Women and Gender Studies
Professors Kane (Sociology), Rand (Art and Visual Culture and Women and Gender Studies), and Herzig (Women and Gender Studies; chair); Associate Professors Schulman (Mathematics), Hill (Politics), Houchins (African American Studies), Greer (Mathematics), and Dilley (Dance); Assistant Professor Ewing (Environmental Studies); Visiting Assistant Professor Plastas (Politics)
Women and Gender Studies at Bates is an interdisciplinary program of study. The program offers specialized introductory, methodology, and senior capstone courses, as well as courses taught by faculty members from across disciplines, departments, and programs. Faculty with expertise in a wide range of fields—including art and visual culture, classics, languages, history, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies—contribute to the program's curriculum.
The goal of the Program in Women and Gender Studies is to enable learners to recognize, analyze, and transform gender relations as they appear in everyday life. The program provides the opportunity to study women as social agents whose identities and experiences are shaped by systems of race, class, sexuality, and national power. At the same time, to study gender is to refute simple assertions about women, men, and gender binaries, and to strive instead for richly detailed accounts of the political, economic, and technological conditions through which relations of power have been established and maintained. Analyzing gender enriches our ability to apprehend the differing social roles assigned to individuals, the inequitable distribution of material resources, and the ties between structures of knowledge and larger systems of privilege and oppression. Courses examine women and gender relations in multiple cultural, historical, and material contexts, encouraging the use of transnational, multiracial feminist perspectives. Students may choose to either major or minor in women and gender studies. More information on the women and gender studies program is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/WGST.xml).
Major Requirements. Any student considering a major in women and gender studies should take Women and Gender Studies 100 and Interdisciplinary Studies 250 before the end of the sophomore year. Students must complete the following set of requirements: a total of ten courses, including Women and Gender Studies 100, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, Interdisciplinary Studies 250, Women and Gender Studies 400, and 457 or 458 (senior thesis). The remaining five courses must be chosen from the list that follows, at least two of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.
The women and gender studies course list represents only those courses that are currently part of the Bates curriculum. Students may use courses—including first-year seminars and topics courses—that were listed as women and gender studies core courses in a previous year, provided the catalog year is one in which the student was matriculated. No more than one Short Term courses may be counted toward the major. The list of committee-approved first-year seminars appears at the end of the course list below.
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, many courses in women and gender studies have prerequisites in other departments. Majors should plan their schedules carefully and are urged to consult regularly with the chair to ensure that their program has both breadth and depth. Majors should consider taking Women and Gender Studies 400 in the junior year because this course includes theoretical review, which can help prepare them for the senior thesis.
Planning for the senior thesis should begin in the junior year. In consultation with the chair of the program, each student chooses a thesis advisor according to the subject matter of the thesis. With the assistance of the thesis advisor, each major submits a thesis proposal to the Committee on Women and Gender Studies according to a schedule determined by the program. Students should consult the program chair for thesis guidelines and a schedule of deadlines.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Aside from the thesis, which must be taken for a grade, there are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the major.
Minor. A minor in women and gender studies consists of Women and Gender Studies 100, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, Interdisciplinary Studies 250, Women and Gender Studies 400, at least one other 300- or 400-level women and gender studies course, and two other committee-approved courses. No more than one Short Term course may be counted toward the minor.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. There are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the minor.
