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(Undergraduate and Graduate, Listed Alphabetically by Departments and Programs)
(Updated: November 9, 2022)
No courses listed at this time. Please contact the department directly for more information.
ARTS-EXT 509 – Greening Your Nonprofit Arts Organization
Thurs 2:30 - 3:45
The arts have always been at the forefront of change, and never has change been more required than today. Whether your organization needs to cut its facility costs, be first in line for donation dollars, or serve as a 'green' model for your community, this class is for you. Determine which changes are easy to institute, provide the greatest cost-saving, reduce your carbon footprint, and build credibility with your audiences. This class concludes with a final green plan to be tailored to the unique needs of your institution. All course work is applied to a case study organization, which may be your own organization or one where you volunteer.
ARTS-EXT 389 – Cultural Equity
Online, fall semester only
Today’s arts and culture organizations are confronting the multi-faceted issues of cultural equity and need to understand the role that inequity has played in decision making, hiring, programming, funding, arts policy, loss of audience, and audience participation. Arts leaders are now looking at their own institutions, and need the information and tools necessary to address biases and create equitable and just institutions with deep connections to their surrounding communities. This new course will explore the history of inequity in the arts, how “the arts” came to be defined through a Western European lens, how cultural funding affects opportunity, and how systems in our culture and society have prevented building diverse staff and board leadership. Topics will include how to create authentically-inclusive programming, how to partner and cross-program with organizations that serve different demographic communities, how to expand audiences for the traditional arts in a time of demographic shift, how to advocate for change, and how to create an organizational infrastructure that promotes equity and diversity. This course will explore the role of personal biases and will help students find new solutions that fit the needs of their community.
ENG131 – Society and Literature in the Anthropocene
This class focuses on literature and the non-human environment in the age of the Anthropocene. We will examine representations of the natural environment, animals, and animality and explore broad questions related to ecology and environment
ENG 468 – James Joyce
Tu Thu 2:30 - 3:45
This class focuses on the writings of James Joyce through the critical lens of the environmental humanities. We will focus on the environmental motifs and postcolonial ecocritical concerns emerging in Joyce's modernist texts, written under the shadow of the British empire and the First World War.
ENG 116 – Native American Literature
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM
This introductory course in Native American literature asks students to read and study a variety of work by American Indian and First Nations authors. We will discuss what makes a text "Indian," how and why a major boom in American Indian writing occurred in the late 1960s, how oral tradition is incorporated into contemporary writing, and how geographic place and tribal affiliation influence this work.
ENG 117 – Ethnic American Literature
MWF 10:10-11:00 AM
American literature written by and about ethnic minorities, from the earliest immigrants through the cultural representations in modern American writing. (Gen.Ed. AL, DU)
ENG 131 – Society & Literature
Society and Literature in the Anthropocene. This class focuses on literature and the non-human environment in the age of the Anthropocene. We will examine representations of the natural environment, animals, and animality and explore broad questions such as: * How can the literary imagination help us better understand and navigate environmental concerns including anthropogenic climate change? * How have literary representations influenced our understanding of nature and non-human others and contributed to calls for environmental justice and changes in environmental practices? While reading a range of fictional and nonfiction texts, this class will introduce students to the Environmental Humanities, Ecocriticism, and Human-Animal Studies. (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)
ENG 132 (LEC. 1) – Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture
Thinking architexturally: gender and space in literature. In this course, we will study a broad range of texts and media to explore connections between feminist-queer engagements with architecture and text. How can both architecture and text be thought of as systems of representation, and how then, do each of them craft a relationship to any embodied subject (a reader/inhabitant)? This question arises from thinking of imagining a book as a lived space in the tradition of feminist and queer utopias, asking us to think about how racial, gendered, and colonial projects are enacted and countered in literary representations of space. How do differently-minoritized subjects write – and read – places that are ‘useless’ (such as a text) as places of subsistence and meaning-making? We will work together to floor-plan the textual fields we encounter, thinking critically about the tools these texts use and how and who can live in them. (Gen.Ed. AL, DG) (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)
ENG 132 (LEC. 4) – Gender, Sexuality, Literature & Culture
Reading Feelings. This course will primarily focus on the relationship between individual feelings and desires such as shame, envy, repression, and love, and sociopolitical and historical occurrences to study the potential of literature to capture sexual and gender experiences. We will read the works of Toni Morrison, J.M. Coetzee, Arundhati Roy, and others to decolonize sexualities, femininities, and masculinities. This course draws on perspectives from affect studies, critical race studies, gender and sexuality studies, and literary theory. (Gen.Ed. AL, DG)
ENG 221 – Shakespeare
MW 12:20-1:10 PM
This course offers a broad survey of Shakespeare’s plays, including a sampling of comedies, tragedies, histories, and romances. Through careful reading and discussion, we will explore what makes Shakespeare’s plays so powerful, both for Renaissance audiences and for modern-day ones. Special attention will be given to Shakespeare’s exploration of cultural outcasts, his unsettling moral messages, and the relevance of his themes to present-day social justice. We will approach the plays as performance pieces linked to a specific time and place in English history, as well as considering their modern adaptation in recent films. Attendance at lecture and consistent participation in discussion sections required.
