Summer 2009

WGST 10 Sex, Gender and Society

This course will investigate the roles of women and men in society from an interdisciplinary point of view. We will analyze both the theoretical and practical aspects of gender attribution—how it shapes social roles within diverse cultures, and defines women and men’s personal sense of identity. We will discuss the following questions: What are the actual differences between the sexes in the areas of biology, psychology, and moral development? What is the effect of gender on participation in the work force and politics, on language, and on artistic expression? We will also explore the changing patterns of relationships between the sexes and possibilities for the future. Open to all students. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor Moody
10 hour

WGST 33.4 Interrogating Marriage: Sex, Marriage, and the Family in American Culture

Is marriage a repressive patriarchal institution? For centuries, it seemed to be, but in 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage turned the institution on its head. Perhaps marriage is a right rather than a trap.  Then again, maybe not.  This course will discuss the history, literature, and laws around the marriage question in the United States from 1630 to the present. As it turns out, sex, marriage, and the family have never been stable institutions; to the contrary, they have continued to function as flash points for the very social and cultural questions that are central to gender studies scholarship.

Professor Bergland

WGST 36.4/ENGL 60.5/AAAS 81 Slavery, Gender and Resistance

This class will look at a variety of texts responding to transatlantic slavery, from Mary Prince's biographical narrative and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin to contemporary writing to examine how (differences, commonalities?) white and black women writers have articulated slavery, and resistance against it. Required reading (primary texts): The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave; Uncle Tom's Cabin; Toni Morrison's A Mercy; Elisabeth Kuti's The Sugar Wife; Saidya Hartman's Lose Your Mother; and Yvette Christianse's Unconfessed.

Professor Broeck
10A hour

WGST 49.3/JWST 24.5/ENGL 62.1 Hebrew Women Poets

This course will introduce students to the writings of Hebrew women poets from the time of the Ottoman and Mandate Palestine to the Israel of the 21st century. Issues to be examined include canonization (who is included, who is excluded, and why), the role of the female poetic voice in an unfolding national literature, the complex relationship between the Hebrew women poets and the Bible, and the double marginalization of Sephardic women poets.  In addition to reading supplementary critical and biographic materials on the poets, students will be expected to immerse themselves fully in the poetic texts themselves, and to consider the wide range of poetic strategies and techniques used by these poets to articulate their worlds.  Poets to be studied include, but are not limited to, Rahel, Esther Raab, Lea Goldberg, Zelda, Dahlia Ravikovitch and Yona Wallach.  Dist: LIT, WCult: CI. 

Professor Back
2A hour