AMHERST COLLEGE WOMEN'S STUDIES COURSES - Spring 2004

Any UMass or Five-College student wishing to take a course at another campus should first check with their respective Registrar's Office and then check with the department offering the course. In some cases enrollment is limited, instructor permission is needed and many courses require prerequisites.

WAGS (Women and Gender Studies) 14 Grosvenor 542-5781
Black Studies 108 Cooper 542-5800
Political Science 103 Clark House 542-2380
Sociology/Anthropology 205 Morgan Hall 542-2193
Spanish 5 Barrett Hall 542-2317

Any UMass or Five-College student wishing to take a course at another campus should first check with their respective Registrar's Office and then check with the department offering the course. In some cases enrollment is limited, instructor permission is needed and many courses require prerequisites. WAGS (Women and Gender Studies) 14 Grosvenor 542-5781 Black Studies 108 Cooper 542-5800 Political Science 103 Clark House 542-2380 Sociology/Anthropology 205 Morgan Hall 542-2193 Spanish 5 Barrett Hall 542-2317

WAGS 01/
English 01
Reading Gender/Reading Race
tba
Michele Barale

An introducation to the textual production of gender and race. Through close attention to the texts and frequent writing assignments, this course will examine how gender and race are linguistic-and hence literary and hence cultural -creations.

WAGS 20/
HISTORY 74
Topics in the History of Sex, Gender, and the Family
Wednesday 2-4 p.m.
Margaret Hunt

This seminar will focus on the history of homosexuality in the West.

WAGS 24 Gender Labor
Monday and Wednesday 12:30
Michele Barale
Rose Olver

In this course we will explore the intimate relations of gender and labor: both the necessary labor of genders' production as well as the gendered organiztion of labor itself. This course will use gender to focus on contemporary concerns in the American workplace and comparisions with developments in other nations.

WAGS 40/ HISTORY 40 Women of Color: Witnesses to History
Tuesday, Thursday 8:30
Martha Saxton

Students will read court records, ficition, memoirs, history, letters and poetry to reconstruct how Native American and African American women experienced and witnessed history.

WAGS 44 Women's Activism in Global Perspective
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00 a.m.
Amrita Basu

Globally as well as locally, women are claiming a new voice in civil society by spearheading both egalitarian movements for social change and reactionary movements. This course will explore the varied expressions of women's activism at the grass roots, national and transnational levels.

WAGS 65/
POLSCI 65
States of Poverty
Monday 2:00 p.m.
Kristin Bumiller

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 tic 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 fieldwork into the independent project.

BS 30 Inscribing Orality in Caribbean Women's Writing
Monday, Wednesday 8:30-9:50 a.m.
Carol Bailey

This course examines the prose fiction of selected Caribbean women writers from the Anglophone, hispanophone and francophone Caribbean, with an emphasis on the writers' deployment of Caribbbean oral forms in their written narratives. We will look at how such oral forms as story telling, proverbs and gossip are deployed as the primary mode of narration; the political implications of inscribing voice; the use of voice for addressing a wide range of issues, particularly those directly related to women's lives. Additionally, students will be encouraged to explore such questions as: Whose voiceis being written by these women? Is there a female way of writing? What are the stylist and thematic similarities/differences among writers? Students will also be required to engage critically with a body of secondary material addressing trends in Caribbean women's fiction. Writers include Erna Brodger, Merle Collins, Curiella Forbes, Oonya Kempadoo, Jamaica Kincaid, Esmeralda Santiago, Olive Senior, and Miriam Warner-Vieyra.

WAGS 66/ HIST 48 Church, Family and Culture in Nineteenth Century America
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30
Martha Saxton

This course looks at the antebellum experience through the lenses of religion, family, and literary, artistic and regional culture.

POLSCI 39/ LJST 39 Reimagining Law: Feminist Interpretations
TBA
Kristin 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 possibilities 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.

WAGS 68/
POLSCI 68
Social Movements, Globalization and Human Rights
Wednesday 2:00-4:00
Amrita Basu

This seminar will explore the changing trajectories of social movements amidst economic, political and cultural globalization. Paradoxically, globalization has simultaneously fueled social movements and presented them with new problems which threaten their achievements. Social movements have organized in opposition to the environmental destruction, increased class inequalities and diminished accountability of nation states that have often been associated with the global spread of capitalism. Globalization from above has given rise to globalization from below as activists have organized transnationally, employing new technologies of communication and appealing to universal principles of human rights. However, in organizing transnationally and appealing to universal principles, activists may find their energies displaced from local to transnational arenas, from substantive to procedural inequalities, and from grass roots activism to routinized activity within the judicial process. We will examine these issues in the context of women's movements, environmental movements, and democracy movements in several regions of the world. We will consider the extent to which globalization heightens divisions between universalistic and particularistic movements or contributes to the creation of a global civil society which can protect and extend human rights.

Spanish 48 Spanish-American Women's Writings
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30-1:00 p.m.
Hilda Otaño-Benítez

This course will study contemporary Spanish American novels and short stories written by women. Special attention will be paid to the importance of female forms of resistance, struggle and bonding against social and economic marginalization. The course will also explore the role of women in a variety of political contexts, ranging from revolution to ideological repression. Texts by: Isabel Allende, Gioconda Belli, Rosario Ferré, Angeles Mastreta, Elena Pontiatowska, Mayra Santos Febres, Ana Lydia Vega, Zoé Valdés, Luisa Valenzuela, and others. Conducted in Spanish.

Sociology 21
Component
The Family
Monday, Wednesday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
Dizard

The intent of this course is to assess the sources and implication of changes in family structure. We shall focus largely on contemporary family relationships in America, but we will necessarily have to examine family forms different from ours, particulary those that are our historical antecedents. From an historical/cross-cultural vantage point, we will be better able to understand shifting attitudes toward the family as well as the ways the family broadly shapes character and becomes an important aspect of social dynamics.

Sociology 30
Component
Collective Identity and Mobilization
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m.
Carleen Basler

In this seminar we will explore the social, political, and cultural processes that influence the formation and mobilization of collective identities, with particular attention to ethnicity, race, class, gender, and sexuality in U.S. society. The processes of group formation are complex, especially given the number of social categories to which we may belong, and the factors which influence whether or not we feel strongly enough about our shared fate to construct, maintain, and act on behalf of collective interests and identities. Also of interest are the ways that groups elaborate community cultures and institutions that promote collective identity and political mobilization. Topics include the content and meaning of race and ethnicity; transgressing gender boundaries; the politics of sexuality; the politics of cultural resistance, and the mobilization of collective identities.

Sociology 41
Component
The American Right
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30-12:50 p.m.
Jerome Himmelstein

Since the 1980s, the Right has been the dominant force in American politics. For spring 2004, this course will examine the Christian Right within a framework of sociological ideas about the social bases of political conflict. We will look at the movement's history, ideology, organizations, and leaders. We shall then examine the changing significance of religion and religiosity in American politics, with a focus on the idea of "culture wars." This will require us to look closely at the differences between how political elites of all ideological persuasions address morally charged issues and how both conservative Christians and other Americans think about these issues. Finally, we shall examine the ways Americans have come in conflict with each other over abortion, gay rights, sex education, and similar issues.

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