WS 101 : Introduction to Women's Studies
Professor Kate Graney
T / Th 12:40-2
Office: Ladd 306A Phone: x 5242 Email: kgraney
Course Description and Goals: This course is an introduction to the origins, purpose, subject matters, and methods of the academic discipline of Women's Studies. 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 also become familiar with criticisms of Women's Studies and will explore different and often opposing understandings of what constitutes feminism and feminist action. The class format will combine interactive lectures, reading assignments, discussion, formal research and writing assignments and other student projects. Ideally, you will leave the class with an understanding of how sexual difference structures political, economic and social relations in various contexts.
Reading Women's Lives. Course reader (CR) compiled by A. Zuerner and K. Graney, 2006.
Friedman, Estelle. No Turning Back. The History of Feminism and the Future of Women. New York : Ballantine Books, 2004.
Ehrenreich, Barbara and Deirdre English. Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers. New York, Feminist Press, 1973.
Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid's Tale. New York: Anchor Books, 1998.
TWO TAKE HOME EXAMS (8-10 pages each) 50%
Midterm Due: THURSDAY NOV. 10
Final Due: TUESDAY DEC 20
STUDENT LED TEACHING DAY: Sign up in class 25%
PARTICIPATION and CLASSROOM COMPORTMENT 25%
**INCLUDES FOUR CLASS PROJECTS and SEVERAL POP QUIZZES
EXPLANATION OF ASSIGNMENTS:
TAKE HOME EXAMS : Will be distributed one week before due date. Will not require outside research but will be graded on both content (quality of argument) and style (grammar and presentation). See checklist for written assignments at end of syllabus. Also, for help with writing see:
Government Department Writing Guide:
Skidmore College Writing Guide:
STUDENT LED TEACHING DAY: Each student will participate in a student-led teaching day (SLTD) as a member of a group. Each group is responsible for teaching the class for 45-50 minutes that day. There are six SLTDs. Each teaching group is charged with planning and executing a lesson for the assigned day including the discussion of readings and activities. Guidelines for SLTDs will be handed out in class, and there will be several preparatory meetings. Each member of the group MUST take an active part in the preparation and presentation for the day. Each member of the group will also complete a group evaluation form designed to assess the participation of individual group members and overall functioning of the group.
CLASS PARTICIPATION : Class participation is essential and consists of active engagement, not simply attendance. Students may earn participation points through regular and thoughtful involvement in class discussions and through preparation before class, that is, having read completely and thoroughly the assigned materials. As a gentle reminder to keep on track with the readings, I will administer several quizzes at random throughout the semester. Completion of THREE CLASS PROJECTS, as scheduled in the syllabus, is also part of your participation grade.
A NOTE ON COMPORTMENT:
The mission statement of Skidmore College describes the student body as "a diverse population of talented students who are eager to engage actively in the learning process". While this is usually true for the vast majority of Skidmore College students, the Government Department has found it necessary to formally codify the behaviors of "actively engaged learners" into a formal Comportment Policy. You are expected to follow these guidelines. If you do not, it will negatively affect your grade in this class.
Here is the policy:
DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT
POLICY ON CIVILITY AND COMPORTMENT IN THE CLASSROOM
The classroom experience is the heart of liberal education, and as such is the most important aspect of your Skidmore College education. Presumably, if you did not agree you would not be attending Skidmore. The faculty of the Government Department takes this understanding as the basis of our educational efforts. It is in an attempt to honor the centrality of the classroom experience that we offer this department policy on civility and comportment.
As is stated in the Student Handbook, your presence at Skidmore College is contingent upon your acceptance of, and full adherence to, the Skidmore College Honor Code. This honor code is distinct from the oath you take when writing a paper or taking an exam – it is in fact much more all-encompassing, and much more demanding.
The Code includes the following statement: "I hereby accept membership in the Skidmore College community and, with full realization of the responsibilities inherent in membership, do agree to adhere to honesty and integrity in all relationships, to be considerate of the rights of others, and to abide by the College regulations." Elsewhere, the Code also calls all Skidmore students to "conform to high standards of fair play, integrity, and honor."
What does it mean to do act honestly, with integrity, and according to high standards of fair play, particularly in the classroom? In our view, it includes, minimally, the following.
1. No student shall lessen the learning experience of others in the classroom by arriving late to class.
2. No student shall lessen the learning experience of others in the classroom by leaving the classroom while class is in session, except for true medical emergencies.
3. Cell phones must be turned off during class.
4. No student shall disrupt the learning experience of others in the classroom by talking to a neighbor, writing notes to other students, reviewing one's mail, reading the newspaper, completing homework for other classes, or playing with the laptop computer, while class is in session.
5. No student shall disrespect other Skidmore students, professors or the housekeeping staff by putting feet on the desks or other furniture in the classroom, or by leaving trash, food, or recyclables in the room at the end of the class session.
