Emily Dickinson Hall

HACU 157 Feminism and Philosophy
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Lisa Shapiro

What is it to be a woman? Is there something that can be called the nature of woman? In this course, we will begin by critically examining what exactly we mean by 'woman'. We will do so by tracing the idea of female nature through the history of philosophy and up through the 20th century. We will then consider the way in which one conceives of womankind affects the way one thinks about issues that impact on women, issues that are often of concern to feminists. These issues might include: reproductive freedom, pornography, prostitution, equal rights, family, sexuality and gender, and beauty, or any other relevant topic of interest to students in the class.

HACU 226
Faulkner and Morrison: Fictions of Identity, Family, and History
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
L. Brown Kennedy

Our purpose in this class will not be narrowly comparative but rather to read intensively and extensively in each of these master practitioners of the modern novel, thinking particularly about how they each frame issues of personal identity, think about family, history and memory, and confront the American twentieth century dilemma of "the color line."

The American West
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Robert Rakoff

This course will explore the history of the trans-Mississippi West during the 19th and 20th centuries. Traditional interpretations have focused on the impact of European and American settlement and the extension of the frontier in the creation of a democratic and individualistic society. We will contrast this tradition with newer scholarship which focuses on the West as a distinctive region characterized by a history of colonialism and conquest, by its multiracial and multicultural origins, by the dominant power of the federal government throughout its history, by its aridity and other environmental features, and by the powerful role played by corporate capitalism in its development.

HACU 246
Sound Clash: Race, Ethnicity and Pop Music
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Josh Kun

This course approaches the history of US race and ethnicity as a history of popular sound-- a dissonant conglomeration of noises, songs, mixes, beats, verses, and collages that tell revealing stories about the way identities are formed and de-formed and nations are imagined and transgressed. Though we will take a general interest in the often neglected relationship between race, nation, and popular music, we will focus on the sounds of the twentieth century US. Beginning with blackface minstrelsy and Tin Pan Alley and ending with hip hop, breakbeat club cultures, and the Latin/o American rock of "the new world border" (with stops in blues, jazz, salsa, conjunto, and R&B along the way), we will concentrate on cultural exchanges, appropriations, and sound clashes between African-Americans, Latinos, Asian- Americans, and Jewish-Americans. The course is not designed to offer a linear and comprehensive history of American music, nor is it meant to be an introduction to the technical, formalist study of music. Rather, the course asks students to interrogate the role of music in the formation of inter- American identities, in the imagining of "America" as both place and idea, and in the making and unmaking of the "American" self.

HACU 248 Woman as Director of Film/Video
Wednesday 2:30-5:20 p.m.
Thursday 7:00-9:30
Joan Braderman

This course examines the role of women in film and videomaking as auteurs, artists, activists, theorists, critics, and entrepreneurs, from the twenties in Hollywood, when there were more women directing films than at any time since, to the burst of collective creative power in virtually every form engendered by the sixties and seventies women's movement. We will examine the differences in context for work proposed by the dominant cinema and television industries, on the one hand, and the various national, political and alternative aesthetic spaces that have brought the "feminine sensibility" behind the camera as well as in front of it. The teens and twenties films of Weber, Shub, Dulac; of Arzner and Deren, Sagan, Riefenstahl in the thirties and forties; then Varda, Chytilova, Duras, Maldorer, Gomez Riechert, Von Trotta, Rainer, Ackerman, Export, Friedrich, Savoco and Bigelow. Contemporary video artists and producers such as Rosler, Birnbaum, Jonas, and Halleck will be examined in their own specific economic, political, and aesthetic contexts. The major critical and theoretical contributions by feminist writers in the seventies like Rich, Mulvey, Lesage, and deLauretis will be examined in relation to work by women. In a field as capital intensive as media production, power for women has often been hard won. This course serves as an alternative view of the film and video making process as it traces the movement of women into it.

HACU 253 History of Photography by Women
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Sandra Matthews

Since the invention of photography in 1839, women have played an active role in every stage of the medium's history. While early historic accounts did not acknowledge their contributions, several recent books have begun to remedy the situation. In this course, we will survey the major periods of photographic history, concentrating on the work of women photographers worldwide. We will examine women's role primarily in art photography, but also in commercial and vernacular venue. Students will complete individual research projects and dependent on funding, we hope to produce a collaborative CD ROM based on interviews with contemporary photographers and critics.

HACU 256 U.S. Women’s Auto/Biography
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Susan Tracy

This course begins where the proseminar, "Women's Lives, Women's Stories" ends in considering biography as well as autobiography as a form. We will study women who are activists and artists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will consider various theoretical aspects of writing about women's lives and will in some cases discuss a woman's work, her autobiography and her biography. By mid-semester students should have settled on a person to research for a final research paper based on primary and archival sources. There may be a chance for students to participate in a Valley project on documenting local feminist activity in the sixties, seventies and eighties.

HACU 269 Gendered Identities in Music
Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:20
Monday 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Jayendram Pillay
Eva Rueschmann

This course centers on how gender is articulated and crafted through music and narratives. Our approach will be inter textual and interdisciplinary, drawing on a number of fields including ethnomusicology, literary and film studies, anthropology, women's studies, ethnic studies, queer theory and dance studies. We will examine the ways in which male and female identities and sexualities are culturally negotiated and contested in case studies from various parts of the globe, including the Caribbean, African American and Native American cultures, South Asia and its Diaspora, and South Africa.

Harold F. Johnson Library

IA 204 The Female Playmakers : Women Playwrights in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century London
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Ellen Donkin

This course will use the plays and correspondence of a small group of women playwrights in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century as its primary source of evidence for both theatrical practice and expectations around gender. Students in the class will participate in informal staged readings of both plays and letters as a way to extrapolate the technologies of staging and the social contract between actors and audience. Readings will include the commentary of eighteenth century critics and selected twentieth century critical theorists. As part of the final project, students will collaborate on the writing and performance of a one-act play based on their own creative efforts, their research, and surviving fragments from the period.

