Inequality and Oppression
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
The roots of racism and sexism and issues they raise. The cultural, biological and social contexts of race and gender and examination of the truth of fallacies about biological variation, genetic determinism, human adaptation and the basis of human behavior. Historical influences on our views of how people differ from each other and of overlap among biology, politics, and economics.
Abortion, Motherhood, and Society
Tuesday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
This class is about the political economy of reproduction. It begins with an examination of the abortion controversy in the United States. It asks about people’s attitudes toward abortion and the ideological, social, political and economic issues that swirl around it. It also asks about alternatives to abortion both as a personal and as a social issue. These same issues are then explored in other societies and at other times that will include Japanese, Chinese, Third World as well as European and North American cases. The inquiry also broadens to examine issues of fertility, population growth, and gender and age relations. All this will be put into the context of development and ecological problems.
Women in Japanese Literature & Film
Monday 2:30-5:15 p.m.
Explores a variety of Japanese women’s issues addressed by both male and female authors in prose, poetry, drama and film. How are women’s roles as daughters, lovers, wives, mothers, and professionals culturally constructed? What triggers gender conflict in Japan and how does the balance of power between men and women shift from ancient to modern times? Topics of discussion will be female eroticism, women’s marital and reproductive problems, and their cultural influence.
ComHl 213/ Educ 213
Peer Health Education I
Wednesday 1:25-3:55 p.m.
Training course. Students participate in campus outreach projects while learning specific information on the primary health issues for college students; alcohol and other drug use, sexual decision-making, contraception, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorders and stress management techniques. Class involves personal health assessment such as personal alcohol and drug survey, small group discussions, guest lectures, role playing, team building and public speaking exercises. Class size limited to 20. Students must complete an application and process for admission to the Peer Health Education Program. This course is the first course in a year-long academic course.
ComHl 214/ Educ 214
Peer Health Education II
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.
Utilizing the skills and information from EDUC/ComHl 213, students are prepared to conduct educational programs in the residence halls and Greek areas. Significant group facilitation, workshop presentation and health education program planning training. Campus outreach projects include World AIDS day, Safe Spring Break, Designated Driver, and Safer Sex Campaigns. Advanced peers serve as mentors to the first semester peer health educators, and may elect to continue in the program through independent study credits. Consent of instructor required. Prerequisite: EDUC/ComHl 213.
Independent Study-Health Education
Sally Damon, Gloria DiFulvio
Health Education offers the following health programs: Peer Health Connections, Queer Peer Educ., Not Ready for Bedtime Players (NRBP), Women’s Health Program, and Contraceptive Choices. Students can receive 1-3 credits for their involvement. Contact Health Education at 577-5181 to make arrangements.
Myths of the Feminine [4 credit honors]
Monday, Wednesday 1:25-2:45 p.m. Lecture & discussion
Survey of the ancient and medieval stories of women and men and their goddesses. Begins in the ancient Near East, with the stories of Ianna and Ishtar and their devotees, and then turns to the classical world of Greece and Rome, with the Homeric Hymns and the tale of Cupid and Psyche. Surveys the images of women in the three religions of the book--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, as well as Taoism and Buddhism. The medieval world inherited traditions, and we’ll read stories from The Arabian Nights, The Canterbury Tales and the Decameron that illustrate these themes. Learn about the complexity of images of the feminine, including women as goddesses and priestess, as leaders of their people, as the embodiment of sexuality and fertility, as pious housewives and cunning deceivers. Readings; Baring and Crashford, The Myth of the Goddess; Young, An Anthology of Scared Texts by and about Women; Kinsley, The Goddesses Mirror; Wolkstein and Kramer, Inanna; Rayor, Sappho’s Lyre; selections from the Arabian Nights, Canterbury Tales, and Decameron. Requirements: Journal every two weeks, three five-page papers, class participation.
Medieval Women Writers
Tuesday 1:00-4:00 p.m. Lecture & discussion
Review of literature by and for medieval women, including saints lives, lyric poetry, romances, mystical treatises, letters and sermons. Examines the canon of medieval women writers as it now stands--Marie de France, Christine de Pisan, Hildegard of Bingen, Dame Julian of Norwich, Marguerite Porete, Hadwijch, Mechthild of Magedeburg, with particular emphasis on mystical text-- and look at the new translations and writings on medieval women in the past decade. What is the current state of medieval scholarship on women? How have these achievements affected the view of the Middle Ages as a whole? What are the fruitful areas for new scholars to explore? Requirements: some background in Medieval literature or history; reading knowledge of at least one medieval vernacular language or medieval Latin. Several seminar reports, final paper. Texts: Petroff, Medieval Women’s Visionary Literature and Body and Soul; Newman, Sister of Wisdom; Cazelles; The Lady as Saint; several anthologies of critical writing.
