Winter 2019

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 07.04 Women in Journalism

This course will focus on the contributions of women journalists in the US and around the globe to coverage of human rights, geopolitics, war, freedom of speech, violence against women, reproductive rights, health, educational opportunity for girls/women, sex slavery/trafficking, climate change and the environment, religion, artistic freedom and other critical issues. Three writing assignments will include a profile, a radio commentary and a feature-length investigation, using original reporting, that sheds light on a social justice issue. Two drafts of each writing assignment are required. We will also hold regular workshops on reporting and writing. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Jetter
12 Hour


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 Aguado
10 Hour

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 Martín
12 Hour

WGSS 24.01/MES 19.03 Arab Feminisms

This course is an introduction to the history of feminism in the Arab world from the 19th century to the present. It examines some of the most important socioeconomic and political issues as well as aesthetic trends that were or continue to be central to feminist activism and cultural production in the region. Throughout the term students will engage with a wide range of primary sources (newspaper articles and op-eds, memoirs, novels, poems, photographs and films) that will help them develop a nuanced and critical understanding of the diverse and dynamic experiences of women in the Arab world. Dist: INT or LIT; WCult: NW

Professor Morsi
2 Hour

(NEW!) WGSS 30.06 Women and Poverty

This course will encourage students to understand the connection between women and poverty in the United States:  (why) are women more likely to be poor than men?  The course will explain this connection between women and poverty by looking at gendered and raced wage gaps; women’s paid and unpaid work within capitalism; the cost of identifying women with caretaking work; stereotypes of poor women; American public policy targeted at (certain) women; and the intersection of (environmental) racism, sexism, and classism. Dist: SOC; WCult: CI

Professor Overton
11 Hour

WGSS 33.03/JWST 53/REL 19.22 Gender and Judaism

Examining the intersections between gender, religious practice, cultural identity, and personal belief, this class will draw upon contemporary gender theory, religious texts and contemporary interpretations of Jewish thought and culture to examine the construction of Jewish identity through a feminist lens.  Authors will include Alder, Boyarin, Heschel, Gilman, Peskowitz, Levitt and Biale.  The class will also investigate questions of race, ethnicity, assimilation and Jewish gender issues in popular culture, including films and the work of performers Cantor, Benny, Berg, Midler, and Sandler. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI

Professor Greenblatt
2A Hour

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. Dist: SOC

Professor McCabe
10A Hour

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 Raymundo
2 Hour

WGSS 42.06 Gender and the Global War on Terror

This course examines the gendered and sexual politics of “The Global War on Terror” in post-9/11 worlds. We will critically examine how everyday people and feminist activists/scholars identify, theorize, and challenge the systems of value and power relationships that historically and presently structure the ongoing U.S.-led “Global War on Terror,” with a particular focus on the effects of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. We also explore how the “Global War on Terror”––America’s longest “official” war, which has been ongoing for sixteen years––is diffuse and continually changing as those persons deemed internal/external “threats” to national security shift over periods of time. In order to examine these relationships of power, we turn to the stories of women and men in the U.S. military, women in Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans, and de-militarization activists and artists in the U.S. and globally over the course of these sixteen years. Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:CI

Professor Gallagher
10 Hour

WGSS 43.02/CLST 11.06/REL 31 Sex, Celibacy, and the Problem of Purity

Late Antiquity (c. 300-500 C.E.) was a time when Christians struggled to understand how gender, family life, and religion could intermesh. Did virgins get to heaven faster than those who marry? Can a chaste man and woman live together without succumbing to lust? Were men holier than women? What about women who behaved like men? This course examines the changing understanding of the body, marriage, sexuality, and gender within Christianity through reading saints’ lives, letters, polemical essays, and legal texts. Open to all classes. Dist:TMV; WCult:W

Professor MacEvitt
10A Hour

WGSS 43.05/REL 28.04 Gender in Islam

“Is Islam sexist?” “What does Islam really say about women?” This course seeks to dismantle the premises of these questions by asking who speaks for Islam, what makes something Islamic, and how are gender and gender roles constructed in Islamic texts and Muslim thought. We will make critical study of the constructions of gender, femininity, masculinity, sexuality, gender relations, marriage and divorce in classical and modern Islamic texts. In asking how Islamic notions of gender are constructed, we will examine both the roles religious texts have played in shaping Muslim life and how Muslim life in its cultural diversity affects readings of religious texts. We will read works of Muslim thought on gender relations in their historical contexts and in relation to one another. Through in-class discussions, critical reading exercises, and short essay assignments, students will strengthen their literacy on global gender issues, study religio-historical ideas on gender, analyze the role of texts in shaping gender in society, and vice versa. Dist: TMV; WCult: NW.

