WAGS 11	
Cross-Cultural Construction of Gender	
Michele Barale 
Rose Olver
		
Introduces students to the issues involved in the social and historical 
construction of gender and gender roles from a cross-cultural and 
interdisciplinary perspective.  Topics will include the uses and limits of 
biology in explaining human gender differences; male and female sexualities 
including homosexualities; women and social change; women’s participation in 
production and reproduction; the relationship among gender, race and class as 
intertwining oppressions; and the functions of visual and verbal 
representation in the creating, enforcing and contesting of gender norms.

WAGS 16
HIST 92	
English Women in the Age of the Enlightenment	
Margaret Hunt
	
Investigates the history of European women in the period approximately 1680 to 
1830 in both Western and Eastern Europe.  Looks at female philosophers and 
scientists, women monarchs (including Queen Anne of England and Catherine the 
Great of Russia), prophetesses, revolutionaries (including Olympe de Gouges 
and Mme. Roland), peasants, prostitutes and cross-dressers.  There will be 
attention to original sources (autobiographies, political tracts, and court 
cases) and to the ways modern-day historians make sense of this formative 
period in the history of both modern gender roles and European culture.  
Knowledge of one or more European languages other than English recommended but 
not required.

WAGS 30	
In Their Own Words:	
Autobiographies of Women	
Rose Olver
Susan Snively

How does the writing of autobiography help a woman affirm, construct, or 
reconstruct an authentic self?  How does she resolve the conflict between 
telling the truth and distorting it in making her life into art?  Is the 
making of art, indeed, her chief preoccupation; or is her goal to record her 
life in the context of her times, her religion, or her relationship to others?  
Reading autobiographies of women writers helps us raise, if not resolve, these 
questions.  We shall also consider how women write about experiences 
particular to women as shown in their struggles to survive adversity; their 
sense of themselves as authorities or challengers of authority, as well as 
their sense of what simply gives them pain or joy.  Readings from recent work 
in the psychology of woman will provide models for describing women’s 
development, as writings of women in turn will show how these models emerge 
from real lives.  Includes traditional autobiography, historical memoir, 
poetry, journals and personal narratives, psychological studies, criticism and 
theory:  Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why 
the Caged Bird Sings, poetry and prose by Elizabeth Bishop, Shirley Abbot’s 
Womenfolks, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, Carol 
Gilligan’s In a Different Voice, Mary Field-Belenky, et al., Women’s Ways of 
Knowing, and recent work by Janet Surrey, as well as selections from works by 
Paule Marshall, Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Lorene Cary, and, 
of course, Anonymous.

WAGS 31	
Sexuality and Culture	
Benigno Sanchez-Eppler

Will examine genders and sexualities in Latin America.  This will be an 
interdisciplinary course making use of literary documentation.  Will expose 
students to the variety and complexity of issues surrounding gender and 
sexuality in a continental field that itself denies easy definition.  By 
proceeding ahistorically at times, the course will begin to revise 
conventional accounts of conquest and colonization as sexual-political 
processes in which rape, miscegenation, collusion, and all sorts of sexual co-
dependencies - both violent and negotiated - appear as important grounds of 
identity formation.  Special attention will be focused on figures or tropes 
such as Malinche; on the development of racial castes through miscegenation; 
and on comparative analysis of the rhetorics of differentiation between the 
Spanish and Portuguese sexual models of colonial reproductions.

WAGS 32	
Sex, Self and Fear	
Stephanie Sandler

Freud located identity formation in the emotion of fear - a boy’s fear of 
castration, a girl’s terror at lack.  Later theories have agreed that worries 
about exposure, ridicule, and confession shape the sexual self.  Our course 
will explore the gendered origins and effects of fear, asking how fear of the 
other sex, and fear about the self, ground identity.   We will try to 
differentiate among forms of fear, comparing anxiety, obsession, trauma, and 
phobia.  Course material will be studied for the ways in which it condenses 
and substitutes various forms of dread.  Course material will include fiction 
(Pat Barker, Regeneration; Lydia Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna; Toni Morrison, 
Jazz; Mary Shelly, Frankenstein), poetry (by Anna Akhmatova, Rita Dove, Thom 
Gunn, Elizabeth Macklin); theory (Freud, Torok and Abraham); quasi-
autobiography (Kenzaburo Oe, A Quiet Life; Nathalie Sarrute, Childhood), and 
film (Carrie, M, Perfect World, Psycho, Vertigo).  We will ask what cultural 
and psychological work fear performs:  what fears are required for liberation 
from social taboos?  How do adults contain (and repeat) the fears that ruled 
childhood?  Why do we like to be frightened?

