Faculty  Majors   Minors   Courses  Honors
Gender Studies

Fall 2012 Course Offerings

GW 101 Introduction to Gender Studies Natalie Taylor
GW 375 Senior Seminar Leslie Mechem
AM 376E Disorderly Women Beck Krefting
AN351D  Anthropology of the Body Kenji Tierney
EN 360 Women Writers Jackie Scoones
EN 375 Senior Seminar: Toni Morrison Mason Stokes
FS363  Spanish American Women Images Beatriz Loyola
GO 251C Politics of the American Family Natalie Taylor
HI 298  Women, Gender, and Family in the Ottoman Empire Iris Agmon 
MB 336H The Melting Pot Pushi Prasad
RE 330 Eve, Interrupted Greg Spinner 
SO203 Femininities and Masculinities  TBA
SO 251 Sociology of Sexualities  Kim Tauches 
SO 316 Women in Modern Society Debbie Warnock 
SO 351 Transgender Lives, Identities, and Experiences  Kim Tauches 

 


GW 101 Introduction to Gender Studies 

 An introduction to the origins, purpose, subject matters, and methods of the interdisciplinary 
study of gender. Students are expected to expand their knowledge of the relative historical and 
present social conditions of women and men in different contexts and to develop analytical skills 
for the examination of socially significant variables—race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. 
Students will explore different and often opposing understandings of what constitutes feminism 
and feminist action.  

 

GW 375 Senior Seminar 

Exploration of primary and secondary sources in the interdisciplinary examination of a particular 
theme or topic in gender studies. The focus is on advanced research, and close attention is paid to 
the development, organization, and production of a major project. Students will present their 
research to the seminar; those intending to write an honors thesis will present their thesis 
proposals.

 
AM 376E Disorderly Women

An examination of women characterized by the larger society as unruly, disruptive, radical, 
militant, unfeminine, or just generally disorderly, and what this characterization reveals about 
American society. The course will consider types of women as well as the experience of 
individual, so-called disorderly, women in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States. 
Questions will include: What defines women as disorderly in specific times and places; how do 
women deviate from the roles and behavior expected of all women; what has motivated 
disorderly women, from their perspectives, to act as they have, and what has been the psychic 
cost? The central focus is on “disorderly women” as actors within and upon their society and on 
the responses of that larger society to their actions.

 
AN351D Anthropology of the Body 

Students will examine the socio-cultural roles of the body. How is the body understood? What is 
the relationship between the mind, the self and the body? How have global discourses, 
technologies, and bodies affect native understandings of the body? Students will consider these 
questions and others through an examination of anthropological theories and through a variety of 
bodies and the spaces of their production – including gender, race, religion, discipline, medicine 
and disease, beauty, and nationalized bodies.

 
 
EN 360 Women Writers

Advanced studies in selected women writers. Students will read a group of women writers in the 
context of recent literary criticism and feminist theory. Issues addressed may include the 
relations among gender and style, psychological constructs, genre, literary history, audience, and 
social context.

 
 
EN 375 Senior Seminar: Toni Morrison

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the American Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize 
for Fiction, and the Nobel Prize for Literature, Toni Morrison is considered by many to be our 
greatest living American novelist. Her work, located in the lived experience of African-American 
culture, explores contradictions that lie at the heart of American identity: the love of freedom in a 
country founded on slavery; the fact of racial bigotry in a country allegedly dedicated to equality; 
the role of community in a country that worships the individual; and the insistence of desire in a 
world first imagined by Puritans. Ranging across geographies and demographics, Morrison maps 
an American experience lived in pool halls and churches, cotton fields and urban neighborhoods, 
and most of all in families—families, like America, torn apart and put back together again. In 
this seminar we’ll focus on Morrison’s first five novels (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, 
Tar Baby, and Beloved); Morrison’s critical essay Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the 
Literary Imagination; and variety of scholarly treatments of her life and work. Students will 
write a research paper of 20-25 pages, drafts of which they will share with their peers in a 
workshop format.

 
 
FS363 Spanish American Women Images 

This course explores the diversity of images and literary voices of Spanish American women 
through the study of short stories, novel, poetry, drama and film.  Readings reflect both 
traditional and nontraditional portrayals of women in what has been a particularly male-oriented 
culture.   In this course students examine representations of women in Spanish American culture 
and their historical roots, considering traditional gender roles and more contemporary attempts to 
break with social expectations linked to sex and gender, as well as the complex interactions of 
gender with nationality, class, race and ethnicity. Students will read works by Sor Juana Inés de 
la Cruz, Rosario Castellanos, Rosario Ferré, Rigoberta Menchú, Nancy Morejón, Cristina García, 
and others.

