Introduction to Women's Studies
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 1:15-2:30 p.m.
(Speaking-intensive course) This course introduces the social and historical constuction of women and gender from cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives. We will consider the intersections of gender, race, and class oppression and how these intersections structure sexuality, reproduction, and sexual violence. We will explore how gendered bodies are produced by colonial and neocolonial discourses. We will examine the development of feminist theory and its practices in local and international contexts.
|WS 200s/ HIST 296s||
Women in Chinese History
Monday, Wednesday 2:40-3:50 p.m.
An exploration of the roles and values of Chinese women in traditional and modern times. Topics will include the structure of the family and women's productive work, rules for female behavior, women's literature, and the relationship between feminism and other political and social movements in revolutionary China. Readings from biographies, classical literature, feminist scholarship, and modern fiction.
|WS 203s/ ENGL 271s||
20th Century American Women Writers
Monday, Wednesday 8:35-9:50 a.m.
This course examines the work of a variety of twentieth-century women writers located in the United States, focusing on the genre of prose fiction and the themes of gender, race, and sexuality. Particular attention will be paid to developments in African American women's writing, to Southern writers, and lesbian literary representation. Writers may include Gwendolyn Brooks, Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Zora Neale Hurston, Nella Larsen, Carson McCullers, Flannery O'Connor, Gertrude Stein, Alice Walker, Edith Wharton, and Hisaye Yamamoto.
WS 333 (01)s
Gender and Domestic Labor
Wednesday 1:00-3:00 p.m.
This course exams social psychology and sociological theories and research addressing why women do more housework and child care than men. It pays special attention to the situation of dual-earner families and considers class and ethnic differences on the nature of this inequality and the barriers to full equality at home.
WS 333 (02)s
Nature and Gender
Thursday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
Using a case-studies approach to learning about the lives of women at the turn of the century, this seminar will focus on how women told their life stories in context of the islands, prairies, forests, and deserts of the United States. Writers will include Thaxter, Freeman, Jewett, Stewart, Sitkala-Sa, Austin, and Cather; texts will include a combination of autobiographical essays and narratives, biography, fiction and poetry.
|WS 333 (03)s||
Culture, Politics, and Environment
Wednesday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
An investigation into the social, cultural, and ecological histories and causes of environmental problems. Using theories and methods from anthropology, history, sociology, geography, political ecology, feminist science studies, environmental justice, and environmental science, we will examine how different groups of people confront cultural meanings, identities, and the material realities of health and livelihood in their efforts to protect and improve the environment. Points of contestation include gender, race, ethnicity, religion, historical and geographic location, economic class, and differences in power and knowledge. The course examines national and global environmental policies and institutions, as well as issues relevant to the local community and the Pioneer Valley region.
WS 333 (04)s/
The Long Shadow of Anne Hutchinson
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
When Anne Hutchinson was banished from Boston in 1638, allegedly for teaching "antinomianism," she left behind a number of unresolved practical and theological puzzles concerning the interplay between body and spirit, grace and works, religion and politics. This course will explore the Hutchinson legacy by examining the social, sexual, and institutional permutations developed by several of Anne Hutchinson's "daughters," including among others, Ann Lee, Mary Baker Eddy, and Dorothy Day, and by reading contemporary theorists who address the continuing questions of belief, practice, and ethics.
Cultures of the Goddess in South Asia: Temples, Texts, Traditions, and Televisions
Monday, Wednesday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
(Speaking- and writing-intensive course) this course explores the culture of devotion to the divine feminine in South Asia. Using a variety of ethnographic sources, we look at human relations with the goddess in her diverse guises, including fierce and peaceful aspects, HIV and smallpox Goddesses, androgynous Goddesses, and incarnate living Goddesses. Currently, Goddesses are found in a variety of places: from the Himalayas to Sri Lanka, from temples to texts, from snake cults to sacrifices, from villages to cities, from television to comic books. We examine how south Asians relate to the Goddess and how worship provides a framework for making meaning, organizing the cosmos, and both reinforcing and undermining the social order.