WAGS 64
HIST 49	
Women’s History, America:  1866-1975	
Saxton

Begins with an examination of the experience of women from different racial, 
ethnic and economic backgrounds during Reconstruction.  It will look at 
changes in family life as a result of increasing industrialization and the 
westward movement of settler families, and will also look at the settlers’ 
impact on Native American Women and families.  Topics will include the work 
and familial experiences of immigrant women (including Irish, German, and 
Italian), women’s reform movements (particularly suffrage, temperance and 
anti-lynching), the expansion of educational opportunities, and the origins 
and programs of the Progressives.  Examines the agitation for suffrage and the 
subsequent split among feminists, women’s experience in the labor force, and 
participation in the world wars.  Finally, we will look at the origins of the 
Second Wave and its struggles to transcend its white middle-class origins.

WAGS 66
HIST 43	
Church, Family and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America	
Martha Saxton
	
Looks at women’s experience through the lenses of religion, family and 
literary culture from the beginning of the nineteenth century through the 
Gilded Age.  Using a mix of primary and secondary sources, students will trace 
the changing moral values guiding female education as well as the varieties of 
Christianity that gave shape to different forms of activism.  It will also 
track changing family ideologies, the responsibilities of mothers and 
constructions of childhood.  The course will include women’s texts reflecting 
on their experiences as daughters, mothers, reformers, slaves, Christians and 
professionals.  Looks at the development of various strands of feminist 
thought and the production of a class of educated middle-class women 
interested in blunting the brutalities of capitalism.

BRUSS 18	
Bodies of Memory	
Wendy Woodson

Over the past twenty years the body has come into sharp focus in a wide range 
of disciplines.  Recent developments in literary and cultural studies, 
feminist theory, art, dance, theater, religion, technology, and medicine, have 
given us multiple ways to view and consider the body.  At one end of the 
spectrum we find the “lived body” where we are fully in and responding to the 
bodies that we inhabit; at the other, we find out-of-body travel, near-death 
experiences, virtual bodies in cyberspace.  Explores some of these 
interdisciplinary views and use the questions and images that emerge in the 
process as jumping off points for creative experimentation and expression in 
different media.  What are the images that emerge when we explore the body as 
a container of memory, an aesthetic ideal, a social and cultural construct, a 
series of biological and chemical systems, a subordinate vehicle for carrying 
the mind, a site of contest and conquest?  How do different body practices--
ranging from sports to yoga to fire walking to ballet -- influence our 
attitudes about life?  Projects might include writing a body autobiography, a 
series of poems, a script for performance, a choreographed dance, a book of 
body maps, a video piece, or formal research paper. 

BLKSTU 44
ENG 75	
Issues of Gender in African Literature	
C.R. Cobham-Sander

Explores the ways in which issues of gender are presented by African writers 
and perceived by readers and critics of African writing.  We will examine the 
insights and limitations of selected feminist, post-structural and post-
colonial theories when they are applied to African texts.   Also looks at the 
difference over time in the ways that female and male African writers have 
manipulated socially acceptable ideas about gender in their work.  Tests will 
be selected from the oeuvres of established writers like Soyinka, Achebe, 
Ngugi and Head, as well as from among more recent works by writers like Farah, 
Aidoo, and Dangaremba.  Preference will be given to students who have 
completed a previous course on African literature, history, or society.

ENG 4	
Representing Sexualities in Word and Image	
Jay Grossman

Traces the cultural production of sexual knowledge over the last century, 
beginning with print and video representations of the AIDS crisis and 
concluding with Whitman’s daring projections of same-sex desire in the 
“Calamus” poems first published in 1860.   Syllabus undertakes a kind of 
reverse genealogy, beginning in the present with a range of representations 
associated with the HIV pandemic (AIDS as “a gay disease” and as “the disease 
of gayness”) and then moving backward:  first to the 1950s and the 1960s 
(periods often seen, respectively, as those of normative heterosexuality and 
of sexual revolution), and then to the nineteenth century and an appraisal of 
Walt Whitman’s writings.   Undertakes the sequence of materials partly to 
answer the question how “we” came to be where “we” are today.  Largely 
directed toward the texts and contexts out of which emerges the “sexual 
orientation” called “gay male,” but issues of “straightness,” “lesbianism,” 
“bisexuality,” and recently alternative called “queer” will necessarily arise 
as well.

