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Skidmore College
Gender Studies

Fall 2010 Course Offerings

GW 101: Introduction to Gender Studies

M/W 2:30-4:20 
Prof. N. Taylor 
4 credits 
An introduction to the origins, purpose, subject matters, and methods of gender 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.

GW 210: Ecofeminism, Women, and the Environment

TU/TH 11:10-12:30 
Prof. M. Stange 
3 credits 
An interdisciplinary exploration of the complex relationship between feminist theory and praxis, and 
environmental philosophy and activism. Using the idea of "ecofeminism" as its unifying focus, the 
course examines such national and global issues as deforestation, overpopulation, species extinction, 
bioregionalism, environmental pollution, habitat loss, development, and agribusiness. Representative 
perspectives include those based in deep ecology, social ecology, animal and nature rights, human 
ecology, earth-based spiritualities, "wise use," the "land ethic," conservation, and wildlife management. 

GW 212: Women in Italian Society: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

M/W 2:30-3:50 Prof. S. Smith 
3 credits 
Students examine the changing role of women in Italian society. Authors and filmmakers studied 
include Natalia Ginzburg (Family Lexicon), Dacia Maraini (The Blind Countess), and Lina Wertmuller 
(Pasqualino Seven Beauties). A portion of the course is dedicated to the new multiethnic Italian reality. 
Texts by women immigrants in Italy in the last decade include works by Igiaba Scego and Christiana de 
Caldas Brito. Also counts for the minor in Italian.

GW 227:  Holding Up Half the Sky: Gender, Writing, and Nationhood in China

TU/TH 2:10-3:30 
Prof. M. Chen 
3 Credits 
Interdisciplinary exploration of gender issues in China, especially but not exclusively focusing on the 
roles of women in the making of modern Chinese history. Students will learn about cultural specificities 
in the experiences of Chinese women while exploring the diverse meanings of "women's status" and 
gender relations. Themes to be examined in the course content include gendered subjectivities, the 
ideology of the new women, the impact of globalization and transnational capital, different gender roles, 
and women’s writing from the Opium War to contemporary China. Emphasis on different stages of 
women’s writing in relation to their cultural conditions and social awakening, and on the ways 
ideologies helped form gender identities in the twentieth century. (Designated a non-Western culture 

GW 375: Senior Seminar (IND)

4 Credits 
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. Prerequisites: 
GW101 and GW201. 

AM 342: Black Feminist Thoughts

W/F 12:20-1:40 
Prof. W. Grady-Willis   
3 credits 
Examines the development and materialization of Black American feminist thoughts within historical, 
social, political, and cultural contexts. Interdisciplinary in focus, it surveys feminist politics and 
theories through films, popular culture, manifestos, literary texts, and theoretical and historical essays. 
In addition, the course will address how the concepts of black feminism and black womanhood overlap 
and diverge in accordance with the modes of representation used to articulate them. (Designated a 
Cultural Diversity course.)


AN 231: The Anthropology of Food

M/W/F 1:25-2:20 
Prof. K. Tierney  
3 credits 
This course examines the relationship between food, the self, and society both in the United States and 
throughout the globe. If eating is the act of taking the world into our bodies, does each bite change how 
we see the world or does world change us? Where do our notions of taste come from? Drawing on 
cultural roles of food in cultures and societies throughout the world, students will consider 
anthropological approaches to eating, consumption, identity, the body, and gender. Current food 
debates such as globalization, the environment effects, genetically modified organisms, vegetarianism, 
obesity, and disordered consumption will inform our examination of how gender, ethnicity, social class, 
nationality and age shape what (or what not), how, where and why we eat. 

AN 351C: The Anthropology of the Body

M/W 4:00-5:20 Prof. K. Tierney  
3 credits 
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 223: Women and Literature 

TU/TH 12:40-2:00 
Prof. B. Black 
3 credits 
This course focuses on women who have chosen to write for publication.  Particularly interested in 
literary influence, we will examine women writers’ relationships to each other and to their times as we 
construct a narrative of women’s literary history.  Questions of form and language will guide our 
discussions as we debate such issues as identity, happiness, love and sexuality, freedom, and creativity.  
We will read Gothic narratives, melodrama, fairy tale, utopian fiction, but focus particularly on women’s 
intimate relationship to the novel (a form that encouraged nineteenth-century women to read and to 
write).  Our course will begin with Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, the most 
influential work on American thinking about women’s rights and a book that left in its wake, in 
England, the “Wollstonecraft scandal.”  Other readings will include lesser-known works like Mary 
Shelley’s Matilda and Olive Schreiner’s Dreams but also the canonical Jane Eyre, which created a mania 
in England and America.  In our course’s final weeks, we will read Jean Rhys’s famous rewriting of Jane 
Eyre, The Wide Sargasso Sea, and sample work from a group of contemporary writers sometimes called 
“the neo-Brontës.” Finally, we will bring our work close to home when we turn to one of America’s most 
important artists colonies, Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs to examine the particularly cherished community 
it has provided modern women authors.  Course work includes several informal brief essays, one longer 
work, and two exams. 

SO 203: Femininities and Masculinities

TU/TH 12:40-2:00 Prof. K. Ford 
3 Credits 
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. 
Prerequisite: SO101 or WS101.