Fall 2017

WGSS 10 Sex, Gender, and Society

How has current thinking about sex, gender, and sexuality formed our experiences and understandings of ourselves, the world we inhabit, and the world we envision? This course investigates basic concepts about sex, gender, and sexuality and considers how these categories intersect with issues of race, class, ethnicity, family, religion, age, and/or national identity. The course also considers the effects of sex, gender, and sexuality on participation in the work force and politics, on language, and on artistic expression. In addition to reading a range of foundational feminist texts, materials for analysis may be drawn from novels, films, the  news, popular culture, and archival resources. Open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Note: Ten spaces are reserved in each fall section for incoming first-year students.

9L Hour: Professor A'Ness
10 Hour: Professor A'Ness
2A Hour: Professor Munafo
11 Hour: Professor Gallagher

WGSS 22.01/HIST 42 Gender in European Society: Antiquity to the Reformation

This course examines the roles of women and men in Western Europe from late Antiquity to the Reformation period. Emphasis will be placed on the intellectual and social strictures that had a long-term effect on the concept and role of gender in European society. Topics included are biological and mythological foundations of gender concepts; attitudes toward the body and sex in pre-Christian and Christian culture; sin and ecclesiastical legislation on sex and marriage; family life and education; the individual and kinship; heresy and charismatic religious movements; and the impact of social-economic development on gender in professional life. We will discuss the textual and visual sources for our inquiry, as well as the changing contemporary views on gender roles in pre-industrial Europe. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

Professor Simons
11 Hour

WGSS 26.03/HIST 08.04 History of Sexuality

How have historical processes produced distinct sexual practices and identities over time? This course engages 300 years of a history that often evaded the historical record or was deliberately purged from it and asks how more traditional topics of U.S. historical inquiry—immigration, citizenship, economic organization, intellectual and artistic production, racialization, formal politics, law, religious practice—can yield new insights when sexual history is included as a legitimate dimension of analysis. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Moreton
10 Hour

WGSS 31.04/GOV 20.01 Women and Politics

This is a general course about gender and politics in which we will examine the roles of women and men as voters, activists, and politicians. We will begin by examining a wide range of relevant issues, including: how gender affects political participation and partisan preferences, how boys and girls are socialized differently into politics, how public opinion regarding domestic and foreign policy sometimes differs for women and men, and how a different gender balance among office holders might be expected to affect representation, policy, and governance. The course will then critically examine various barriers that women may face in the pursuit of elected office in the U.S., and we will also expand our view beyond politics, by analyzing women in non-political leadership positions in order to draw useful comparisons. Finally, the course will examine the role of gender in an international context, comparing gender dynamics in the U.S. with those of other countries in order to better understand the future of women in politics in the U.S. and in the world at large. This course is appropriate for all students, from all majors (there are no prerequisites). Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor D. Brooks
12 Hour

WGSS 32.03 The Constitutional Rights of Women (NEW!)

This course combines the study of U.S. Supreme Court cases that directly affected (and continue to affect) women’s rights with the examination of women’s narratives about their experiences in society before, during and after those landmark decisions. We will weave the stories of women of various races, religions, sexual identities and employment histories, many of whom were unwitting or unexpected plaintiffs in landmark Supreme Court cases, with the Court’s reasoning and intentions in those opinions. We will also examine the evolution and contributions of the female justices of the U.S. Supreme Court and observe how their experiential rhetoric informs the Court’s opinions. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI.

Professor Sargent
2 Hour

WGSS 33.05/SOCY 61 Gender, Work, and Family

This course will explore the nature, extent, and consequences of gender inequality in society. Changing gender roles will be examined in relation to class and race, the socialization process, the experience of women in the family, and the experience of women as paid and unpaid workers under both capitalism and socialism. Finally, we shall analyze work and family conflict, looking at gender inequality, consequences for families and employers, policy, and implications for social structural change. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Lin
2A Hour

WGSS 40.01/NAS 42.01 Gender Issues in Native American Life

This course will address a range of topics concerning gender that are of particular significance to indigenous communities. These topics will be considered from historical, political, cultural and social perspectives. In the context of this class, the term "indigenous" is a category that includes tribal nations of the United States including Hawaii, the First Nations of Canada, and the indigenous people of Australia and New Zealand. The material is presented with particular concern for the diversity of indigenous groups and the variety of their own experiences and autochthony. We will explore their responses to misconceptions of tribal gender roles and identities projected upon Native people by the agents and institutions of settler colonialism. This approach opens a broader discussion about the many actions of indigenous communities to deconstruct and decolonize gender categories that are alien to the continuity, integrity, and vitality of their own traditions. The interdisciplinary approach of this course will engage texts from the fields of anthropology, philosophy, literature, history, and government policy. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor Palmer
2 Hour