WGST 100. Introduction to Women and Gender Studies.An interdisciplinary study of women and gender in cross-cultural and historical perspectives. Emphasis is given to the gendered lives and to potentials for solidarity given diversities of race, class, ethnicity, age, (dis)ability, sexuality, nationality, and religion. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
EN/WS 121G. Asian American Women Writers.This course examines from a sociohistorical perspective fictional, autobiographical, and critical writings by Asian American women including Sui Sin Far, Gish Jen, Maxine Hong Kingston, Trinh Minh-ha, Bharati Mukherjee, Tahira Naqvi, Cathy Song, Marianne Villanueva, and Hisaye Yamamoto. Students explore their issues, especially with concerns of personal and cultural identity, as both Asian and American, as females, as minorities, as (often) postcolonial subjects. The course highlights the varied immigration and social histories of women from different Asian countries, often homogenized as "Oriental" in mainstream American cultural representations. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. L. Shankar. Concentrations
INDS 130. Food in Ancient Greece and Rome. Participants in this course study food in ancient Greece and Rome: the history of the food supply for agrarian and urban populations; malnutrition, its probable impact on ancient economies, and its uneven impact on populations; famine; the symbolism of the heroic banquet—a division of the sacrificial animal among ranked members of society, and between men and gods; cuisine and delicacies of the rich; forbidden food; the respective roles of men and women in food production, and their unequal access to food supply; dietary transgression; and sacred food. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies s28. (European.) (Premodern.) D. O'Higgins. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
AA/WS 201. Black Feminist Thought.While focusing primarily on African American women, this interdisciplinary course surveys historical, intellectual, political, and cultural contributions as well as literary, filmic, and artistic representations of women throughout the Black Atlantic. Using perspectives from the social sciences (especially history, anthropology, and sociology), the humanities (particularly literature), and critical race, womanist/black feminist, and queer theories, students examine experiences and depictions of women of African descent. The class pays particular attention to developing knowledge and understanding of black women's 1) experiences of enslavement and colonization; 2) involvement in liberation movements; 3) efforts at self-definition and self-sufficiency; 4) social and political activism; and 5) production of modes of analysis at the junctures or articulations of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
CM/WS 204. Gender and the Body in Ancient Greece.How did people in ancient Greece think about the categories of male and female? How did these categories intersect with others, such as social status, age, and ethnicity? This course considers issues of gender in archaic and classical Greece and looks at how Greek men and women thought about the body, sexuality, and "transgressive" behavior and individuals. Students analyze literary texts (in translation) as well as medical, religious, and legal evidence—inscriptional and textual—and modern scholarship. Not open to students who have received credit for Classical and Medieval Studies 201. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 35. [W2] D. O'Higgins. Concentrations
RE/WS 207. Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.This course examines the historical formation of Genesis 1–3 against the background of its literary, cultural, and historical context and its subsequent interpretation and use in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions. Special attention is given to the ways in which the biblical texts have been interpreted and used to imagine, promote, and justify social orders — both hierarchical and egalitarian — as well as how the construction of gender relations links to the ways in which other social institutions are articulated and justified. Topics include the creation of the cosmos, characterizations of the Creator, the origins and perfection of humanity, the origins of evil, and the human fall from perfection. C. Baker. Concentrations
INDS 210. Technology in U.S. History.Surveys the development, distribution, and use of technology in the United States from colonial roadways to microelectronics, using primary and secondary source material. Subjects treated include sexual and racial divisions of labor, theories of invention and innovation, and the ecological consequences of technological change. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, history, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for History/Women and Gender Studies 210. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 210. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig. Interdisciplinary Programs.
INDS 212. Writing/Righting Chinese Women.This course is a survey of major writings by Chinese women, from Ban Zhao (40–120 C.E.), whose nujie is considered the early canon of female moral virtues, to the most recent novels by women writers who pride themselves in their audacity to write about their bodies. The course emphasizes ways women writers across time have countered various masculine constructions of silenced femininity and developed their own literary sensibility, especially in the context of China's modern development. Literary works explore topics that resonate with women's experience such as family, marriage, gender identity, sexuality, revolution, nation, and modernity. Conducted in English. Cross-listed in Asian studies, Chinese, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. H. Su. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PT/WS 220. Gender, War, and Peace.This course uses gender as an analytical tool to examine the history of war and peace. Questions include: How do war and militarization construct masculinities and femininities? What types of roles have women played in the making of war and in the making of peace? How has gender socialization influenced people's analysis of and participation in war and in peace activism? What are the gender politics of the politics of war and of peacemaking? How is gender deployed in current war zones and in current movements for peace? Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for PS/WS 220 or Women and Gender Studies 224. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Plastas. Concentrations
