors, the public health impact of violence, nonviolence pathways and their potential to counter violence in our society, and prevention and intervention efforts to address violence. The course will cover types of violence at multiple levels, interpersonal, institutional and structural. Our coverage will include but is not limited to intimate partner violence, sexual violence, gender violence, suicide, gun violence, elder abuse, youth violence, workplace violence, gang violence, child abuse, homicide, school violence, police violence, corporate violence and terrorism.

WOMENSST 791B- Feminist Theory
Laura Briggs
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.