While we will hold all students to these minimal expectations, we also have some suggestions for those who seek to go beyond the bare minimum of civil classroom comportment to become the type of mature, responsible, active learners who are an asset to any classroom and society at large. These include the following.
6. Every student should take copious and meaningful notes both on assigned readings and during classroom sessions. Note taking is an important skill—if you do not already possess it, you should acquire it.
7. Every student should take some time to review the notes that he or she has taken on the day's assigned reading before each class meeting. You will be amazed how much more invested and engaged in the class you will feel if you go into the classroom well-prepared.
8. Disruptions in class can be a significant impediment to learning, and no member of the Skidmore community—including faculty and students—should tolerate them. Thus every student should take responsibility for holding his or her peers and classmates to both high academic standards and high standards of civility. If people around you are chatting, passing notes or otherwise detracting from the overall quality of YOUR classroom experience, don't let them get away with it.
9. Individual faculty members in the Government Department will determine the level of sanctions for disruptive behavior.
A FURTHER NOTE ON ATTENDANCE: I expect you to be here every day, ready to participate. Absences are keenly noted (I take attendance) and will adversely affect your class participation grade. Sports team related absences must be requested in writing and all classroom work must be made up. In general, documentation is useful, but not always sufficient, for absolution of absences.
OTHER GENERAL POLICIES:
DUE DATES FOR PAPERS:
Papers are due at the beginning of class, on time, on the day indicated in the syllabus. If your paper is going to be late, it is INFINITELY better for you to come to class that day and then turn in the paper later. Skipping class on the due date to finish a paper will result in a larger reduction in your grade than had the paper simply been delivered late.
PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
Don't do it. I and other faculty members have become sensitized to the popularity of internet paper services, and routinely employ services such as those found at "plagiarism.com" and other websites to prevent plagiarism.
**ASSESSMENT/ GRADING AND ASSIGNMENTS
As noted in the Skidmore College Catalogue on page 51, Grades are assigned on the following basis:
A -- Distinguished work
A-, B+, B -- Superior work
B-, C+, C --Satisfactory work
C-, D+, D--Passing but poor quality work
SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Thursday Sept 8 : Introduction to course
Assignment for Monday Sept 12 : Please tell three people you are enrolled in WS 101; gather their reactions and responses ; make sure you take note of their age, class gender and race / ethnicity. Bring your written impressions to class to share
Monday Sept 12: What is Women's Studies ? What is Feminism ?
Patai and Kortege, Professing Feminism, handout
Tuesday Sept 13
Baumgardner and Richards, A Day Without Feminism, CR
Is Feminism Dead ? Film
Thursday Sept 15 : Historical Context, Historical Precedents
Abigail Adams, Letters to John Adams, CR
Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women, CR
Seneca Falls Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, CR
CLASS PROJECT #1: MANDATORY LECTURE AT THE TANG 8 pm: Karen Garner, "Gendered Patriotism:
Mobilizing Men and Women for War" : ALSO, VISIT THE TANG EXHIBIT AND WRITE A TWO PAGE
REVIEW OF THE EXHIBIT AND THE LECTURE AS IF YOU WERE WRITING FOR THE SKIDMORE NEWS
PROJECT DUE THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 22 IN CLASS.
Monday Sept 19 : Gathering of the First Wave
Film : Not for Ourselves Alone, "Revolution"
Tuesday Sept 20 : Race Matters in First-Wave Feminism
Sojourner Truth, Ain't I a Woman ?, CR
Anna Julia Cooper, Status of Women in America, CR
Thursday Sept 22 : Crest of the First Wave : CLASS PROJECT #1 DUE
Film: Not for Ourselves Alone, Continued
Monday Sept 26 : Challenges Remain, The Second Wave Gathers
NOW Statement of Purpose and Bill of Rights, CR
Combahee River Collective Statement, CR
Tuesday Sept 27 : Race / Ethnicity Matters in the Second Wave, Con't
Thursday Sept 29 : Women's History as Women's Activism
Ehrenreich and English, Witches, Midwives and Nurses, entire
Monday Oct 3 : SLTD GROUP ASSIGNMENTS HANDED OUT
Student Led Teaching Groups : Initial Group Meetings
Tuesday Oct 4 Gender and Socialization : Class Project #2 on Family Socialization Handed out / Due Tues Oct 11 :
Lorber, Night to His Day: Social Construction of Gender, CR
Gould, X: A Fabulous Child's Story, CR
Thursday Oct 6 : Socialization into Masculinity and Femininity
Powell, Confessions of a Recovering Mysoginist, CR
FILM : Tough Guise
Monday Oct 10 : SLTD WORKING SESSION
Tuesday Oct 11 : Patriarchy and Power : Class Project #2 DUE
Frye, Opression, CR
Thursday Oct 13 : NO CLASS / Yom Kippur : BEGIN READING HANDMAID'S TALE AND READINGS FOR OCT. 18TH CLASS !!
