Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies
Spring 2014 Hampshire College WGSS Courses

CS 278  – Sex on the Brain: Gender, Sex, and Biology
Monday, Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 am
Jane Couperus

This course is designed to examine sex, gender, and sexuality in multiple contexts. The primary aim of this course is to develop an understanding of the biology and neuropsychology of sex gender and sexuality. Additionally the course will examine how biological and environmental factors influence sex gender and sexuality across development and how these factors influence differences in brain and behavior. Course requirements will include reading primary research articles in the fields of psychology neuroscience sociology anthropology and women's studies. Students will also be asked to conduct library research write several short response and review papers and conduct a larger research project. Students are not required to have a scientific background but they are asked to be open to reading and evaluating scientific research.

 

Critical Social Inquiry                                  218 Franklin Patterson Hall                559-5548

CSI 119  – Material Culture, Commodities and Consumption
in Africa and the African Diaspora
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 -10:20 a.m.
R. Engmann
component

What is the connection between the consumption of colonial postcards in Senegal, cosmetic products in Zimbabwe, African-American bric-a-brac during segregation, second-hand clothing in Zambia, Coca-Cola in Trinidad, and African art in New York? This course examines two central themes for material culture studies: commodities and consumption. Consumption is a process that enables people to reproduce themselves as social beings, as well as the maintenance and reproduction of social relationships, giving commodities 'value'. This course adopts an historical approach, tracing the evolution of the study of commodities and consumption in Africa and the African Diaspora. How does object consumption take on new meanings in different historical, political, social and economic contexts? How does the consumption of objects document ties spanning the seemingly remote into the global community? What is the relationship between consumption, commodities and identity? Adopting approaches from the disciplines of history, archaeology, anthropology and material culture studies, we explore the consumption of commodities as a politicized process addressing issues such as colonialism, globalization, citizenship, race, ethnicity, class, gender, power and inequality.

CSI 169 – Migration through Film
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30 -11:50 a.m.
L. Keough
component

The dramatic increase in transnational migrations has prompted new debates by policymakers, activists, and scholars over the expanding global economy, cultural diversity and tolerance, and national and human security. We cannot intelligently engage these debates without first understanding the reasons for these migrations and the perspectives of migrants themselves. Using documentaries, feature films, and ethnographic works, this course will explore a variety of migrant lives and the processes that structure them. Why do people decide to go abroad? What effect does their migration have on communities at home? What is it like to be a migrant worker; to grow up as the "second generation"; to have a transnational family? What are the conditions of trafficked women and refugees? And finally, how do these experiences differ according to geography, citizenship, class, gender, age, ethnicity, race and religion? Through class discussions and analytic essays, students in the course will critically explore transnationalisms and compare and contrast the ways migrants are represented in films, public discourse, and in anthropology.

CSI 178 – Race and the Queer Politics of the Prison State
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
S. Dillon

This course explores the history and politics of gender and sexuality in relation to the racial politics of prisons and the police. By engaging recent work in queer studies, feminist studies, transgender studies, and critical prison studies, we will consider how prisons and police have shaped the making and remaking of race, gender, and sexuality from slavery and conquest to the contemporary period. We will examine how police and prisons have regulated the body, identity, and populations, and how larger social, political, and cultural changes connect to these processes. While we will focus on the prison itself, we will also think of policing in a more expansive way by analyzing the racialized regulation of gender and sexuality on the plantation, in the colony, at the border, in the welfare office, in the hospital, among other spaces, historical periods, and places.

CSI 211 – Queerness and Capitalism
S. Dillon
Monday, Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.

In his 1983 essay "Capitalism and Gay Identity," John D'Emilio argued that homosexuality was made possible by the rise of capitalism. Since then, queer scholars have worked to explore more fully the relationship between economics and sexuality. This course will explore debates in queer studies about Marxism; race and class; capital and immigration; neoliberalism and gay rights; labor and queer identity; anti-capitalism and trans politics; among others. We will begin reading selections from Marx's Capital: Vol. 1 to understand the foundation of the study of capitalism, and then we will explore the ways that queer scholars, artists, and activists have modified, challenged, and rewritten Marxist theories, or invented entirely new conceptions of the economic.