Dress and Culture
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Dress and culture examined from an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective focusing on diversity and social change. Discussion of sociocultural perspective focusing on diversity and social change. Discussion of sociocultural meaning of dress in European, African, North and South American, Pacific, and Asian cultures. Course objectives are to understand how dress is a form of non-verbal communication and its sociocultural importance in diverse cultural settings. To learn the importance of dress as a vehicle by which various identities (cultural, gender, personal), roles (gender, social, status, etc.), values (personal, cultural), and attitudes are identified and expressed. To gain an appreciation of cultural diversity as it is expressed through physical appearance.
ECON 348/ WOST 391E
Political Economy of Women
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
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
Social Diversity in Education (ID)
Residential Education courses. Check registration guide for locations and course meeting times. Focuses 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.
EDUC 213/ ComHl 213
Peer Health Education I
Wednesday 1:25-3:55 p.m.
Contact instructor. See ComHl 213 for course description.
Educ 214/ ComHl 214
Peer Health Education II
Thursday 4:00-6:30 p.m.
See ComHl 214 for course description.
Sexism (1 credit)
Saturday 4/25 and Sunday 4/26.
This social issues course meets for one weekend. There is a mandatory organizational meeting on Thursday, February 5 in the Campus Center Auditorium from 7:00 - 9:30 p.m.. Students will not be admitted to the course if they do not attend this session. Mandatory P/F grading.
Seminar: Women and Oppression
Wednesday 7-9:30 and Saturday 3/7 10:00a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 3/8 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
See department for course listing.
Women and Higher Education
Wednesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.
This course is an introduction to the issues affecting women in the academy as students, teachers, leaders, and scholars. Some of the topics include: barriers to women’s full participation in higher education, including sexual harassment and racism; the question of coeducation versus single sex education; conditions for women undergraduates including the so called “chilly climate”. In addition, the course will explore issues germane to female faculty members, barriers to institutional leadership, and the goals and contributions of women’s studies as well as the current attack on feminist scholarship.
Gender Issues in International Education
Wednesday 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Examines the role and status of women in various societies, with an emphasis on Third World countries in the process of economic development. Topics will include the effects of the development process on women, women’s skills in survival and adaptation, women as preservers of culture, and the effect of education on these processes. Participants will (1) examine the implications of the development process for women in the future, (2) explore methods to analyze women’s issues from a political-economic perspective, and (3) identify and critique various approaches which have been used to include women in the development process. Course requirements will include a short initial paper, a class presentation, and a final project/paper.
Man and Woman in Literature (ALD)
5 lectures & residential education
- please check Pre-Registration Guide for Times
Literature treating the relationship between man and woman. Topics may include the nature of love, the image of the hero and of the heroine, and definitions, past and present, of the masculine and feminine. 100 level courses do not count toward Women’s Studies major.
Virginia Woolf (Advanced Seminar)
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. Her experimental storytelling practice opened up the world in utterly new ways, and we will ask exactly how and why it did so. While our main concern will be to understand Woolf’s writing well and intimately, her work will also serve as the occasion for studying narrative and cultural theories. We will explore issues bearing on literary modernism, storytelling craft, sexual identity and writing, the function of art in modern western cultures, and the political history of the novel. We will read selections from Woolf’s essays and memoirs as well as several novels. As an advanced seminar the course is writing-intensive, including drafts and revisions of all papers, and the writing of a major research paper.
Shakespeare and the Female Heroic
Thursday 1:00-3:45 p.m.
Shakespeare’s comedies typically privilege female characters and values, as his tragedies typically privilege males. His heroic women in comedies constantly play against the culture’s patriarchal norms. Sometimes the principle women evade patriarchal expectation and constrictions by dressing as men, sometimes they sexually or otherwise substitute for each other, sometimes they feign death until their chastity is no longer in question. The Honors Seminar will explore a series of Shakespearean comedies in which women challenge patriarchal limits, including (probably) As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Measure for Measure, All’s Well That Ends Well, Pericles, and The Winter’s Tale. It will establish the patriarchal context by way of contemporary historical documents-such as marriage rites and homilies and advice books for women and the literary critical context by way of supplementary theoretical essays. It will also explore the nature and limits of comedy, a dramatic genre that, in Shakespeare’s hands, typically celebrates love, marriage, family, nurturance and life, and that typically allows individuals and societies to overcome aberrations and move into healing, generation, and regeneration. The course will expect active participation in class discussion appropriate to a seminar and an Honors course. Students will be asked to produce 2 or 3 short and 1 long essay or project. Previous study of Shakespeare would be helpful but is not required.
