SMITH COLLEGE WOMEN'S STUDIES COURSES - Spring 2003

Women's Studies
Afro-American Studies
American Studies
Anthropology
Comparative Literature
English Languages and Literature
French Language & Literature
Government
History
Interdisciplinary Studies
Italian Language & Literature
Music Religion and Biblical Literature
Sociology
24 Hatfield
130 Wright Hall
12 Wright Hall
15 Wright Hall
101 Wright Hall
101 Wright Hall
206 Pierce
15 Wright Hall
13 Wright Hall
207b Seelye Hall
1 Hatfield
Seelye Hall
Sage Hall
Dewey II
12 Wright Hall
585-3390
585-3572
585-3582
585-3500
585-3382
585-3302
585-3360
585-3530
585-3726
585-3390
585-3420
585-3591
585-3150
585-3662
585-3662

WST 100 Issues in Queer Studies (Sec 01)
2 credits , Thursday 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Nancy Whittier

This course introduces students to issues raised by and in the emerging interdisciplinary field of queer studies. Through a series of lectures by Smith faculty members and invited guests, students will learn about subject areas, methodological issues and resources in queer studies. May not be repeated for credit. Graded satisfactory/unsatisfactory only.

WST 100 Issues in Queer Studies
4 credits, Thursday 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Nancy Whittier

This course combines the lectures of WST 100 with a weekly discussion meeting. Students will pursue the topics in greater depth through additional reading and writing assignments. Enrollment limited to 30 students, permission of the instructor required. Recommended for majors, minors and prospective majors.

WST 150 Introduction to Women's Studies
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:00-12:10
Martha Ackelsberg
Elisabeth Armstrong
Wendy Kolmar

An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women's studies through a critical examination of feminist histories, issues and practices. Focus on the U.S. with some attention to the global context. Primarily for first and second year students.

WST 225 Women and the Law
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 p.m.
Gwendolyn Mink

This course will examine constitutional interpretations and statutory innovations affecting women's legal status and gender justice. Using case law as our starting point, we will consider the interaction between law and gender relations; the achievements and limitations of women's rights victories; and the impact of gender-conscious law and legal reform on women of different races, classes, and sexualities. Readings and lectures will focus on legal aspects of the following problems: women's constitutional citizenship; discrimination in the labor market; poverty law and women's social rights; sex/gender violence; and pornography.

WST 228 The History of Feminist Thought, II: 20th Century Feminisms
Monday, Wednesday 2:40-4:00 p.m.
Wendy Kolmar

The objectives of this course are: first, to explore the broad range of work that lays the intellectual and theoretical ground work for contemporary feminist theory and politics; second, to understand the history of the persistence of central ideas and issues as well as the introduction of entirely new strains of thought and erasure of others; and third, to consider some of the fundamental questions these theories raise about the origins of gender difference, the nature and origins of patriarchy, the intersection between gender, race, class, sexuality, and nationality as categories of analysis or bases of oppressions or empowerment. Prerequisite: WST 150.

WST 235 Youth, Culture and Gender
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Elisabeth Armstrong

This course examines the corporate sales pitch to young consumers as well as low budget cultural productions to ask what constitutes "youth culture" in the U.S. We will discuss a wide range of mainstream and subcultural material for and by American youth, from movies and music to body politics, Riot Grrls and DIY (do it yourself) publications. We will explore their additions to (and transformations of) national, regional, and local conversations about gender and feminism in the U.S. today. Extensive knowledge about editing and filming is not required.

WST 302 The New Autobiography: The Power of Women's Memoir Writing
Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Myriam Chancy

All too often, women are discouraged from listening to the voices within, the voices which critique, redefine, and affirm their lived experience and acquired knowledge. But it is only in listening to those voices that they can begin to change and transform the world which would want to silence or ignore those voices all together. It can easily be argued that personal narrative, as a form, has provided the raw material for much of feminist theory. Not surprisingly, memoir and autobiographical writing have enabled women to acquire a hard-won visibility. The memoir, both personal and political, has become the most accessible and potentially revolutionary genre of writing in print today This course proposes to examine the revolutionary aspects of the genre primarily (though not exclusively) through women's voices of varied backgrounds, and proposes to engage students in the political and healing journey of writing their own life stories. Themes addressed will include: childhood, violence, survival, memory, death, race, spirituality, generational difference, sexuality, class, and migration.

