Mount Holyoke College Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Fall 2014 Courses

Anthropology 102 Porter Hall 538-2283

ANTHR 346 – Identities/Differences:  Anthropological Perspectives
Wednesday  1:15-4:05 p.m.
Deborah Battaglia

This course examines notions of person and self across cultures, with specific reference to the social construction and experience of cultural identities. Discussions focus on issues of gender, race, ethnicity, and the values of individuality and relationality in different cultures.


Asian Studies Ciruti 112 538-2885

ASIAN 211 – Modern Indian/South Asian Writers
Tuesday, Thursday  2:40-3:55 p.m.
Indira Peterson

Writing in South Asian languages (e.g., Hindi, Tamil) and English, modern Indian and South Asian writers, both women and men, have responded to colonialism, nationalism and the partition of India, and spoken for social and gender justice. They have imagined ways of being a person and belonging in and emerging from South Asia, in modernity, in families, nations and the world. We will examine these themes and study style and form in the novels, short stories and essays of major writers, including Rabindranath Tagore, R. K. Narayan, Anita Desai, Mahadevi Varma, Mahasweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Vikram Chandra and Jhumpa Lahiri.  All readings in English.


French 115 Ciruti 538-2074

FREN 351 – Every Secret Thing:  Contemporary Women’s Autobiographical Narrative
Tuesday  1:15-4:05
C. Rivers

This course will examine contemporary autobiographical narratives written by women, with a particular focus on authors whose works include multiple autobiographical texts of various genres: fictional, nonfictional, and semifictional. We will analyze the ways in which these authors present their life stories, especially the traumatic or secret episodes, and the ways in which their works discuss the process of that presentation and of memory itself. Themes that are common to these autobiographical texts include: relationships with family, education, sexuality, class, and love. In addition to literary texts, we will analyze in detail several autobiographical films made by women.


Gender Studies 109 Shattuck 538-2257

GNDST 206ME/HIST 296 – Women and Gender in the Middle East
Thursday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Sbaiti, N.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Transnational Feminisms

This course is designed to provide students with a nuanced historical understanding of issues related to women and gender in the region defined as the area from Morocco to Iran. After an introduction to the main themes and approaches in the study of women and gender, we will examine the development of discourses on gender and the lived experiences  of women from the rise of Islam, through the Ottoman Empire, and up to the twentieth century. Topics: the politics of marriage, divorce, and reproduction; women's political and economic participation; lslamist movements; the new field of masculinity studies; and the highly contested topics of homosexuality and transsexuality in the Middle East.

GNDST 210/RELIG 218 –Women in American Religious History
Tuesday, Thursday 1:15 – 2:30 pm
Crosthwaite, J.

This course is a critical study of significant women (Anne Hutchinson, Mother Ann Lee, Mary Baker Eddy, Ellen Gould White, Aimee Semple McPherson, Dorothy Day, and others) and their roles in the pluralistic character of American religion. It raises central questions concerning leadership, marginality, deviant behavior, and criticism of women.

GNDST 221CC/POLIT 233 – Introduction to Feminist Theory
Tuesday, Thursday 1:15 – 2:30 pm
Markovits, E.

This course explores the overlapping dualities of the feminine and the masculine, the private and the public, the home and the world. We examine different forms of power over the body; the ways gender and sexual identities reinforce or challenge the established order; and the cultural determinants of "women's emancipation." We emphasize the politics of feminism, dealing with themes that include culture, democracy, and the particularly political role of theory and on theoretical attempts to grasp the complex ties and tensions between sex, gender, and power.

GNDST 250TM – Gender and Power in Global Contexts: Land, Transnational Markets, and Democracy in Women’s Lives and Activism
Tuesday, Thursday 1:15 – 2:30 pm
Heller, C.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Transnational Feminisms

This course will address the predicaments of women who must negotiate local contexts shaped by transnational markets, changing patterns of agriculture and agro-forestry, and struggles over indigenous land rights. How have arguments about democracy shaped the struggles women take up locally, nationally, and transnationally in opposition to corporate power, national policies, and supranational agencies such as the World Trade Organization?

