HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE COURSES - SPRING 2010

School of Cognitive Science Adele Simmons Hall 559-5502
School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies 12 Emily Dickinson 559-5362
School of Interdisciplinary Arts Writing Center Building 559-5824
School of Social Science 218 Franklin Patterson Hall 559-5548

CS 278/NS 278/SS 278 - Sex on the Brain: Gender, Sex and Biology
Jane Couperus
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.

This course is designed to examine sex, gender, and sexuality in multiple contexts. The primary aim of this course is to develop an understanding of the biology and neuropsychology of sex gender and sexuality. Additionally the course will examine how biological and environmental factors influence sex gender and sexuality across development and how these factors influence differences in brain and behavior. Course requirements will include reading primary research articles in the fields of psychology neuroscience sociology anthropology and women's studies. Students will also be asked to conduct library research write several short response and review papers and conduct a larger research project. Students are not required to have a scientific background but they are asked to be open to reading and evaluating scientific research.

HACU 112 - Investigating Women’s Art
Tuesday, 9:00-11:50 a.m.
Karen Koehler

This course will investigate contemporary exhibitions and collections of art in the Five College Museums, concentrating on the many shows and conferences on women's art in the Spring of 2010, including "Touch Fire: Contemporary Ceramics by Japanese Women Artists" and "A Room of Their Own: Bloomsbury Artists" (a show of British modern art associated with Virginia Woolf's circle.) We will visit a number of museum and gallery exhibitions and permanent collections, and look at artworks from a variety of times, cultures, and places. The course will include presentations and discussions, as well as semi-weekly field trips to area museums. Occasional evening lectures and symposia by visiting artists, critics and curators are also required. This course will consider the historical context, critical analysis, and curatorial issues of the art on display, as well as exhibition design and museum architecture (including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.) This is a speaking and writing intensive course; and students will be responsible for a creating a portfolio of progressively more rigorous exhibition reviews, critical art writing, and scholarly papers, as well as presentations and group reports. Classes meet regularly in one of the Five College Museums (students need to be prepared to travel) and at Hampshire for discussion and presentations.

HACU 237 - To Be Queer, Black, & Beautiful: The Transgressive Black Body in Black Diasporic Literature
Jeannette Lee
Monday, Wednesday  1:00-2:20 p.m.

This is an advanced introductory literature class that examines African-American, Caribbean, and Black British literature through the framework of gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation. We will read novels, poetry, and plays to analyze how black disaporic writers portray the intersection of these identity categories. Selected readings will demonstrate the range of imagined possibilities as well as critiques and the shoring-up of limiting notions of sexual identity. Our intervention will necessarily consider the black body as a contested site through which the meaning of gender and sexuality has been disputed. This approach considers how gender and sexuality are constructed and what types of persons are privileged and de-privileged as well as the choices that are made available and legitimate for black characters. We will read literature by black lesbian, gay, and bi-sexual authors as well as writing that portrays black LGBT characters. In this focus, this class will examine the depiction of same-sex intimacy as well as address the critique launched through sexuality and sexual orientation of essentialist constructions of black communities and “authentic” blackness.  Some of the questions we will consider: What are gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation? How do gender, sexuality, and sexual orientation intersect with and refract each other as well as race, color, class? How are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, and heterosexual bodies scripted?  What types of bodies and persons are legitimated and why? What does it mean to have a sexual identity?  What structures of feeling can be read through sexuality? And who is black? These queries will be addressed through the literature as well as theoretical and literary critical readings from Black Feminist Criticism, Feminist Theory, Masculinity Studies, and Queer Theory. Students will also be assigned recommended readings that provide an understanding of the specific historical contexts and cultural trajectories within which the literature is situated. Writing by Audre Lorde, Hilton Als, Thomas Glave, Jewelle Gomez, Samuel Delaney, Dionne Brand, R. Erica Doyle, and Michelle Cliff and others will be assigned.

HACU 280 - The (Post)Racial State: Ideology, Politics, and the Media
Susana Loza
Tuesday, Thursday  12:30-1:50 p.m.
(component)

In the wake of Obama's historic presidential victory, the American media triumphantly declared that we are living in post-racial times. But is race dead? Are we color-blind? If so, how do we explain the persistence of racism and racial inequality in the US? Utilizing an interdisciplinary amalgam of Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Media Studies, US Third World Feminism, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Political Philosophy, and Post-Colonial Theory, this course will investigate how "race" continues to shape American society in the post-civil rights era. Topics to be covered include: the social construction of race, racial formation, panethnicity, class-based and gendered racialization, multiculturalism, neoliberalism, double-consciousness, colonialism, essentialism, institutional racism, commodification of race/ethnicity, identity politics, colorblind ideology, cultural appropriation, resistance, and citizenship. Particular attention will be paid to affirmative action, immigration, hate speech, hate crimes, reparations, racial profiling, and the resurgence of white supremacy.

