Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Summer/Fall CPE Courses

See the CPE website to enroll – fees charged per credit for summer and fall courses:  www.umassulearn.net
Summer 2014 - Enrollment started March 17
Fall 2014 – enrollment starts July 1

(100-level courses count towards the WGSS minor, but not the WGSS major, with the exception of WOMENSST 187, our own intro course).

WOMENSST 187 – Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Session 1 – Joseph Scherer
Session 2 – Alix Olson

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 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.

WOMENSST 297TC – Introduction to Critical Transgender Studies
Session 2
Sonny Nordmarken
Distribution requirement:  Sexuality studies

Critical transgender studies is a rapidly-growing interdisciplinary field today, with contentious roots in feminist and queer theories. This course will introduce the field, providing an overview of trans epistemologies and the longstanding political issues of pathologization and violence. Then we will delve into some major current political issues: trans misogyny, trans feminisms, racism and imperialism in trans movements, transphobia and homonationalism in queer movements, disability coalitions, two-spirit and indigenous politics, criminalization, imprisonment, and prison abolition. Through engagement with course materials, class discussion, and writing exercises, we will build a conceptual repertoire of critical trans perspectives, which you will use toward a final paper.

WOMENSST 397DD – Pornography, Gender and the Law
Session 2
Tonia St. Germain
Distribution requirement:  Sexuality studies

This course analyzes one type of mass communication that tells stories about what sex is, can, and should be—pornography. For the purposes of this course, pornography is defined as material sold in stores, presented as movies or videos, and offered by telephone or over the Internet for the purpose of producing sexual arousal for mostly male customers. The course considers the legal struggle for control presented in the obscenity debates: What happens when two deeply held American values, freedom of expression and freedom from discrimination, clash? People have the right to free speech as well as the right to equal treatment and protection under the law. But when one person's pornographic free speech harms another person on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, does it become hate speech and subject to regulation? Are such harms the price we pay for a commitment to free speech in America? Who is paying and who is profiting? The course considers the answers by exploring the production and consumption of pornography in a legal, social, economic, and political context and challenges us to consider the effect of the use of pornography in society.

ANTHRO 205 – Inequality and Oppression
Session 1
Honora Sullivan-Chin

The roots of racism and sexism and the issues they raise. The cultural, biological, and social contexts of race and gender and examination of biological variation, genetic determinism, human adaptation, and the bases of human behavior.

COMM 288 – Gender, Sex and Representation
Session 2
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).

EDUC 132 – Gender, Sexuality and Literature and Culture
Session 1 – Katharine Marantz
Session 2 – Amanda Waugh

Literature treating the relationship between man and woman. Topics may include: the nature of love, the image of the hero and heroine, and definitions, past and present, of the masculine and feminine.

HISTORY 297F – History of Sexuality
Session 1
Julie De Chantal
Distribution requirement:  Sexuality studies

This course focuses on the history of sexuality in the United States from the colonial era to the present. Students will have the opportunity to explore the development of ideas, debates, and controversies surrounding sexual practices, and to understand how sexuality has been and still is central to the creation of social-economic and political identities and statuses. The course will examine how geographical, religious, political, racial, educational, and economic factors transform the discourse on and regulations of sexuality over time.

PSYCH 391FC – Intersections of Race, Class and Gender in the Family Context
Session 2
Hillary Halpern

This course explores intersections of race, class and gender within families, and attends to the ways in which families are differently impacted by identity, privilege and social marginalization. Students will be asked to employ critical analysis of research and social thought to examine constructions of race, social class and gender, as well as what constitutes "family," and challenge underlying assumptions that inform our understanding of these constructs.

SOC 387 – Sexuality and Society
Session 2
Sarah Miller
Distribution requirement:  Sexuality studies

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. Prerequisite: 100-level Sociology course.


(WGSS majors and minors must concentrate their work on gender.  100-level courses count towards the WGSS mnor but NOT the WGSS major.)

EDUC 591W – Recognizing Family Values and Initiating Interventions
Session 2
Kevin Warwick

This course will allow school counselors, teachers, and criminal justice professionals to look at the impact of family violence as it relates to their work. This course will focus on the treatment issues, as well as the impact of adults and children living in that home. The course will examine some of the signs of this and will allow for those working in a school setting to gain a greater understanding of the issues.