Monday, Wednesday 11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
See description of ENGL 891G below.
Wednesday 1:25-4:25 p.m.
This course will focus on selected modern and (mostly) contemporary American autobiographies that self-consciously construct specific cultural racial and/or ethnic identities including texts that intentionally “interrogate” and blur such constructs. Students may choose to write short (2-3 pp.) weekly response papers (ten) or to write an extended seminar paper (20-25 pp.). The seminar paper may focus on one tradition of ethnic autobiography or use a comparatist approach.
Wednesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
Queer theory is more query than theory at the present historical moment, a set of conflicting questions rather than methodological presuppositions. This course will approach queer theory as an evolving critique--paying particular attention to its intellectual practices as well as to its social and its cultural politics. Three distinct focuses will emerge as the semester progresses: the politics of queer signification, representation(s) and reading queerly, and queer pedagogies. Issues addressed will include: queer historiography, identities within the politics of the postmodern, whether gender politics and queer theory are irreconcilable pursuits, and the ways in which emerging discourses of race and class confront and complicate predominately white (male) and privileged academic theories.
Rhetoric and Women’s Diaries
Jean Nienkamp Thursday 1:25-4:25 p.m.
This will be a Janus-faced course, examining both rhetorical theories and women’s diaries for how they illuminate each other. On the one hand, the course is an “applied rhetoric.” We will read a variety of rhetorical theories--that is, theories about how language affects people--to give us several “terministic screens” through which to view diary literature. On the other hand, the course is about diaries and how they often offer a textual trace of the writer’s process of internalizing cultural imperatives and reshaping or translation them to interpret--and create--their own lives and identities. Women’s diaries are particularly amenable to this kind of interpretation because, for a number of reasons, the cultural imperatives and the personal experiences may not be a comfortable fit, so we can expect to find traces of interpretive struggle.
Contemporary Issues in Feminist Theory
Thursday 1:00-3:45 p.m.
The focus of this course is on a range of issues and problems that contemporary feminist theorists and scholars are currently working through. The authors we will read assume an audience who values feminist inquiry and have a basic familiarity with the field (i.e., this is not intended as an introductory course). There will be sections on Men in Feminism, Feminism and Post-Colonialism, Women and Race, Women and Representation, Women in the Academic Workplace. Issues around feminist pedagogy will be with us throughout the semester. Advanced undergraduates may participate with the permission of the instructor.
Witches: Myth and Historical Reality
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.
The image of the witch and the historical situation of women tried as witches in early modern Europe and colonial New England with reference to contemporary pagan practice. Mythological texts, documentation of witch trials, theories about witchcraft, as well as literary and graphic representation of witches and witch trials. No prerequisites.
U.S. Women’s History Since 1890 (HSD)
Tuesday, Thursday 1:25 p.m., plus discussion section
Lecture and discussions. U.S. women’s experience 1890 to the present, exploring female consciousness and gender relationships analyzing customs, attitudes, policies, laws concerning women’s place; attention to social class, ethnicity, race, gender, religion, regionality, sexual preference. Interdisciplinary methodology. Assorted paperbacks--fiction and nonfiction. Course journal or two essays. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or higher.
History of the Women’s Movement in the U.S. 1965-present
Tuesday, Thursday 3:30-4:15 p.m.
We will examine one of the most transformative movements in US history since the mid-sixties. Along with the Civil Rights movement, the struggle to bring about sexual and gender equality and equity has had profound repercussions in every sphere of American life. Whether the focus is reproductive rights, sexual orientation, elected representatives to state and national office, educational and athletic opportunities or organization of household and child rearing and how a woman or a man forms a sense of gendered self, the women’s movement’s imprint is indelible. In our study of the movement, we will explore its interconnections with other movements for social change as well as the impact of antifeminist efforts. Junior year writing seminar.
U.S Women’s History Sources and Methods (4 credits)
Kathy Peiss Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
A course about research methods, evidence, and interpretation in U.S. women’s history. Focuses on the history of women in western Massachusetts in the 19th and 20th centuries, using local record, artifacts, and other materials. Intends to familiarize you with different kinds of sources, the techniques historians use to understand them, and the problems of analysis that habitually arise. Note that some class sessions will be held off-site. Background in women’s history is not required but highly recommended; if you do not have that preparation, see instructor for short reading list. Permission of the instructor is required.
Cultural Theory and Politics
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 a.m.
