Introduction to Women's Studies
Monday, Wednesday 10:10
Friday discussion sections at 9:05, 10:10 and 11:15
Placing women's experiences at the center of interpretation, 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.
|WOST 187H||Introduction to Women's Studies (4 cr.) Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45||Alexandrina Deschamps|
Orchard Hill residential education course. Same description as WOST 187, with additional honors component.
Critical Perspectives in Women's Studies
#1 Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.
#2 Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:25 p.m.
Introduction to the fundamental questions and concepts of Women's Studies and to the basic intellectual tools of analysis integrating economic and cultural imperialism, gender, class, race, and sexual orientation. Also addresses the multifaceted dimensions of women's lived experiences within a global context.
Black Women in the US:
Racism, Sexism and Community
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05
The course examines Black women's struggles for racial and gender equality in the U.S. from slavery to the present. By virtue of being members of competing social groups (e.g. woman, mother, worker, Black, heterosexual/lesbian, feminist), Black women are often torn between group allegiances and issues. Emphasis will be on the achievements of Black women as agents of social change to balance these tensions and advance their social position. Readings will highlight instances in which Black women challenge the status quo through political activism, grassroots community change, work, writing, as well as everyday acts of resistance. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women's Studies inside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Career and Life Choices
Monday, 12:20 - 2:15 p.m. 2 credits
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 and expanding areas of career interest; 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's Studies students or seniors only. Mandatory Pass/Fail.
Theorizing Women's Issues
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15
The objective of this course is to introduce ways of analyzing and reflecting on current issues and controversies in feminist thought within an international context. Main subject areas are: feminism and nationalism; culture as revolution and reaction; the construction of gender, race and sexuality; perspectives on pornography and racial hatred propaganda/speech/acts; and international sex trafficking and prostitution. Questions addressed are: What constitutes theory in Women's Studies? How does theory reflect, critique, challenge and change dominant sex/race/class power structures? What is theory's relationship to practice? What are the contemporary issues important to feminist/womanist theory? The common thread of this course is to provide students with some tools of analysis for addressing these issues.
|WOST 391E/ECON 348||
Political Economy of Women
Tuesday 6:00-8:45 p.m.
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 U.S. 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 U.S. and other countries. Reconsideration of traditional issues of political economy, comparative economic history, and labor economics.
Women in Economic Development
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45
This course will assess the impact of economic development on women's lives in Africa, Asia, and Latin America from the '80s to the present. Through reading material from a variety of sources which includes autobiographical narratives, fiction, films and videos, this course will look at (a) theoretical issues surrounding economic development and women's relationship to that process, (b) how women experience this process, and (c) alternatives to traditional approaches for empowering women and influencing development policy. Particular emphasis will be given to the role of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Third World development and women. Fulfills the Women of Color requirement outside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Women and Islam
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.
The aim of this course is to analyze Muslim women's lives in the modern period within a post-colonial context and beyond an orientalist outlook. By exploring historical, economic, political and socio-cultural issues (including sexuality), the transformation in women's lives will be examined and women's resistance to these changes will be investigated. Fulfills Women of Color requirement for Women's Studies outside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Theorizing Black Feminisms (4 cr.)
Tuesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
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 inside and outside the U.S. for majors and minors. Fulfills Theory requirement for Women's Studies majors.
The Social Construction of Whiteness and Women
Monday, Wednesday 3:35-4:50 p.m.
Exploration of the social construction of whiteness, its interaction with gender, and the historical and contemporary political resistance to white privilege focusing primarily on the US. Course goals: (1) understanding of the historical, economic and political forces responsible for the construction and maintenance of whiteness; (2) exploration of the mechanisms which insure that whiteness is experienced as the norm and not as a race; (3) exploration of the critical role of gender in the construction of whiteness; (4) foster students' ability to position themselves on the multiple axes of race, gender and class and to help them gain an understanding of the role they play in maintaining the privileges they have; (5) exploration of effective action to challenge white privilege. Prerequisites: Course work in race and gender or permission of instructor. Co-registration in one-credit practicum required. Register for practicum in the first class.
Asian/Pacific Women: Made in the Americas
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.
The course examines the representation and cultural appearances of Asian/Pacific American women through American popular culture and in institutions of tourism, prostitution, war. The historical, political, economic, and socio-cultural realities comprising the experiences of Asian/Pacific women will be used to critique and amplify these cultural productions and to relate them to interactive, participatory, and resistant forms of self-representation. The examination of resistance to sexualized representations and recovery of sexual agency in the work of Asian/Pacific-identified women writers, artists, film and video-makers, activists and cultural critics will be an essential part of this course. Topics of special focus are issues of miscegenation and hybridity and lesbian/bisexual/transgender identities. Recommended background in Asian American cultures, or ethnic American history. Fulfills Women of Color requirement inside the U.S. for majors and minors.
Issues in Feminist Research
Wednesday 10:00-12:30 p.m.
This seminar will investigate some general questions of feminist methodology and ethics of research. Besides readings on these topics, the course is organized around graduate student presentations of their own research. This is a required course for Women's Studies Graduate Certificate students. In addition to student presentations, lectures may include visiting faculty talks on issues of feminist research. Enrolled students will be expected to give an oral and written presentation on actual or proposed research that includes reflections on ethics and/or methodology, to revise this paper in the light of seminar comments to become a term paper, and to write two short papers on issues raised in the reading and seminar discussion. Issues in Feminist Research is open to Certificate students or with permission of instructor only. Prerequisite: Women's Studies graduate level feminist theory course.
Feminist Research Lecture Series (1 cr.)
Wednesday 12:30-1:30 p.m.
A bi-monthly lecture series of faculty and graduate students presenting their research that follows the Issues in Feminist Research course. Attendance and several short papers are required. Contact department to add the course.
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