ENG 254 (LEC. 2) – Reading and Writing Imaginative Literature
This course aims to re-imagine how we practice and approach the art of writing. Together, we will discover how your voice can go beyond the page and change the world. Our explorations will be guided with works of fiction and poetry that are interested in questions of revolution and social justice. Examples include Nanni Balestrini, Julia de Burgos and more! The goal is to see how these authors weave activism into their work through various techniques like structure, word choice and more. We will also discuss the themes that run through their work, as well as the times they wrote in. Alongside these texts, we will study essays by Edwidge Danticat and Matthew Salesses, as well as various other writings on craft. Students will complete weekly reflections in which they effectively critique, compliment and contemplate readings or workshop materials. All participants will end the semester by writing their own story or poem, which will be workshopped by classmates! Writers and readers of all levels are encouraged to enroll; this course is designed so that both experienced and emerging voices are all able to gain new insights into the craft of writing
ENG 268 – American Literature and Culture after 1865
In this course we will read narratives of individual and collective cultural transformations from the colonial and early republican periods in American literature. We will trace throughout these narratives various figurations of "American" subjectivity, such as the captive and the redeemed; the slave, the servant, and the freeman; the alien and the citizen; the foreign and the native. Through such textual figures, we will explore as well the cultural production of a broader narrative of the imagined community of the nation. While reading a selective survey of literary works, travel narrative, and poetry from the 1670s through the antebellum era, we will address as well critical and theoretical reconsiderations of the literature and culture of the early republic.
ENG 269 – American Literature and Culture after 1865
Figures of Contestation in American Literature and Film. In this class, we will address literary and theoretical works that tackle America’s changing cultural landscape from 1865 to 1930. In mainstream entertainment culture, fiction constituted the one of the nation’s most popular forms of artistic and political expression, creating spaces for dissent and hagiography alike. From images of workers in industrial squalor, poverty and prostitution in urban city streets to utopian depictions of feminist communities and rallying orations at national conventions, this course will introduce turn-of-the-century figures of contestation taken from the Civil War, Gilded Age, Women’s Rights and the Harlem Renaissance eras. Canonical and lesser-known readings include Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland, Paul Laurence Dunbar’s The Sport of the Gods, Nella Larsen’s Quicksand and the 1915 propaganda film Birth of a Nation. Alongside core readings and film viewings, students will have an opportunity to experience the textual formats and iconography that undergirded past reading cultures using digitized historical newspapers and image archives. Assignments include discussion, a class presentation and short critical responses.
ENG 279 – Intro to American Studies
Welcome to Introduction to American Studies. In this version of English 279, we will investigate the broad histories of displacement and confinement, as well as the formation of home and homelessness in the United States. We will explore how the American single-family household acts as a norming apparatus for gender, race, and sexuality, and how those outside of this paradigm are surveilled and policed. The arc of this class will begin with American Reconstruction and take us through the mass encampment clearings and evictions of the early twenty-first century. As an American Studies course, we will employ a wide range of methodologies including, textual analysis, discourse analysis, and archival research. Similarly, we will engage legislative and juridical documents, as well as literary and cultural texts including theory, fiction, film, and ephemera. By studying displacement and confinement within the United States, we will also study alternative modes of living and dwelling that queer the public-private binary, challenge housing normativity, and imagine new ways of inhabiting shared space. This course is required for the Letter of Specialization in American Studies and satisfies the AL and DU General Education requirements.
ENG 300, SEC. 02 – Junior Year Writing. Topic: Spy vs. Spy: Spying in Fiction, Television, and Film
This course will be a survey of spy fiction in novels, television and film across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We’ll explore some of the staples (James Bond) as well as the greats, including le Carré. Other writers will include Kate Atkinson, David Henry Hwang, Kamila Shamsie, and Hisham Matar. Filmwill play a part (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, The Lives of Others) as will television series (The Americans). Overall, there will be important issues for us to consider. How does spy fiction work? How does it relate to nationalism, race, gender and sexuality? How does the “popular” relate to the “literary”? What are some of the differences between the classic Cold War texts and the ways spy fiction is written now? Why is spy fiction so obsessed with duplicity and betrayal, and what does that tell us about how we decode our world? How does spying, and the question of duplicity, overlap with the literary itself, not least in terms of decoding and interpretation? Class work will involve some lecturing, lots of discussion, and student projects, culminating, in this junior-year writing class, in a longer piece of work at the end of the semester.