CSI 221  – Culture, Politics, and Policy in Europe
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
L. Keough
component

Traditionally anthropology has been conceived as the study of non-Western cultures, but contemporary critical approaches focus the ethnographic lens on Europe. This move was accompanied, perhaps even prompted, by an historic shift in anthropology from studying self-contained "communities" to questioning the construction of geographic categories such as "Europe" itself. After exploring this shift, this course examines the on-the-ground effects of recent political, economic, and cultural transformations here and individual roles in these changes. Themes to explore include the fall of communism or "postsocialism", new transnational migrations, rising multiculturalisms and xenophobias, European Union integration, and neoliberalism. Throughout, we will keep a close eye on the dynamic intersections of race, class, gender, citizenship, and ethnicity. Students will explore these themes through close reading of several ethnographies and careful study of a few films, class discussions and short writing assignments, and an independent research paper on a topic of their choice.

CSI 237  – Organizing in the Whirlwind:  Twentieth Century Social Movements
Monday, Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.
Amy Jordan
component

This course will explore the organizing efforts of African-Americans during the twentieth century. We will examine activism in both rural and urban sites and in cross-class, middle-class and working-class organizations. The readings will provide critical perspectives on how class, educational status, and gender shape the formation, goals, leadership styles and strategies of various movements. Some of the movements include the lobbying and writing of Ida B. Wells, the cross-regional efforts of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the post-WWII radical union movement in Detroit and the local 1199 hospital workers union movement in New York. By extending our exploration over the course of the twentieth century, we will trace the development of various organizing traditions and consider their long-term impact on African-American political activism and community life. A perspective that consistently engages the ways in which African Americans respond and locate themselves within larger global transformations will provide an important frame for our discussions.

CSI 251  – “Cheap Labor” to “Terror Suspect”:
South Asian Migration and U.S. Racial Formation
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:50 p.m.
S. Reddy
component

This course focuses on the political, economic, ideological, social and cultural dimensions of South Asian migration to the United States as a case study for investigating processes of U.S. racial formation. In particular, we will unpack both the "exceptionality" of elite migration form South Asia (the "model minority") and the post-9/11 category of South Asian/Arab/Muslim within the larger context of South Asian diaspora (hi)stories. We will begin, roughly, with Indian labor migration with the system of British colonial indenture in the Americas, proceed through the "free" labor migration of workers in the colonial and post-colonial period, and conclude with the place of South Asia and South Asians in the US-led war on terror. Our approach will be interdisciplinary, working with social theory and history as well as literature, film, and music. Our primary analytic lens will be critical race theory, broadly construed to interrogate the interrelationships between hierarchies of race, gender, class, sexuality, nation and religion.

CSI 253 – Disturbing Desire:  Proust, Woolf, Lacan
Anne Rogers, Jill Lewis
Tuesday, Thursday 9:00 -10:20 a.m.

In this course we will read writers who disturb experiences of memory, perception, the body and desire itself, rupturing a familiar, stable 'reality', and offering in its stead the elusive workings of the unconscious. The fiction of Proust and Woolf uniquely leaves a trace of this process of disturbance, a rich vein of language in which each maps and remaps the shifting shoreline of consciousness and desire - processes that change engagement with the world. Their work interrogates the routines and habits that disallow ambivalence and fluidity. Each explores spaces from which change can emerge, as the closure of social conventions and habits of gender become productively disturbed and critically remapped. In Lacan's work, we will explore desire as founded in radical loss and lack, the chaining of signifiers in language as key to the way the unconscious reveals itself, and creativity as a particular response to desire. Students should anticipate a challenging reading process. After engaging with the texts and responding to the art of Proust and Woolf through discussion and short papers, each student will undertake a creative project of her or his own and write about their process of creativity. Readings will include Woolf's short fiction, To the Lighthouse and The Waves; readings from Proust's The Way by Swann’s and In the shadow of Young Girls in Flower, and excerpts from The Prisoner and the Fugitive and Time Regained (using new Penguin edition translations), as well as Lacanian theories of sexuality and selections from Lacan’s crits.

