Women and Gender Studies 14 Grosvenor 542-5781

WAGS 04/POSC 44 – Political Economy of Gender in Latin America
Manuela Picq
Wednesday  2:00-4:30 p.m.

Latin America has the greatest extremes of wealth of any region in the world, and gender is one of the most important factors leading to this inequality. The study of gender therefore offers a valuable window into the socio-economic structures and political systems of the region. Bringing together the disciplines of comparative politics, political economy, and gender, this course proposes to analyze the gender implications of economic and political reforms at large in Latin America, from the military dictatorships of the 1970s through the democratization of the 1980s, the neoliberal reforms of the 1990s, and the New Left. We will also explore the history and geography of women's rights in terms of political participation, agrarian reform, informal economics, reproductive rights, welfare policies, migration, and human trafficking. Beyond women's rights, the class analyzes social movements and the politics of contestation in Latin America, movements’ interactions with state actors and the impact of changing markets on women's empowerment.

WAGS 08 – Gender, Economic Development and Globalization
Lynda Pickbourn
Tuesday, Thursday  2:00-3:20 p.m.

This course uses gender to examine the processes, politics and policies of economic development. We will begin with an introduction to alternative approaches to economics and to economic development, focusing on the neoclassical and feminist approaches, and on the theoretical frameworks that have shaped the gender perspective in economic development. We will also examine the impacts of economic development policy on men and women and on gender relations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, in the context of a globalizing world economy. Special topics will include women’s unpaid labor, women in the informal sector; the household as a unit of analysis; the gendered impacts of structural adjustment, neoliberal economic policies and economic crisis; the feminization of migration flows and the global labor force, and the implications of these trends for economic development.

WAGS 9/SPAN 85 – Early Spanish American Women Writers
Nina Scott
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

In this course we will study the writings of women of Spanish America from 1556 to the end of the 19th century, focusing on writers who came from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba, Peru and Colombia.  Their writings cover the colonial period as well as that of post-independence, and trace the ever-strengthening role of the female voice in Spanish American literature.  There are the voices of an early settler in Argentina and Paraguay, three nuns (Catalina de Erauso, transvestite and soldier; the incomparable Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz; and the visionary Madre Castillo) followed by an important group of 19th century women who were finally able to make a living by their pen. The most famous of these is Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, who wrote the first antislavery novel of the Americas, eleven years ahead of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  Most of them knew and supported each other by ties of friendship and a strong professional network.  In all of these voices one will hear articulated the desire for the right to express themselves as women and to be heard in a field that was decidedly masculine and often hostile to their efforts.  Conducted in Spanish.

WAGS 12/ENGL 01 – New Women in America
Wendy H. Bergoffen
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course will examine the emergence of the “New Woman” as a category of social theory, political action, and literary representation at the turning of the twentieth century.  Early readings will trace the origins of the New Woman as a response to nineteenth-century notions of “True Womanhood.”  Discussions will situate literary representations of women in larger cultural events taking place during the Progressive Era–debates over suffrage as well as their relationship to issues of citizenship, immigration, Jim Crow segregation, urbanization, and nativism.  The course will focus on texts written by a diverse group of women that present multiple and, at times, conflicting images of the New Woman.  Close attention will be paid to the manner in which these women writers constructed their fictions, particularly to issues of language, style, and form.  Readings will include texts by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Pauline Hopkins, Anzia Yezierska, and Sui Sin Far.

WAGS 23/CLAS 23 - Greek Civilization
Frederick Griffiths
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  11:00-11:15 a.m.

We read in English the major authors from Homer in the 8th century BCE to Plato in the 4th century in order to trace the emergence of epic, lyric poetry, tragedy, comedy, history, and philosophy. How did the Greek enlightenment, and through it Western culture, emerge from a few generations of people moving around a rocky archipelago? How did oral and mythological traditions develop into various forms of “rationality”: science, history, and philosophy? What are the implications of male control over public and private life and the written record? What can be inferred about ancient women if they cannot speak for themselves in the texts?  Other authors include Sappho, Herodotus, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, and Thucydides.  The course seeks to develop the skills of close reading and persuasive argumentation.

WAGS 24 - Gender Labor
Michele Barale & Rose Olver
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

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 organization of labor itself. In general the course will use gender to focus on contemporary concerns in the American workplace--class, ethnicity, sexuality, and race--but will also make critical comparisons with developments in other nations. The biological labor of reproduction and its intersection with the labor of production will necessarily be a constant concern in our discussions. We shall have to become familiar with certain terms: glass ceiling, glass escalator, mommy-track, affirmative action, child care, sexual harassment, welfare to workfare. We certainly might want to ask what constitutes work? But we also might need to wonder if work is done for love, is it still work?