ENG 362 – Modern Novel 1945-Present. Of Immigrants and Migration
MW 2:30-3:45 PM
People from countries previously colonized by Great Britain find their way to British shores; people from countries affected by U.S. interventions find their way to the U.S. Some arrive as immigrants and some as migrants (we will consider the implications of these two terms). Both groups, however, endure forms of jingoism, racism, xenophobia, and violence at the social, cultural, economic and political levels. Among other things, immigrants and migrants find that they are perceived as traitors, terrorists, criminals, and job snatchers. In relating the experiences of immigrants and migrants, our selected works employ a range of literary techniques. We will engage the relationship between aesthetics and politics in these textual interventions, and consider the effect of this relationship on the representations and receptions of immigrants and migrants. This course examines works dealing with movement from South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Northern Ireland to Britain, and from East Asia, the Arab countries, and Mexico to the U.S. The course will probably include works by Ana Castillo, Mohja Kahf, John Okada, Caryl Phillips and Zadie Smith. We will also watch and discuss two films. Critical essays and some theory will guide our readings and film viewings.
ENG 371 – African American Literature
This course will ask how African American writers sustain and manipulate a culturally specific literary tradition at various historical moments, ranging from the Colonial period to the post-Civil Rights era.
ENG 491LM – Literature, Music, and the Rules of Engagement: Multi-ethnic experiences in the US
MW 4:00-5:15 PM
In this course, we will analyze 20th century novels, poems, and a play by African American, Native American, Mexican American, and Arab American writers, who draw on music, especially jazz and blues, to perform race, gender, class, and migration. In particular, we will consider the relationship between musical styles and historical events, and their impact on the characters’ identities and lived experiences. Some class time will be spent on listening to and critiquing musical pieces in terms of their influence on the forms, aesthetics, and politics of our texts: the rules of engagement. We will read works by Diana Abu-Jaber, James Baldwin, David Henderson, Américo Paredes, Sherman Alexie, August Wilson, and a selection of jazz and blues poems.
ENG 491Z – Poetry of the Political Imagination
Juniors and Seniors, International Exchange or National Exchange plans, or Graduate students with TECS subplans only. Poetry of the political imagination is a matter of both vision and language. Any progressive social change must be imagined first; any oppressive social condition, before it can change, must be named in words that persuade. Poets of the political imagination go beyond protest to define an artistry of resistance. This course explores how best to combine poetry and politics, craft and commitment. Students read classic works ranging from the epigrams of Ernesto Cardenal, written against the dictator of Nicaragua, to Allen Ginsberg's Howl, the book that sparked an obscenity trial. They also read the farmworker poems of Diana García, born in a migrant labor camp; the emergency room sonnets of Dr. Rafael Campo; the prison poetry of political dissident Nazim Hikmet; and the feminist satire of Marge Piercy, among others. Students respond with papers, presentations or some combination. Class visits by authors complement the reading and discussion.
ENG 494 JI – Going to Jail: Incarceration in US Literature and Culture
Why do we put people in cages? In what ways does the caging of humans impact those outside as well as inside? Writers have long used the prison as a space from which to ask questions about the nature and meaning of criminality and the rule of law, about human minds, bodies, and behavior, about economics, politics, race, and social class, and about how language makes and unmakes us as human beings. In this class, we will study US fiction, poetry, film, and nonfiction prose (print and digital) by prisoners, journalists, scholars, lawyers, and activists in order to consider these issues for ourselves. We will draw on the knowledge and critical skills you have gained from your gen ed coursework throughout. Assignments will include five short papers and two drafts of a longer final paper. Authors may include: Michelle Alexander, Malcolm Braly, Angela Davis, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Martin Luther King, CeCe McDonald, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, David Oshinsky, Bryan Stevenson, Jerome Washington, and Malcolm X. Open only to senior English majors.
FILM-ST 284 – The Undead Souths: Southern Gothic and Francophone Mythologies in Film & Television
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:15AM and online
This course will explore themes of the Southern Gothic in works of Cinema and popular Televisual narratives.
FILM-ST 353 – African Film
Tu 4:00PM - 6:45PM and online
This course offers an introduction to African film as an aesthetic and cultural practice.
