Summer 2015

WGSS 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 Bergland
2A Hour

WGSS 35.01 What's the T? Gender Variance and Identity Politics in Modernity (NEW)

In this course, we will critically investigate the historical, political, social, and cultural conditions and contexts that have enabled gender variant identities, politics, and communities to emerge and transform. Course materials foreground the relationship between identity and power, highlighting the role that race, sexuality, class, and nation play in the stratification within and variation among trans and gender variant identities, communities, and experiences. We will explore topics such as: historical shifts in the medicalization and pathologization of gender and sexual variance; differing and competing constructions of "sex" and "gender" in academia; how race, ethnicity, class, and nation contribute to the construction and maintenance of gender variant communities, homonormative policies, and both interpersonal and systemic inequities; feminist critiques of gender variant identities and body technologies; controversies and challenges surrounding transgender rights; and, the ways in which trans and gender variant people's lives and futures are shaped by a culture of neo-liberal capitalism. (Pending Faculty Approval)

Professor Kelly
Mondays 3-6 PM

WGSS 38.02/HIST 06.03/AAAS 88.02 Women and Gender in the African Diaspora

The intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class has been particular significant for people of African descent—for both men and women. This course uses memoir to explore the social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of men's and women's lives across the Atlantic World in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The course will focus on the lives of female diasporic subjects from New Orleans to Russia, Jamaica to Harlem, even rural New Hampshire, and as they engaged social, political, and cultural institutions, from prisons to churches, beauty salons to brothels, educational institutions to protest movements. We will give attention to the ways these women made sense of their lives and experiences as well as gendered arrangements of power, hierarchy, and meaning. In focusing on both women and gender, we will better understand the complex ways in which all persons of African descent defined their places in relation to one another and the broader society, imagining and enacting freedom dreams for themselves and transnational communities. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: CI.

Professor R. Johnson
12 Hour

WGSS 41.4/AMES 40.4 Transnational Muslim Feminisms: History, Religion, and Praxis

This course introduces students to the diversity of feminist approaches on a transnational scale, by examining the movements, activism, media, literature, and Islamic debates produced in predominantly Muslim countries and beyond. We will interrogate concepts of transnationalism, feminism and modernity in terms of historical developments, theoretical usage, the context of colonialism, Islamic theologies, and the modern Muslim nation states. We will explore similarities and differences in women's experiences and feminist methodologies across global Muslim contexts. Course materials will be made up of several primary sources in translation that deal with intersectional issues such as religious and cultural practices, educational systems, politics, race and racism, socioeconomic class, legal rights for men and women, and marriage and the family. Dist: INT or SOC; WCult: NW (Pending Faculty Approval).

Professor Ayubi
10A Hour

WGSS 43.05/REL 48 Body and Sex in Chinese Religions

In this course we will explore how different traditions in China conceptualized the relationship between the human body and the universe, and how individuals can attain immortality and transcendence. After examining different conceptions of the human body in traditional China, we will focus on sexual practices advocated by the traditions of immortality seekers, Daoism, and esoteric Buddhism as ways to enlightenment and transcendence. In our explorations we will look at the earliest records of sexual practices found in tombs of the 3rd century B.C.E. and examine Daoist sexual initiation rites and secret rites practiced by emperors. We will consider how notions of cosmic powers and forces are expressed in sexual rituals and how society views such practices. We will also compare Chinese notions of the body and of sexual practices with those found in West. Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

Professor Raz
2A Hour

WGSS 65.7 Queer Popular Culture

This course explores queer popular culture in the performing and media arts, from expressive visual and sonic cultures that include film, performance, music and television to museum and fashion shows, and street carnivals. We will look at conceptions of queerness that play with hyperbolic genders, sexualities and racializations, and interrogate their value, significance and meaning as cultural and/or political expressions. Is queer popular culture a way to sell LGBT life styles as metrosexual taste, or is it a way to challenge the heteronormative mandates set by the market, the state, and their regulatory institutions? 

Professor Lim
3B Hour

Associated Course

SOCY 44/LATS 5: Complexities of Latino Identities in the United States

Professor Gomez
10A Hour