ENGL 75.1 Willa Cather
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30-12:50 p.m.

A critical reading of five novels from the later nineteenth-century canon: Madame Bovary, The Sentimental Education, Middlemarch, The Portrait of a Lady, The Ambassadors.

WAGS 11 Construction of Gender
Monday, Wednesday 12:30

This course 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; 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 56 Islamic Construction of Gender
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 a.m.

The focus of this course is on the lives of contemporary Muslim women, the factors informing constructions of gender in the Islamic world, and the role played by questions of women's status in modern Islamic religion and society. We will begin by briefly examining the status and images of women in classical Islamic thought, including themes relating to scripture, tradition, law, theology, philosophy and literature. The second section of the course will focus on contemporary Muslim women in a number of different cultural contexts from Morocco to Bangladesh and the United States in order to highlight a variety of issues significant for contemporary Muslim women; veiling and seclusion, kinship structures, violence, health, feminist activism, literary expression, etc. The final section of the course will deal with an exploration of Muslim feminist thought, which we will attempt to place in dialog with western feminism with the hope of arriving at a better understanding of issues related to gender, ethics and cultural relativism. Weekly readings will include original religious texts in translation, secondary interpretations, ethnographic descriptions and literary works by Muslim women authors. These will be supplemented by feature films and documentaries to provide a visual complement to the textual materials. Fulfills the Women of Color requirement for UMass Women's Studies majors and minors.

WAGS 65 States of Poverty
Monday 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

In this course the students will examine the role of the modern welfare state in people's everyday lives. We will study the historical growth and retrenchment of the modern welfare state in the United States and other Western democracies. The course will critically examine the ideologies of "dependency" and the role of the state as an agent of social control. In particular, we will study the ways in which state action has implications for gender identities. In this course we will analyze the construction of social problems linked to states of poverty, including hunger, homelessness, health care, disability, discrimination, and violence. We will ask how these conditions disproportionately affect the lives of women and children. We will take a broad view of the interventions of the welfare state by considering not only the impact of public assistance and social service programs, but the role of the police, family courts, therapeutic professionals, and schools in creating and responding to the conditions of impoverishment. The work of the seminar will culminate in the production of a research paper and students will be given the option of incorporating field work into the independent project.

WAGS 72 The Ripple Effect: The Convergence of Feminism and the Civil Rights Movement
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 p.m.
Ford Foundation Fellow:
Nadra Hashim

This course covers two of the most important social trends in U.S. History, the suffragette and feminist movements; as well as the civil rights struggle. This course will concentrate on the economic and political environment that produced feminist and civil rights activism. The course will also look at how the surge of global women's activism, has, in many ways, deeply influenced both American feminist and civil rights activists. Readings for the course will include short written texts from the actual actors in these movements as well as longer readings which deal with the economic, historical, political and theoretical approaches to analyzing the similarity between both movements.

WAGS 76 The Regulation of Sexual Activities and Identities
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30 a.m.
Ford Foundation Fellow:
Nafisa Hoodbhoy

This course will compare the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism in the late 1970's in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan with a view to examining how these regimes have attempted to control women. This will entail studying the Islamic laws and customary practices which proscribe sexuality and identity of Muslim women in the region. We will also examine the relationship of the Muslim women's movement with global feminism. This course will rely on video and audio documentaries produced in collaboration with United States and British media as well as draw upon the instructors experience as a print journalist in Pakistan.

BRUSS 22 Language Use of Women & Men
Monday, Wednesday 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course will compare and contrast linguistic differences of use and structure between women and men in the western and non-western worlds. Knowledge of languages other than English will be helpful.

POLSCI 39/ LJST 39 Law: Feminist Interpretations
Monday, Wednesday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Kristen Bumiller

Feminist theory raises questions about the compatibility of the legal order with women's experience and understandings and calls for a re-evaluation of the role of law in promoting social change. It invites us to inquire about the of a "feminist jurisprudence" and the adequacy of other critical theories which promise to make forms of legal authority more responsive. This course will consider women as victims and users of legal power. We will ask how particular practices constitute genders 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.

Program Core Courses
Women of Color Courses
UMass Departmental Courses
UMass Component Courses
Continuing Ed Courses
Graduate Level Courses
Amherst College Courses
Hampshire College Courses
Mt. Holyoke College Courses
Smith College Courses
UMass Listings
Five-College Catalog