FILM-ST 691J – Seminar- Holocaust Cinema: History, Memory, Narratives
We 4:00PM - 6:45PM
This seminar provides a cultural history of cinematic treatments of the Holocaust, traces major trends and changes in Holocaust representations, and raises questions concerning historical memory of the Holocaust in national cinemas.
HISTORY 393I – Indigenous Women
Why has the U.S. government intervened so constantly in Latin America, and with what consequences? How have Latin Americans responded? We will assess the role of the U.S. government and military but also that of corporations, financial institutions, NGOs, and the U.S. public. While these foreign actors have wielded tremendous power in the region, they have always operated within contexts partially defined by Latin Americans – an incredibly diverse population including presidents, dictators, militaries, landlords, industrialists, the middle class, wage workers, slaves, peasant farmers, LGBTQ activists, migrants, and hundreds of ethnic groups. The course places a special focus on primary sources, ranging from declassified government documents to testimonies from people who have opposed U.S. policies.
HISTORY 397CL – City, Industry, and Labor in Colonial India, 1750-1950
This course examines economic and social developments in India during the period of British imperialism (1757-1947) with a specific focus on the histories and political economy of urban and industrial development, and factory and non- factory work. The course begins with broad discussions of the transformation engendered by colonial policies, which integrated India into a global imperial economy. We then discuss the makings of colonial cities, patterns of rural-urban migration, and the foundation and expansion of jute and cotton textile industries in the two most prominent industrial cities of British India—Calcutta and Bombay. We will also examine the features of urban class politics, and how racial and gendered perceptions shaped workers’ experiences in colonial India. We will conclude this course with a brief analysis of Indian economy in the post-independence period.
HISTORY 397JL – Social Justice Lawyering
Audre Lorde famously said that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house,” and yet social justice movements and marginalized people continue to turn to the law to advance their social justice goals. From fighting Jim Crow segregation to challenging the Muslim travel ban and the separation of refuge children at the border, litigation and judicial review has historically been used as a strategy to rein in executive and legislative overreach and protect Constitutional rights. This course will examine how lawyers, social movements, and everyday people have used litigation to advocate for social justice in the United States. Through reading in-depth studies of important civil and criminal cases, we will explore such questions as: What is the history of social justice lawyering in the United States and how, why and when have social movements turned to litigation to advance their causes? What are the pros and cons of using litigation to achieve social justice, versus other tools like direct action, lobbying for political change, and community organizing? How effective is litigation in achieving the goals originally envisioned by lawyers, activists, and litigants? How have lawyers constrained or expanded the vision of social justice movements? What dilemmas do lawyers who are ethically bound to zealously advocate for the interests of individual clients face when they are additionally interested in advancing "a cause"? Cases explored may include issues such as civil rights, women's rights, free speech, LGBT/Queer rights, disability rights, environmental justice, criminal justice, poverty and people's lawyering, immigration rights, and the rise of conservative social movement lawyering. Prior law-related coursework helpful, but not required. Students will also be provided an opportunity to attend the Rebellious Lawyering Conference at Yale Law School, the largest student run public interest law conference in the country. https://reblaw.yale.edu/ History 397JL is a is a law related liberal arts course for the Legal Studies major.
HISTORY 397RR – History of Reproductive Rights Law
This course explores the history of reproductive rights law in the U.S. We will look at the progression of cases and legal reasoning involving a wide variety of reproductive rights issues, including forced sterilization, contraception, abortion, forced medical treatment during pregnancy and forced C-sections, policing pregnancy (through welfare law, employment policies and criminal law), adoption, and reproductive technologies. We will pay particular attention to how differently situated women were/are treated differently by the law, particularly on the basis of age, class, race, sexual orientation, marital status, immigration status, gender expression, and ability. We will also examine the role lawyers have historically played in advancing (or constraining) the goals of the reproductive rights movement(s) and explore the effectiveness of litigation as a strategy to secure these rights. Finally, we will consider the question of reproductive rights versus reproductive justice and whether reproductive justice can be obtained through advocating for reproductive rights. Prior law-related coursework is helpful, but not required. History 397RR is a foundational and upper level course for the Five College Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Certificate, is a WGSS elective, and is a law related liberal arts course for the Legal Studies major.
HISTORY 397SC – Sex and the Supreme Court
This course focuses on the U.S. Supreme Court and its rulings regarding sex and sexuality. We will examine several hot button issues confronted by the Supreme Court, such as reproduction (sterilization/contraception/abortion); marriage (polygamous/interracial/same sex); pornography/obscenity; sodomy; sexual assault on college campuses; and sex education in public schools. Some questions we will consider include: What is the constitutionality of government regulation of sexual behavior, sexual material, reproduction, and sexuality and how and why has this changed over time? What is or should be the Court’s role in weighing in on these most intimate issues? In ruling on these issues, is the Court interested in liberty, equality, privacy, dignity, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or something else? We will consider how the Court and advocates framed these issues, used or misused historicaland scientificevidence, and how the argument and/or evidence changed depending on the audience (i.e. the Court or the general public).