INDS 235. The Politics of Pleasure and Desire: Women's Independent and Third Cinema and Video from the African Diaspora.This course examines independent and Third Cinema, and some written texts by women of African descent using contemporary theories of female pleasure and desire. By viewing and reading these cultural productions drawn from "high" and "low" culture in the light of a variety of film theories (e.g., feminist, womanist/black feminist, postcolonial, diasporic) as well as race-critical, feminist, and cultural theories, students explore the "textual" strategies that construct black female representations, and Afra-diasporic authors/directors and audiences as subjects and as agents of political change. Recommended background: any of the following: African American Studies 100 or 140A, African American Studies/Theater 225, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, Theater 102 or 110. Cross-listed in African American studies, rhetoric, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. S. Houchins. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
RU/WS 240. Women and Russia.How did Russian women leave their mark on the twentieth century and how has it shaped their lives? Why are contemporary Russian women inheritors of a complicated legacy of Soviet "emancipation" so resistant to Western feminism? What sources of nourishment and challenge do Russian women find in their own cultural traditions? This course examines some of the great works of twentieth-century Russian writing (autobiography, poetry, novellas, and short fiction) and considers central representations of women in film, in order to understand how women have lived through the upheavals of what Anna Akhmatova called the "true twentieth century." Conducted in English. Not open to students who have received credit for Russian 240. Open to first-year students. J. Costlow. Concentrations
INDS 250. Interdisciplinary Studies: Methods and Modes of Inquiry.Interdisciplinarity involves more than a meeting of disciplines. Practitioners stretch methodological norms and reach across disciplinary boundaries. Through examination of a single topic, this course introduces students to interdisciplinary methods of analysis. Students examine what practitioners actually do and work to become practitioners themselves. Prerequisite(s): African American Studies 100 or 140A or Women and Gender Studies 100, and one other course in African American studies, American cultural studies, or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
JA/WS 255. Modern Japanese Women Writers.In its beginnings, Japanese literature was considered a female art: the greatest writers of the classical period were women, while men at times assumed a female persona in order to write. How do Japanese women writers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries portray the complexities of today's world? How do they negotiate the gendered institutions of the society in which they live? What values do they assign to being a woman, to being Japanese? Students consider issues such as family, power, gender roles, selfhood, and the female body in reading a range of novels, short stories, and poems. Authors may include Enchi Fumiko, Ohba Minako, Kurahashi Yumiko, Tsushima Yuko, Tawara Machi, Yamada Eimi, and Yoshimoto Banana. Readings and discussion are in English. Open to first-year students. [W2] S. Strong. Concentrations
INDS 257. African American Women's History and Social Transformation.This course examines the political, social, and cultural traditions African American women have created from slavery to the current moment. The course considers the influence of African American women on the major social movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including abolition, woman's suffrage, the club movement, women's liberation, the black arts movement, the civil rights movement, and Black Power. Through novels, plays, autobiography, music, and nonfiction produced by and about African American women, students explore a range of intellecutal and cultural traditions. Recommended background: one course in women and gender studies and/or one course in African American studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, politics, and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 257. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/WS 257. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Plastas. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
TH/WS 264. Voice and Gender.This course focuses on the gender-related differences in voice from the beginning of language acquisition through learning and development of a human voice. A variety of interdisciplinary perspectives is examined according to the different determinants of voice production—physiological, psychological, social interactional, and cultural. Students explore how race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and age affect vocal expression. Students also analyze "famous" and "attractive" human voices and discuss what makes them so. Recommended background: Theater 263 and/or Women and Gender Studies 100. Open to first-year students. K. Vecsey. Concentrations
INDS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.Places recent popular and scientific discussions of human heredity and genetics in broader social, political, and historical context, focusing on shifting definitions of personhood. Topics include the ownership and exchange of human bodies and body parts, the development of assisted reproductive technologies, and the emergence of new forms of biological citizenship. Recommended background: course work in biology and/or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in Americal cultural studies, history and women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for History/Women and Gender Studies 267. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 267. Enrollment limited to 40. (United States.) R. Herzig. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
AN/WS 276. Sex, Desire, and Culture.Is sexuality an innate, universal category of human experience? What determines the object of an individual's desire? How does the body become "sexed," reflecting social and objective notions of sexuality and gender? An introduction to the anthropology of sexuality, this course explores the history of the field—the influential figures and dominant theories—and contemporary perspectives in the cross-cultural study of sexuality. A central premise of this course is the understanding that sexuality is a dynamic force, mediated by historical and cultural factors. Topics include ritualized sexual behavior, sexual identity, alternative sexualities (e.g., two-spirit), and body modifications. Recommended background: course work in anthropology. H. Lindkvist. Concentrations
ED/WS 280. Globalization and Education.We live in an era characterized by global flows of ideas and information, commodities, and people. In this course students examine the impacts of globalization upon educational policy and practices. Students explore how these transformative forces influence the educative process in different geographical, national, and cultural contexts. Topics address a set of concerns with enduring resonance to the field of educational studies, including social inequity and change; relations of power; and constructions of race, gender, and social class. A thirty-hour field experience is required. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 28. [W2] P. Buck. Concentrations
