Hampshire College Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies courses, Spring 2012
|Critical Social Inquiry||218 Franklin Patterson Hall||559-5548|
CSI 102 - Constitutionally Queer: Law, Politics & Sexuality
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Until 2003, consensual sex between adult same-gender partners was a crime in many of the United States. Most states and the Federal government still prohibit same-sex marriage and exclude nonconforming couples and individuals from a host of social and financial benefits automatically available to the straight. And those whose gender identity is transgressive face numerous legal indignities. Many forms of resistance (and backlash) have emerged to challenge (or reinforce) the normative assumptions of state control over sexuality and gender expression. Public confrontations between the values of traditional sexual morality, and those of individual autonomy and equality, take place in judicial, legislative and electoral arenas. By reading historical analyses and key cases that reflect and shape our debates about the proper place of the State in queer people's bedrooms and lives, we will gain basic familiarity with legal analysis, constitutional politics and the law as a historically contingent system of power.
CSI 144 – The Brown Woman's Burden
Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:20 p.m.
Colonial discourse in nineteenth century India held up the abject condition of women's lives as proof of the inferior nature of Indian society. Saving the 'brown woman' became the justification for colonial domination in India. Far from being relegated to the pages of history, this logic has been evoked repeatedly, most recently in the invasion of Afghanistan. This course will explore the consequences of this discourse for women's lives and feminist movements in colonial and ex-colonial societies, where the 'brown woman' has been forced to bear the double burden of foreign domination and cultural chauvinism. We will begin by exploring how the subject position of the Indian woman has been historically shaped by the conflicting forces of colonialism and nationalism. Next, we will study how this colonial legacy makes women's movements in India today susceptible to allegations of westernization by conservatives and nationalists. Finally, we will explore how America's war on terror justifies waging war on Muslim men in the name of 'saving' Muslim women.
CSI 231 – Portugal and the Indian Ocean Region (ca. 1500-1650)
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
This course explores the history of the Indian Ocean Region in the age of Portuguese colonization. We'll read primary sources as well as historical literature on the impact that Portugal's military presence in Goa had on trade relations and cultural exchanges between India, Africa, and the Middle East. A particular focus is on women and gender, and the impact Portuguese missions had on family structure and women's property rights. Other topics include the Jesuits' engagement with South Asian cultures and religions, the Mughal (Islamic) presence in South Asia, and the economic and cultural repercussions of colonization on Portuguese society. Mix of primary and secondary literature.
CSI 214 – United States Labor History
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30-1:50 p.m.
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 and essential component of concentrations in labor studies, political economy, American studies, and feminist studies.
CSI 215 – Politics of the Abortion Debate
Katherine C. Jones
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
Abortion rights continue to be contested in the U.S. and throughout the world. Since the legalization of abortion in the U.S. in 1973, there have been significant erosions in abortion rights and access to abortion. Harassment of abortion clinics, providers, and clinic personnel by opponents of abortion is routine, and there have been several instances of deadly violence. This course examines the abortion debate in the U.S., looking historically at the period before legalization up to the present. We explore the ethical, political and legal dimensions of the issue and investigate the anti-abortion and abortion rights movements. We view the abortion battle in the U.S. in the wider context of reproductive freedom. Specific topics of inquiry include: abortion worldwide, coercive contraception and sterilization abuse, welfare rights, population control, and the criminalization of pregnancy.
CSI 223 – Who’s Your Farmer: Exploring How Class, Race, Gender, and Sexuality Intersect With Agriculture
Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:20 p.m.
How has the representation of the "traditional family farm" influenced our current image of and narrative about farming? What is the relationship of this narrative to the recent upsurge of new farmers who are people of color, women, and queer people? How have class, race, gender, and sexuality related to agriculture in the past, and how is it playing out in the present? What are the implications for the separate but related movements for food security and food justice? This course will explore past and current representations of farming and farmers. Using an intersectional perspective of class, race, gender, and sexuality we will take a critical look at agriculture in the United States as well as the growing movement of first-generation farmers. While much of the course reading is based in social science scholarship, material will include fiction, popular and visual media, memoir, and documentary film.
CSI 239 – In a Queer Time and Place: Queer theory and the Politics of Temporality
Thursday 6:30-9:00 p.m.
