Introduction to Women’s Studies (ID)
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 lives with a particular emphasis on the ways in which gender interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. Central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about women’s lives, the ways in which the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism and heterosexism shape women’s lives and how women have resisted them.
Introduction to Women’s Studies
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30 am
Same description as WOST 187. For students in residential first-year programs. Registration available through residential academic programs.
Critical Perspectives in Women’s Studies
Lecture #1: Tuesday, Thursday 1:00 pm
Lecture #2: Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 pm
Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of Women’s Studies and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis integrating gender, class, race, and sexual orientation. Also addresses the multifaceted dimensions of women’s lived experiences primarily in North America, with some comparative connections to women globally.
Black Women and Work in the US
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 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. Fulfills Women of Color Requirement for majors and minors.
Career and Life Choices for Women
Monday 12:20-2:00 pm
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 a career; 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. Career planning skills include budgeting, writing resumes and cover letters, interviewing and use of various resources. Women Studies students or seniors only. Mandatory Pass/Fail only. 2 credits.
WOST 298 et al
Fieldwork 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 opening page on Women’s Studies for details. Additional information available in the Women’s Studies Office, 208 Bartlett Hall. Credit approved by a faculty sponsor. Pass/fail or graded option available. Everywomen’s Center (EWC) practicums also available.
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 pm
This course will present an integrated feminist analysis of the interconnections between gender, race, class, and sexuality as social domination systems, also focusing on these systems as they work in an international context. We will examine the development of materialist feminism as a theoretical perspective, comparing and contrasting it with theoretical perspectives which preceded it, such as radical, liberal, socialist and African American feminism. Issues to be discussed include: how capitalist global development connects to racism, sexism, class inequities, sexuality and women, prostitution as a feminist issue, relations between theory and practice. Texts will include an edited collection on Materialist Feminism, selections from Beverly Guy-Sheftall, ed. Words of Fire: Voices of African-American Feminist Thinkers, and other xeroxed handouts, and an autobiography by a Honduran peasant woman Don’t Be Afraid Gringo. Course will be graded on a contract method, and will include a weekly intellectual journal, a take-home exam, and two 5-8 page papers. Prerequisite: WOST 201, Critical Perspectives
WOST 391E/ECON 348
Political Economy of Women
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 pm
This course uses a wide range of women’s issues to teach varied economic principles and theories. Popular women’s topics in past semesters include women’s increasing labor force participation; gender differences in hiring, promotions, and earnings; the growing poverty rate for female headed households; trade policy effects on women in the US and other countries; and race and class differences in the economic opportunities of women. 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.
WOST394A/ NEAST 394A
Arab Women in Fiction
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 am
Fiction about Arab women by female and male Arab authors. The imaginative visions created by these authors and the cultural roles the women play in literature and society. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women’s Studies majors and minors.
Black Womanist/Feminist Theory
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 U.S. as far back from the 1930s to the contemporary time, since the struggle for black women’s liberation which emerged in the 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. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women’s Studies majors and minors.
WOST 395M/POLSCI 375
Feminist Theory and Politics
Mon, Wed (lec), Fri (disc) 2:30pm
A theoretical consideration of the variaties of feminism (liberal-feminism, socialist-feminism, anarcha-feminism, radical-feminism, and eco-feminism. Also examines the relation between feminist theory and practice, the historical development of feminism and political theory, current issues within the canon of political theory and the problems of identity and difference(s) as related to race, class, sexual preference, and gender.
Political Ecology of Women’s Health
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15
Issues common and different to women in industrialized and developing countries; sex differences in health; STD’s and AIDS; fertility and infertility; reproductive control; population and environment; cancer; violence against women; technology, medical technology transfer, and appropriate medical technology. These issues examined in the theoretical framework of concepts of health and disease; personal vs. political responsibility for health and health care; the discourse on health, technological progress, and choice; international human rights instruments on science, technology, development, race, and gender; and the relevance of gender, race, and class structures to health and disease.
Resources in Women’s Studies Research (2 credits)
Emily Silverman WOST Librarian Wednesday 3:35-5:00 pm
In this two credit independent study, we will focus on research methods and resources in Women’s Studies, with opportunities to explore primary and secondary sources from Web sites to CD-ROMSs, from printed materials to microfilm. Class meetings will permit time for demonstration and hands-on practice with both electronic and paper resources. Recommended for juniors and seniors. Please contact Emily Silverman to sign up at 545-0995 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Research Seminar
This seminar is organized around graduate student and faculty presentations of their own research, and will include some readings on general questions of feminist methodology and ethics of research. The seminar will include a public lecture series from 12:15 to 1:30 where Women’s Studies Graduate Certificate students, as well as UMass faculty, other UMass graduate students and visiting faculty, present their research and lead a discussion that includes issues of feminist research. Enrolled students will be expected to do the reading, present their research and discuss others, and keep an intellectual journal recording their reactions to the research presented in the lecture series. 3 credits
International Feminist Theory: Human Rights Issues and Analysis
This course focuses on what counts as feminist theory in the international arena. What is emerging feminist human rights theory? The more conventional U.S. approach to the teaching of feminist theory has been to examine the alleged schools of feminist thought: e.g., liberal, socialist, radical feminism. This course takes another approach grouping feminist theoretical activity around specific international political concerns and questions. Frameworks used are: 1) core themes or central issues of feminist theorizing; 2) key debates around which feminist theory has been organized; 3) feminist theorizing centered on existing bodies of thought such as critical race theory. The content of the course will focus on international feminist concerns: e.g. sex trafficking and prostitution; gendered war crimes; racial hatred “speech”; feminism and nationalism; female genital mutilation; economic “development” theory; reproductive technologies; population programs and policy; the relationship between theory and activism in the NGO context; and the role of both national and international law in furthering women’s rights. The goal of the course is to do theory emerging from a consideration of specific human rights issues, themes, debates, and existing theories.