HACU 283 - The Nineteenth-Century Novel and the British Empire
Lise Sanders
Tuesday, Thursday  2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course uses the British empire as a case study in order to examine the cultural politics of imperialism and colonization. Focusing on British India but with excursions into other colonial contexts, readings will explore the connections between race, gender, sexuality and empire. In reading nineteenth-century literary and historical texts in conjunction with postcolonial criticism and contemporary fiction, we will ask the following questions: How does the imperialist project affect or determine constructions of sexuality and gender? How are ethnicity, nationality, and racial difference deployed in the service of empire? How is the body figured under imperialism? We will also study the relationship between empire and nationalism, examining writings that represent and/or theorize domination and resistance in the colonial encounter. The goal of this course is to enable students to explore the relationship between literature and history in narratives of empire, and to develop a set of theoretical lenses by which to examine these concerns.

HACU 293 – Literature, Violence and the State
Mary Russo
Wednesday  2:30-5:20 p.m.

A course on the poetics and politics of tragedy focusing on representations of state violence whose victims and agents of criminality have been women. The class will examine closely Sophocles' Antigone; Shakespeare's "Rape of Lucrece" and Titus Andronicus; and nineteenth- and twentieth-century depictions of the life and death of Beatrice Cenci (Shelley's and Artaud's among others). Beginning with Aristotle's Poetics, students will consider other writings in philosophy, classical and romantic poetics and contemporary literary and social theories that link ethical, aesthetic, and emotional criteria to the question of what constitute legitimate acts of sovereign force or of individual self-sacrifice.

 

IA 161 - Living For Tomorrow I: Cultural Contestations, Gender Politics and the AIDS Epidemic
Jill Lewis
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.

What critical and creative tools can we explore to develop sexual safety education that is vivid and engaging? What does it mean to question gender norms in different cultural contexts? How can we design initiatives that involve young people actively in questioning gendered sexual behaviors that reproduce risk and damage and enable them to help stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic? In this course we will look at cultural texts - to open discussion of gender and how masculinity and femininity are culturally scripted. A particular emphasis will be on masculinity and sexual safety, and on ways gender research importantly questions the institution and behaviors of heterosexuality. The Living for Tomorrow course will take these questions into the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic - relating the cultural scriptings of gender to this urgent contemporary political crisis the world faces. The course draws on instructor's experience of working to build gender-focused HIV prevention initiatives in various different cultures. The course will include participatory learning work and designing creative input for HIV prevention educational action that can stimulate critical literacy about the gender system among young people.

NS 240 - Sex, Gender, and Evolutionary Biology
TBA
Monday, Wednesday 9:00-10:20 a.m.

Evolutionary biology is said to explain human gender roles, sexual preferences, and sex differences in behavior and cognition, including rape, monogamy, pornography, homosexuality, physical attraction, and maternal instinct. This course examines these and other controversial claims. We will read the scientific literature and its critiques and consider the social, historical, and ideological dimensions of evolutionary concepts of human sex and gender difference.

SS129 - Gendered Bodies: Race, Sex, and the Cultures of Biology
Jennifer Hamilton
Monday, Wednesay  1:00-2:20 p.m.

Using primary and secondary materials as well as documentaries and feature films, this course explores conceptualizations and representations of race and sex in various domains of scientific thought. We begin by looking at the histories of race and sex in Western science. We will examine gendered and racialized pathologies, such as hysteria and drapetomania, and consider how scientific thought intersected with larger political and economic movements. We will then move into a discussion of the uses of race and sex in contemporary biological science. Why is the pharmaceutical industry developing drugs geared toward different racial groups? How have advances in reproductive technologies challenged or reinforced our understandings of our bodies? Why and how is sexuality a key site of scientific debate? Finally, how has the genomic age reshaped (or reinforced) our understandings of race, sex, and sexuality?

SS157 - Nuns, Saints, and Mystics in Medieval and Early Modern Europe
Jutta Sperling
Tuesday, Thursday  9:00-10:20 a.m.