WAGS 35 - Other Shakespeares: Gender, Race and Sexuality
Krupa Shandilya
Tuesday, Thursday  10:-00-11:20 a.m.

Why do we still read Shakespeare? What relevance does Shakespeare have for us today? In this course we will think through explorations of gender, race, caste and sexuality in modern-day adaptations of Shakespearean texts and continued need to engage with Shakespeare in the present-day. We will draw on a wide variety of both filmic and literary texts from across the world. Texts will range from Merchant Ivory’s Shakespeare Wallah to South African activist-novelist Nadine Gordimer’s My Son’s Story and South Asian feminist poet Suniti Namjoshi’s Snapshots of Caliban. Students are required to be familiar with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth.

WAGS 64 – Women’s History:  1865 to present
Martha Saxton
Tuesday, Thursday  11:30-12:50 p.m.

This course begins with an examination of the experience of women from different racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds during Reconstruction. It will look at changes in family life as a result of increasing industrialization and the westward movement of settler families, and will also look at the settlers’ impact on Native American women and families. Topics will include the work and familial experiences of immigrant women (including Irish, Polish, and Italian), women’s reform movements (particularly suffrage, temperance, and anti-lynching), the expansion of educational opportunities, and the origins and programs of the Progressives. The course will examine the agitation for suffrage and the subsequent splits among feminists, women’s experiences in the labor force, and participation in the world wars. Finally, we will look at the origins of the Second Wave and its struggles to transcend its white middle-class origins.

WAGS 69 – South Asian Feminist Cinema
Krupa Shandilya
Wednesday  2:00-4:30 p.m.

How do we define the word “feminism”? Can the term be used to define cinematic texts outside the Euro-American world? In this course we will study a range of issues that have been integral to feminist theory--the body, domesticity, same sex desire, gendered constructions of the nation, feminist utopias and dystopias--through a range of South Asian cinematic texts. Through our viewings and readings we will consider whether the term “feminist” can be applied to these texts, and we will experiment with new theoretical lenses for exploring these films. Films will range from Satyajit Ray’s classic masterpiece Charulata to Gurinder Chadha’s trendy diasporic film, Bend It Like Beckham. Attendance for screenings on Monday is compulsory.

WAGS 79/ENGL 79 - Feminism, Theater, and Performance
Jennifer A. Cayer
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:20 a.m. 

Why feminism? Isn’t feminism outmoded and passé? What is feminism today, and how is it relevant for theater and performance work? This class will explore the relationship between feminist history, theory, and practice. It will serve as an introduction to the work of twentieth-century women playwrights, performance artists, and critical thinkers. We will first confront feminism as a tool for reading and interpreting issues of gender and sexuality in plays and performances. We will also consider how, and to what extent, feminism influences practices of writing, performing, and spectatorship. We will then mobilize a global and inclusive definition of feminism in order to explore how the social and political aims of early feminisms influenced thinking about racial, national, post-colonial, queer, and ethnic representation in performance. Central debates will include the distinctions and shifts between theater and performance; textuality and embodiment; essentialism and social construction; and identity and representation. Course materials will include plays, performances, and visual art as well as feminist theoretical texts. We will aim to understand the diverse political and personal ambitions, risks, and power of women’s theoretical, theatrical, and performance work.

WAGS 85/POSC 85 – States of Poverty

Kristen Bumiller
Tuesday  2:00-4:30 p.m.

In this course the 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 police, family courts, therapeutic 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 field work into the independent project.

American Studies 102 Morgan Hall 542-2246

AMST 32 - Racialization in the U.S.: The Asian/Pacific/American Experience
Sujani K. Reddy
Tuesday, Thursday  10:00-11:20 a.m.

This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Asian/Pacific/American Studies. We will begin by looking at the founding of the field through the student-led social movements of the 1960s and ask ourselves how relevant these origins have been to the subsequent development of the field. We will then use questions that arise from this material to guide our overview of the histories, cultures, and communities that make up the multiplicity of Asian/Pacific America. Topics will include, but not be limited to, the racialization of Asian Americans through immigrant exclusion and immigration law; the role of U.S. imperialism and global geo-politics in shaping migration from Asia to the U.S., the problems and possibilities in a pan-ethnic label like A/P/A, interracial conflict and cooperation, cultural and media representations by and about Asian Americans, diaspora, and homeland politics. In addition, throughout the semester we will practice focusing on the relationships between race, gender, class, sexuality, and nation. The ultimate goal of the course is to develop a set of analytic tools that students can then use for further research and inquiry.