GNDST 333A/ENGL 359 – Emily Dickinson in Her Times
Tuesday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Ackmann, M.

This course will examine the writing of Emily Dickinson, both her poetry and her letters. We will consider the cultural, historical, political, religious, and familial environment in which she lived. Special attention will be paid to Dickinson's place as a woman artist in the nineteenth century. The class will meet at the Dickinson Museum.

GNDST 333C/ANTHR 331 – Anthropology and Sexualities
Tuesday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Morgan, L.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Sexuality Studies

This seminar focuses on contemporary anthropological scholarship concerned with the varieties of sexual expression in diverse cultural settings. We will read ethnographic accounts of sexual ideologies and the politics and practices of sexuality in Brazil, Japan, Native North America, India, and elsewhere. We will examine anthropological theories of sexuality with an emphasis on contemporary issues, including performance theory, "third gender" theories, sexual identity formulation, and techniques used by various societies to discipline the body.

GNDST 333D/PSYCH 329 – Psychology of Trauma
Tuesday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Douglas, A.

What happens after a traumatic event? Why do some people develop psychological disorders and others do not? This course will explore the psychological theories and research on trauma and stress. Topics covered will include childhood abuse, domestic violence, combat violence, community violence, and interpersonal violence. The seminar will explore psychological dysfunction, disorders, as well as adaptation and coping following exposure to traumatic stress. In addition, the course will explore the concept of "cultural trauma."

GNDST 333DH/ENGL 373 – Housewives in American Literature
Thursday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Glasser, L.

This course will explore visual and literary images of nineteenth through early 20th-century marriage and motherhood. Discussion of Virginia's Woolf’s "A Room of One's Own" and Barbara Welter's essay "The Cult of True Womanhood" will serve as the springboard for our focus on representations  of women in the home. We will incorporate a visit to the art museum, and will analyze film adaptations of some of the texts we read. The course will focus primarily on American literature, film, and art, with the exception of Ibsen's A Doll's House; selected written texts will include works by writers such as Hawthorne, James, Stowe, Gilman, Freeman, Chopin, Hurston, and Wharton.

GNDST 333EG - Eggs and Embryos: Innovations in Reproductive and Genetic Technologies
Friday 1:15-4:05 p.m.
Jacquelyne Luce

This seminar will focus on emerging innovations in the development, use and governance of reproductive and genetic technologies (RGTs). How do novel developments at the interface of fertility treatment and biomedical research raise both new and enduring questions about the "naturalness" of procreation, the politics of queer families, the im/possibilities of disabilities, and transnational citizenship? Who has a say in what can be done and for which purposes? We will engage with ethnographic texts, documentaries, policy statements, citizen science activist projects, and social media in order to closely explore the diversity of perspectives in this field. We will also experiment with "public engagement" activities designed to foster knowledge and conversations about RGTs and the questions and concerns they might raise.

GNDST 333F/RELIG 323 – Feminist Theologies
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Crosthwaite, J.

Mary Daly, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Phyllis Trible, and Judith Plaskow, among others, have argued that traditional Jewish and Christian theological systems have overlooked the needs, concerns, histories, and contributions of women. Their challenges range from the historical modification of a presumably unbiased religious system to the outright rejection of a so-called patriarchal establishment.  Whatever their approach, feminist theologies offer diverse and incisive tools for understanding how a theological system operates, how transitory cultural assumptions become embedded in ongoing  doctrines, and how apparently minor adjustments can have significant ripple effects.