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
(Speaking- and writing-intensive course) Is there a feminist ethnography? Is this a methodological or theoretical question? Does it refer to relationships between ethnographers and their subjects/collaborators? Or is it an issue of application? Perhaps it means "woman centered?" Or, maybe, this is a purely speculative endeavor. And, what does any of this have to do with contemporary anthropological fieldwork, theory, and writing? Through the works and words of anthropologists, feminists, cultural studies scholars, and activists, this course explore these topics (and their inherent power relations) in past and present ethnographies in a variety of cross-cultural contexts.
Jane Austen: Readings in Fiction and Film
Monday 1:00 - 3:50 p.m.
A study of Austen's six novels through the lenses of Regency culture and of twentieth century filmmakers. How do these modest volumes reflect and speak to England at the end of world war, on the troubled verge of Pax Britannica? What do the recent films say to and about Anglo-American culture at the Millennium? What visions of women's lives, romance, and English society are constructed through the prose and the cinema?
The British Woman's Novel
Monday/Wednesday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
From the earliest emergence of the novel women have had a central relationship to the genre as readers, producers, and subjects. In this course, we will read a representative survey of the novels produced by British women from the late 17th century to the late 20th century. Our discussions will focus on drawing conclusions about this tradition in terms of form, style, themes, and attitudes. Novelists will include Behn, Austen, C. Bronte, Shreiner, and Winterson. Brief secondary source articles will supplement our reading of the primary texts. Assignments will include response papers, student presentations, and a longer research paper.
Seminar on Emily Dickinson
Thursday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
|Mary Jo Salter|
(Speaking- and writing-intensive course) A seminar in which Emily Dickinson's poems and letters, as well as selected commentary by critics from her first publication to the present, will be read. Students will gain insight into her literal place (Mount Holyoke College; Amherst; nineteenth-century New England) as well as her figurative place in American literature. A mystic and a skeptic, a poet of traditional meters and a herald of modernism, Dickinson is a paradoxical figure whose work consciously embraces paradox, riddle, and mystery.
Feminist Avant-Garde Film
Wednesday 1:00 -3:50 p.m.
Film screening Tuesday 7:00-9:00 p.m.
This seminar examines contemporary experimental cinema made by women. Although the course begins with a review of the work of Germaine Dulac (1920s) and Maya Deren (1940s), the class concentrates on films that were made or received in relation to feminist film theory written after 1970. Some of the filmmakers to be studies are Yvonne Rainer, Leslie Thornton, Su Friedrich, and Trinh T. Minh-ha. The class meets for one extended session per week in which several films are screened and discussed in relation to outside reading. there are occasional screenings of longer films.
Witches: Myth and Historical Reality
Tuesday, Thursday 1:15-2:30 p.m.
(Writing-intensive course) Course examines the historical construction of the witch in the context of the social realities of the women (and men) labeled as witches. The five areas covered are: European pagan religions/the spread of Christianity; the "Burning Times" in early modern Europe; seventeenth-century New England and the Salem witch trials; contemporary Wiccan/witch practices in their historical context; the portrayal of witches in the media. Readings are drawn from documentary records of witch persecutions and witch trials, literary representations, scholarly analyses, and essays examining witches and witchcraft, from a contemporary feminist or neopagan perspective.
Gender in Latin American History:
Motherhood, Masculinity, and the Nation State
Monday 7:00-10:00 p.m.
this courses introduces you to the study of gender and women's history in Latin America by exploring the connections between gender, social movements, and state formation. Using a set of key theoretical selections and rich case studies, we look at the intersections of gender with other social structures such as race, class, and political beliefs considering the following topics: movements of ideas, people, and capital. We investigate the ways in which the struggles of people, especially women, consigned to the margins of formal political systems have, in fact, shaped state formation in the region. Materials include first-person accounts, scholarly studies, film, visual art and music.
Psychology of Women
Tuesday, Thursday 11:00-12:15 p.m.
A multicultural feminist analysis of women's lives. Emphasizing the diversity of women's experience across ethnicity, social class, and sexuality, this course assesses the adequacy and scope of existing psychological perspectives on women. Students will examine women's lives through essays, autobiographies, memoirs, and fictional works.
Program Core Courses
Women of Color Courses
UMass Departmental Courses
UMass Component Courses
Continuing Ed Courses
Graduate Level Courses
Mount Holyoke Home