WST 311 Mothers in Law and Policy
Wednesday 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Gwendolyn Mink

This course will explore how U.S. law and policy distinguish among mothers based on class, race, culture and sexuality. Simultaneously considered will be various feminist policy-theoretical perspectives on and remedies for intersectional inequalities among mothers in family and child welfare law as well as in social policy. Throughout, we will examine when and why the law has or does set up antagonism between mothers and children as well as when and why mothers' rights and children's rights might be at odds. Specific topics may include child care and caregiving provision in social policy; trans-racial/cultural/national adoption; child custody and child removal; marriage/fatherhood promotion and maternal regulation in welfare and related social policies; fertility control and pregnancy regulation; among others.

AAS 211 Black Cultural Theory
Tuesday, Thursday 1 :00-2:30 p.m.
Kevin Quashie

This class will explore the tensions and affinities between canonical schools of contemporary cultural theory and Black cultural criticism and production. In particular the course considers the contributions of black feminisms to cultural theory. Prerequisite: students should have taken AAS 111, 113, or 117. Enrollment limited to 40.

AAS 220 Women of the African Diaspora
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 a.m.
Ann Arnett Ferguson

The course will focus on issues and themes central to the lives of women of the African diaspora through a close reading of coming of age texts by and about women from Africa, the Anglo- and Francophone Caribbean, and the United States. We examine a wide range of personal accounts of being and becoming female in a world structured by race, class, colonial and neo-colonial relations. We will explore concepts such as home and exile, the traditional and the modern, authenticity and hybridity as we follow the thread of young women's lives through time and across space in a series of journeys.

AAS 366 Womanist/Feminist Thought
Wednesday 1:10-3:00 p.m.
Paula Giddings

Because women of African descent stand squarely at the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality, courses which focus on them also speak to wider understandings of how race-black and non-black; gender-women and men; sexuality-gay/queer and heterosexual, shape academic discourse and our everyday lives. This interdisciplinary course will provide a historical overview of womanist/feminist thought-with the experience of African-American women at its center. The course will be organized around three major frameworks that have at once shaped womanist/feminist thought, and suppressed it: the perception of black women's sexuality in Western thought; the privileging of race over gender in the activist discourse; and the role of gender in nationalist movements. Enrollment limited. Permission of the instructor required.

AAS 366 Readings in Black and Queer
Wednesday 1:10-3:00 p.m.
Kevin Quashie

This class will explore some of the sexual (and gender) identity politics of African Americans from the 19th century to the present. We will engage some canonical concepts of queer sexualities, as well as encounter the ways that Black subjects articulate such for themselves. Class material will include cultural theory and criticism, historical and autobiographical narratives, creative and visual arts.

AMS 221 Women's History Through Documentary
Monday, Wednesday 9:00-10:50 a.m.
Joyce Follet

The course surveys U.S. women's history from the colonial period to the present as depicted in documentaries. The class proceeds along two lines of inquiry, content and form. Through screenings of historical documentaries supplemented by lectures, readings, and discussion, the course moves chronologically through an examination of major themes in women's experience: family, community, work, sexuality, and politics. At the same time, the class develops a critical assessment of documentary as a form, with attention to its effectiveness in portraying the past as historical sources and technical methods change, its importance as means of transmitting history to the general public, and the funding and political constraints on its production, broadcast, and distribution.