CSI 256  – Framing Climate Change:  Who’s Taking the Heat for Global Warming?
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00-3:20 p.m.
Elizabeth Hartmann
component

Climate change is one of the most important environmental, social, economic and political challenges of our time. While there is now widespread scientific agreement about its causes, considerable controversy exists over its potential effects and what measures should be taken to address it. This course will look at the competing ways climate change is framed by different actors, including governments, international agencies, energy companies, militaries, environmental movements, celebrities, politicians, and social justice activists. What rhetorical and political strategies do different actors employ? How is popular culture implicated? How do race, gender and economic inequalities shape vulnerabilities and responses to climate change nationally and internationally?

CSI 259 – Urban Ethnographies in the Middle East
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:20 pm
H. Bou Akar
component

In this advanced seminar we will focus on thinking about the Middle East, its politics and geographies, through reading and engaging with a fine collection of contemporary ethnographies of urban life in the region. The course requires reading and engaging both orally and in written form with one book per week. The selected ethnographies discuss a range of issues in different cities in the Middle East: from gendered neighborhood politics to the regional Arab-Israeli conflict, from piety to secular aspirations, from consent to protest, from poetry to music, and from archaeology to construction. Building on these on-ground readings emerging from the Middle East, we will interrogate constructed notions of statehood and modernities, religion and secularism, public and private, gender and masculinity, social movements and militarization, wealth and poverty, peace and conflict, and histories and futures.

CSI 262  – Women on Top?  Understanding and Challenging
Gender Hierarchy in the Workplace
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:20 p.m.
Megan Briggs Lyster

Since 1982, women have earned college degrees at a higher rate than men. Yet in 2011, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and in 2013 only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. This course is designed to provide students with ideas, information, and insights about women's experiences in business. The course will look at women's experiences both historically and currently, exploring the dynamics of power, leadership and access, and considering how this may inform and shape strategies to change the landscape for women in business. Joining us throughout the semester will be a range of Hampshire alumnae and friends who have successfully navigated careers in the business world. Students in the course will also have the opportunity to consider the ways in which their future goals may intersect with business, either directly or indirectly.

CSI 279  – Death from Childbirth?  Millennial Development Goals and Exploring the Role of Health Disparities and Childbirth in Understanding Global Female Health
Monday, Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.
Pamela Stone

This course examines the biological, cultural, and political frameworks that put females at risk for high rates of morbidity and mortality. Using the (8) Millennial Development Goals (MDGs) set by the United Nations and its partners to frame our conversations, we will work to understand the UNs targeted programs. We will unpack the complex global issues that reproductive aged women face, and investigate how obstetric death rates can be used as a litmus test to understanding the underlying health contexts, disparities, and political/cultural systems that impact wellness. We will juxtapose the roles of biological health, specifically pregnancy and birth, with cultural practices, to consider other factors that adversely impact women's health including: endemic and epidemic diseases, domestic violence, and structural violence. Through this course we will aim to understand the larger contexts and complexities of improving and supporting reproductive aged women's health and wellness as we near the MDGs target date of 2015.

CSI – 297 – Globalization and Contemporary Art
Thursday  7:00-10:00 p.m.
L. Falk
component

This course will look at globalization and contemporary art through the lens of border culture, a term that refers to the "deterritorialized" nature of a subject when she is removed from her context or place of origin. Her themes include borders within the realms of language, gender, ideology, race, and genres of cultural production. Border culture emerged in the 1980s in Tijuana/San Diego in a community of artists who had spent many years living outside their homelands or living between two cultures-an experience that in 2014 might well represent the nature of contemporary life as well as cultural praxis.

School of Humanities,
Arts and Cultural Studies                          12 Emily Dickinson Hall                         559-5362

HACU 115 – Bent Not Broken:  A History of Queer Cinema
Wednesday 1:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Tuesday 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
J. Rosskam

With an emphasis on American experimental and avant-garde works, this introductory level course will explore one path through the complex and winding history of queer cinema. We will examine some central texts in queer, feminist, and film theory in order to fully consider what makes a film queer, as opposed to gay/lesbian. Students will be required to write weekly response papers, a 10-page analytical paper, and complete an in-class presentation. Some of the filmmakers works we may view include: Derek Jarman, Kenneth Anger, Su Friedrich, Barbara Hammer, Sadie Benning, Yvonne Rainer, Marlon Riggs, Isaac Julien, Gregg Araki, Wu Tsang.

