Winter 2021

Class Schedule Effective Fall 2020

Note: Course times are subject to change, and information on this page may occasionally be incorrect. The official timetable published by the Registrar's Office is the final and correct version of course listings and distributive credits.

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.

Professor Douglas Moody
C Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 15 Roots of Feminism

This course will examine pre-twentieth century texts and historical events that set important precedents for the development of contemporary feminist theories and practices. We will survey some of the writings that consolidate legitimated patriarchal/misogynist ideologies in Western worlds (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, the fathers of the Church, the philosophers of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, Rousseau). We will analyze different ways in which women historically have articulated strategies of contestation and/or resistance to systems of power based on gender differentiation. Readings may include works by French medieval thinker Christine de Pizan; sixteenth-century Spanish cross-dresser Catalina de Erauso; seventeenth-century Mexican intellectual and nun Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz; Mary Wollstonecraft; Maria Stewart, the first African-American political woman writer; the nineteenth-century American suffragists; and anarchist leader Emma Goldman. Open to all students. Dist:SOC; WCult:CI

Professor Txetxu Aguado
C Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 18 Intro to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Studies

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 lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender cultural and political history and the interplay between sexuality, gender, race, class, ethnicity, and economics. Students will be expected to work with primary documents (including novels and film), recent work in queer theory, and historical analysis. Open to all students. Dist:SOC; WCult: CI

Professor Misty De Berry
E Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 22.01/HIST 42 Gender and European Society from 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 Walter Simons
D Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 26.02/HIST 29 Women and American Radicalism Left and Right

This course will trace the involvement of U.S. women in radical political movements from the mid-nineteenth century to the present including: Abolitionism; Anti-lynching; Socialist Trade Unionism; the Ku Klux Klan; the Communist Party; the National Welfare Rights Organization; the Civil Rights Movement; the New Left; the New Right; the direct-action wing of the anti-abortion movement; Earth First; and the neo-Nazi American Front. It will also examine the relationship between feminist ideologies and non-gender-specific radical political ideologies centered on race, class, and other social identifiers. Dist:SOC; WCult:CI

Professor Annelise Orleck
F Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 32.03 The Constitutional Rights of Women

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 Jennifer Sargent
ARR, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 34.04/SOCY 56 Sociology of Gender

What is gender? This seminar examines multiple sociological perspectives on what it means to be a woman, man, boy, or girl in everyday life - including gender as a social structure, an identity, an ideology, and something people "do." Readings and discussions reflect a belief that diversity (race/ethnicity, class, age, sexuality, etc.) is central to the study of gender. Possible topics include: language, the body, science, the wage gap, education, and masculinity during young adulthood. SOC

Professor Janice McCabe
K Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 36.06/ENGL 53.33 Gender and Sexuality in Asian American Literature

Focusing on contemporary Asian American literature, film, and popular culture, this course emphasizes a diverse range of engagements with gender and sexuality that disrupts binary thinking on the topic. Through close analysis of cultural texts, students will examine the formation of Asian American genders and sexualities alongside histories of racialization, migration, and labor. Texts may include: Monique Truong's The Book of Salt, David Henry Hwang's M Butterfly, R. Zamora Linmark's Rolling the R's, Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow, as well as episodes of Battlestar Galactica and 24. We will also read critical essays by Gayatri Gopinath, David Eng, Yen Le Espiritu, Karen Tongson, Lisa Nakamura, and Martin Manalansan. Dist:LIT

Professor Eng-Beng Lim
L Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 40.05 Feminist & Queer Performance at the Limit of Action

