UMass Departmental Courses, Spring 2012

Departmental courses automatically count towards the major or minor with the exception of 100-level courses, which only count towards the minor.  For additional courses covering applied areas of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, consult the Component Course section.

Afr0-American Studies 329 New Africa House  545-2751

AFROAM 326 – Black Women in US History
Cynara Robinson
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

The history of African American women from the experience of slavery to the present. Emphasis on the effect of racist institutions and practices on women. The ways in which women organized themselves to address the needs of African Americans in general and their own in particular. The achievements of such leaders as Mary Church Terrell, Harriet Tubman, Ella Baker, and Mary McLeod Bethune as well as lesser known women.  (Gen.Ed. HS, U)

AFROAM 697 – Writing Gender & Sexuality: Reconstruction, Post-Reconstruction
Britt Rusert
Tuesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.

This course will serve as an intensive introduction to African American literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, focusing on issues related to gender and sexuality during the period.  In addition to reading major—and some minor—texts, including works by Harriet Jacobs, Julia Collins, Harriet Wilson, Hannah Crafts, Charles Chesnutt, Frances E.W. Harper, Pauline Hopkins, Jean Toomer, W.E.B Du Bois, and others, we will survey recent critical turns in the field, including work on gender and sexuality in performance studies and queer studies.


Communications 407 Machmer Hall      545-1311

COMM 491A – Media & Construction of Gender
Lynn Phillips
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

This course draws on research and theory in psychology, sociology, gender and cultural studies, and related fields to examine how various forms of media shape our understandings of ourselves and others as gendered beings. We will discuss how media messages not only influence our behaviors, but also permeate our very senses of who we are from early childhood. Through a critical examination of fairy tales, text books, advertisements, magazines, television, movies, and music, students will explore the meanings and impacts of gendered messages as they weave with cultural discourses about race, class, sexuality, disability, age, and culture.

COMM 793L – Black Female Image in Cinema: Representation, Criticism and Authorship
Demetria Shabazz
Thursday 4:00-7:00 p.m.

See department for description.

COMM 794U – Politics of Sexual Representation
Lisa Henderson
Monday 3:35-6:25 p.m.

See department for description.


Comparative Literature 430 Herter Hall      545-0929

COMPLIT 592A – Medieval Women Writers
Elizabeth Petroff
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Selected medieval and Renaissance women writers from the point of view of current feminist theory. Writers include Marie de France, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Margery Kempe, Angela of Foligno, Sor Juana de la Cruz, Christine de Pizan. Themes of love and desire in women's writing; the models provided by Sappho, Plato, and the Bible; critical approaches derived from French feminism, feminist theologians, Marxist critiques, and object-relations theory.


Economics 1006 Thompson Hall      545-2590

ECON 348 - The Political Economy of Women
Lisa Saunders               
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

A critical review of neoclassical, Marxist, and feminist economic theories pertaining to inequality between men and women in both the family and the firm.

ECON 709 – Political Economy II
Nancy Folbre
Monday, Wednesday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

See department for description.


School of Education  124 Furcolo Hall      545-0234

EDUC 648 – Oppression & Education
Brenda Juarez
Wednesday 4:40-7:10 p.m.

See department for description.


English 170 Bartlett Hall      545-2332

ENGLISH 132 - Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture
Rachel Mordecai
Monday, Wednesday 4:40-5:30 p.m. plus discs on Thursday

This course investigates images of men and women in poetry, drama, and fiction. It aims at appreciating the literature itself, with increasing awareness of the ways in which men and women grow up, seek identity, mature, love, marry, and during different historical times, relate in families, classes, races, ethnic groups, societies, cultures. What are the conventional perspectives and relationships of “Man” and “Woman”? How does literature accept or question these conventions? What alternative perspectives and relationships are imagined in literature? (Gen Ed. AL, G)

ENG 297TT – Queer Writing
Christopher Hennessy, Rachel Katz
Tuesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

See department for description.