AMS 230 The Asian American Experience: Asian Women Living in the Americas
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Nina Ha

The 1960s and'70s marked a watershed moment for many people in the U.S., particularly those involved in such movements like Third World Liberation, Women's Rights, Queer Rights, and Civil Rights. Being Asian American during these times signaled a change in the way Asian Americans were perceived by U.S. mainstream society and how they saw themselves. However, the one group that was significantly impacted the most were women of Asian descent. After the 1965 Immigration Act, Asian American demographics shifted in unprecedented ways. No longer restricted by Exclusion Acts which obstructed most women in Asia from emigrating to the U.S., Asian American women were now visible, strengthened by their growing numbers, and insisted upon voicing their histories and experiences, which had been invisible and silenced by a system of classism, sexism, and racism. This course will trace the lives of women of Asian descent living in the Americas - primarily in the U.S. - from their earliest arrival in the Americas to the present moment. Their lives will be examined thematically. For example, we will be looking at Asian American women in relation to the labor movement, to war, to U.S. foreign and domestic policy, to globalization and transnationalism, to popular culture, and to issues relating to their families and their multiple communities. Readings will include such literary texts like Bone, Out on Main Street, and Comfort Woman, as well as theoretical, sociological, and historical works such as Sweatshop Warriors, Dislocating Cultures, and Immigrant Acts.

ANT 342 Topics in Anthropology: Motherhood
Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Suzanne Zhang-Gottschang

Motherhood integrates economic, political, biological and social processes. The study of motherhood in the early days of anthropology frequently focused on how it functioned in terms of kinship and reproduction. With the developments in feminist theory within and outside of anthropology, however, we have come to understand that motherhood may provide insights into structures of power, dynamics of gender relations, identity politics as well as economic relations. This research has destabilized a naturalized understanding of mothering. As a result, motherhood as an institution and experience is understood to vary across time and space, history, society and culture. Motherhood will be treated here as a cluster of practices, ideas and experiences that are linked to issues of sexuality, reproduction, power and authority, personhood, consumption, morality and social order and disorder. Our purpose in this seminar is to review some of the major works on motherhood produced by anthropologists in recent years and contextualize them in light of feminist theory. Enrollment limited, permission of the instructor required.

CLT 234 The Adventure Novel: No Place for a Woman?
Tuesday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
Margaret Bruzelius

This course explores the link between landscape, plot and gender: how is the adventure landscape organized? Who lives where within it? What boundaries mark safe and unsafe places? Beginning with essays on cartography by Denis Wood, we'll read three classic 19th-century boys' books (Scott, Stevenson, Verne), then adventure fictions with female protagonists by E.M. Forster, Ursula Le Guin, Peter Dickinson, Astrid Lundren and others, to explore the ways in which this genre has embraced and resisted articulating female heroes.

CLT 268 Latina and Latin American Women Writers
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 am
Nancy Sternbach

This course examines the last twenty years of Latina writing in this country while tracing the Latin American roots of many of the writers. Constructions of ethnic identity, gender, Latinidad, "race," class, sexuality, and political consciousness are analyzed in light of the writers' coming to feminism. Texts by Esmeralda Santiago, Gloria Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Denise Chávez, Demetria Martínez, and many others are included in readings that range from poetry and fiction to essay and theatre. Knowledge of Spanish is not required, but will be useful. First-year students must have the permission of the instructor.

CLT 278 Madness in Women's Novels of Africa and the Caribbean
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Dawn Fulton

The representation of madness in novels written in English and French by women from Africa and the Caribbean. Beginning with an introduction to theories of madness, we will look specifically at how the category of madness functions in these novels, connoting on the one hand exoticism and marginality, and on the other a language of resistance. Emphasis in close formal analysis, with particular attention to how such narratives articulate or obscure boundaries between madness and reason, and how gender figures in these boundaries. Essays by Chesler, Fanon, Foucault, Glissant; novels by such authors as Bugul, Condé, Dangarembga, Head, Rhys, Warner-Vieyra.