What counts as feminist and queer activism? This course challenges what we dominantly understand as activism—key to the emergence of feminist and queer theory and ethnic studies. Moving away from political actions centered in these disciplines, such as strikes, protests, and boycotts, this course will turn to visual and performance art works by artists of color, who consider other forms of action that are not overtly visible, resistant, oppositional, agentive, militant, loud, and documentable. Each week, students will examine a performance at the limit of action, including passivity, silence, and endurance, alongside issues related to gender, sexuality, labor, and immigration among others. How might we approach and reconcile with performances that once again reify notions of racialized and gendered bodies as apolitical, passive, submissive, and compliant? Drawing on scholarship within black and women of color feminist criticism, queer theory, critical ethnic studies, Asian American Studies, and performance studies, this course will attune students to the role of aesthetics to interrogate and expand what we typically conceive of as activism, resistance, and survival from racialized, feminized, and queer positions. Dist:ART; WCult:CI

Professor Misty De Berry
L Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 44.03/AAAS 42/REL 66 Women, Religion, and Social Change in Africa

This introductory, multidisciplinary course examines women's religions ideas, beliefs, concerns, actions, rituals and socio-cultural experiences in African societies and cultures from a comparative, historical and gender perspective. We will look at women's experiences of social change in African religions, the encounter with Islam, slavery, Christianity, and colonialism. We will analyze the articulations of economic and political power or lack of power in religious ideas as we ask questions such as: What are the different antecedents and circumstances in which women exercise or are denied agency, leadership, power and happiness in their communities? Texts will include nonfiction, fiction, and film narratives. Open to all students. Dist:SOC; WCult:NW

Professor Robert Baum
J Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 48.08/ENGL 52.05 Desire and Difference in 19th Century British Fiction

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. Dist:LIT; WCult:W

Professor Carolyn Dever
J Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

WGSS 66.02 Social Jusice & Computing

This course draws on feminist and queer scholarship to examine the intricate relationship between datafication, ubiquitous computing, and social justice, highlighting the politics and impacts of data-driven processes and big data on human lives. One of the key highlights of WGSS engagements with computing history is the focus on the politics and impacts of data-driven processes and big data on human lives. The course will provide a brief introduction to histories of computing and data-driven practices within the Anglo-American tradition, including discussions of the roles that ethics and biopolitics play within these histories. We will explore ways that privacy/security, algorithmic processes, computational environmental impacts, and design have exploited the most vulnerable while increasing affordances for the most privileged. We will also spend significant time learning about new data/computational justice initiatives and develop a robust understanding of how social justice issues like prison abolition, climate change, and equitable health outcomes are at the core of understanding computational cultures. No Computer Science or Data Science background is required, but the course will entail learning about some of the technical history within both fields. Similarly, there are no WGSS prerequisites for the cours but students will be responsibly for learning about anti-racist feminist and queer methods and insights. Dist:SOC

Professor Jacqueline Wernimont
J Hour, Remote, with synchronous components

Critical Ethnic, Indigenous and Queer Crossings

WGSS 66.03 Transnational Migration

This course introduces undergraduate students in programs across the college to research practices, theories and methodologies commonly used in cultural analysis, with the intent of increasing their knowledge of the interdisciplinary fields of critical ethnic and gender studies around the theme of migration. Students will read a range of texts, performances, films and learn the different approaches that migration has come to shape transnational sensibility. The course is designed to individual research/analysis projects to emerge around various constellations of issues, such as where questions of 'queer' and 'migrations' intersect, or figures of diaspora, the undocumented and the transmigrant meet. This mode of investigation will enable students to develop research interests in cultural processes, discourses and forms across a range of historical periods, on diverse topics (neoliberalism, disability, humanitarian violence, security/securitization, war, terror, prison, border, law, etc.), and in conversation with interdisciplinary themes that are organized by the week. Students will be introduced to the key debates in the field as they interrogate social and political apparatuses of power (sexism, racism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia/heterosexism, transphobia, ableism, and others), and how those apparatuses determine which migrant bodies are recognized and valued both in the United States and the rest of the world. Dist:INT or ART; WCult:CI

Professor Eng-Beng Lim & Professor Tyler Monson
K Hour, Remote, with synchronous components