Germanic and Scandinavian Studies 513 Herter Hall      545-2350

GERMAN 393D – Race & Gender in German Cinema
Barton Byg
Lec Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
Lab. Monday 6:00-9:00 p.m.

German thought has provided both positive and extremely negative foundations for the representation of both race and gender since the 19th century. The course will analyze the German cinema in this context, from WEB DuBois's reception of German social philosophy and the birth of cinema in the colonial era, to the striking diversity of Weimar cinema, the violent suppression of diversity of Nazi cinema, and the broad range of post-WWII productions that relate to these legacies in changing historical circumstances. Screenings of both rare and classic films (Diary of a Lost Girl, Black Survivors of the Holocaust, Germanin, Toxi), lecture/discussion and critical readings. Regular journal writing assignments, in-class film analysis, two short papers, midterm and final exam. Conducted in English; no prerequisites.  Eligible for application toward the UMass Film Studies certificate.

GERMAN 695D – Bodies and Law in German Literature & Thought
Elke Heckner
Wednesday 6:00-8:30 p.m.

See department for description.


History Department 612 Herter Hall      545-1330

HISTORY 389 - US Women’s History Since 1890 (HSU)

Jacqueline Castledine
Monday, Wednesday 4:40-5:55 p.m.  

Explores the relationship of women to the social, cultural, economic and political developments shaping American society from 1890 to the present. Examines women's paid and unpaid labor, family life and sexuality, feminist movements and women's consciousness; emphasis on how class, race, ethnicity, and sexual choice have affected women's historical experience. Sophomore level and above.  (Gen.Ed. HS, U)


HISTORY 491E – Women in South Asia
Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

This course maps the history of women in South Asia from 1800 to the present.  Topics include: social, economic and cultural policies of the colonial state concerning women; the gendered nature of the social and religious reform movements; the development of women's education; and the gendered nature of consequences of the anti-colonial nationalist struggle.  We will discuss how the persistence of poverty, unemployment, and religious fundamentalism in post-colonial South Asia, primarily in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, has affected the lives of women.  Throughout the course, we will analyze the gradual development of a heterogeneous women's movement in colonial and post-colonial South Asia.  We will analyze both secondary readings and primary source documents.  We will also read relevant fictional pieces and view selected documentary and feature films to understand the divergent representations of women and gender in South Asia.


Judaic and Near Eastern Studies 744 Herter Hall      545-2550

JUDAIC 383 – Women, Gender, Judaism
Susan Shapiro
Tuesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

This course focuses on the shifting historical constructions (from biblical to contemporary times) of women's and men's gender roles and in Judaism and their cultural and social consequences.


Philosophy 352 Bartlett Hall      545-2330

PHIL 571 – Philosophy and Feminist Thought
Louise Antony
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Examination of philosophical issues arising from feminist analysis and feminist practice.  Topics include: feminist perspectives on theory of knowledge; feminist theories of autonomy; essentialism; multiculturalism; nationalism; cosmopolitanism; women's rights.


Political Science 218 Thompson Hall      545-2438

POLISCI 297W – Intro to Women & Politics in the USA
Maryann Barakso
Lec Monday, Wednesday, Friday 11:15-12:05, plus discs on Friday

This class constitutes the first of two introductory courses on women and politics.  This course examines women's political incorporation in the United States primarily, but not exclusively, with respect to electoral politics.  We explore women's pre-suffrage political activities before delving into the campaign for women's suffrage. We study the effects of achieving suffrage on women's political behavior during the period immediately following their achievement of the right to vote and beyond. The relationship between women and party politics will be probed before discussing the challenges women still face as as candidates in state and federal legislatures in the U.S.  The extent to which women's participation in campaigns and elections makes a substantive difference in policy making is considered.  Subsequent discussions examine the role women's organizations currently play in expanding women's political representation in the U.S. 