HISTORY 397WG – Special Topics- Women and Gender in Latin America
This course uses gender as an analytical lens to understand key themes and periods of Latin American history, from the conquest of the Americas to the present-day neoliberal era. The course will illuminate how gender has shaped social relationships, institutions, identities, and discourses in the region. It will prioritize the role of women and how their individual and collective actions have shaped and transformed Latin America. Special attention will be paid to women’s participation in social movements.
HISTORY 397WR – Special Topics - Women and Revolution
In the twentieth-century, working-class women built revolutions to dismantle oppressive systems and create a free society. They organized workers, waged armed struggle, and built alternative institutions. Why did women join revolutionary movements? How did gender shape their participation? How did women define revolutionary theories and practices? We will consult primary and secondary sources to understand the experiences and dreams of radical women. We will focus on historical case studies primarily from Latin America.
HISTORY 411 – History of Science Activism
This course will examine the global history of social and political movements on issues related to science, technology, and medicine. Examples include movements for organic agriculture, against nuclear energy, promoting science literacy, opposing genetic determinism, for climate justice, and much more. We will adopt a historically grounded, interdisciplinary approach to explore the different forms science activism has taken from intellectual debates, to professional movements of practicing scientists, to state-directed campaigns, to grassroots community organizing?and the different historical contexts in which they have emerged. These explorations will help shed new light on the current political climate: we will ask what it means to "defend science" and to what extent scientists, scholars, and activists have succeeded in developing an analysis of the power relations involved in so-called "attacks" on science. Students will read a wide variety of secondary and primary sources, present regularly during class meetings, write two papers rooted in analysis of the assigned materials, and pursue a final project that examines the historical and global contexts of some aspect of science activism (specific topic and format to be freely chosen). Students may opt to incorporate a community engagement component into their final project if they desire.
PHIL 163 – Business Ethics
In this course, we will explore some of the ethical questions arising in the context of business. After going over the introduction to ethics, we will discuss philosophers’ responses to the questions such as: what can (or should not) be commodified? What kinds of advertisement strategy are dishonest or manipulative? What is exploitation, and why is exploitation ethically problematic?
PHIL 164 – Medical Ethics
MW 11:15 AM – 12:05 PM ILC S240
There is a broad range of difficult moral questions that can arise in medical and public health contexts. For example: What should we think about the morality of abortion? Is it morally permissible for a government to interfere with its citizens’ self-regarding decisions for the sake of their health? When considering procreating, do we have a moral obligation to use biotechnologies (like IVF and PGD, or CRISPR-Cas9) to ensure that our children will have the best chance at a good life?
After a brief introduction to some of the main normative ethical theories that have been proposed for evaluating what one ought and ought not do, we will attempt to thoroughly examine a handful of controversial issues in medical ethics. By developing your ability to think clearly, carefully, and critically about such issues, you will be in a better position to produce and defend principled, well-reasoned answers to the above questions (and those like them).
Other objectives for this (asynchronous) course include cultivating the skills to critically read and understand difficult academic texts, to identify and evaluate arguments, to consider and respond appropriately to objections to one’s own beliefs, and to write clearly and effectively.
TuTh 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM South College E470
PHIL 164H – Medical Ethics (Honors)
TuTh 10:00 AM - 11:15 AM TBD
PHIL 166 – Environmental Ethics
TuTh 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM South College E241
Environmental Ethics provides an introduction to the ethical issues that arise in connection with anthropogenic climate change and other environmental problems. In this class, we will explore a variety of moral questions that arise in connection to the environment (broadly construed), including climate change, issues of sustainable individual behaviour, biodiversity loss, non-human animal welfare, and the value of the natural environment. Questions may include: (a) what are your obligations with respect to the environment?; (b) how should we understand the value of nature?; (c) what is the moral status of non-human animals, and how should we take their welfare into account?; (d) what should you do about climate change?; (e) how should we respond to climate change deniers?; (f) what role should technology play in combating climate change?; (g) in the face of climate change, what’s the ethical status of, and what attitude should we take towards, urbanism?; (h) is biodiversity intrinsically or only instrumentally valuable?; (i) what duties do we have to future generations? The primary goal of this course is to engage in an overview of philosophically and ethically significant questions about the environment and our relation to it.