Professor Mixon
12 Hour

(NEW!) WGSS 44.07/REL 41.03 The Struggle for Liberation: Women, Monasticism, and Buddhism

This course will examine the relationship between women, monasticism, and Buddhism through an interdisciplinary and transnational perspective. We will begin in ancient India by examining the founding of the Order of Nuns; the monastic lives, spiritual poetry, and struggles of early Buddhist nuns; and the decline and death of the nuns’ order in India. Then we’ll move on to explore a wide range of topics from throughout the Buddhist world—such as the economic and political power of the nuns’ order in parts of East Asia; the death of the nuns’ order and the phenomenon of low-status “unofficial” nuns throughout much of Southeast Asia; the power of yoginis and other non-monastic spiritual roles for women in Tibet; the increasing phenomenon of Western nuns; and the feminist possibilities (or impossibilities) inherent in Buddhist doctrine. The term will conclude with a sustained look at the contemporary global movement to re-establish the valid ordination lineage for nuns throughout the world—a movement in which the voices arguing “for” and “against” are not always what one might presume them to be. Dist:INT; WCult:NW

Professor Ohnuma
2 Hour

WGSS 46.01/PHIL 04 Philosophy and Gender

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. Dist:TMV; WCult:CI

Professor Passinsky
12 Hour

(NEW!) WGSS 52.05 Women, Representation, Power: Writing India: Then and Now

How are global relationships shaped by what and who we read?  We come to these relationships with preconceptions, often created primarily from our encounters with others that are mediated through language.  In this course, we will examine how knowledge is constructed through language using India as a case study.  This course is directly related to Dartmouth’s Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India. 

Our focus will be on the representation of women and female agency in this case study of India as we explore how knowledge is created, by whom, and to what ends.  Language is a powerful instrument. We will analyze how language has been and is currently used to portray India, as we will think critically about how our perceptions of India have been shaped by what we have read, heard, and seen.  Some questions we will address are: How have images of India been constructed over time? To what ends?  What impact has colonialism had on how India was portrayed to the west?  How did/do Indian writers use language to reclaim their country?  How is feminism defined in India?  How can we understand female agency in the Indian context?  What role have women in India played and how has this female agency been incorporated into or excluded from representations of India developed into the subcontinent as well as outside of it? We will examine how the idea of India has been transmitted using many different genres, such as travel narratives, histories, personal memoirs, fiction, film, and painting. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW.

Professor Beasley
3B Hour

(NEW!) WGSS 56.12/AAAS 32.02 Black Queer Literature and Film

The AAAS Cross-List is Pending Faculty Approval

This seminar will combine elements of black (trans) feminist theory and black queer theory to examine the written works and films/videos by and about lesbians, bisexual, transgender, gay and queer Black people.  Emphasis will be on tracing the emergence of black literary and cinematic voices from the late twentieth century to the present. We will read poetry, fiction and essays as well as watch films with an eye towards  understanding the historical and theoretical construction of sexual and gender identities, politics and sexual/cultural practices in Black communities. Special attention will be paid to the construction of race, gender and sexual identities in North America, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professor Richarson D'91
2A Hour

(NEW!) WGSS 57.01 Data and Bodies

In this course we will take a multi-modal approach to understanding relationships between “datafication” and human bodies. Today’s “Datafication” is a process of transforming diverse processes, qualities, actions and phenomena into forms that are machine-readable by digital technologies, but the act of turning humans and human bodies into quanta of information has a long history. We will be using art, new media, history, information science, and more to think through the impact that datafication has on how we understand ourselves and others. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which data has historically been used in racializing and gendering ways, and the role that quantification of people has been integral to the development of the Western nation-state. Dist: SOC.

Professor Wernimont
3B Hour

WGSS 59.04/THEA 21 Race, Gender, and Performance

Students will explore the perspectives of contemporary Latina/o, Asian American, Black, and Native American theater artists/performers. Our examination will also consider the socio-historical and political contexts engaged through these artists' works. We will also consider the relationship between the construction of identity and strategies of performance used by playwrights/performers to describe race, gender, sexuality, class, subjectivity, and ideas of belonging. Texts examined will include works by Moraga, Highway, Wilson, Parks, Gotanda, and Cho.

Professor Hoxworth
2A Hour

WGSS 65.06 Radical Sexuality; Of Color, Wildness, and Fabulosity

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. Dist:INT or ART; WCult:NW

Professor Richardson D'91
10A Hour