EAL 360 Contemporary Chinese Women's Fiction
Tuesday, Thursday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Sabina Knight

Close readings of post-1976 short stories, novellas and novels by women in the People's Republic of China. How do these works contend with legacies of political trauma and the social consequences of economic restructuring? How do quests for self-realization or social recognition relate to specific ethical commitments and struggles for social change? How do stories about extramarital affairs, serial sexual relations or love between women reinforce or contest imperatives of political, cultural and sexual citizenship? Works by Chen Ran, Dai Houying, Hong Ying, Wang Anyi, Wei Hui and Zhang Jie.

ENG 310 Early Modern Women Writers and the Art of Self-Fashioning
Monday, Wednesday 1:10-2:30 p.m.
Sharon Seelig

A consideration of a wide variety of texts by 17th-century women - diaries, letters, and memoirs; poems (sonnets, personal and religious lyrics); drama; and prose fiction - with some of the following questions in mind: What self-conceptions or forms of self-representation shape these writings? To what extent are these texts informed by external considerations or genres - by romance, religious autobiography, poetic or narrative conventions - or by expectations of an ending? What kinds of assumptions or preconceptions does the modern reader bring to these texts? Intended primarily for juniors and seniors who have taken at least two literature courses above the 100-level.

ENG 374 Virginia Woolf
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Robert Hosmer

A close study of representative texts from the rich variety of Woolf's work: novel, essay, biography, and short story. Preliminary, essential attention to the life, with particular concern for the Victorian/Edwardian world of Woolf's early years and the Bloomsbury Group. Works to be studied will include Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, Between the Acts, A Room of One's Own, and Three Guineas, as well as essays drawn from The Common Reader and stories. Supplementary readings from biographies of Woolf and her own letters, journals, and diaries. Open only to juniors and seniors, and admission is by permission of the instructor.

ENG 391 Modern South Asian Writers
Thursday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Ambreen Hai

A study of selected texts in the checkered tradition of South Asian literature in English, from the early poetry of Sarojini Naidu to the recent surge of Indian and diasporic writers and film-makers, such as Arundhati Roy and Hanif Kureishi. Topics include: the (post)colonial fashioning of identities; the interventions of women in nationalist discourse; the crafting of a new idiom in English; the choices of genre and form (fiction, poetry, memoir, film); the problems of memory, historiography, trauma; diaspora and the making of "home." Writers may include: Anand, Narayan, Rao, Markandaya, Naipaul, Desai, Rushdie, Suleri, Ghosh, Kureishi, Mukherjee, Lahiri. Supplementary readings in postcolonial theory and criticism.

FRN 230 Women Writers of Africa and the Caribbean
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 am
Dawn Fulton

An introduction to works by contemporary women writers from francophone Africa and the Caribbean. Topics to be studied include colonialism, exile, motherhood, and intersections between class and gender. Our study of these works and of the French language will be informed by attention to the historical, political, and cultural circumstances of writing as a woman in a former French colony. Texts will include works by Mariama Bâ, Maryse Condé, Gisèle Pineau, and Myriam Warner-Vieyra. Readings and discussion in French.

FRN 390 Women Writers of the Middle Ages
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Eglal Doss-Quinby

What genres did women practice in the Middle Ages and in what way did they transform those genres for their own purposes? What access did women have to education and to the works of other writers, male and female? To what extent did women writers question the traditional gender roles of their society? How did they represent female characters in their works and what do their statements about authorship reveal about their understanding of themselves as writing women? What do we make of anonymous works written in the feminine voice? Reading will include the love letters of Héloise, the lais and fables of Marie de France, the songs of the trobairitz and women trouvères, and the writings of Christine de Pizan. Readings and discussion in French.

GOV 205 Law, Family, and the State
Monday, Wednesday 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Alice Hearst

Explores the status of the family in American political life, and its role as a mediating structure between the individual and the state. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the courts in articulating the rights of the family and its members. Limited enrollment.

