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WGSS 10 Sex, Gender, and Society. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. (4 sections; limit 20; 40 places saved for first-year students)
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.
This course will examine the ways in which "deviant" sexual and gender behavior and identities, and the political movements that emerge from them, have been conceptualized in U.S. culture. We will cover basic LGBT cultural and political history and the interplay between sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and economics. Of particular focus will be deep, directed considerations of queer misfits who challenge a hegemonic narrative of modern homosexuality figured around cosmopolitanism, whiteness, and normative gender practices. Classes will be a mix of lecture and discussion. Students will be expected to work with primary documents (including novels and film), recent work in queer theory, and historical analysis.
This is a general course on women in politics. We will examine the role of women as politicians, activists, and voters. The course will examine a wide range of issue areas, including: female attitudes on war and conflict, the reactions of women to different kinds of campaign tactics and policy positions, the differing barriers women face to attaining elected office in different countries, and how the challenges thought to be faced by female political leaders compare with those faced by female business leaders. One key question we will explore concerns whether female politicians are treated differently than male politicians, and how that might affect their strategies for reelection and governance. Open to all students.
WGSS 33.05/SOCY 61/QSS 30.17 Unstalling the Stalled Revolution: Gender (In)Equality at Work and at Home. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Smith. Time: 2A
The nature of work, family life, and gender relations has changed dramatically over the last half century. This course examines these trends, with a focus on implications for gender inequality in society. We will focus on patterns in paid labor force participation and family life in the United States, and discuss the major debates surrounding the causes and consequences of such trends. We will also pay attention to how these patterns look across different races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic status, as well as briefly examine how these trends compare to other countries. We will conclude by exploring the implication of gender inequality for families, as well as work-family policy debates.
Sex (biological differences between men and women) and gender (social constructions of those differences) are not straightforward or natural, and it naturally follows that gender inequalities and gender oppression are also not straightforward and natural. Therefore, we will pay close attention to the issue of power - in terms of control and distribution of resources and the enforcement of gender roles and sexuality. We will also look at how Western gender ideals have been imposed on people in other parts of the world. We will talk about concepts, perceptions, images, stories, encounters, games, connections and disconnections. Finally, we will explore questions of practice and resistance.
WGSS 37.03/GEOG 25/SOCY 49.22 Social Justice and the City. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI. Collins. Time: 11
This course explores issues of social justice and cities in terms of the spatial unevenness of money and power within and among cities, between cities and their hinterlands, and between cities of the world. We will examine how multiple dynamic geographic processes produce spatial and social inequalities that make cities the locus of numerous social justice issues. We will also look at how urban communities and social groups are engaged in working for social change.
Transnational feminism, in its broadest vision, has been the project of "feminism without borders." Rooted in intersectionality, justice, praxis, and solidarity, the banner of transnational feminism has assembled scholars and activists from diverse social and geopolitical positions through coalitions across global, regional, national, and local borders, both within and beyond the nation-state. This course begins with genealogies of global, women of color, and postcolonial or Third World feminisms and histories of movement-building from which transnational feminism emerged. Students will be introduced to themes of universalism, solidarity, positionality, and the problems with speaking for "others," especially Northern feminists representing women in the Global South. In the second part of the course, we turn to contemporary topics in transnational feminism, including globalization, development, war, militarism, labor, migration, climate change, and humanitarianism, and feminist mobilizing against injustice within and across borders.
WGSS 46.01/PHIL 4 Philosophy and Gender. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI. Rosario. Time: 2
This course will focus primarily on the following questions: What is feminism? What is sexism? What is oppression? What is gender? Is knowledge gendered? Is value gendered? What is a (gendered) self? What would liberation be? In exploring these issues, we will examine the ways feminist theorists have rethought basic concepts in core areas of philosophy such as ethics, social and political philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of law, and philosophy of mind. Open to all classes.
This course will examine the phenomenon of moral panic in nineteenth-century British literature and culture through two linked but distinctive forms of sexual subjectivity: female heterosexuality and male homosexuality, connected forever in the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act that set the stage for the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde. We will consider the relationship between realist and sensationalist literary forms to trace the emergence and regulation of distinctly modern sexual subjectivities in mid- and late-nineteenth-century Britain.
This class examines the ways American commercial television has historically "assumed" gendered positionings of its audience, as well as operates as one of the strongest cultural touchstones of gendered identity in patriarchal, consumer society. After tracing television's place in the construction of gendered ideals through the history of the situation comedy, we examine "gender-specific" genres, such as sports, westerns, cop shows, and soap operas. Representative programs will be screened, and feminist essays on television history/theory are among assigned readings. Open to all students.
This course examines how issues of race and sexuality are elemental to radical formulations of queer theory. We will begin with a deep study of U.S. feminist and queer of color critiques to understand how social formations are embroiled in nationalist, colonial as well as free market ideals and practices. Our focus on the quotidian and staged experiences of those who identify or are identified as an outsider, misfit, or the Other is an invitation to intensively analyze and perform what it means to be at once queer and gendered, queer of color, and queer and wild. From accents and affects to styling and production, we will read a range of manifestos, performances, literature, and art that conform to and yet also deviate from what is normal or acceptable in mainstream, U.S-American society. The key words in the title, "Of Color, Wildness and Fabulosity," are suggestive of alternative queer practices in the U.S. and around the world that engage, exceed or even explode dominant categories of race, gender and sexuality. It explores, in other words, queer theory and praxis using diasporic perception or minority perspectives.
This course will examine how Freud's own writings, his biography, and his biographers have shaped the perceptions of psychoanalysis as a specifically Jewish theory and practice. Through a reading of Freud's texts on gender, sexuality, and religion, we will trace the connections between psychoanalysis, Jewishness, and gender that have impacted theoretical discussion. We will explore critique, including Horney, Reich, and Marcuse, and recent debate on the status of Freud in the U.S.
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.