AV/WS 287. Women, Gender, Visual Culture.This course concerns women as makers, objects, and viewers of visual culture, with emphasis on the later twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, and the roles of visual culture in the construction of "woman" and other gendered identities. Topics include the use of the visual in artistic, political, and historical representations of gendered and transgendered subjects; the visualization of gender in relation to race, ethnicity, nationality, class, age, sex, and sexuality; and matters of censorship, circulation, and resources that affect the cultural production of people oppressed and/or marginalized by sex and/or gender. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. [W2] E. Rand. Concentrations
AV/WS 295. The Decorated Body.This course analyzes the arts associated with the body, using the body as subject and as lens for theoretical discussions in relation to non-Western and Western cultures. Cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary, with particular attention to the body as gendered and raced, the course addresses the ways that the body has been adorned and manipulated as an artistic medium through practices including painting, scarification, surgical manipulation, tattooing, piercing, branding, and hair adornment. Enrollment limited to 25. A. Bessire.
AV/WS 296. Visualizing Identities.This course examines definitions of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and culture in diverse visual materials. Students think critically about the ways that we articulate and interpret self and other. Students analyze specific examples of visual culture as a means of evaluating constructions, experiences, and interpretations of identities. Themes explored include feminisms; masculinities; transgender issues; and relationships among gender, sex, sexuality, race, ethnicity, globalism, and cultural identity. Students are required to lead a discussion of readings, participate in discussion, and conduct semester-long research for a final paper and presentation. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 381. Enrollment limited to 30. A. Bessire. Concentrations
EN/WS 297. Feminisms.This course develops students' ability to analyze gender in relation to other issues, including race, class, and sexuality. Students explore the multiple theories of how these issues intersect in literature, including black feminism, socialist feminism, queer theory, deconstruction, and psychoanalytic theory. Some attention is paid to media feminism, both the brand of feminism popular in current movies and television shows, and media reactions to feminism. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Enrollment limited to 25. (Critical thinking.) C. Malcolmson. Concentrations
RE/WS 300. Women, Gender, and Islam.The course introduces normative Islamic traditions and Islamic discourses about women and gender from inception of the religion in the seventh century C.E. to the present day. It surveys Muslim women's experiences across a broad span of historical periods and cultural arenas, from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to Europe and North America. Encouraging a critical postcolonial reflexive perspective and emphasizing Muslim women's voices and historical agency, the course draws on a range of scholarly disciplines and methods including historical, anthropological, literary, and art historical studies to explore understandings beyond common stereotypes of "the oppressed Muslim woman." Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Schomburg. Concentrations
RE/WS 302. The Body, Liberation, and Medieval Mysticism.This course focuses on some of the more important mystical texts and visionary literature from the High and Later Middle Ages, both orthodox and heterodox. Exploring the varieties of mystical expression and the social and cultural contexts underlying them, students pay particular attention to the role of gender and authority in figures such as Angela Foligno, Mechtild of Magdeburg, Marguerite Porete, Julian of Norwich, and Teresa of Avila. The course also considers several contemporary retrievals of medieval Christian mystics including the work of Simone de Beauvoir, Luce Irigaray, Grace Jantzen, and Frederick Bauerschmidt. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
RE/WS 310. Gender and Judaism.In this course, students explore aspects of Jewish culture and images of Jews and Judaism through the lenses of gender and sexuality. They examine ideologies, images, and practices from Jewish traditions with an eye to the ways in which gender and sexuality are constructed, maintained, contested, and/or transformed through them. Feminist Jews and Judaism serve as sources for insight and critique as well as constructive resources for religious reflection, ritual, and visions of Judaism's future. C. Baker. Concentrations
INDS 325. Black Feminist Literary Theory and Practice.This seminar examines literary theories that address the representation and construction of race, gender, and sexuality, particularly, but not exclusively, theories formulated and articulated by Afra-diasporic women such as Spillers, Ogunyemi, Henderson, Valerie Smith, McDowell, Busia, Lubiano, and Davies. Students not only analyze theoretical essays but also use the theories as lenses through which to explore literary productions of women writers of Africa and the African diaspora in Europe and in the Americas, including Philip, Dangarembga, Morrison, Herron, Gayle Jones, Head, Condé, Brodber, Brand, Merle Collins, and Harriet Wilson. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: African American Studies 100 or 140, 235, African American Studies/English 121X, 212, 253, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, English 294, 295, or English/Women and Gender Studies 121G. Cross-listed in African American studies, English, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. (Critical thinking.) S. Houchins. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
ED/WS 330. Gender, Power, and Leadership.This course examines classic and contemporary conceptualizations of gender, power, and leadership; the interactions among them; and the implications of these interactions for the practice of leadership in education and other fields of student interest. A thirty-hour field placement is required. Prerequisite(s): a combination of any two courses from education, politics, sociology, or women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Education/Women and Gender Studies s29. Not open to students who have received credit for ED/WS s29. Enrollment limited to 18. [W2] H. Regan.
