Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Spring 2013 Departmental Courses

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

Afro-American Studies 329 New Africa House  545-2751

AFROAM 491C - Cuba: Social History of Race, Class, & Gender
Karen Morrison
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

This undergraduate seminar focuses on two central questions: What were the social conditions in which the Cuban Revolution emerged and how have these conditions been transformed since 1959? We will explore the tremendous variety within Cuban society and the historical situations that engendered it. The course highlights the ways in which Cubans have engaged with colonialism, slavery, global economic integration, nationalism, gender, and race. The class will also assist students in honing their historical-analysis and critical-thinking skills as they examine the major historiographic trends related to the above issues.

Anthropology Department 215 Machmer Hall 545-5939

ANTHRO 205 – Inequality and Oppression (SB, U)
Lisa Modenos
Monday, Wednesday 10:10-11:00 a.m. plus discussions Wed, Thurs, Fri

The roots of racism and sexism and the issues they raise. The cultural, biological, and social contexts of race and gender and examination of biological variation, genetic determinism, human adaptation, and the bases of human behavior.

ANTHRO 597U – Gender, Nation & Body Politics
Amanda Johnson
Tuesdays 9:30-12:30 1:00-4:00

In this seminar, we will examine feminist theorizations, critiques and accounts of gender and sexuality in the context of nation-state formations, colonization, globalization, and migration, specifically interrogating "the body" as a marker of nation identity, a target of power, a site of resistance, an "object" of inscription and commodification, as well as a locus for generating knowledge, both "scientific" and "experiential". We will discuss works on issues such as racialization, labor, citizenship, heteronormativity, reproduction, schooling, and incarceration, as well as consider the role anthropology and ethnography in both understanding and enacting political engagements with these issues.

Classics Department 524 Herter Hall 545-0512

CLASSICS 335 – Women in Antiquity
Teresa Ramsby
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Lives, roles, contributions, and status of women in Greek and Roman societies, as reflected in classical literature and the archaeological record.  (Gen.Ed HA)

Communications 407 Machmer Hall      545-1311

COMM 397VV – Women in Cinemas of the African Diaspora
Demetria Shabazz
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

African and black women filmmakers have been active since
the early part of the 20th century and currently, there are
scores of African and black women who consistently produce
film and video works as well as commercial Television
programs. Films made by women of color are constructed in a variety of
forms such as animation, documentary, experimental, and
narrative. The women also bring a unique perspective to the
stories they choose to record. The course will study the
representation, authorship, and spectator‐ position of
gender, ethnicity and race in relationship to the cinema
especially as it applies to the image of Black women.
The course will examine multiple filmic and written works
that are influenced by post‐ colonial, post‐ modern, feminist
and womanist theories highlighting major events, aesthetic
movements, and developments within contemporary cinematic

COMM 394RI – Race, Gender and the Sitcom
Demetria Shabazz
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

This course examines the situation comedy from sociological and artistic perspectives. We will seek, first of all, to understand how situation-comedy is a rich and dynamic meaning-producing genre within the medium of television. Secondly we will work to dissect narrative structures, and the genre's uses of mise-en-scene, cinematography/ videography, editing, and sound to create specific images of the family through social constructions of race, class, and gender. In addition we will use various critical methods such as semiotics, genre study, ideological criticism, cultural studies, and so on to interrogate why the sitcom form since its inception in the 1950s has remained one of the most popular genres for audiences and industry personnel alike and assess what the genre might offer us in terms of a larger commentary on notions of difference and identity in the US and beyond.  Satisfies the IE require for BA-Comm majors.

COMM 491A 494GI – Media & Construction of Gender
Lynn Phillips
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.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.


Comparative Literature 430 Herter Hall      545-0929

COMP LIT 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      545-3815

ECON 348 - The Political Economy of Women
1. Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45   Nancy Folbre                                  
2. Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.   Lisa Saunders

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
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.

Presents the leading and contending Marxian theories of society and knowledge. Class and value analysis of capitalist institutions, markets, and economy stressed.  Comparison between capitalist and non-capitalist societies examined.

School of Education  125 Furcolo Hall      545-0234

EDUC 752 – Gender Issues in International Education
Jacqueline Mosselson
Wednesday 9:00-12:00

Impact of national economic and social development on women's role and status, especially in Third World countries.  Analysis of educational strategies for promoting equal participation of women in this process.

English 170 Bartlett Hall      545-2332

ENGLISH 132 - Gender, Sexuality, Literature and Culture
Suzanne Daly
Monday, Wednesday 4:40-5:30 p.m. plus discussions 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)

ENGLISH 297AB – Difference and Desire:  Writing the Queer Self
Christopher Hennessy, Rachel Katz
Wednesday  4:40-7:10 p.m.