Public Health & Health Sciences 101 Arnold House      545-4530

PUBHLTH 214 - Peer Health Education II
April McNally, Amanda Vann
Tues, Thurs 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Using skills and knowledge from PUBHLTH 213, students will plan events, use technology and facilitate programs on contemporary health issues.  Advanced skills in facilitation, public speaking, program planning and group dynamics will be put into practice through various class assignments.  Some evening work required.  Prerequisites:  PUBHLTH 213 and consent of instructor.


Psychology 441 Tobin Hall   545-2383

PSYCH 391ZZ - Psychology of the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Experience
John Bickford
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

Students in this course will explore psychological theory and research pertaining to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Topics include sexual orientation, sexual identity development, stigma management, heterosexism & homonegativity, gender roles, same-sex relationships, LGB families, LGB diversity, and LGB mental health.

Sociology 710 Thompson Hall      545-0577

SOCIOL 106 - Race, Gender, Class and Ethnicity  (SBU)                       

  1. Noriko Milman –Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-9:15 a.m.
  2. Staff - Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:00-8:50 a.m.
  3. Staff – Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30-3:20 p.m.

Introduction to sociology. Analysis of how the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, and social class affect people's lives in relation to political power, social status, economic mobility, interactions with various subgroups in American society, etc. Emphasis on the role of social institutions and structural-level dynamics in maintaining these identities and areas of inequality.

SOCIOL 222 - The Family  (SBU)                                                                     

  1. Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30-3:20 p.m.
  2. Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:15 p.m.

                                                                                                                                      Using lectures and discussion groups, we will explore how we define family, the ways we construct families, and the relationship between our families and larger social forces. Beginning with an examination of the history of families, we will look at changes in seemingly impersonal forces that are associated with changes in personal relations--between partners and spouses, between parents and children, among extended kin. Then we will turn to contemporary families across the life course, looking at the choice of a partner and experiences in marriage, parenting and childhood, and marital dissolution. Throughout, we will discuss differences--by gender, by race, and by class. Throughout we will attend to the social forces that shape these personal experiences.

SOCIOL 344 – Gender and Crime
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:05-9:55 a.m.

The extent and causes of gender differences in crime, from the "streets" to the "suites." Topics include problems in the general measurement of crime, historical and cross-cultural differences in the gender gap, the utility of general theories of the causes of crime in explaining the continuing gender gap, and a detailed look at the question and magnitude of gender discrimination in the American criminal justice system.

SOCIOL 383 - Gender and Society

  1. staff – Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-9:15 a.m.
  2. staff – Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Sociological analyses of women's and men's gendered experiences, through examination of: 1) historical and cross-cultural variations in gender systems; 2) contemporary interactional and institutional creation and internalization of gender and maintenance of gender differences; 3) how gender experiences vary by race/ethnicity, social class and other differences. Biological, psychological, sociological and feminist theories are examined.

SOCIOL 384 – The Sociology of Love
Barbara Tomaskovic-Devey
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  1:25-2:15 p.m.

The Sociology of Love looks at a subject that we all take for granted, but none of us understand. Love is both a physiological state and a socially constructed experience. We will examine the major bio-chemical, psychological, and sociological theories that have attempted to explain the causes and nature of love and attraction. We will also look at the social construction of love through Western history, as well as in other cultures, and at the complex relationships that exist between love, "courtship", marriage, and sexuality. We will conclude with a look at contemporary social constructions of love, sex and relationships.

SOCIOL 387 - Sexuality and Society (SB U)
Amy Schalet
Monday, Wednesday 4:40-6:10 p.m.

The many ways in which social factors shape sexuality. Focus on cultural diversity, including such factors as race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual identity in organizing sexuality in both individuals and social groups. Also includes adolescent sexuality; the invention of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality; the medicalization of sexuality; and social theories about how people become sexual. 

SOCIOL 793R – Critical Race Theory
Agustin Lao-Montes
Tuesday 4:45-7:15 p.m.

See department for description.