Faculty  Majors   Minors   Courses  Honors
Gender Studies

Spring 2009 Course Offerings

WS 101 INTRODUCTION TO WOMEN'S STUDIES

4 credits
An introduction to the origins, purpose, subject matters, and methods of women's studies. Through an interdisciplinary investigation of the evolving body of scholarship by and about women, this course presents a survey of women's social, psychological, historical, political, and cultural experiences. The goal of the course is to help students develop a critical frame­work for thinking about gender and sexuality, with special attention to issues of class, race, and ethnicity.

WS 201 FEMINIST THEORIES AND METHODOLOGIES

3 credits
A critical exploration of the history, development, impact, and implications of feminist theory. Beginning with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century proto-feminism, the course moves through the "first and second waves" of the women's movement in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and looks toward the future through consideration of current trends in feminist theory and method. Emphasis is placed on the cross-disciplinary nature of feminist inquiry, and the specific ways in which particular methodologies arise from or relate to spe­cific theoretical positions. Prerequisite: WS 101.

 

AM 206 GENDER AND SEXUALITY

3 credits
An interdisciplinary course on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer identities within and outside the United States. In this course, the subjects of gender and sexuality will be situated primarily among the diverse peoples of the United States, but we will also draw on Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, and their indigenous and diasporic communities for context in order to understand the "Americas" in American Studies broadly and pluralisti­cally. We will read critical studies on the relationships among sexual, racial, and national politics; gender roles and desire; and feminist and queer theories from multiple perspectives. We will also make use of creative texts and films. Writing, reflection, collaboration, and classroom discussion will each contribute to our understanding of how sexuality and gender relate to questions of power and identity in American cultures. Possible topics include femi­nisms; masculinities; borders and migration; dis/ability; diaspora.

 

AM 363 WOMEN IN AMERICAN CULTURE

4 credits
An examination of the changing position of women in American culture and society from the seventeenth century to the present. Topics will include the developing familial, economic, sexual, educational, and political roles of women, as well as consideration of the suffragist and feminist movements. Issues of race, class, and ethnicity will be included, and resources from a variety of disciplines will be used, including material culture, history, literature, poli­tics, sociology, and economics. M. Lynn  

 

CC 365 WOMEN IN ANTIQUITY

3 credits
Selected aspects of classical antiquity that embrace both the Greek and Roman worlds. Top­ics will vary from year to year based upon the instructor's specialization and interests. Build­ing upon the skills acquired in 200-level courses, students analyze primary and secondary evidence and conduct independent research in major writing projects. Courses may include such topics as women in antiquity, sex in the ancient world, classical poetics, and ancient historiography. The course in a different subject area may be repeated for credit.  

 

EN 208 LANGUAGE AND GENDER

3 credits
Investigates the interaction of language and gender by raising questions about society and culture in relation to language use. Systematic examination of the following topics: the his­torical roots of both beliefs and practices related to gendered-language differences in speech and writing; differing structural and functional characteristics of the language used by women and men; the development of these differences in early childhood and their personal and social purposes; and the language behavior of men and women in cross-cultural contexts. J. Devine  

 

EN 229 SEX/FAMILY/NATION IN THE AMERICAN NOVEL

3 credits
Vladimir Nabokov claimed that there were "three themes which are utterly taboo as far as most American publishers are concerned." The first was a happy atheist who lives to an advanced age, the second, "a Negro-White marriage which is a complete and glorious success resulting in lots of children and grandchildren," and the third, of course, was the subject of his own Lolita, a sexual relationship between a pubescent girl and her adult male guardian. In contrast to the commonplace view of the United States as puritanically insistent on sexual conformity, this course suggests that the American novel is singularly fascinated with taboo private relations. How and why do authors use these perverse plots to theorize the rela­tionship between the United States and Europe, between men and women, between racial groups, between the past and the future? If marriage signifies a healthy social order, why do these novels identify the United States with the failure of this system? What are the con­nections between the family, national identity, and narrative form? In addition to nineteenth and twentieth-century American novels concerning divorce, interracialism, homosexuality and other departures from American familial norms, this course will include a film screening and a range of interdisciplinary secondary readings from science and law, queer theory, criti­cal race theory, literary criticism, sociology of the family, and the history of sexuality.  

 

EN 316 NINETEENTH CENTURY BRITISH NOVEL

3 credits
A generic, thematic, and cultural consideration of selected novels by Austen, the Brontes, Thackeray, Dickens, Eliot, Trollope, and others. Prerequisite: Completion of the Introduc­tory Requirement. C. Golden or B. Black.  

 

HI 217 PERCEPTIONS OF WOMEN

3 credits
Throughout the Middle Ages and the early modern period the absence of solid, detailed information by women stands in sharp contrast to the abundance of discourse and imagery about them. What this means is that the imagined woman was far more likely to appear in literature, art, and history, than the real. Historians and philosophers have traditionally wavered between two extremes: classical thought, upon which Renaissance thinkers based their assumptions, emphasized the differences between men and women. Baroque thinkers suggested a more androgynous solution: the possibility that male and female elements existed within every person. The purpose of this course is to explore the richly varied perceptions of Medieval and early modern European women in order to determine from the literature how the images of and discourse about women reflected (or contrasted) their reality. 

EN 316 WOMEN IN MODERN SOCIETY

3 credits
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. Prerequisite: SO101 or WS101 or permission of in­structor. C. Berheide

 

TH 251 GAY AND LESBIAN VOICES

2 credits
A survey of plays focusing on Gay and Lesbian characters and themes by heterosexual writers and Gay and Lesbian writers of the American Theater will be studied in the context of the events and culture of the time. Students will read and analyze plays, reviews, commentary, and theoretical writings. Possible authors to be studied are early works by Edna St.Vincent, Millay and Djuna Barnes in the 1920s to Lillian Hellman, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Robert Anderson, Mark Crowley, William Hoffman, Lary Kramer, and the more contemporary works of Cheerie Moraga, Paula Vogel, Terrence McNally, Tony Kushner, Joe Pintauro, Susan Miller, and the Five Lesbian Brothers.  

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