Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Spring 2014 Graduate Level Courses

These courses will count as electives towards the Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies and will fulfill either the transnational/critical race OR disciplinary/interdisciplinary approaches requirement.  We have designated for which elective we think each course should count.  If you want it to count for a different elective than the one designated, we will ask you to submit the syllabus and write up an explanation of your work in the course and why it fulfills the requirement. Updates to this list will show in red. Please check the Certificate information on the website for further information.

Transnational/Critical Race

AFROAM 601 – Slavery
Monday 12:00-2:30 p.m.
Manisha Sinha

This seminar will focus on the rise of slavery in the United States until its destruction during the Civil War.  We shall study slavery as a political and economic institution as well as a day to day lived experience. Within this historical framework, the emphasis will be on broad themes and interpretations: for example, the construction of the concept of "race" and the debate over the origins of slavery, the nature of slave communities and culture, gender and slavery, slavery in a comparative perspective, the significance of slave resistance and the politics of slavery.  The format of the course is discussion.

ANTHRO 597CR – Critical Race Theory
Amanda Johnson
Thursday  1:00-3:00 p.m.

In this course, we will examine the genealogy of works in "critical race theory," including foundational texts defining "racism" and the contexts of racial inequality. We will consider works challenging commonsense and scientific constructions of race, those mapping the intersections of race and other subjectivities, particularly gender and class. In the course, we will examine the contradictions, tensions, and silences in critical race theory, while honoring its intention to not only develop a vocabulary for understanding race and racism, but also employ scholarship for the cause social justice.

ENGL 891CF – Carribean Family Sagas
Tuesday 10:30-1:00 p.m.
Rachel Mordecai

This seminar will investigate how the conventions of family saga are deployed to ease anxieties of belonging among contemporary subjects (whose ability to claim the Caribbean as home-space is disrupted by racial alienation, fractured genealogies, and the historical traumas of colonization and slavery) and authorize or problematize the formation of modern Caribbean nation-states. Primary texts will be drawn from the anglophone, hispanophone and francophone Caribbean; titles may include V.S. Reid’s New Day, Patrick Chamoiseau’s Texaco, Lawrence Scott’s Witchbroom, Rosario Ferré’s House on the Lagoon, Dionne Brand’s At the Full and Change of the Moon, Gisèle Pineau’s The Drifting of Spirits, and Maryse Condé’s Tree of Life. Secondary readings will address relevant issues in Caribbean cultural theory and the family saga as a genre.

HISTORY 594AZ (#58097) – Black Women and Political 19th Century Thought Tuesday, Thursday  1:00-2:15 p.m.
Irene Krauthamer

See department for description.

Disciplinary/Interdisciplinary Approaches

COMM 593B (#58948) – Fashion, Media, Culture and Style
Monday 3:35-6:35 p.m.
Anne Ciecko

This seminar examines fashion (and the aesthetics of the clothed body and projected identity) as a socio-cultural phenomenon represented in the media, film, art, and literature.  This interdisciplinary and international overview of critical fasion studies will incporate diverse texts, case studies, theoretical perspectives, and analytical tools. 

COMP-LIT 592A (#50656) – 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.

EDUC 595G - LGBT Issues in Education
(CPE online course, register at umassulearn.net)
Maria Gonzalez

See Spire for description


HISTORY 593J (#58484) – Medieval Women
Monday, Wednesday, Friday  2:30-3:20 p.m.
Anna Taylor

This course will examine experiences, representations, and writings of women in western Europe between the fifth and fifteenth centuries.

POLSCI 791PG (#58506) – History of US Social Policy, Politics of Gender
Wednesday  12:30-3:00 p.m. 
Elizabeth Sharrow
This interdisciplinary course, designed for students in both Political Science and History, will concentrate on approaches to the study of the history of U.S. public policy aimed at addressing social and political inequalities.  We will explore the methods, findings, and controversies in research about public policy in American politics, history, and political science from a range of theoretical and methodological perspectives and approaches.  Readings will focus our attention on policies aimed at the overlapping axes of marginalization on the basis of gender, race, class, and sexuality, in particular.  Throughout the course, we will analyze the ways in which policy, over time, has come to address issues and discrimination in intersectional ways, defining politically-relevant categories, identities, and forms of marginalization, such as gender, sex, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and ideological and partisan identification.  Students will write a short reaction paper every other week, make two short presentations, and write a research paper that they will present to the class.  POLSCI and HISTORY doctoral grad students. 
PUBHLTH 582 – Family Planning/Women’s Health
Wednesday  12:20-3:05 p.m. 
Aline Gubrium

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 690F – Social Justice
Friday  12:20-3:05 p.m.
Aline Gubrium

See department for description. 


PUBP&ADM 697CW/ SOCIOL 795G  – Comparative Welfare Policy
Thursday  9:30-12:00 p.m. 
Joya Misra

The welfare state is a central site for analyses of citizenship, inequality and politics. Indeed, research on welfare states is a key lens through which to examine major theoretical questions around politics and inequality. In this course, you will be introduced to a number of enduring debates in the study of welfare states. What factors support the development and expansion of the welfare state? Do welfare states mediate or institutionalize inequalities of class, race/ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, etc.? How do welfare states vary across countries or regions? How do they change over time? What factors support the restructuring or retrenchment of the welfare state? Are welfare states still relevant in an increasingly globalized world?


The following courses have content of interest to our graduate students, but do not fulfill certificate requirements.

AFROAM 690J – Passing
Monday  12:00-2:30 p.m.
Steven Tracy

This course will focus on different manifestations of passing from the 19th to the 21st centuries, examining motivations, methods, and outcomes in the context of race, class, gender, sexuality, and literary aesthetic. 

HISTORY 601 (#52019) – European Historiography
Monday  2:30-5:00 p.m.
Jennifer Heuer

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to a variety of the best recent historical writing on modern Europe. The topics range from the French Revolution to recent debates over German history in relation to the Holocaust and global-history perspectives on Europe's past. Included are classic questions such as explaining the French Revolutionary Terror and the rise of the Nazis as well as new inquiries into the history of private life, gender, and collective memory. Besides participating in weekly discussions, each student will write a book review and a review essay, present a commentary on the readings to the class, and write a paper on a historiographical methodology or style. Students who are not concentrating in European history may learn much that could be useful from the approaches and methodological thinking of leading European historians.


PUBP&ADM 697SM – Social Movements and Public Policy
Tuesday  3:00-5:30 p.m.
Steven Boutcher
Protest is a common feature of American political and social life. Social Movements are often believed to be effective vehicles for policy change. In this course we will evaluate this claim by understanding the role of social movements in the policy process. We will examine the dynamics of social movements—analyzing the conditions that give rise to them, shape their development, and the ultimate impact that they have on politics and American society. This seminar is largely organized around theoretical discussions of movement dynamics with empirical examples across a variety of movements.   This course has two main objectives: 1) to provide a theoretical foundation for how social scientists study social movements and collective action; 2) to critically evaluate the relationship between public policy and social movements.
SOCIOL 795G – Relational Economic Equality
Tuesday 9:30-12:00 p.m.
Donald Tomaskovic-Devey

The course is an introduction to economic sociology, with a particular focus on relational and organizational models of inequality generation and distribution. Markets as both networks and institutions forms a central intellectual substrate to the course material. Organizations  and their political-economic context are stressed as the core distribution
mechanisms. Markets, organizations, class, gender, race and power are recurring themes.