PHIL 170 – Problems in Social Thought
MWF 10:10 AM – 11:00 AM South College E470
Individuals have moral values and they seek to approach their relationships with others in a way which reflects those values. This course explores the intersection of philosophy and politics. Throughout the semester we will investigate the connection between the moral values people have and how society should be arranged as a whole to reflect those values. We will address these two crucial questions:
Given some prior moral commitments, such as valuing freedom or equality, how should people organize politically in order to make good on those commitments?
Suppose we can discover how society should be organized politically given our moral values. What economic, technological or environmental constraints stand in the way of implementing this vision?
To address such questions we will be reading some important works of political philosophy supplemented by thought-provoking readings exploring connections between philosophy, economics, technology and worldly complexity. I will provide detailed guides to these difficult issues and provide assistance throughout.
We will consider questions such as: Why care about politics at all? What is the nature of the state? Is the state morally justified or should people live in a stateless society? Why is liberty important? What does the state owe its citizens? Is equality more important than liberty or the other way around?
As the semester progresses we will take the abstract philosophical principles we have learned and apply them to real life questions related to topics such as global warming, and the social impact of artificial intelligence. We will consider the role that economic constraints play in our attempt to construct a morally principled society. These are questions any policy maker should consider when framing policy in response to a complex world.
PHIL 175 – Intro to Philosophy of Technology
MW 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM
This course explores a number of philosophically and ethically significant questions about the nature of technology and how it interacts with, improves, harms, and ultimately structures our individual lives and society as a whole. Technological development has increased markedly since the Industrial Revolution and within the span of two centuries we have seen society become dependent on artificial sources of energy, mechanized production, and globalized communication. A proliferation of new technologies is increasingly altering the human experience, from driverless cars and virtual reality, to artificial intelligence, genetic and geo- engineering, ubiquitous internet connectivity, and social media. Questions that may be explored in this course include, but are not limited to: (a) What is technology? (b) What’s the relation between science and technology? (c) Is technology necessarily good or bad for human flourishing or is it neutral? (d) Do we need a distinctive ethics for technology or particular technologies? (e) Do designers have special responsibility for how the technologies they create are used? (f) Should we geo-engineer the planet to combat climate change? (g) Should we artificially improve the human condition through genetic enhancement? (h) Is your smartphone a part of you? (i) When a driverless car hits someone, who is responsible? (j) Should we grow meat in labs rather than factory farms? (k) Can sex in a video game or with a robot ever be wrong? (l) Does social media help us live more authentically or does it structure our self-identity in harmful ways? The primary goal of this course is to engage in a range of philosophically and ethically significant questions about technology and our relation to it. The answers to these questions lie somewhere between two common attitudes towards technology: an unbridled optimism that technology will improve our lives and a romanticized Ludditism that desires a return to pre-technological human society. While there is much to appreciate and much to criticize about modern technology, both appreciation and criticism need to be tempered with critical and rational reflection, which we will pursue in this course.
– TH190J THE VOICE AS SOCIAL JUSTICE
TuTh 10:00 AM-11:15AM BCA 413
This course explores the various manifestations of the voice as performance in protests, activism and social justice movements in the US. Topic covered include political protest songs, theater as a form of protes and activism, the langauge and theatricality of protest chants and, in recent years, how voice and speech have constibuted to the sustaiability and health of protestors and activists. (GenEd AT)
– TH 333-02 CONTEMPORARY REP: THEATER FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
From mass incarceration to abortion rights, immigration policy to queer liberation, this course will examine plays that engage with social justice movements. We will explore the styles, forms and aesthetics of the theater in these social movements, as well as what theatrcial trends emerged from these moments of social change.
WGSS 240 – Introduction to Transgender Studies
This survey of transgender studies will introduce students to the major concepts and current debates within the field. Drawing on a range of theoretical texts, historical case studies, and creative work, we will track the emergence of "transgender" as both an object of study and a way of knowing. In particular, we will ask: what does it mean to "study" "transgender"? This guiding question will lead us to consider the varied meanings of "trans" and how these meanings have been shaped by regimes of gender, racism, colonization, ableism, and medical and legal regulation; the tensions and intimacies between trans, disability, anti-racist, queer, and feminist theory/politics; and how `trans? might help us to imagine other, more just worlds.
WGSS 187 – Gender, Sexuality and Culture
Tuesday, Thursday 10:00-11:15 a.m.
This course offers an introduction to some of the basic concepts and theoretical perspectives in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Drawing on disciplinary, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural studies, students will engage critically with issues such as gender inequities, sexuality, families, work, media images, queer issues, masculinity, reproductive rights, and history. Throughout the course, students will explore how experiences of gender and sexuality intersect with other social constructs of difference, including race/ethnicity, class, and age. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which interlocking systems of oppression have shaped and influenced the historical, cultural, social, political, and economical contexts of our lives, and the social movements at the local, national and transnational levels which have led to key transformations. (Gen. Ed. I, DU)
Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
WGSS 201 – Gender and Difference: Critical Analyses
Tuesday, Thursday 1:00-2:15 p.m.