In the last decade, the field of queer studies has made a turn towards re-thinking the politics of temporality. From Judith Halberstam's In A Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005) to Elizabeth Freeman's Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (2010), scholars are investigating the ways in which heteronormativity-and related dominant frameworks such as capitalism and colonialism-produce and reproduce an idealized sense of time that is linear and progress-oriented. At the same time, scholars are examining the ways in which LGBTQ subcultures "produce alternative temporalities by allowing their participants to believe that their futures can be imagined according to logics that lie outside of those paradigmatic markers of life experience-namely, birth, marriage, reproduction, and death" (Halberstam 1). How do queers queer time-through sex, art, gender, ritual, and kinship? Why do the politics of temporality matter at this historical moment? In this course, we will read recent scholarship in queer studies and look at case studies within queer subcultural practices and production. Attention will be paid to the politics of space/place as they relate to time, including notions of citizenship, migration, and diaspora.
CSI 255 – Making Class Visible
This course seeks visibility for issues of social class within the college "community." Drawing upon readings from anthropology and film studies, students will seek comparative perspective on social inequality at intersections of class, ethnicity, and gender practice in North America, and produce "home movie" style videos focusing on tensions that source to local class consciousness. Prerequisite: Some introductory level course in anthropology is required.
CSI 262 – Women on Top?: Understanding and Challenging Gender Hierarchy
in the Workplace
Monday 2:30-5:20 p.m.
For 30 years, women have earned college degrees at a higher rate than men. Why, then, does the average woman still earn $500,000 less over her lifetime than the average man? What accounts for the fact that only a handful of Fortune 500 CEOs are women? And what should we do about it? In this seminar-style course, we will address these questions with the help of Hampshire alumnae who have successfully navigated the challenges of the business world. Discussions with these women will provide first-hand insight into why the glass ceiling still exists and how it might be--and has been--broken. Throughout the course, we will ground these discussions in a critical, historical analysis of gender hierarchies in the workplace. This course is suitable for students interested in learning about how women become business leaders and/or students of Women's Studies, Gender Studies, Business, and Economics.
CSI 275 – Hopes and Fears: Religion, Gender and Possessions from
the Middle Ages Through the Industrial Revolution
Monday, Wednesday 4:00-5:20 p.m.
What can the hopes and fears of a given society tell us about it and ourselves? Did the gravest "sins" in old Europe involve food, money, or sex? Among the hallmarks of modernity were the rise of new social formations (classes) and the commercialization of daily activities and relations. Did traditional institutions and belief systems hamper or facilitate the changes? What roles did religious and national contexts play? Did the increase in the sheer number of "things" change the way people thought? What changes did the family and private life undergo? At the heart of the course is the concept of culture as a process through which individuals and groups struggle to shape and make sense of their social institutions and daily lives. A core course in history, the social sciences, and cultural studies. Background in European history recommended.
CSI 311 – Women and Work
Wednesday 9:00-11:50 a.m.
This research workshop examines case studies of the interrelationships of gender and capital, some located in specific practice, time and place, others directed toward theoretical critique and construction. We examine issues such as: the work lives of women in the home and workplace; the relationships between "paid" and "unpaid" work; the "feminization of poverty" and of policy; the growth of new professions, the service sector, and the global assembly line. This course is organized as a seminar with students assuming substantial responsibility for discussion. This course is designed for advanced Division II and Division III students. Prerequisite: Some background in feminist studies, political economy, history, or politics is expected.
|School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies||Emily Dickinson Hall||559-5362|
HACU 221 – History of Women and Feminism in the United States
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:50 p.m.
This course is designed to introduce you to the broad sweep of U.S. women's history from the era of the American Revolution to the passage of the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution. We will discuss women's response to the changing economic and social forces of their time and the ways in which an organized women's movement aided in their realizing their personal and political goals. Prominent in this class will be a consideration of regional, class, racial, and sexual differences among women.
HACU 235 – “Odd” Women: Gender, Class and Victorian Culture
Monday, Wednesday 1:00-2:20 p.m.