Monday Oct 17 : SLTD WORKING SESSION
Tuesday Oct 18 : Manifestations of Patriarchy : Art and Literature
Nochlin, Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists ?, CR
Woolf, The Story of Shakespeare's Sister, CR
Thursday Oct 20 : HANDMAID'S TALE : Feminist Fiction as Activism ?
Monday Oct 24 : HANDMAID'S TALE, CON'T : BEGIN CLASS PROJECT #3 : BOOK REVIEW OF HANDMAID'S TALE, DUE TUESDAY NOVEMBER 1.
Tuesday Oct 25 : Manifestations of Patriarchy: Religion
Pagels, What Became of God the Mother ? , CR
Trible, Eve and Adam: Genesis 2-3 Reread, CR
Continue Handmaid's Tale
Thursday Oct 27 : Manifestations of Patriarchy: Political Power
Caiazza, Amy, Does Women's Representation in Elected Office Lead to Women-Friendly Policy ?, CR
Monday Oct 31 : SLTD WORKING SESSION
Tuesday Nov 1 : SLTD #1: SEXUAL HARRASMENT LAW AND POLICY AT SKIDMORE AND ELSEWHERE
BOOK REVIEWS DUE
TAKE-HOME MIDTERM HANDED OUT
Thursday Nov 3 : Manifestations of Patriarchy: ECONOMIC SYSTEMS
Enloe, The Globetrotting Sneaker, CR
Monday Nov 7 : SLTD WORKING SESSION
Tuesday Nov 8 : SLTD #2 : GENDER, JOBS AND ECONOMICS AT HOME
Thursday Nov 10 : SLTD #3: GENDER, JOBS AND GLOBALIZATION
TAKE HOME MIDTERM DUE
Monday Nov 14 : FILM "DEFENDING OUR LIVES"
Tuesday Nov 15 : Manifestations of Patriarchy : VIOLENCE
Allen and Kivel, Men Changing Men, CR
Thursday Nov 17 : BODIES and GENDERS
Freedman, 203-228, 253-275
Fausto-Sterling, "The Five Sexes, Revisited", CR
Katz, "Heterosexual Privilege: Owning My Advantage, Uncovering My Collusion", CR
Monday Nov 21 : FILM : Is It a Boy ? Is it a Girl ?
Tuesday Nov 22 : SLTD #4: BODIES, GENDERS AND SEXUALITIES AT SKIDMORE
Thursday Nov 24 : THANKSGIVING : NO CLASS
Monday Nov 28 : BODIES, GENDERS AND BODY IMAGE : Class project #4 handed out : "DOING DRAG" : DUE MONDAY DECEMBER 5
Bordo, Reading the Slender Body, CR
Tuesday Nov 29 : BODIES, RACE AND GENDER
McIntosh, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack, CR
Takagi, Maiden Voyage: Excursion into Sexuality and Identity Politics in Asian America, CR
Moraga, From Loving in the War Years, CR
Thursday Dec 1 : SLTD #5: Embodying Popular Culture: E-Raced, En-Gendered and Classed Bodies : Class project #4 Due !
Monday Dec 5 : BODIES, GENDER AND REPRODUCTION
Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, CR
Tuesday Dec 6 : THE POLITICS OF MOTHERHOOD : GENDER, RACE AND CLASS
Douglas and Michaels, "The Mommy Wars", CR
Williams, "The Unbearable Autonomy of Being", CR
Selection on Childless Women, Handout
Thursday Dec 8: SLTD #6 : REPRODUCTION AND PARENTING ISSUES AT SKIDMORE AND BEYOND
Monday Dec 12 : The "Third Wave" and Future of Feminism
Baumgardner and Richards, 13-Point Third Wave Agenda, CR
Walker, Becoming Third Wave, CR
Hooks, Men in the Feminist Struggle, CR
Tuesday Dec 13 : The Future, Continued
Checklist for Evaluating Written Assignments
Prof. Kate Graney
Reduction in Grade for Each Day Paper is Late
Bibliography : Are All Citations Complete (Author, Journal Title, Publisher, Date)
Grammar: Verb Tenses, Syntax
Creativity with Language
Length : Is the paper sufficiently but not overly long ?
Does the Paper Address Assigned or Chosen Topic Directly and Fully ?
Use of Sources : Proper Balance of Class vs. Internet vs. Library Sources (as indicated in assignment)
All Sources Cited and Cited Properly (Author Name, Date, AND PAGES CITED)
Strong and Coherent Argument Supported by Appropriate Evidence and Quotes