In this course, we will explore the term “queer writing,” asking what it is, who makes it, how it works. We’ll explore the intersection of queer writing, queer identity, and queer rhetorical action, and will play with and produce our own queer texts.

French and Francophone Studies  314 Herter Hall      545-2314

FRENCH 280 – Love & Sex in French Culture
Patrick Mensah
Tuesday, Thursday 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Course taught in English.  This course offers a broad historical overview of the ways in which love and erotic behavior in French culture have been represented and understood in the arts, especially in Literature and, more recently, in film, from the middle ages to the twentieth century. (Gen.Ed. AL)


History Department 612 Herter Hall      545-1330

HISTORY 389 - US Women’s History Since 1890 (HSU)
Laura Lovett
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-1:50, Discussions Wednesdays

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 397W – History of Reproductive Rights in the US
Joyce Berkman
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15

This course offers students an opportunity to understand the historical development of ideas, people's behavior, and various controversies and debates regarding reproductive rights. We will investigate relevant social and political movements and their leaders, major laws and court decisions, as well as the impact of media and arts. Tracing the evolution of reproductive attitudes, practices and regulations since the colonial era, class lectures and discussions will explore individuals' attitudes and practices arising from differences in race, ethnicity, and socio-economic class, political and religious affiliations.

HISTORY 491E – Women in South Asia
Priyanka Srivastava
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30-3:20

This course explores the histories of women in South Asia from 1800 to the present. Using a combined thematic and chronological approach we will examine the following: the gendered social and economic policies of the British colonial state, women and social reform movements; debates about women's education, women and identity politics, and the gendered language of anti-colonial nationalism(s). Throughout the course, we will analyze the development of a heterogeneous women's movement in colonial and post-colonial South Asia.

HISTORY 593F – US & European Women & Gender History Through Fiction
Joyce Berkman
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.

This Junior Year Writing Seminar on US and European women's history through fiction will explore the ways that novels, plays, short stories, and poems incorporate, respond to and reflect in their style and content historical and geographical realities for women. We will examine the historical and biographical context for an author's work and her or his anticipated and actual audience. We will also study scholarly critical analyses of the relationships between fiction and history.

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.

Legal Studies Thompson Hall     545-2438

LEGAL 391G – Women and the Law
Diana Yoon
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30 p.m.

How have legal scholars addressed the status of women in society?  We will consider different approaches to thinking about women and the law, discussing the significance of law with respect to topics such as reproductive health issues, education and the workplace.

Political Science 218 Thompson Hall      545-2438

POLISCI 297WH – Introduction to Women & Politics in the USA
Maryann Barakso
Tuesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

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 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.

POLISCI 375H – Feminist Theory & Politics
Wednesday 3:35-6:05 p.m.

A theoretical consideration of different feminisms including liberal-feminism, socialist-feminism, anarcha-feminism, radical feminism and eco-feminism. Also examines: the relation between feminist theory and practice; the historical development of feminism; feminist issues within the canon of political theory; the problem of identity and difference(s) as related to race, class, and gender.

Public Health & Health Sciences 408 Arnold House      545-4603

PUBHLTH 490EW/690EW – Epidemiology of Women’s Health
Katherine Reeves
Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:30

This course provides an overview of current issues in the epidemiology of women's health throughout the life cycle.  Students will explore how epidemiologic methods are used to evaluate factors influencing reproductive health, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other common disorders in women.  Students will learn basic quantitative methods, study design concepts, and critical thinking skills.

PUBHLTH 582 – Family Planning/Women’s Health
Aline Gubrium
Wednesdays 12:20-3:05

The interface of social and clinical issues, health policy, research, and community health education in the area of women's health across the lifespan. Also open to seniors from the Five Colleges.

PUBHLTH 591L – Reproductive Epidemiology
Brian Whitcomb
Tuesday 4:00-6:30 p.m.

See department for description.

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)                       
Kristina Watkins
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:10-11:00

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. Naomi Gerstel: Tuesday, Thursday 11:15-12:05 plus discs Friday
  2. Staff:  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
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
Tuesday, Thursday 8:00-9:15 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 387 - Sexuality and Society (SB U)
Amy Schalet
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 2:30-3:20 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 794D – Gender and Employment
Michelle Budig
Thursday 9:30-12:00 p.m.

This seminar provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for understanding economic inequality by gender in the United States. Students should be able to articulate how the respective theories contribute to our understanding of economic inequality by gender and are expected to offer critiques of each of the theoretical perspectives we cover. This seminar aims to introduce students to the empirical literature on labor market inequality in the United States. Students should be able to describe current trends, including the overall growth in income and wage inequality that occurred in the 1980s in the U.S., and the current gap in income and wages. A third goal of this seminar is to push forward the research agendas of the students in the class by working towards a publishable paper or fundable grant proposal.