WGST 43.2/CLST 11.06/REL 31: Sex, Celibacy, and the Problem of Purity

This course examines a crucial period in the history of Christianity—Late Antiquity. Between the years 300 and 500, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, established standards of doctrine and ecclesiastical organization, and developed the attitudes towards the body, sexuality and gender which informed Christian teaching for centuries to come. In this class we will ask: why did virginity become such an important aspect of Christian religiosity? What effect did Roman concepts of gender and sexuality have on Christian understanding of the relationship between men and women? What did martyrs, gladiators and monks have in common. Open to all students. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

Professor MacEvitt
2 Hour

WGSS 43.06/REL 28.04 Gender in Islam

The status of Muslim women around the world and the notion of gender equality in Islam are highly debated topics with high stakes and real life consequences. This course is about issues of gender in Islamic and Muslim texts and their historical relevance. We will make critical study of the constructions of gender, femininity, masculinity, sexuality, gender relations, marriage and divorce in classical Islamic texts and the roles these texts have played in Muslim life. We will examine Muslim thought on gender relations in their historical contexts and in relation to one another. Through in-class discussions, readings and the final essay, students will strengthen their global literacy on issues of gender, demonstrate global historical trends in ideas on gender, recognize theoretical and historical similarities and differences, analyze the role of texts in society, and recognize, critique, and assess key themes related to marriage, divorce, sexuality, and gender relations across genres of Islamic texts. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

Professor Ayubi
2A Hour

WGSS 51.09/ENGL 54.03 Young Adult Literature

This course explores the genre of young adult fiction in the 20th and 21st centuries. While the course will begin with a brief consideration of the conventions and early history of the genre, most of the course will examine post-1970s (most American) young adult novels. We'll trace the evolution of the genre in relation to ideas of racial innocence, sentimentality, consent, queer childhood, and revolutionary girlhood, and position the novels within historical contexts such as the rise of mass incarceration, settler colonialism, fantasies of post-racial politics, and environmental disaster. At the end of the course, we'll consider how young adult novels have created not just reading but creative communities and explore the kinds of fan productions that have emerged in relation to young adult novels. The course will include critical and creative assignments. Texts may include The Hunger Games; the Harry Potter series; Are You There God, It's Me Margaret; The Outsiders; The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing; Vivian Apple at the End of the World; Fangirl; Artistotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe; Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; The Fault in Our Stars; Ship Breaker; Long Division; Monster; Akata Witch; Make Your Home Among Strangers. Dist: LIT; WCult: CI.

Professor Stuelke
2A Hour

WGSS 65.04 Queer Visual Culture

The seminar will look into the cultural history of queer aesthetics. The subjects are mostly moving images (cinema, TV and Video), activist performances and some aspects of visual art. The starting-point is the simultaneous 'invention', disease mongering (pathologization) and 'emancipation' of homosexuality in the European fin de siècle and how it is negotiated in educational and feature films. The syllabus moves then to figurations of queerness in popular (and queer) imagination, for instance the 'Drag Queen' or the 'Vampire' with special attention on the AIDS-Crisis and will finally focus on gender-ambivalence, transgender, and gender-bending performances such Butch-Femme aesthetic or Glam-Rock. A general tension will be observed between 'The Epistemology of the Closet' (Sedgewick), Mainstreaming Queerness and an effort on part of activists to use queer visual culture as a tool for political intervention. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professor Dietze (Visiting Harris Professor)
10A Hour

WGSS 66.05/ENGL 53.04 Telling Stories for Social Change

Our social structure is full of unseen, unspoken, and unheard dynamics. These hidden and irresponsible social behaviors have always contributed to the building of visible and invisible social walls. Behind these walls, a growing invisible population has found a way into visibility into society through addiction, violence, and crime. This course offers students the unique opportunity to collaborate with a group of people from behind those social walls from two different perspectives: theoretical and practical. For one class each week, students will study the root cause of social isolations and invisibility mainly pertaining to incarceration and addiction, in an active learning classroom. For the other half, students will travel to Valley Vista, an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment center in Bradford, Vermont, and participate in an interdisciplinary arts program there. Its goal is the creation and performance of an original production that will facilitate the patients' voices. The final project for the course will combine research on themes related to addiction, rehabilitation, transition, facilitation, and critical analysis and self-reflection on the effectiveness of community-based learning and performance in rehabilitation.  Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professors Hernandez & Schweitzer
2A Hour

WGSS 80 Feminist Theory and Methodology

The seminar in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is designed as a culminating experience for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students and preparation for future work such as independent research, honors thesis, graduate studies and advanced scholarship. Enrollment is restricted to WGSS majors and minors.

Professor Bergland
3A Hour