In this course, we will analyze a number of female "types" found in Victorian fiction, poetry, and criticism -- the governess, the fallen woman, the shopgirl, and the 'new woman', to name just a few -- who figure centrally in debates over marriage, work, and the changing position of women in nineteenth-century Britain. Although our reading will range from the late 1840s to the beginning of the twentieth century, we will focus primarily on two historical periods, the 1850s-1860s and the 1890s, during which the "woman question" was hotly debated in the press and in fiction. Topics for discussion will include the convergence of gender, sexuality and politics in late-Victorian feminist and socialist reform movements; the role of class in defining female experience; and women's conflicted participation in British imperialism.
HACU 292 – Cinematography and the City: The Politics of Landscape and the Body
Monday 6:30-9:00 p.m.
This film production/theory course will address cinematic representations of the body in relation to the architecture and space of cities including Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, London, Algiers, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Paris. We will consider the determining roles of the camera and the body within films that center on the performance of shifts in cultural identities, emphasizing the body as the primary site of negotiation of identity. We will question how cinematic languages function as aesthetic systems that reflect the ways in which the body is coded in terms of gender, race and class. Screenings include works by Tsai Ming-liang, Charles Burnett, Claire Denis, Wong Kar Wai, Tala Hadid, Jia Zhangke, Jean Vigo, Nagisa Oshima, Bernadette Corporation, Guy Debord and Abdellatif Kechiche as well as documentation of installation works by Masayuki Kawai, Isaac Julien, Francis Als and Mona Hatoum. The course will include workshops in cinematography and performance. Students may work in 16mm, Super 8, video and intermedia installation and will complete 2 projects. Instructor permission required.
HACU 327 – Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Digital Age
Wednesday 1:00-3:50 p.m.
This seminar will explore the interface of technology with gender and race, how the concepts of gender, race, and sexuality are embodied in technologies, and conversely, how technologies shape our notions of gender, race, and sexuality. It will examine how contemporary products - such as film, TV, video games, science fiction, social networking technologies, and biotech - reflect and mediate long-standing but ever-shifting anxieties about race, gender, and sexuality. The course will consider the following questions: How do cybertechnologies enter into our personal, social, and work lives? Do these technologies offer new perspectives on cultural difference? How does cyberculture reinscribe or rewrite gender, racial, and sexual dichotomies? Does it open up room for alternative identities, cultures, and communities? Does it offer the possibility of transcending the sociocultural limits of the body? Finally, what are the political implications of these digital technologies?
|Interdisciplinary Arts||Writing Center Building||559-5824|
IA 251 – Sexuality and Storytelling: Fiction Writing Workshop for Advanced Students
Monday 6:30 – 9:20 p.m.
Whether or not we agree with Freud's comparison of creative writing to masturbation, fiction about sexuality and desire is a useful tool for the study of literary craft, because in such fiction, the technical questions writers often ask ("What does the main character want?" "Where's the climax?") are explored in strikingly literal fashion. In this workshop, we will read and write fiction about all aspects of sexuality and desire, using the magnified stakes of sexual drama to see more clearly the elements important to all dramatic narratives. Students will write two pieces of fiction and other short assignments; in an atmosphere of serious, respectful honesty, they will also respond, orally and in writing, to one another's work. Suggested prior coursework could include a college-level creative writing course, as well as some background or active interest in gender studies, anthropology, queer theory, or human sexuality studies.
|School of Natural Science||Cole Science Center||559-5371|
NS 237 – Anthropology of the Body
Wednesday 1:00-3:40 p.m.
This course examines the historical, medical, and ethnographic shaping of women's bodies and identity. We start with understanding the differences between sex and gender and the construction of identity for women in antiquity, then move to contemporary times, charting major trends in the construction of identity and body image that have influenced (and continue to influence) the position and health of women historically and cross-culturally. The synergistic interface of biology and culture provides a framework for examining the social construction and subsequent deconstruction of such things as childbearing and rearing, fashion (corsets, foot binding), media representations, and body rituals in an interdisciplinary manner. We will examine the ways in which gender is both physiologically and socially constructed globally, and the important role that social institutions, ideology, and cultural practices play in creating and perpetuating problematic perceptions of the female body. These perceptions, in turn, often promote marginalized identities for women in today's society. Students will finish the term with a clearer understanding of the interrelationship of culture and biology in the structuring of identity, how health inequalities are generated and perpetuated, and how to think critically about the role of both the media and medicine in their perceptions of femininity and female identity.