GOV 232 Women and Politics in Africa
Tuesday, Thursday 3:00-4:20 p.m.
Catherine Newbury

This course will explore the genesis and effects of political activism by women in Africa, which some believe represents a new African feminism, and its implications for state/civil society relations in contemporary Africa. Topics will include the historical effects of colonialism on the economic, social, and political roles of African women, the nature of urban/rural distinctions, and the diverse responses by women to the economic and political crises of postcolonial African polities. Case studies of specific African countries, with readings of novels and women's life histories as well as analyses by social scientists.

GOV 367 Queer Theory
Tuesday 3:00-4:50 p.m.
Gary Lehring

This course introduces students to the emerging interdisciplinary field of queer theory. This is often a perplexing task as there is no real consensus on the definitional limits of queer. Indeed, many scholars believe the inability to define these limits is one of queer theory's greatest strengths. "Queer" can function as a noun, an adjective or a verb, but in each case it is defined against the 'normal' or normalizing. Queer theory is not a singular or systematic conceptual or methodological framework. Rather it is a collection of intellectual engagements with the relations between sex, gender and sexual desire. As such, it is hard to call queer theory a school of thought, as it has a very unorthodox and often disrespectful view of "discipline." Queer theory, then, describes a diverse range of critical practices and priorities: analyses of same-sex sexual desire in literary texts, film or music; exploration of the social and political power relations of sexuality; critiques of the sex-gender system; studies of transgender identification, or sadomasochism and of transgressive desire.

HST 253 Women in Contemporary Europe
Tuesday, Thursday 3:00-4:20 p.m.
Darcy Buerkle

A survey of European women's experiences during the twentieth century. Topics include the changing meanings of gender, work, women's relationship to the State, motherhood and marriage, shifting population patterns, and the expression and regulation of sexuality. Sources include novels, films, treatises, and memoirs.

HST 277 History of Women in the U.S., Colonial Period to 1865
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 am
Marylynn Salmon

The historical position of women within the society and culture. Problems include immigration and ethnicity, isolation and social organization, the legal status of women (property and other rights), religion and witchcraft, race and class, the Revolution and the Civil War, women's work within the household, slavery, education, redefinition of motherhood, abolition and reform, emergence of women's rights and factory labor. Emphasis on social, cultural, and spatial aspects. Prerequisite: a pre-1865 history course.

HST 284 History of Gender and Sexuality South Asia
Tuesday 1:00-2:50 p.m. and discussion
Thursday 1:00-1:50 p.m. or 2:00-2:50 p.m.
Rama Mantena

This colloquium will explore the history of the Indian subcontinent as seen from women's perspectives. Students will read writings by women from the ancient period through to the present. These writings will range from classical Sanskrit, Prakit, and Tamil poetry, to devotional literature in the medieval period, to the emergence of British colonial rule. The colloquium will focus on the diversity of women's experiences in a range of different social cultural and religious contexts. Sexuality, religiosity, marriage and alternatives to marriage, rights to education and employment are some of the themes we will explore. Readings include selections from Radha Kumar, A History of Doing; Tamika Sarkar, Hindu Wife, Hindu Nation: Community, Religion and Cultural Nationalism; Gail Minault, Secluded Scholars: Women's Education and Muslim Social Reform in Colonial India; Tharu and Lalitha, Women Writing in India, Vols. 1,2.

HST 280 Problems of Inquiry: Women and Work in 20th Century America
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:20 p.m.
Kathleen Nutter

The history of work in its social and political context, 1870s-present. Topics include women's work at home and in the paid labor force, labor movements, race and class, New Deal, public policies affecting women and men at work; labor and the global economy.

