Faculty  Majors   Minors   Courses  Honors
Gender Studies

Spring 2010 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.

AH 268 AD/DRESSING THE BODY

3 credits
A survey of the stylistic evolution and meaning of dress, hair and body accessories in Europe and America from c. 1400 to the present. Through analysis of both artifacts of material culture and representations of dress and hair in works of art, this course focuses on the role of men’s and women’s fashion in constructing identity, for example, to signify gender, political ideals, and social class. Further, it investigates the religious, economic, and political institutions that work to shape fashion. Additional themes, such as the relationship of fashion design to the fine arts and to craft, the rise of haute couture, the undressed body, and the history of specific items of dress such as the corset, the periwig, and the suit will be explored. Prerequisite: AH100 or permission of instructor. (Fulfills humanities requirement.) 

AH 375 WOMEN IN VERSAILLES

4 credits
Early modern French law stipulated that women could not rule the country, but they were important participants in court culture as the wives, mistresses, sisters, and daughters of kings. This seminar explores the roles of women as subjects and patrons of art during the reigns of Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI (1643-1793). Students will study diverse modes of representation, from portraiture to interior design to caricatures celebrating the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. We will consider conceptions of gender and power; the values and practices of court society and the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture; and the relationships between artistic patronage, social self-fashioning, and political agency. Special attention will be paid to the personas of royal mistress Madame de Pompadour and queen Marie-Antoinette.

AM 230 BORN IN AMERICA

4 credits
An exploration of the changing ways in which American women have experienced contraception, abortion, pregnancy, and childbirth, from 1587 to the present. We will examine developments in technology, law, medicine, the economy, and the role and position of women and the family in society as they have influenced the reproductive lives of American women, using sources from the history of medicine, social history, literature, legal and constitutional studies, government and sociology. Issues we will consider include social childbirth and the role of the midwife in the colonial period, the masculinization of obstetrics, introduction of anesthesia, and criminalization of abortion in the nineteenth century, the struggle for reproductive freedom and the introduction of hospital birth, as well as the legalization of abortion and introduction of alternative birthing patterns in the twentieth century. By analyzing these topics, reading about them, writing about them, and thinking and discussing various aspects of each, we will work to gain a greater understanding of how social change occurs, and what studying reproduction can tell us about the evolution of American society. (Fulfills expository writing requirement.) 

AN 352 THE HUMAN BODY IN ARCHAEOLOGY

4 credits
The Human Body in Archaeology is a critical examination of the human individual through the lens of archaeology. Using human osteology, the archaeological record, and theoretical approaches to identity, this course surveys how archaeologists study people of the past. Topics include morphological attributes of sex and health, modification of the body, burial treatment, preservation conditions, style, gender, race, and ethnicity. We will explore these issues by looking at diverse examples that range from early modern humans to contemporary cultures worldwide. 

EN 229 LOVE IN THE NOVEL

3 credits
Courting, dating, “seeing,” hooking up, breaking up, and marrying “till death do us part”: the love story exists in seemingly endless permutations. We will look at the various forms of love—romantic, erotic, and spiritual—and the ways in which these forms are portrayed and interconnected in selected works of American and British fiction. Juxtaposition of opposites will guide our investigation: we’ll explore love in terms of fidelity vs. philandery, Platonic ideal vs. fleshy temptation, selfless dedication vs. selfish indulgence; the love story in light of canonical masterwork vs. pulp “sinsation,” enduring romance vs. momentary titillation; and lovers in the drama of crushes vs. soul mates; sweethearts vs. perverts, and saints vs. sinners. Our readings depict straight love, gay and lesbian love, gender-bending love and lovers; they are works both exalted and scorned, the subject of both admiration and litigation. Novels include Jane Austen’s Emma, Elizabeth Bowen’s The Death of the Heart, E. M. Forster’s Maurice, D. H. Lawrence’s The Fox and Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited, and Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. We’ll view film versions of several of these novels. We’ll also be sampling lesbian pulp fiction from the 50s, Ann Bannon’s, I Am a Woman, comic books, and on-line sites devoted to love stories. There will be a class report, two papers (3-5 pp. each), and one longer paper (10pp.).

EN 316 THE 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. 

EN 338 QUEER FICTIONS

3 credits
A study of twentieth-century gay and lesbian literature, with a focus on British and American authors. Students will explore a literary tradition in which the invisible was made visible—in which historically marginalized sexualities took literary shape. Questions to be considered include: What strategies have lesbian and gay authors used to express taboo subject matter, and how have these strategies interacted with and challenged more traditional narrative techniques? How does the writing of queer sexuality recycle and revise notions of gender? What kind of threat does bisexuality pose to the telling of coherent stories? In what ways do class, race, and gender trouble easy assumptions about sexual community? Prerequisites: Completion of the Introductory Requirement.

GO 353 SEX AND POWER

4 credits
Examines changing patterns in the regulation of sex, sexuality, and representations of sex and sexuality under constitutional and statute law in the United States. Attention will be focused on how these regulations support or challenge power relationships. Students will participate in a moot court. Prerequisite: GO101 or permission of instructor. 

GO 354 FEMINIST POLITICAL THOUGHT

3 credits
A critical exploration of contemporary feminist political thought. The course will focus on the different conceptions of subjectivity found within feminist thought and the implications of those conceptions for political society. Readings will come from a wide range of approaches including postmodernism, psychoanalytic theory, and standpoint theory. Prerequisite: GO101 or 103, or permission of instructor; for the class of 2012 and after, GO102. 

HI 228 RACE, CLASS, AND GENDER IN LATIN AMERICA

4 credits
Looks at how different ideas about race and ethnicity have shaped Latin American politics and societies from colonial times to the present. Themes covered include: interactions of Iberian, American, African, and Asian peoples; official and unofficial management of multiethnic and multicultural societies; scientific racism; and the relation between theories of race and development of ideas about class, gender, and nation. (Fulfills social sciences requirement; designated as a Cultural Diversity course.) 

SO 251 THE SOCIOLOGY OF SEXUALITIES

3 credits
This class offers an introduction to sexualities. Particular emphasis is placed on bringing sexuality to the forefront of sociological analysis. Thus, this course provides an overview of a variety of theories of sexuality, as well as an examination of the ways in which sexuality intersects with other social identities – such as gender, race, and age – and how sexuality intersects with social institutions, such as politics, schools, the economy, and the media. Special attention is placed on the debates that surround sexuality.

SO 316 WOMEN AND 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. 

TH 334 WOMEN IN AMERICAN THEATER

3 credits
An in-depth examination of a specific topic drawn from the related fields of history and theory. Topics might include a specific period or trend in theater history (for example, the avant-garde) or key artists (for example, women in the American theater) or exploration of theater in relationship to other arts or media (for example, from theater to film) or writing about performance and art. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

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