An introduction to the vibrant field of women, gender, and sexuality studies, this course familiarizes students with the basic concepts in the field and draws connections to the world in which we live. An interdisciplinary field grounded in commitment to both intellectual rigor and individual and social transformation, WGSS asks fundamental questions about the conceptual and material conditions of our lives. What are “gender,” “sexuality,” “race,” and “class”? How are gender categories, in particular, constructed differently across social groups, nations, and historical periods? What are the connections between gender and socio-political categories such as race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, (dis)ability and others? How do power structures such as sexism, racism, heterosexism, and classism and others intersect? How can an understanding of gender and power enable us to act as agents of individual and social change? Emphasizing inquiry in transnational feminisms, critical race feminisms, and sexuality studies, this course examines gender within a broad nexus of identity categories, social positions, and power structures. Areas of focus may include queer and trans studies; feminist literatures and cultures; feminist science studies; reproductive politics; gender, labor and feminist economics, environmental and climate justice; the politics of desire, and others. Readings include a range of queer, feminist and women thinkers from around the world, reflecting diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives in the field.
WGSS 240 – Feminist Health Politics
What is health? What makes health a matter of feminism? And what might a feminist health politics look like? These questions lay at the heart of this course. In Feminist Health Politics, we will examine how health becomes defined, and will question whether health and disease are objectively measured conditions or subjective states. We will also consider why and how definitions and standards of health have changed over time; why and how standards and adjudications of health vary according to gender, race, sexuality, class, and nationality; and how definitions of health affect the way we value certain bodies and ways of living. Additionally, we will explore how knowledge about health is created; how environmental conditions, social location, politics, and economic conditions affect health; how various groups have fought for changes to health care practices and delivery; and how experiences of health and illness have been reported and represented.
WGSS 286 – History of Sexuality and Race in the United States
Monday, Wednesday 10:10-11:00
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary feminist study of sexuality. Its primary goal is to provide a forum for students to consider the history of sexuality and race in the U.S. both in terms of theoretical frameworks within women's and gender studies, and in terms of a range of sites where those theoretical approaches become material, are negotiated, or are shifted. The course is a fully interdisciplinary innovation. It will emphasize the links rather than differences between theory and practice and between cultural, material, and historical approaches to the body, gender, and sexuality. Throughout the course we will consider contemporary sexual politics "from the science of sex and sexuality to marriage debates" in light of histories of racial and sexual formations. (Gen. Ed. HS, DU)
WGSS 291C – Gender, Race and Capitalism
Tuesday, Thursday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
How does capitalism depend on gender, race and sexuality? In turn, how are gender, race, and sexuality defined through our economic lives? Why are women so often cast as the solution to poverty in the Global South? Is sex work distinct from other types of work? How can we think about the household as the fundamental socio-economic unit in light of queer and feminist critiques of the nuclear family? In this course, we will examine these types of intersections, taking our cue from an interdisciplinary social science literature featuring feminist political economists, theorists of racial capitalism, economic sociologists and anthropologists, and scholar-activists. We will think through both the large scale of global macroeconomic systems, as well as the microlevel of everyday life and popular culture. No prior background in economics or politics is assumed. After considering the historical origins of capitalism, we will survey topics including work, social reproduction and care labor, debt, finance, poverty and development.
WGSS 295D – Democracy Works
Monday, Wednesday 4:00-5:15 p.m.
Civil Rights leader, Dolores Herta, is famous for saying, "The only way Democracy can work is if people participate." With this in mind, class participants will take a deep dive into Massachusetts state government to explore the legislative and budget processes focusing on where people - as individuals and as part of social movements - are powerful. This course will start with the basics and move on to the intersection of inside and outside strategy and organizing.
WGSS 293E – Envisioning/Enacting Social Change
The 1970s feminist mantra "the personal is political" remains apt. How do our everyday choices reify or resist the current social order, which by many measures is dysfunctional and fundamentally unjust? At this advanced stage of global capitalism, many people engage the world primarily as consumers, a process inseparable from personal, professional, and commercial branding across various media platforms. How might we use our purchasing power as well as our creative capacity as producers to realize feminist futures? Yet we cannot enact what we cannot imagine. Reviewing the work of revolutionary thinkers behind various feminist movements, we will explore ways to envision and enact change at both the micro/personal and macro/societal levels. As we do, we will expand narrow notions of leadership for more inclusive and intersectional frameworks of activist impact.