 
GO 251C Politics of the American Family

Liberal democracies, such as the United States, are defined by their limited governments and the 
ostensibly strict separation between private and public life. Yet, political philosophers and 
statesman have always appreciated the importance of the family to the polity. There is a tension 
between our desire to allow for freedom from government control on the one hand and our desire 
to foster a healthy political community on the other. On-going public policy debates often 
concern a group of social and economic issues commonly referred to as “family issues.” This 
course will examine several of those issues. By considering a number of the so-called family 
issues, you should gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the individual, the 
family, and the political community. As we weigh each of the public policy issues we will also 
consider the many competing principles, which influence political decision making.

 
 
HI 298 Women, Gender, and Family in the Ottoman Empire

The course offers an overview on the history of women, gender, and family in the Ottoman 
Middle East (1516-1923). We will focus on selected themes, such as women and property, 
gender roles and relations in the family, household formation and structures, sex crimes and 
social order, gender and class. Based on the reading list, we will also discuss the main historical 
sources and research approaches employed by social historians for investigating the 
aforementioned themes and the ways in which these approaches have changed over the last 
century.

 
MB 336H The Melting Pot 

An interdisciplinary examination of the many challenges and issues raised by the growing 
diversity and multiculturalism of the North American workplace. The course provides a 
historical introduction to the patterns of immigration that affected different workplaces and 
offers an overview of the legal structures that deal with questions of difference in work 
organizations (e.g., the Equal Employment Opportunities Act). It also examines how 
organization structures and cultures influence the reception, inclusion, and experiences of 
different social identity groups along dimensions of gender, race, age, ethnicity, disability, and 
sexual preference. Recent workplace movements that promote and oppose greater diversity are 
also discussed. 


RE 330 Eve, Interrupted

This course surveys the wide range of interpretations of Genesis 1-4, opening up discussions of 
sex and celibacy, androgyny and gender roles, knowledge and authority.  The central story of 
Adam and Eve is one of the most widely recognized stories in the world, but it is not necessarily 
as widely understood. For instance, was there sex in the Garden? If so, who had sex with whom? 
Different readers have arrived at some surprising, and surprisingly different, answers to these 
(among many other) questions. This same set of biblical texts is taken by some to be a charter for 
egalitarian relationships, while others have invoked them to legitimate the subordination of 
women and to defend slavery.  While our critical examination of these issues spans a 
considerable amount of history, it is anchored by contemporary theorizing about the construction 
of identity.

 
SO203 Femininities and Masculinities 

An analysis of gender in contemporary social life. By examining the intersections between race, 
ethnicity, class, sexuality and age, this course explores how differing types of femininities and 
masculinities are constructed, reinforced and maintained in U.S. culture and society. Dating and 
relationships, body image and appearance, and institutional inequities are among the topics 
examined. 


SO 251 Sociology of Sexualities

What comprises a "sexuality?"  Using a sociological lens, students examine the development and 
social construction of sexual identities and desires. This course provides an overview of a variety 
of theories of sexuality, as well as an exploration of the ways that sexuality intersects with other 
social identities such as gender, race, and age. Other topics include sexual subcultures, sexuality 
in the media, sexuality on campus, sexual violence, pornography, and sex work. 


SO 316 Women in Modern Society  

An examination of the effects of the social construction of gender on women in modern societies. 
The course analyzes the intersection of race, class, and gender in women’s lives. The changing 
social status of women in the United States today is compared to that of women in other 
countries. Particular contemporary women’s issues emphasized each year may vary, but typically 
include economic issues, such as occupational segregation and unequal pay, family issues, such 
as power relations and violence, and political issues, such as women’s grassroots political 
activism and national policies. 


SO 351 Transgender Lives, Identities, and Experiences   

"Transgender" is increasingly used to describe a multiplicity of identities as well as a particular 
politic and a growing community. We will examine multiple theories that have been used to 
explore transgendered persons’ lives and experiences, including feminist theory, queer theory, 
and gender theory. A primary goal of the course is an understanding of the multiplicities of the 
masculine, feminine, and queer identities that have emerged under the category "transgender," 
particularly in terms of the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. 
 

* Course numbers, descriptions, and instructors refer to the information relevant to the catalog 
governing the academic semester, and are subject to change. Refer to the Skidmore Catalog for 
up to date information about academic courses. 
 

A A A