This course approaches the traditional topics of political inquiry (freedom, power, conflict and change, equality) in the domain of culture. The politicization of culture (culture wars, sex wars, English-Only, to name a few) comes out of the political commitments of both the left and the right. At the same time that cultural conflicts are proliferating, our ability to subject cultural conflict to political solutions is questionable. Culture will be treated as a domain of politics and power, a domain constituted by politics and power, even though it is a domain resistant to deliberate political reform. We will examine how the location and conceptualization of politics itself is transfigured into cultural politics (e.g. ‘family values’ policy, ‘politics of representation’, ‘culture of poverty’).
POLSCI 375/ WOST 395M
Feminist Theory and Politics
Monday, Wednesday 2:30, Friday discussion
See WOST 395M for course description.
Psychology of Women (SBD)
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the psychology of women, including a review and evaluation of psychological theories and research about female development and the life experiences that primarily affect girls and women. We will consider the diversity of female experience, as well as common themes that are shared by most women. PRIORITY TO PSYCHOLOGY MAJORS.
Race, Sex, and Social Class (SBD)
#1 Monday, Wednesday 10:10 plus discussion
#2 Tuesday, Thursday 11:15 plus discussion
#3 Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15 (PATTERSON)
Lecture. An overview of sociological approach to race, class and gender inequalities--especially economic inequalities--in the contemporary United States. Some attention will also be devoted to the presidential election and its potential impact on the future of race, class and gender inequalities. Within the segment devoted to race, African Americans receive most emphasis. Readings consist of one book and selection of Xeroxed articles. Evaluation is based upon several pop quizzes, three exams (two during the semester and a final), as well as two five-page papers.
The Family (SBD)
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05 a.m., 12:20 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
Lecture, discussion. Historical development of the family: changes in household structure, in relations between husband and wife, between parents and children and among extended kin. Social forces shaping the contemporary family, from the choice of a mate, to marriage (both his and hers) and kinship, to parenting (from the perspective of both parents and children), to the diverse endings of marriage. Three exams.
Gender and Education
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30 p.m.
The academic experience of girls and women along with the factors affecting female educational attainment. Focus on the schooling experience of girls and women within the U.S. education system, with attempts to be inclusive of sexual orientation and racial and ethnic diversity. Begins with an historical account and sociological analysis of girls’ and women’s entry into formal education, providing backdrop for examination of contemporary experiences of females from elementary school through the graduate years. Women’s status and experience as educators and professionals in the educational institution. Sociology, history, journalism, etc., used to provide an overview of women’s placement within the academic structure and the impact of gender on the realization of educational, economic and even social opportunities.
Sexuality, Gender and the Law
Monday 1:25-4:25 p.m.
Legal issues related to both sexuality and gender have recently assumed great visibility. This course will examine sex/gender legal developments in a social and political context. We will look at particular topics, for example sodomy laws, sexual harassment, and sex education in public schools. The course will emphasize the reciprocal relationship between the law and cultural and theoretical influences.
Gender, Race and Welfare State Formation
How the process of welfare state formation has varied by gender and race/ethnicity in the United States. Central goal is to understand the inadequacy of current social policy addressing women’s poverty; approached through consideration of theories of welfare state formation (with recognition of the underlying dynamics of industrialization), variation in the timing of movement into the labor force by gender and race/ethnicity, and the history of earlier social policy development in the U.S., with focus on policy directed at women’s domestic tasks.
Gender and Society
Thursday 5:30-8:00 p.m.
See department for course description
Early Spanish-American Women Writers
Wednesday 4:00-6:30 p.m. (in Spanish)
This seminar will focus on women writers of Spanish America, from the Colonial era to the end of the 19th Century. We will look at women’s roles in society (conquistadors, nuns, witches, angels-in-the-house, etc.), networks of friendship among them, anxiety of authorship, etc. We will study a variety of texts, including letters, spiritual autobiographies, poetry, novels and women’s magazines. Authors to be covered include Catalina Juana Ines de la Cruz, Dolores Veintimilla, Mercedes Cabello de Carbonera, Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, Soedad Acosta de Samper and Juana Manuela Gorriti. Prerequisite: graduate level proficiency in Spanish.
Asian and Asian American Women: Myths of Deference, Arts of Resistance
Thursdays 6:00-8:30 p.m.
Even the most sympathetic observers often assume that Asian women are so deeply oppressed that they demure in the face of intolerable conditions. Such notions of women’s deference find echoes in popular conceptions of Asian American women. Part of the work of this course is to question assumptions of women’s quiescence by redefining agency and activism. But an equally important challenge is to avoid romanticizing resistance by recognizing victimization in the absence of agency, agency in the absence of activism, and activism in the absence of social change. Thus while appreciating the inventive ways in which Asian and Asian American women resist, we will explore why such resistance may perpetuate their subjugation.