WOMEN'S STUDIES CORE COURSES
SPRING 1997

Departmental Courses | Component Courses | Women of Color Courses
Graduate Level Courses | Amherst College Courses | Hampshire College Courses
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WOST 187
Introduction to Women's Studies (ID)
Arlene Avakian
lecture: Monday, Wednesday 10:10 am
discussion: Friday 9:05, 10:10, or 11:15 am

Lecture, discussion. Placing women's experiences at the center of interpretation, this course introduces basic concepts and perspectives in Women's Studies. Focusing on women's history and contemporary issues for women, we will examine women's lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women's lives; the ways in which the interlocking systems of oppression, colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism shape women's lives; and, how women have worked to resist these oppressions.

WOST 201
Critical Perspectives in Women's Studies
Alex Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of feminist thought and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis by which women's experience may be reviewed and analyzed across race, class, and sexuality and within the structures of contemporary global power and in the context of North American domination and the "new world order."

WOST 201O
Critical Perspectives in Women's Studies
Alex Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 - 3:45 pm

Orchard Hill residential education course. Same course description as WOST 201 (above).

WOST 294C
Black Women and Work in the US
Jennifer Ire
Monday, Wednesday 3:35 - 4:50 pm

This course will chart and attempt to understand Black Women's experiences with work in the US and focus on African American women. Using Black feminist thought we will examine the historical, social and cultural factors that impact both the meanings and experiences of work for African American women and acknowledge some of their achievements. Finally, we will begin to create for ourselves an understanding of how their experiences and meanings can help us in making work, career and life choices.

WOST 295C
Career and Life Choices for Women
Karen Lederer
Monday 12:20 - 2:00 pm; Pass/Fail only (2 credits)

Development of a systematic approach to career, educational, and life planning. Emphasis on prioritization of values and subsequent life choices. Elements of self exploration include: distinguishing between choosing a major and choosing a career; identifying and expanding areas of career interest; identifying current skills and skills necessary for career of choice; relating knowledge, interests and skills to career goals; and current issues for women in the workforce. Skills include budgeting, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and use of various resources. Mandatory Pass/Fail. Women's Studies students or seniors only.

WOST 296Q
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Studies Seminar Series (1 credit)
Thursday 12:30 - 1:30 pm; Pass/Fail only

Mandatory attendance at Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies Brown Bag Series weekly. To receive credit, students must participate in discussion at the Brown Bags and complete response sheets on three of the presentations. Registration at the first Brown Bag. For more information, call The Stonewall Center at 545-4824.

WOST 298 et al
Women's Studies Practicum
Karen Lederer
by arrangement (1-12 credits)

Field work placements available on-campus or at local agencies. Opportunity for development of skills, and practical application of knowledge. Agencies include human services, local government, and local business. See page 2 for details. Additional information available in the Women's Studies office, 208 Bartlett Hall. Credit approved by a faculty sponsor and coordinated through the Women's Studies. Pass/fail or graded option available. Everywoman's Center (EWC) practicums also available although they are primarily limited to students continuing a Fall 1996 EWC practicum.

WOST 301
Theorizing Women's Issues
Jan Raymond
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Central to any tradition are the issues and controversies that help construct the theory of a tradition. Focus on a variety of feminist issues and controversies -- among them the construction of gender, race, and sexuality; feminism and men; the international trafficking in women; violence against women; pornography; lesbianism; African-American feminism and women's resistance to oppression. These issues form a nucleus from which to think about: 1) What is theory? 2) Is theory important for feminism? 3) Who are our theorists? 4) How is gender related to the components that help construct it, namely race, class and sexuality? 5) What is the importance of an international perspective? 6) How are theory and practice interrelated?

WOST 391E/ECON 348
Political Economy of Women
Lisa Saunders
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Empirical assessment of women's work in the market and in the home in the US and other countries. Reconsideration of traditional issues of political economy, comparative economic history, and labor economics. Requirements: two midterm exams and one paper. [This course is also cross-listed as ECON 348.]

WOST 391H
Women & Human Rights: International Issues
and Instruments (4 credits, Honors)
Jan Raymond
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00 - 6:30 pm

Facts and concepts to understanding a range of international issues affecting women within a human rights context. What constitutes basic human rights? The debate over universality. International efforts to have women's rights recognized as human rights. Topics include migration, refugees and asylum; women as political prisoners; sexual violence, sex trafficking and prostitution; urbanization, cities and settlements; economic inclusion, micro-lending projects and credit; land, agriculture and food; situations of armed conflict and war crimes; and health and environment. Examining a range of national and international strategies and solutions, from governmental and intergovernmental instruments such as UN Conventions, Declarations, and agreements, to the interventions, programs and activism of non-governmental human rights groups. Class presentations, participation in class discussion, one short paper, and one final paper or project.