Sociology/Anthropology 205 Morgan Hall 542-2193

ANTH 35 - Gender: An Anthropological Perspective

Douglas Raybeck

Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

This seminar provides an analysis of male-female relationships from a cross-cultural perspective, focusing upon the ways in which cultural factors modify and exaggerate the biological differences between men and women. Consideration will be given to the positions of men and women in the evolution of society, and in different contemporary social, political, and economic systems, including those of the industrialized nations.

Asian Languages & Civilization 110 Webster 542-5841

ASLC 35 - The World's Oldest Novel: The Tale of Genji and Its Refractions
Timothy J. Van Compernolle
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

Written over one thousand years ago by Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji (Genji monogatari) is the supreme masterpiece of Japanese literature, a work whose influence on subsequent arts and letters in the country is impossible to exaggerate.  As the world’s earliest extant prose narrative by a woman writer, the Genji has received attention in world literature and women’s studies programs.  With its rich psychological portraits of desire, guilt, and memory, the work has also gained a reputation as “the world’s oldest novel.”  In this course, we will read the entire Tale of Genji in English translation and engage fully with its sophistication and complexity by employing diverse critical perspectives.  We will investigate both the tenth-century prose experiments that made the work possible and a number of later works in different genres so as to gain awareness of the impact of the Genji on the culture of every historical era since its composition.  We will also have occasion to consider the reception of Murasaki’s masterpiece in the English-speaking world.

Black Studies 108 Cooper 542-5800

BLST 57/HIST 41 - African American History from the Slave Trade to Reconstruction

Hilary J. Moss

Tuesday, Thursday  10:00-11:20 a.m.


This course is a survey of the history of African American men and women from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries through the Civil War and Reconstruction. The content is a mixture of the social, cultural, and political history of blacks during two and a half centuries of slavery with the story of the black freedom struggle and its role in America’s national development. Among the major topics addressed: the slave trade in its moral and economic dimensions; African retentions in African American culture; origins of racism in colonial America; how blacks used the rhetoric and reality of the American and Haitian Revolutions to their advancement; antebellum slavery; black religion and family under slavery and freedom; the free black experience in the North and South; the crises of the 1850s; the role of race and slavery in the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War; and the meaning of emancipation and Reconstruction for blacks. Readings include historical monographs, slave narratives by men and women, and one work of fiction.

Bruss Seminar

BRUS 33 - Gender and the Environment
Amrita Basu & Martha Saxton
Wednesday 2:00-4:00 p.m.

This seminar will compare relationships between gender and the environment in a developed country, the U.S., and a developing country, India.  We will look at the history of gender constructions of nature and natural resources and their relationship to environmental practices. We will examine the disproportionate impact of environmental destruction on women and children, particularly from poor and minority communities, as well as rapidly changing ideas and practices about environmental degradation and climate change. Among the topics we will consider are gender constructions in the history of each country’s agricultural policies and their effects on attitudes and practices toward the land and other resources like minerals, water, and forests. We will analyze gender, land tenure, and the law as it affects resource control and allocation in India. We will look at related questions concerning the control of natural resources in the U.S. like the disputed ownership of the water of Lake Erie in an impoverished suburb of Detroit. We will explore women’s roles in environmental struggles in both countries.  Scholars and aid workers have long observed that environmental destruction has differential impacts on men and women. Women are the major victims of natural disasters, like the Tsunami of 2002 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Environmental destruction affects women’s health and reproduction in unique and dangerous ways. Pesticides and nuclear wastes cause birth defects, complications in labor, and toxic concentrations in women’s breast milk. The growing field of environmental justice has drawn attention to the significance of race in the location of hazardous waste facilities and the disproportionate number of people of color and women who are affected by workplace hazards. Following the earthquake in Haiti, after years of demands by women’s activist groups, the U.N. decided for the first time to deliver aid directly to women because it recognized this was the most effective way of reaching the children who need it.

English 1 Johnson Chapel 542-2231

ENGL 60 - Sexuality and History in the Contemporary Novel
Judith E. Frank
Tuesday, Thursday  11:30-12:50 p.m.