GNDST 333JJ/ANTHR 316GF – Gender, Food and Agriculture
Friday  1:15-4:05 p.m.
Chaia Heller
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Transnational Feminisms

This course explores the gendered domains of food and agriculture as they unfold within household and community economies in the global south and in G-8 countries. We will examine the place of women in systems of food production, processing, marketing, and consumption.  We will address locally regulated markets, cuisines, and peasant farming systems as they interface with international neo-liberal systems of market and trade. We will also pay close attention to emergent women's agricultural cooperatives and unions as they shape new transnational coalitions that offer sustainable (and flourishing) solutions to problems associated with post-industrial agriculture.

GNDST 333HH/ASIAN 340 – Love, Gender-Crossing, and Women’s Supremacy: A Reading of The Story of the Stone
Wednesday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Wang, Y.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Transnational Feminisms

A seminar on the 18th-century Chinese masterpiece The Story of the Stone and selected literary criticism in response to this work. Discussions will focus on love, gender-crossing, and women's supremacy and the paradoxical treatments of these themes in the novel. We will explore multiple aspects of these themes, including the sociopolitical, philosophical, and literary milieus of eighteenth-century China. We will also examine this novel in its relation to Chinese literary tradition in general and the generic conventions of premodern Chinese vernacular fiction in particular.

GNDST 333U/LATAM 387/SOC 316 – Latina/o Immigration
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Hernandez, D.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Critical Race Feminisms

The course provides an historical and topical overview of Latina/o migration to the United States. We will examine the economic, political, and social antecedents to Latin American migration, and the historical impact of the migration process in the U.S. Considering migration from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, we will discuss the social construction of race, the gendered nature of migration, migrant labor struggles, Latin American-U.S. Latino relations, immigration policy, and border life and enforcement. Notions of citizenship, race, class, gender, and sexuality will be central to our understanding of the complexity at work in the migration process.

GNDST 333WL/ENGL 359 – The Art of Fact: Writing the Lives of Women
Monday 1:15 – 4:05 pm
Ackmann, Martha

This course will examine narrative nonfiction biographies written by women biographers in order to determine the specific ways in which women tell the stories of other women's lives. We will investigate stylistic and theoretical approaches to writing biographies in which gender is a central focus. We will ask if "feminist biography" constitutes a literary genre. We will experience the challenges (and thrills) of conducting archival and primary research. The course will culminate in students writing chapter-length biographies.


History 309 Skinner Hall 538-2377

HST 232RW – God Save the Queen:  Ruling Women from Rome to the Renassiance
Monday, Wednesday  11:00-12:15 p.m.
S. Gilsdorf

This course will explore female rulership in Europe from the late Roman empire to the age of Elizabeth I. Our discussion of various texts and images (most of them primary sources in translation) will reveal the role of queens within their societies, their relationship to broader social and cultural institutions such as the Christian Church, and the ways in which queens were celebrated, criticized, and imagined by writers and artists of their time.


Spanish 105 Ciruti 538-2347

SPAN 340WF – Women and Film in Spain
Friday  1:15-4:05 p.m.
UMass WGSS Majors/Minors Distribution requirement:  Transnational Feminisms

This class will examine Spanish cinema by women directors through gender and film theory. The course will engage topics shaping women's films (violence against women, the female body, rejection of trad. roles) in comparison with Hollywood and Spanish male-authored production. We will outline: film-makers silenced by Franco's dictatorship; those who negotiated within censorship; and those who contributed to a boom of women behind the camera. By tackling the so-called gender-genre debate, we will analyze how each group uses (or subverts) male-dominated cinematic forms (neo-realism, the road movie, film noir), shaping female discursive difference in each period. Films streamed.

Sociology 102 Porter House 538-2283

SOCI 327 – Social Inequalities
Thursday  1:15-4:05 p.m.
Kenneth Tucker

This course is a critical survey of theoretical and empirical research on social inequality, stratification, and mobility. The central focus is class, race, and gender inequalities as they have changed during the post-World War II period in the United States (although we will look briefly at stratification regimes in other cultures and time periods). The concepts and methods of social stratification have wide application in sociology, economics, public policy, and administration contexts. As the course progresses, we will explore some of these applications as we wrestle with several policy issues currently confronting U.S. society.