Early Christianity had a tremendous appeal to women and slaves, because its forms of devotion were part of a broader cultural revolution aimed at subverting existing patriarchal family structures, slavery, and the political structures of the Roman Empire within which they were embedded. The high numbers of female converts, martyrs, and donors testify to the extent to which the church in its formative phase relied on women and their spiritual and material contributions. In medieval Catholicism, women mystics formulated a theology according to which Christ in his human nature could be thought of as entirely female. In the early modern period, female religious rallied to withstand the onslaught of the Counter-Reformation, which was aimed at purging the religious public sphere from its many female protagonists. Female imagery, and the orchestration of cults devoted to the Virgin Mary played a key role in converting native Americans. In Africa, female warrior queens presented themselves as Catholic saints. In this course, we will be reading original sources written by or about women in their roles as followers of the apostles, founders of convents, mystics, nuns, "real" as well as "fake" saints, but also secondary literature in this rapidly expanding field of historical studies.

SS166 – Gender and Economic Development
Smita Ramnarain
Monday, Wednesday  2:30-3:50 p.m.

This course examines the processes, politics and policies of economic development from a gender perspective. In the earlier modules of the course, we look into theoretical and conceptual frameworks that have guided the gender perspective in economic development over time. Later modules of the course examine the (often uneven) impact of economic development policies on men and women, and on gender relations. Among other things, the discussion will include women's work, the gendered consequences of structural adjustment, and the impact of environmental problems, conflict and globalization on gender relations. The course is appropriate for students interested in working in the area of international development in the Global South (Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean), for economics majors who would like an introduction to the growing literature on gender and development, and for women’s studies majors who work in the social sciences.

SS174 – Creating Families
Marlene Fried, Barbara Yngvesson
Tuesday, Thursday  10:30-11:50 a.m.

This course will investigate the roles of law, culture and technology in creating families. We will focus on the ways in which systems of reproduction reinforce and/or challenge inequalities of class, race and gender. We will examine the issues of entitlement to parenthood, domestic and international adoption, and the uses, consequences and ethics of new reproductive technologies designed to help women and men give birth to biologically-related children. Questions to be addressed include: How does women's status affect their relation to reproductive alternatives? What is the relationship between state reproductive policies and actual practices, legal, contested, and clandestine, that develop around these policies? How are notions of family and parenting enacted and transformed in an arena that is transnational, interracial, intercultural, and cross-class?

SS214 - United States Labor History
Laurie Nisonoff
Tuesday, Thursday  12:30-1:50 p.m.
(component)

This course will explore the history of the American working class from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. We will use traditional historical concepts such as industrialism and trade unions, immigration, and organization; integrate the insights of the “new social and labor history” to focus on unionization, strikes, and development of working-class communities, consciousness and culture; and work to understand a working class divided along race, ethnic, and gender lines. Strategies employed by industrialists and the state to mold and control the working class will be considered, along with responses and strategies employed by the working class to gain political and economic power. This class is an introduction to an essential component of concentrations in labor studies, political economy, American studies, and feminist studies.

S241 - Excess, Ephemera, and the "Unlivable"
Quinn Miller
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course will introduce students to the foundational concepts of queer analysis necessary for understanding interdisciplinary work in critical theory, social thought, cultural history, literary studies, and aesthetics. Using the basic ideas of poststructuralism we will work to see topics such as resistance, rebellion, conflict, and nihilism in unconventional ways. Focusing on theory, interpretation, and criticism, we will pay special attention to how radical approaches to power and representation both coincide with queer and transgender experience and exceed categories of gender, sexuality, identity, and equal rights. Exploring the challenges of analyzing "queer" difference, defiance, and survival, we develop the critical tools required to address material history and imaginative worlds in the paradoxical context of a dominant U.S. culture where people live unlivable lives.

SS256 - Framing Climate Change: Race, Gender, Inequality and the Future of the Environment
Betsey Hartmann
Thursday 2:00-03:20 p.m.

Climate change is one of the most important environmental, social, economic and political challenges of our time. While there is now widespread scientific agreement about its causes, considerable controversy exists over its potential effects and what measures should be taken to address it. This course will look at the competing ways climate change is framed by different actors, including governments, international agencies, energy companies, militaries, environmental movements, celebrities, politicians, and social justice activists. What rhetorical and political strategies do different actors employ? How is popular culture implicated? How do race, gender and economic inequalities shape vulnerabilities and responses to climate change nationally and internationally?

SS294 - Advanced Readings in Work, Gender and Development
Laurie Nisonoff
Wednesday  9:00-11:50 a.m.

This is a research seminar on women, work, gender and development. We will read both classic and current readings on these topics from scholars from around the globe, and about men and women around the globe. Questions including gender and the economic crisis, the global assembly line, commodity chains, the informal economy, the care economy, migration, and the transformation of work within the household will be addressed. We will specifically address efforts to organize at many locations. Everyone will be expected to work on a research project, and to critique both the readings and one another’s work.