INDS 333. Goddesses and Goddess Worship in India."Jai Ma!"—"Victory to the Mother!"—is a cry that resounds throughout India. From the feminine deities familiar across India to local goddess cults, devotion to the divine feminine plays a central role in Hindu religious traditions. Both benevolent and terror-inspiring, protective and destructive, goddesses display multiple characteristics and fulfill multiple roles in the Hindu religious universe. This course examines textual sources, anthropological case studies, and visual resources in an in-depth exploration of Hindu goddess traditions that also considers how gender functions in religious imagination and how this relates to social structures. Recommended background: Asian Studies/Religious Studies 249 or Anthropology 264. Cross-listed in Asian studies, religious studies, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Schomburg. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
INDS 342. Performance, Narrative, and the Body.This course examines the politics of the body through the inter/transdisciplinary frames of the narrative and performance, including the specific ways performance and narrative theories of the body and cultural practices operate in everyday life and social formations. Students examine how the "body" is performed and how narrative is constructed in a variety of different contexts such as race, gender, disease, sexuality, and culture. The course places narrative and performance at the center (rather than the margins) of inquiry, asking how far and how deeply performativity reaches into our lives and how performances construct our identities, differences, and our bodies: who we are and who we can become. Recommended background: course work in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, politics, sociology, or women and gender studies. Cross-listed in African American studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Beasley. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PY/WS 343. Women, Culture, and Health.This course examines a variety of perspectives on women's health issues, including reproductive health, body image, sexuality, substance use and abuse, mental health, cancer, AIDS, heart disease, poverty, work, violence, access to health care, and aging. Each topic is examined in sociocultural context, and the complex relationship between individual health and cultural demands or standards is explored. Prerequisite(s): Psychology 211, 235, 242, or 303. Open to first-year students. (Diversity.) K. Low. Concentrations
WGST 350. Walking the Edge: About Borders.What happens to identity when we move beyond conventional definitions of space, region, territory, or nation? What happens when a hybrid or mestiza subject defies traditional categories of nationality, ethnicity, race, or gender? This seminar explores the fluid, unpredictable dynamic of "borderlands," those places where identity and relationships are always in process. The course raises questions about representations and expressions of those who inhabit the borderlands—women of color, of mixed heritage, of multiple nationality—in order to reconceptualize notions of the self. Prerequisite(s): one women and gender studies or literature course. Enrollment limited to 20. C. Aburto Guzmán, M. Rice-DeFosse. Interdisciplinary Programs.
