Winter 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 07.04 Women and Global 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 Overton
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 Sargent
12 Hour

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 Simons
12 Hour

WGSS 26.03/HIST 08.04 History of Sexuality in America

How have historical processes produced distinct sexual practices and identities over time? This course engages 300 years of a history that often evaded the historical record or was deliberately purged from it and asks how more traditional topics of U.S. historical inquiry—immigration, citizenship, economic organization, intellectual and artistic production, racialization, formal politics, law, religious practice—can yield new insights when sexual history is included as a legitimate dimension of analysis. Dist: SOC; WCult: W.

Professor Moreton
2 Hour


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
2 Hour

WGSS 36.01/ANTH 31 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

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. Dist:INT or SOC; WCult:CI

Professor Billings
10A Hour

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 Dever
2A Hour

WGSS 49.06/MES 16.08 Women and War in Modern Arabic Literature and Film

Women are central figures in the political upheavals of the modern Middle East. Their images have had a remarkable hold on national and international imaginations. This course examines representations of war and everyday life in literature and film produced  by Arab women to understand how armed aggression and violence shape gender (and vice versa). Supplemental readings in history, geography and psychology will provide students with the proper contexts to understand the impact of colonialism, imperialism, sectarianism and decolonization on the region. Dist:LIT; WCult:NW.

Professor Morsi
2A Hour

WGSS 53.07/ANTH 44 Language, Gender, and Sexuality

This course will introduce students to foundational and current thinking about the connections among language, gender, and sexuality, from readings in linguistics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and feminist theory. A cross-cultural approach will characterize the class, and units will link language, gender and sexuality to themes such as power, (in)equality, and identity. Students will also be encouraged to consider the significance of gender and sexuality in the context of quotidian language use. Dist: SOC.

Professor Billings
2A Hour

WGSS 56.01/FILM 46.01 Television and Histories of Gender

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. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professor Desjardins
10A Hour

Associated Course

SPAN 63.07 Radical Women of Latin American Cinema

This course proposes to revise Latin American film historiography by foregrounding contributions by women filmmakers that challenge their audiences to radically rethink categories of politics, gender, race, body, sexuality, aesthetics, and spectatorship. In dialogue with narrative and documentary films, readings will question established definitions of feminist film theory by including a majority of voices from Latin American and Chicana, as well as third- and fourth-wave feminisms. Course to be conducted entirely in English. Dist: ART; WCult: CI.

Professor Matusiak
9L Hour

Foreign Study Program in Hyderabad, India

ASCL 59.01 - Foreign Study in India Topics 1

Credit for this course is given to students who successfully complete this course at the University of Hyderabad while on the ASCL/WGSS FSP.

University of Hyderabad Faculty

ASCL 59.02 - Foreign Study in India Topics 2

Credit for this course is given to students who successfully complete this course at the University of Hyderabad while on the FSP.

University of Hyderabad Faculty

ASCL 59.03 - Director's Course

Credit for this course, taught by the FSP director, is given to students who successfully complete this course at the University of Hyderabad while on the ASCL/WGSS FSP. Topics vary from year to year.

Professor Vandewalle