ENG 75	
Hysteria and America:  Stories and History	
K. Sanchez-Eppler

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the medical practice 
of treating hysteria with the physical confinement of bed-rest was gradually 
replaced by the verbal outpourings of the psychoanalytic “talking cure.”  This 
transition reflects changing attitudes towards women -- who are always 
associated with hysteria -- alterations in the preferred mechanisms of social 
control from the external to the internal, and a changing understanding of the 
relation between representation -- telling one’s story -- physical and social 
realities.  Explores these changes and the relations between them through the 
reading of medical texts and female advice books, Freud’s works on hysteria, 
especially his case study “Dora,” selections from the writings of Cixous and 
Foucault, and a variety of American literary texts including Charlotte Perkins 
Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper, Alice James’ Letters and Journals, Henry 
James’s The Bostonians, Sylvia Plath’s Ariel, and Hilda Doolittle’s Tribute to 
Angels as well as selections from her Tribute to Freud.  


GERMAN 53	
Women and Social Change in Germany	
Ute Brandes

For centuries, German women have sought to add their voices to the dominant 
political and cultural discourse.  Emphasizing the last 200 years, this 
interdisciplinary course will first review female self-assertions from the Age 
of Chivalry up to the eighteenth century.   Then focuses on the emerging 
bourgeois images of femininity and contrast these with late nineteenth century 
female demands for education and suffrage.  In discussing the twentieth 
century, we will trace the sharply diverging ideological prescriptions for 
ideal womenhood in the political contexts of the Weimar Republic, in Hitler 
Germany, and in both post-war states, communist East and democratic West 
Germany.  Readings in literary, political and autobiographical texts, plus 
music, art, and films.  Works studied will be music by Hildegard von Bingen 
and Clara Schumann; literature by Benedikte Naubert and Bettina von Arnim, 
Sopie La Roche’s The History of Lady Sophia Sternheim, Fanny Lewald’s 
Autobiography, Anna Seghers’ The Excursion of the Dead Girls, and Christa 
Wolf’s Kassandra; art by Kethe Kollwitz and Paula Modersohn-Becker; speeches 
by Louise Aston, Rosa Luxemburg, and Alice Schwarzer; films by Leni 
Riefenstahl, Helma Sanders-Brahms, Margarethe von Trotta, and Ulrike Ottinger.  
Conducted in English, with German majors required to do a substantial portion 
of the reading in German.

PS 39
LJST 39	
Re-Imagining Law:  Feminist Interpretations	
Kristin Bumiller

Feminist theory raises questions about the compatibility of the legal order 
with women’s experience and understandings and calls for a reevaluation of the 
role of law in promoting social change.  It invites us to inquire about the 
possibilities of a “feminist jurisprudence” and the adequacy of other critical 
theories which promise to make forms of legal authority more responsive.  Will 
consider women as victims and users of legal power.  Will ask how particular 
practices constitute gendered subjects in legal discourse.  How can we imagine 
a legal system more reflective of women’s realities?   The nature of legal 
authority will be considered in the context of women’s ordinary lives and 
reproductive roles, their active participation in political and professional 
change, their experiences with violence and pornography as well as the way 
they confront race, class and ethnic barriers.

RUSSIAN 26	
Gender, Identity Russia	
Janet Gyatso
Susan Niditch

As the study of Russian culture opens itself to new questions about gender and 
identity, and as the identity of Russia itself is changing before our eyes, we 
will examine the ways in which notions of sex and self have changed in Russian 
history and across genres.  How have genders and identities been imagined by 
heroes, narrators, poets, memoirists, fiction writers, and readers?  Readings 
come from works by Pushkin, Pavlova, Tolstoy, Gippius, Kollontai, Platonov, 
Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Ginzburg, Palei, Vasilenko, Petrushevskaya, and Ahvarts, 
with some recent feminist scholarship about Russia and selected feminist 
theorists whose work is pertinent to questions of identity.  Special attention 
will be paid to the boom of Russian women’s writing since 1987, to the complex 
and long-standing hostility toward feminism among members of the Russian 
intelligentsia, and to the emergence of feminist and lesbian and gay movements 
in the 1990s.  All readings and discussions in English.