DN/WS 352. The Cultural Performative Body.Is gender restricted by certain cultural aesthetics? How much control does our sociocultural environment have over our normative bodies? We all perform in some way or another. Whether it is interviewing for a job, teaching, or going on a date, our bodies prepare for performance. This course takes an in-depth look at female and male bodies in dance to further inquire how and why gender is so integral to our understanding of society. Students learn how to observe movement, approach gender concepts, and develop critical thinking skills. Recommended background: one of the following: African American Studies/Dance 252, Dance 250, Dance/Philosophy 290, Philosophy 226, 262, 274, or any women and gender studies course. Staff. Concentrations
WGST 355. Gender and Technology.Using gender as its central category of analysis, this advanced reading seminar examines historical and contemporary relationships between men, women, masculinity, femininity, and technology. The course devotes special attention to those technologies used to define, repair, and enhance sexual identity, including dietary aids, cosmetics, psychopharmaceuticals, and hormone therapies. Throughout, the seminar seeks to illuminate structured relations of inequality, investigating the ways in which everyday material objects come to generate, enforce, and transform patterns of social stratification. Prerequisite(s): Women and Gender Studies 100 and two other courses listed in women and gender studies. R. Herzig. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 356. Marriage in America.From California to Massachusetts, controversy rages over whether to restrict or expand definitions of traditional marriage in the United States. This reading-intensive seminar delves into the surprising history of these perceived "traditions," examining ideas and practices of marriage in America from the colonial era to the present. Paying special attention to the idealization of intimate romantic love in contemporary popular culture, readings and discussions explore the interplay of citizenship, religion, consumption, labor, reproduction, sexuality, and racialized gender in an institution long at the center of American life. Prerequisite(s): Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 20. R. Herzig.
WGST 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the Committee on Women and Gender Studies. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PT/WS 390. Race and U.S. Women's Movements.This course focuses on how racial formations develop in women's movements and how gender ideologies take shape through racialization. Some of the movements examined include the woman's suffrage movement, the anti-lynching movement, the civil rights movement, moral reform movements, the welfare rights movement, the women's liberation movement, and the peace movement. Students analyze how the intertwined categories of race and gender shape various women's responses to debates about issues including citizenship, U.S. foreign policy, reproductive rights, and immigration. Students consider current theoretical and methodological debates and examine the topic through the perspectives of women in various ethnic and racial groups. Prerequisite(s): five core courses in women and gender studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies 400E. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Plastas.
HI/WS 390Q. A Woman's Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800–Present.Using a case study approach, this course looks at diverse American women from the early 1800s to the present and how they shaped, traversed, and contested the spaces they inhabited or were assigned, whether public or private, rural or urban, temporary or lifelong. Recommended background: History 141 or 142 or Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for History/Women and Gender Studies 252. Not open to students who have received credit for HI/WS 252. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (United States.) [W2] M. Creighton.
EN/WS 395L. Feminist Literary Criticism.This seminar examines feminist literary theories and the implications and consequences of theoretical choices. It raises interrelated questions about forms of representation, the social construction of critical categories, cross-cultural differences among writers and readers, and the critical reception of women writers. Students explore the use of literary theory through work with diverse texts. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] Normally offered every year. L. Shankar, C. Malcolmson, C. Taylor. Concentrations
EN/WS 395S. Asian American Women Writers, Filmmakers, and Critics.This seminar studies from a literary and a sociohistorical perspective the fiction, memoirs, and critical theories of Asian American women such as Meena Alexander, Rey Chow, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Ginu Kamani, Maxine Hong Kingston, Lisa Lowe, Bapsi Sidhwa, Cathy Song, Shani Mootoo, Jhumpa Lahiri, Joy Kogawa, and Hisaye Yamamoto. It explores their constructions of personal and national identity, as hybridized Asians and Americans, and as postcolonial diasporics making textual representations of real and "imaginary" homelands. Films by Trinh Minh-ha, Indu Krishnan, Deepa Mehta, Mira Nair, Jayasri Hart, and Renee Tajima are also analyzed through critical lenses. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. (Critical thinking.) [W2] L. Shankar. Concentrations
EN/WS 395W. Mary Elizabeth Braddon.Known among Victorians as the "Queen of the Circulating Libraries," Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1835–1915) was immensely popular in her day. Reading a selection of Braddon's best- and lesser-known works, students explore the reasons for her popularity. They consider the subversive and conservative strains in Braddon's writing, her aims and accomplishments as a "sensation novelist," and the significance of her own unconventional lifestyle. Readings include a number of Braddon's novels, short stories, and plays, as well as biographical and critical studies. Not open to students who have received credit for EN/WS 395E. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] L. Nayder.