 

HACU 149  – Self-made Men:  Masculinity and the American Novel
Monday, Wednesday 10:30-11:50 a.m.
S. Branson

The history of the novel in America has always been intertwined with the production of an image of the American man. From Hawthorne's attempt to best the "mobs of scribbling women" to the idealized loner cowboy, from the hard-boiled journalistic prose of Hemingway to the maximalist and misogynist rantings of Roth, we might say that the epitome of the American self-made man is the novelistic protagonist. In this course, we will combine literary study and gender theory to begin to examine the myth of the American man, considering both how it is constructed and undermined in American literature. We will pay particular attention to the function of sexual and racial difference - and its erasure - in the idealization of the male protagonist (and author). Readings will draw from a range of texts from the 19th-century to the present, including short stories and novels by Melville, Hemingway, Chandler, Wright, O'Connor, Baldwin, Roth, Diaz and Wallace.

HACU 172 – Commodities of Desire: 
Gendered Signs, Racialized Representations and Popular Culture
Tuesday, Thursday 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.
S. Loza

How does popular culture reproduce gendered identities and racialized difference(s)? By critically investigating racial stereotypes and hetero-sexist conventions within the varied field of popular culture (images, texts, and sounds), we can begin to understand and analyze how race and sexuality structure our desires and code our cultures. This course will employ Cultural Studies and Women's Studies to examine how the themes of exotification, hybridity, authenticity, cultural appropriation, essentialism, and liberal humanism circulate within the popular imaginary. In the process, we will consider the following questions: Can the consumption of popular culture be more ethical and active? What are the politics of production and consumption in an age of communication overload? What is resistance? Where is it located? How much agency does a consumer actually have? How responsible is the producer for his/her productions? Can gendered and raced commodities be used to explore difference? Or will their consumption lead to the reinforcement of sexist, racist, and homophobic stereotypes?

HACU 225 – Narratives of Southern Literature and History
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:20 p.m.
L. Brown Kennedy; Susan Tracy
component

Constructed as almost a mythic fiction by its own major novelists and historians and stereotyped in the popular media, the US "South" is also a set of multiple stories told by former slaves and slave holders, by women and men working in factories and mines, fields and homes. Through analysis of fiction, autobiography and some films, together with reference to debates in the current historical scholarship, this course introduces you to South(s) of starkly contrasting geographies and economies. We will trace themes that span the period from the 1880's to the 1990's: the aftermath of slavery, war and Reconstruction; the roles of family, religion, memory and myth-making; the tensions of poverty, individualism, and community; the growing split between rural and urban life; the relations among classes, races and sexes; the impact of and reaction to Civil Rights and to other Twentieth Century liberation movements.

HACU 229– Houses, Brothels & Luxury Goods: 
The Lives & Afterlives of Ancient Pompeii
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:20 p.m.
TBA
component

Destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE, Pompeii preserves traces of every aspect of life from shop signs and graffiti to a temple of the Egyptian goddess Isis to richly decorated houses. This course will focus on analyzing that material culture record to see what it can reveal about the town's social and economic structure, its politics, patterns of worship, its places of entertainment, and its burgeoning sex industry. Of equal importance will be the rediscovery of the site in 1748 and the creative reconstructions and fictions it has generated since from lurid nineteenth century paintings and novels to films and an episode of Dr. Who. The marketing of Pompeii in recent blockbuster museum exhibitions and the politics of the preservation of a site, which is rapidly disintegrating will also be subjects for discussion and research.