A study of American and British gay and lesbian novelists, from 1990 to the present, who have written historical novels. We will examine such topics as the kinds of expressive and ideological possibilities the historical novel offers gay and lesbian novelists, the representation of sexuality in narratives that take place before Stonewall, and the way these authors position queer lives in history. Novelists include Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue, Jeanette Winterson, Leslie Feinberg, Alan Hollinghurst, Colm Tóibín, and Michael Cunningham.


European Studies B3 Converse Hall 542-2312

EUST 72/HIST 35 – Fascism
Rick A. Lopez
Monday, Wednesday  12:30-1:50 p.m.

This course addresses the vexing questions of what fascism is, whether it was a global phenomenon, and whether it has been historically banished. The first part of the semester will consider the conceptual issues related to nationalism, modernity, and fascism. Next we will address case studies, noting comparative continuities and regional peculiarities. The countries that will receive the most attention are Italy, France, Argentina, Britain, Brazil, Germany, Spain, and Mexico, with additional attention to Portugal, Japan, China, New Guinea, Chile, Turkey, Palestine and Australia. This will be followed by an examination of gender and fascism, including the role of women as agents of this radical ideology. The course will close with two recent works of scholarship, one on transnational fascism in early twentieth-century Argentina and the other on the applicability of the term “fascism” to contemporary movements in the Middle East.

Music 24 Arms Music Center 542-2364

MUSI 14 - Writing Through Popular Music
Jason L. Robinson
Tuesday, Thursday  11:30-12:50 p.m.

This course will introduce students to important concepts in effective academic writing by thinking about and thinking "through" popular music. Our complex relationships to popular music provide a rich theoretical landscape of social, cultural, and political issues. How do we use music to construct, maintain, or challenge private and public identities? How have race, gender, class, sexuality, and nationalism been activated through popular music? What is the role of music in our everyday lives? How do commercial interests influence the music that we listen to? These questions, among others, will generate a series of assignments designed to encourage students to develop clear and persuasive writing styles. As a writing intensive course, we will focus on fundamentals of writing style, grammatical accuracy, thesis development, and research methodologies crucial to successful written communication. We will use weekly reading assignments drawn from the field of popular music studies to frame and debate important issues emanating from global popular music cultures and to provide models of successful written scholarship. Peer review and a strong focus on editing and revising will be central to the course.

Political Science 103 Clark House 542-2380

POSC 01 - Political Identities
Amrita Basu
Monday, Wednesday  11:30-12:50 p.m.

The assertion of group identities based on language, region, religion, race, gender, sexuality, and class, among others, has increasingly animated politics cross-nationally. However, the extent to which identities become politicized varies enormously across time and place. We will explore what it means to describe an identity as political. This exercise entails assessing the conditions under which states, civil societies, and political societies recognize certain identities while ignoring or repressing others. In other words, it entails analyzing the ways in which political processes make and remake identities. What do groups gain and lose from identity-based movements? And what are the broader implications of identity-based movements for democratic politics?

POSC 56 – Regulating Citizenship
Kristen Bumiller
Wednesday  1:20-5:30 p.m.

This course considers a fundamental issue that faces all democratic societies: How do we decide when and whether to include or exclude individuals from the rights and privileges of citizenship? In the context of immigration policy, this is an issue of state power to control boundaries and preserve national identity. The state also exercises penal power that justifies segregating and/or denying privileges to individuals faced with criminal sanctions. Citizenship is regulated not only through the direct exercise of force by the state, but also by educational systems, social norms, and private organizations. Exclusion is also the result of poverty, disability, and discrimination based on gender, race, age, and ethnic identity. This course will describe and examine the many forms of exclusion and inclusion that occur in contemporary democracies and raise questions about the purpose and justice of these processes. We will also explore models of social change that would promote more inclusive societies. This course will be conducted inside a correctional facility and enroll an equal number of Amherst students and residents of the facility. Permission to enroll will be granted on the basis of a questionnaire and personal interview with the instructor.

Psychology 321 Merrill 542-2318

PSYC 54 - Close Relationships
Catherine A. Sanderson
Tuesday  1:00-3:30 p.m.

An introduction to the study of close relationships using social-psychological theory and research. Topics will include interpersonal attraction, love and romance, sexuality, relationship development, communication, jealousy, conflict and dissolution, selfishness and altruism, loneliness, and therapeutic interventions. This is an upper-level seminar that requires intensive participation in class discussion and many written assignments.