IA 216
Black Literature and Drama
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-1:50 a.m.
Robert Coles
Kym Moore

This course examines various forms of Black Literature from a twentieth century perspective, particularly the ways in which the "story" is transformed as it moves from one medium to another. What is lost, misrepresented, de-emphasized or reinforced in the translation? What is the impact on the audience? Literary works by James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, August Wilson, Pearl Cleage, Paul Carter Harrison and Lorraine Hansberry will be included. In addition, we will also take a brief look at the Black Exploitation film and its impact on contemporary literary production.

Franklin Patterson Hall

SS 264 Children/Families
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Stephanie Scharness

What do parents need to provide for their children to grow up as healthy, functioning adults in society? This course approaches child development as an interaction between the biological/social imperatives of children's developmental needs, and the socioeconomic, psychological, and cultural circumstances that affect how families and communities interpret and meet those needs. For the first part of the semester we will focus on Bowlby's theory of attachment, read cross-cultural studies on parents' child-rearing strategies, and explore research on the processes by which children become socialized into the larger society. Following that, we will focus on case studies of children reared in settings ranging from extreme poverty in Brazil to inner-city neighborhoods and to "mainstream" middle-class America, centering in each case on particular aspects of the child's social milieu: for example, parental belief systems, the socialization "messages" of preschools, or the effects of exposure to violence. Background in child development is helpful although not required.

SS 266 Democracy/Workplace/Community
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Stanley Warner
Laurie Nisonoff

Why isn't work more democratic? Is it possible to increase democratic participation, reduce hierarchy, and recognize differing abilities without losing efficiency? We will explore a range of experiments from corporate "Quality-of-Worklife" programs to worker managed enterprises, from Polaroid, Avis, and Honda, to Wierton Steel and local workers collectives. Throughout the course we will look beyond democracy as simply the political act of voting to develop a stronger theoretical understanding of democracy as a more fundamental principle for organizing both work and community. At the core of this inquiry is the question of whether democracy can be fully realized in the face of persistent inequality and discrimination. Differences rooted in class, race, and gender raise difficult questions for concepts of democracy that assume a universal, abstract person. Are small democratic communities possible or are they essentially utopian and countercultural? We will consider case studies that range from intentional communities to urban initiatives to redefine the meaning of neighborhood. Field research, potluck suppers, and guest speakers will keep reality in touch with theory.

SS 279 Wednesday, Friday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Race, Gender, & Power in Brazil
Helen Quan

In the mid-1960s, the famous Brazilian Marxist historian, Caio Prado Junior maintained that contemporary economic, racial and political problems (in Brazil) stem from settlement patterns based upon colonial commerce of Brazil's past. Yet, until recently Brazil was seen as having a non racist national culture in which democracia racial flourished. How much do we really know about racial formation and power in Brazil? Similarly, what do we really know about gender relations in Brazil? This seminar investigates the material and intellectual structures and processes of race, gender and class in Brazil. In addition, we will examine social, political and cultural movements in the last century to interrogate questions of power and the mappings of Brazil's social stratification. Therefore, our focus will be on l) social, economic and political inequalities along the lines of race and gender, and the popular mobilizations for social justice as a result of such inequalities; and 2) the meaning and logic of race and gender as articulated and contested in Brazil. Special emphasis will be placed on the centrality of African heritage in Brazilian culture and history and the role that Afro-Brazilians may or may not play in the African Diaspora.

SS 290
Postmodernity and Politics
Wednesday, Friday 1:00-2:20 p.m.
Carollee Bengelsdorf
Margaret Cerullo

In this course we will examine and problematize "politics" and "postmodernity" together. We assume that postmodernism is defined in part by the collapse or exhaustion of the political project of the left (including various "New Lefts"). One key line of exploration in the course will be the affinities between postmodernism and the revival or renovation of the political imagination of the Left. On the further assumption that a key characteristic of postmodernism is the breakdown of the center/periphery model of the world system, we will examine the debates about the politics of postmodernism in both the contemporary U.S. and Latin America. We will read works by the following authors: Marshall Berman, Zygmunt Bauman, Arturo Escobar, Jean Franco, Nestor Garcia Canclini, Lyotard, Habermas, Nietzsche, Foucault, Judith Butler, Wendy Brown, Stuart Hall, Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida.

SS 311 Women and Work
Wednesday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
Laurie Nisonoff

This research workshop examines case studies of the interrelationships of gender and capital, some located in specific practice, time and place, others directed toward theoretical critique and construction. We examine issues such as: the work lives of women in the home and workplace; the relationships between "paid" and "unpaid" work; the "feminization of poverty" and of policy; the growth of new professions, the service sector, and the global assembly line. This course is organized as a seminar with students assuming substantial responsibility for discussion. Some background in feminist studies, political economy, history, or politics is expected. By permission of the instructor only.

SS 397I
Writing about the Third World
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-3:20 p.m.
Carollee Bengelsdorf

This seminar is designed for Division III students who are writing their independent study projects on some aspect of theory and/or the Third World. The course will center around colonial and postcolonial discourse and modernism/postmodernism in the Third World context. Within these broad framework, it is intended to facilitate interchange between students working on aspects of the various paradigms for Third World development/underdevelopment, in a range of disciplines. The course will focus upon this interchange. After we read key texts to help us develop a common vocabulary, the projects themselves, along with what students suggest in the way of additional reading, will constitute the syllabus. By permission of the instructor only.

Program Courses
Women of Color
Graduate Level
Winter 1999
Amherst College
Mount Holyoke
Smith College