FRENCHST 280 – Love and Sex in French Culture
Session 1
Patrick Mensah

Course taught in English. This course offers a broad historical overview of the ways in which love and erotic behavior in French culture have been represented and understood in the arts, especially in Literature and, more recently, in film, from the middle ages to the twentieth century.

LATIN-AM 397B – Latin America Through Film
Session 1
Jose Ornelas

This course is an introduction to the films of several important Latin American directors in the past thirty years. Through an analysis of these films as works of art, we will explore the historical, political, social and cultural developments that have shaped Latin America through the centuries and are fundamental to its understanding. Among the many topics that will be examined are the following: racial, social, and gender construction; nation formation; national identity; revolution; emigration/immigration; colonization and resistance; political and urban violence; slavery and freedom; homosexuality; and machismo. Please note: this course meets the requirements for students completing the Spanish major, a certificate and/or minor in Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies and the major in Spanish, as well as the interdepartmental Certificate in Film Studies at UMass Amherst.

PSYCH 391DA – Diversity Among Contemporary American Families
Session 1
Rachel Farr

The notion of the "traditional American family" is transforming. With new historical circumstances, American families have become more diverse. This course will provide students with an overview and analysis of a variety of contemporary family systems in the United States, such as single-parent families, adoptive family systems, and families with lesbian and gay parents. Students will gain understanding in family systems theory and in research methods for studying family systems. Course material will be considered from the perspective of social issues, questions, and public controversies, both current and historical  e.g., Is the traditional family disappearing? Is the institution of research, public policy, and law surrounding parenting and families (e.g., custody and placement decisions) will be covered. Prerequisite: PSYCH 100.

SOC 222 – The Family
Session 1
Oyman Basaran

First part: historical transformations in family life (relationships between husbands and wives, position and treatment of children, importance of kinship ties); second part: the contemporary family through life course (choice of a mate, relations in marriage, parenthood, breakup of the family unit).

SOC 224 – Social Class Inequality
Session 2
Armanthia Duncan

The nature of social classes in society from the viewpoint of differences in economic power, political power, and social status. Why stratification exists, its internal dynamics, and its effects on individuals, subgroups, and the society as a whole. Problems of poverty and the uses of power.

SOC 395K – Domestic Violence
Session 2
Laura Hickman

Prior to the 1970s, domestic violence in America was widely viewed as a private matter in which public intervention was inappropriate except under the most extreme circumstances. Over the past several decades, however, domestic violence has been increasingly perceived and responded to by the public as a criminal matter. Take a detailed look at patterns and trends in domestic violence in contemporary America, explore theoretical perspectives about its causes, and examine the domestic violence reform movement, paying special attention to research that tries to assess the actual effectiveness of criminal justice reforms in reducing domestic violence.


FALL 2014

(100-level courses count towards the WGSS minor, but not the WGSS major, with the exception of WOMENSST 187, our own intro course).

WOMENSST 291E – Feminist Health Politics
Jacquelyne Luce

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.


HISTORY 389 – U.S. Women’s History Since 1890

Explores the relationship of women to the social, cultural, economic and political developments shaping American society from 1890 to the present. Examines women's paid and unpaid labor, family life and sexuality, feminist movements and women's consciousness; emphasis on how class, race, ethnicity, and sexual choice have affected women's historical experience. Sophomore level and above.  (Gen.Ed. HS, U)

(WGSS majors and minors must concentrate their work on gender.  100-level courses count towards the WGSS mnor but NOT the WGSS major.)

EDUC 210 – Social Diversity in Education
Warren Blumenfeld

Focus on issues of social identity, social and cultural diversity, and societal manifestations of oppression.  Draws on interdisciplinary perspectives of social identity development, social learning theory, and sociological analyses of power and privilege within broad social contexts.  (Gen.Ed. I, U)

POLSCI – American Politics Through Film
Michael Hanahan

Movies are used to explore the development of American politics. The forces that shaped our politics early in the century (immigration, reform, religion), the rise of "big" government in the depression and World War II years (the new roles of the federal government, the enhanced presidency, internationalism, and anti-communism), and selected issues (race, gender, modern campaigns) prominent since the 1960s. The meaning of political democracy in America and how our understanding of it has adapted to changing times and conditions.  (Gen.Ed. HS)