WGSS 295W – Embodied Feminism, Healing Justice, and Social Movements for Collective Liberation
This course will explore how somatic healing practices are changing social justice movements and challenging the neoliberal wellness industry. Counter to individual wellness models, feminist concepts of radical self-care are integral to collective liberation. Challenging the limitations of rationalism and mind-body dualism, we will begin to understand knowledge as generated through the body, including intuition, ancestral memory, and the dreamtime. Theoretical frameworks for the course include: Embodiment Studies, Critical Mindfulness Studies, Indigenous Epistemologies, and Black Feminist Thought. The following concepts will be explored: healing justice, embodied feminism, liberatory mindfulness, intergenerational trauma, decolonization, and cultural appropriation. Readings will include: Audre Lorde, adrienne maree brown, bell hooks, Octavia Butler, Tricia Hersey, Robin Wall Kimmerer and Joanna Macy. The course will integrate an Embodiment Lab where we will engage with somatic practices and contemplative pedagogy.
WGSS 393Q – Our Biologies: Queer Feminist Research
Tuesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
WGSS 395V – Bodies, Movement and Queer Meaning in Contemporary Dance
Monday, Wednesday 2:30-3:45 p.m.
What do we learn from the way we move through the world? What can movement teach us about relationship and identity? How can dance function as a realm to practice new ways of relating or building alternative futures? This class poses an inquiry into queer and feminist thought through the lens of dance. We recognize the body as a site of knowledge production and investigate how movement and performance can highlight the intersection of theory and lived experience. Class has a regular movement component: students will be guided through improvisational practices to develop their own methods of inquiry through movement. No previous experience with dance is necessary and dancers from all traditions are encouraged to join. Our practice will be in conversation with authors including adrienne marie brown, Audre Lorde, Ann Cooper Albright, Petra Kuppers, Jose Mu?oz, Fiona Buckland, and others. We will watch and be in conversation about performances by choreographers like Rosie Herrera, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Ananya Chatterjea, Miguel Guitierrez, and Ralph Lemon.
WGSS 494TI – Unthinking the Transnational
Tuesday, Thursday 11:30-12:45 p.m.
This course is about the framework of transnational women's and gendered activisms and scholarship. We will survey the field of transnational feminist research and praxis, locating structures of power, practices of resistance, and the geographies of development at work in a range of theories and social movements. The course will not only examine the implementation of feminist politics and projects that have sought to ensure some measurable social, cultural, and economic changes, but also explore the ways conceptions of the `global' and `transnational' have informed these efforts. Students will have the opportunity to assess which of these practices can be applicable, transferable, and/or travel on a global scale. We will focus not only on the agency of individuals, but also on the impact on people's lives and their communities as they adopt strategies to improve material, social, cultural, and political conditions of their lives. Satisfies the Integrative Experience for BA-WoSt majors.
WGSS 692D – Feminists on Debt
Thursday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
Feminists have an under-acknowledged tradition of talking about debt. While analysis of the political, social, and economic force of debt, largely articulated in the global south, has entered feminist scholarship in English at many points, there has been little effort to hold up a specifically feminist understanding of debt that has been ping ponging through scholarship in English since at least the 1970s. Beginning in that period, and with intensifying force when Reagan/Thatcher came into power, global financial institutions moved aggressively to restructure the international economy around loans and debt. Development programs were reimagined in terms of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) and more loans. The withdrawal of state subsidies for food, health care, and education intensified poverty and household debt, even as international institutions based mostly in wealthier nations reimagined the “gender and development” enterprise as microcredit loans to women. Sovereign debt and household debt became the economy of impoverished people and nations. Debt has become a primary driver of international migration—including debt incurred as a result of previous migration attempts—and India in particular has documented epidemics of debt suicides. This course will explore analysis by feminists of debt across many fields, including both activists and scholars.
WGSS 693Q – Our Biologies: Queer Feminist Research
WGSS 705 – Feminist Epistemologies and Interdisciplinary Methodologies
Wednesday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
This course will begin from the question, "what is feminist research?" Through classic and current readings on feminist knowledge production, we will explore questions such as: What makes feminist research feminist? What makes it research? What are the proper objects of feminist research? Who can do feminist research? What can feminist research do? Why do we do feminist research? How do feminists research? Are there feminist ways of doing research? Why and how do the stories we tell in our research matter, and to whom? Some of the key issues/themes we will address include: accountability, location, citational practices and politics, identifying stakes and stakeholders, intersectionality, inter/disciplinarity, choosing and describing our topics and methods, research as storytelling, and the relationship between power and knowledge.