HST 325 Early European History to 1300: Heloise: Scholar, Writer and Abbess
Monday 2:40-4:50 p.m.
Fiona Griffiths

Few women wrote in Latin during the twelfth century; however, the writings of Heloise (d. 1163), abbess of the Paraclete, suggest that women could and did receive a solid education. The letters which passed between her and her former husband, Peter Abelard (d. 1142) in the 1130s are among the treasures of western literature. Although Heloise was apparently known throughout France during her lifetime for her knowledge and intellectual capabilities, until recently she has been studied exclusively within the context of her relationship to Abelard. This course seeks to present her as a subject in her own right and will provide a broadly-based understanding of her life, including her scholarship, spiritual quest and achievements as an abbess. Enrollment limited, permission of the instructor required.

HST 383 Research in U.S. Women's History: The Sophia Smith Collection American Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Wednesday 1:10-3:00 p.m.
Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz

Permission of instructor required.

IDP 208 Women's Medical Issues
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 am
Leslie Jaffe

A study of topics and issues relating to women's health, including menstrual cycle, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, abortion, menopause, depression, eating disorders, nutrition, and cardiovascular disease. While the course focus will primarily be on the physiological aspects of these topics, some social, ethical, and political implications will be considered, including the issues of violence, the media's representation of women and gender bias in health care.

ITL 344 Italian Women Writers: Mothers and Daughters
Monday, Wednesday 1:10-2:30 p.m.
Giovanna Bellesia

This course provides an in-depth look at the changing role of women in Italian society. It focuses on the portrayal of motherhood by Italian women writers in the 20th century. Authors studied include Sibilla Aleramo, Elsa Morante, Natalia Ginzburg, and Dacia Maraini. Limited enrollment, permission of the instructor required. Conducted in Italian.

LAS 301 Contemporary Latina Playwrights
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Nancy Saporta Sternbach

From the shoestring budgets of their collective theatre pieces of the 1960s to their high-tech, multimedia performance art of the 1990s, U.S. Latinas have moved from their marginal positions backstage to become the central protagonists of the efflorescent, hybrid, multicultural art form that is Latina theatre today. In this course, we will read a variety of plays, performance pieces, puppet shows, and other art forms that define U.S. Latina theatre from the early seventies to the present. Critical readings will accompany the texts. Every effort will be made to actually see a performance of some manifestation of Latina theatre. Limited enrollment, permission of the instructor required.

MUS 100 Music and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Margaret Sarkissian

Using non-western case studies as points of departure, this course will explore the role of music in processes of socialization, segregation, and gender-based power relations. Although the readings will focus primarily on non-western musics, contemporary manifestations of American popular music culture will also be considered.

REL 110 Women Mystics' Theology of Love
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00-10:20 am
Elizabeth Carr

This course studies the strories, poetry and writings of Brigit of Ireland, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, Sojourner Truth, Simone Weil, Dorothy Day, Laura Lopez, Cho Wha Soon and Edwina Gately, and examines their relevance to contemporary spirituality. Focus on life journeys in terms of love, justice, healing and spiritual leadership. Occasional films.

SOC 315 The Body and Society
Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.
Elizabeth Wheatley

In this seminar we will draw on sociological and interdisciplinary perspectives to consider features of the social construction, regulation, control, and experience of the body. Through diverse theoretical frameworks, we will view the body both as a product of discourses (such as medical knowledge and practice, media representations, and institutional regimens), and as an agent of social activities and interactions in daily life. We will consider the salience of bodies in constituting identities, relationships, and differences; as bases for inequalities and forms of suffering; and as sites of resistance and struggles for change.

SOC 323 Gender and Social Change
Wednesday 1:10-3:00 p.m.
Nancy Whittier

Theory and research on the construction of and change in gender categories in the United States, with particular attention to social movements that seek to change gender definitions and stratification, including both feminist and anti-feminist movements. Theoretical frameworks are drawn from feminist theory and social movement theory. Readings examine historical shifts in gender relations and norms, changing definitions of gender in contemporary everyday life, and politicized struggles over gender definitions. Themes throughout the course include the social construction of both femininity and masculinity, the intersection of race, class, and sexual orientation with gender, and the growth of a politics of identity. Case studies include feminist, lesbian and gay, right-wing, self help, anti-abortion, and pro-choice movements.

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