HACU 254– Still Photography II:  The Body and the Frame
Seminar Tuesday 12:30 pm – 3:20 p.m.
Thursday 4:00 pm – 6:00 p.m.
Jackie Hayden
component

The human form; nude, naked, clothed, full bodies, partial bodies, gendered and racial bodies, young and old bodies constitute a primary subject in contemporary artistic practice. In this class we will explore both the traditions of the photographic nude in art and its subversions in late 20th and 21st century photography. Students will be expected to develop a "body" of photographs related to the topic that can intersect anywhere with the body: straight portraiture, nudes, abstractions of bodies or virtual Web bodies. Students will be instructed to use cameras, computers and materials to develop an aesthetic strategy that either embraces or challenges existing genres. Instructor Permission.

HACU 280  – The Post-Racial State:  Ideology, Politics and the Media
Tuesday, Thursday 12:30 – 1:50 p.m.
S. Loza
component

In the wake of Obama's historic presidency, the American media triumphantly declared that we are living in post-racial times. But is race dead? Are we color-blind? If so, how do we explain the persistence of racism and racial inequality in the US? Utilizing an interdisciplinary amalgam of Ethnic Studies, Critical Race Theory, Media Studies, US Third World Feminism, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Political Philosophy, and Post-Colonial Theory, this course will investigate how "race" continues to shape American society in the post-civil rights era. Topics to be covered include: the social construction of race, racial formation, panethnicity, class-based and gendered racialization, multiculturalism, neoliberalism, double-consciousness, colonialism, essentialism, institutional racism, commodification of race/ethnicity, identity politics, colorblind ideology, cultural appropriation, resistance, and citizenship. Particular attention will be paid to affirmative action, immigration, hate speech, hate crimes, reparations, racial profiling, and the resurgence of white supremacy. This course is reading-, writing-, and theory-intensive. Prerequisite: Division II and III students only.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts            Writing Center Building                         559-5824

IA 273 – Performing Queerness while Queering Religion:
Religion, Ritual, and Research
Monday, Wednesday 4:00 – 5:20 p.m.
R. McMillian

Seminar is for the practitioner and the theorist. We will seek to answer questions such as: What constitutes queer performance? Is queer what you are or what you do? And, what are the historical, religious, and political aspects of queer performance? This course is not a history of LGBTQ performance, nor is it a survey of queer theory; rather, this is a course on using performance as a research methodology for interrogating texts and artistic practices. This class invites theatre, dance, and media practitioners to utilize their craft to investigate the multi aspects of queer perfomance. Special attention will be focused on the intersection between Religion (abrahamic) and Queerness.

IA 288  – Feminist Theatre Practices
Monday, Wednesday 10:30 – 11:50 a.m.
Talya Kingston

What is feminism today, and how is it relevant for theatre and performance work? This class will serve as an introduction to the work of 20th and 21st century women playwrights, performance artists, and critical thinkers. We will 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. Students will be expected to attend performances, read and write critically and perform their discoveries. This course is intended for upper-level Division II students; a general background in theatre/performance and/or feminism(s) will be assumed.

 

School of Natural Science                          311 Cole Science Building                     559-5371

NS 252  – Modern Disease and Culture
Tuesday, Thursday 2:00 – 3:20 p.m.
M. Dobro
component

Disease has influenced our civilization, and our civilization has influenced disease. How have the food industry, the media, politics, and technology affected our health? How have different races, genders, sexual orientations, and geographic locations been affected by modern disease? In this course, we will examine the relationship between disease and culture and how life as we know it has been affected. Students will read case studies and have debates about selected topics, and are invited to bring in news articles and primary literature to discuss. Students will choose a topic of interest to research throughout the semester and present to the class in the final week.

NS 390 – Selected Topics in Global Women’s Health
Monday 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
E. Conslisk

The goals of this Mellon Language Learning course are twofold. The first is to introduce students to key issues in global women's health with a focus on Central America. Topics will span the lifecycle and will be drawn from the fields of infectious disease, reproductive health, nutrition, chronic disease and health policy. Most readings will come from the medical and epidemiologic literature though attention will also be given to the political, economic and social factors that weigh heavily on health. The second goal is to advance students' knowledge of Spanish by integrating Spanish materials into the syllabus. A central text will be the health care manual, "Where There is No Doctor For Women," which is available in both Spanish and English. The course in not intended to be a language course per se, but one that reinforces existing skills and inspires students to pursue further study and practice. Prerequisite: at least two semesters of prior Spanish instruction.