WOST 394B
Black Feminist/Womanist Theory
Alex Deschamps
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 - 10:45 am

To understand Black Feminist Thinking, it is important to explore the context out of which it emerges. We will analyze the evolution of Black Feminist Consciousness and Thought in the US as far back from the 1930s to contemporary time, since the struggle for black women's liberation which emerged in he mid- 1960s is a construction of both intellectual and activist tradition during slavery and during the anti-slavery movement. This course will also be an interpretative analysis of the work and thought produced by a range of leading Black Women writers, scholars and intellectuals in everyday and alternative locations for knowledge production. [This course is not an alternative to the WOST 301 requirement for UMass WOST majors]. This course may be counted toward the Women of Color Requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

WOST 394G
The Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality
Ann Ferguson
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 - 2:15 pm

Lecture, discussion. Introduction to theories of the relations between sex, gender and sexuality from a feminist perspective. Topics include: biological determinist, social constructionist, historical and performative theories of gender and sexuality (Goldberg, Gilder, Freud, Foucault, vs. feminist critics Oakley, de Beauvoir, Chodorow, Rubin, Rich, Butler), sexual identities (hetero-, gay, bi-, trans- and inter- sexualities, and race, class, ethnic differences), and the politics of sexuality (identity politics, conservative politics, queer theory). Readings include: Feinberg Stone Butch Blues, Katz, The Invention of Heterosexuality, Oakley, Sex, Gender and Society, and a packet of readings. Requirements include class participation, two short papers, take home exam, and term paper.

WOST 395A/JOURN 395A
Women, Men and Journalism
Karen List
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 am - 12:30 pm

This course looks at issues surrounding the participation and portrayal of women in American journalism from colonial to contemporary times. It focuses on women journalists and the obstacles they have faced as well as on coverage of women from the 18th century through today in the context of the news-editorial aspect of newspapers, magazines, and broadcasting. Parallels are drawn with other groups, including African-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. [This course is also cross-listed as JOURN 395A]

WOST 395H
US Women's Lives in Contexts: Reading
and Creating Political Autobiography (4 credits, Honors)
Jennifer Ire
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15 am

A course in which students will both read women's autobiographies and oral histories as well as do some of their own autobiographical work. The class will explore the ways in which lives are embedded with their social, political and cultural contexts and the ways in which people construct their lives. We will have a particular focus on the ways in which gender, race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation impact on lives and the ways these social forces interact with each other. Focusing on their own lives in their contexts, students will create autobiographical work which could take a variety of forms; e.g. written, oral, visual, or dramatic. Readings will focus on contemporary US women; public figures, and "ordinary" women.

WOST 395I
Immigrant Women in the US:
The Dilemma of Caribbean Women
Jennifer Ire
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10 am

This course will examine some US Immigration policies, and the impact on women. We will learn some of the reasons why women emigrate from their homelands, and attempt to understand the impact of race, gender, class, ethnocentrism, and internal colonialism on their lives. We will focus on women of the Caribbean, the impact of acculturation, and the strategies they employ to maintaining family and cultural ties while adjusting to a new life and status in the US This course may be counted toward the Women of Color Requirement for Women's Studies majors and minors.

WOST 395M/POLSCI 375
Feminist Theory and Politics
Barbara Cruikshank
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00 pm

The goal of this course is to critically evaluate the theoretical foundations of contemporary feminisms. We will concentrate on the conceptual, historical, and political strategies within feminist political theory to unite women across the lines of race, class, and sexuality. Readings from theorists engaged on several political fronts--family, law, sex, experience, borders, modernity and post-modernity. We will also examine tactical feminist theories of identify, association, affinity, coalition, interest-groups, narrative, art, representation, and litigation. This course is also cross-listed as PolSci 375. [This course is not an alternative to the WOST 301 requirement for UMass WOST majors].

WOST 695L
Feminist Research Methods Pro-Seminar
Ann Ferguson
(1 credit ) by arrangement

Lunchtime Lecture Series involves graduate student and faculty presentations involving their own research on feminist and gender topics in a number of different academic disciplines. There will be several prestigious faculty scholars who are outside speakers. Students taking the pro-seminar for credit will be expected to participate regularly in the series and attend a majority of the lectures of outside speakers, some of which may be at other times.