WGST 400. Junior-Senior Seminar.This seminar is an advanced inquiry into feminist theories and methods. Drawing on work in several disciplinary fields, students ask how using gender as a category of analysis illuminates and/or changes the questions of other disciplines. Students also investigate the development of core theories and methods within women and gender studies. Required of all majors. Normally, one 400-level seminar is offered each year. Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 400C. Understanding Disease.Intensive reading seminar examining the nature, causes, and consequences of human disease and illness. Students consider the birth of the germ theory and biomedical model of disease; the professionalization of medical care; and the role of class, gender, and race in disease research and treatment. Prerequisite(s): five core courses in women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. R. Herzig. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 400D. Global Feminisms.A seminar exploring feminist movements in an international context. Topics include divisions of labor and the "global assembly line," immigration and transnationalism, postcolonialism and cultural imperialism. Students analyze local and international feminist activism and examine multiple definitions of gender, race, ethnicity, and nationhood. Prerequisite(s): five core courses in women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. R. Herzig, L. Hill. Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 457. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Majors normally register for Women and Gender Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Women and Gender Studies 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 457, 458. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Majors normally register for Women and Gender Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Women and Gender Studies 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
WGST 458. Senior Thesis.The research and writing of an extended essay or report, or the completion of a creative project, under the supervision of a faculty member. Majors normally register for Women and Gender Studies 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Women and Gender Studies 457 in the fall semester and 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.Short Term Courses
INDS s19. Food, Culture, and Performance.This interdisciplinary seminar examines the idea of cultural engagement through food. Students explore the meanings of food and eating across cultures, with particular attention to how people define themselves socially, symbolically, and politically through food consumption practices. Drawing from cultural, critical, and performance theories, students engage in the dialectics of cultural exchange and the fluidity of identity; they interrogate conceptions of desire and consumption. The course develops research and writing skills, introduces visual and performance theories of culture, and fosters an understanding of the importance of food and its relationship to identity construction, histories, and cultural literacy. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, anthropology, and women and gender studies. Enrollment limited to 20. Normally offered every year. M. Beasley. Interdisciplinary Programs.
JA/WS s21. Geisha Fantasy: Representations of an Icon.This course examines the stereotypes of the cultural category of geisha in film, literature, visual culture, and the performing arts. Students locate the discourse surrounding the geisha in both Japan and the United States, which leads to themes of "orientalism" (differentiating self and other in a way that hierarchizes the self), "self-orientalism," and nihonjinron (doctrine of a Japanese essence). Students focus on historical contexts in which the category of geisha was formed and developed largely as a projection of male desire and male fantasy, and explore the homogenizing and dichotomizing of racial and sexual identities in the construction of the geisha. Conducted in English. Staff. Concentrations
WGST s23. Technologies of the Body.This reading-intensive, experimental course examines how specific technologies alter the shape, texture, form, and lived experience of particular bodies, and how altered bodies, in turn, help direct the development and use of new technologies. The course culminates in the presentation of individual research projects. Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 17. R. Herzig. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PT/WS s27. Feminisms of the 1970s and 1980s.This course explores the rise of multiple feminist theories and forms of activism during the 1970s and 1980s. Students critically examine the genealogy of the conceptualization of "second wave feminism," and explore the role of gay, Chicano, and black liberation, civil rights, and labor struggles on the development of feminist thinking and action. The course pays particular attention to how feminists of this period addressed questions of U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam, Central America, and South Africa; the nuclear arms race; and U.S. domestic race relations. Students read from primary source material and study the literature produced by Marxist feminisms, black feminisms, lesbian feminisms, liberal feminisms, and radical feminisms. Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Not open to students who have received credit for Women and Gender Studies s25. Enrollment limited to 25. M. Plastas.
PT/WS s32. Global Flows: Gender and Globalization.Globalization processes underlie profound changes in politics from the state to private lives. This course focuses on sex and gender—as aspects of global economics, war, and politics—to uncover how power is structured, used, and challenged in the transnational age. Sex trafficking, militarized prostitution, women's factory work, and intimate labor are some of the topics through which students examine flows of people, ideas, capital, and political strategies. In doing so, students ask: How do gender relations and gender ideologies affect global restructuring? How does globalization (re)shape notions of manhood, womanhood, and the ways people live out those ideas in sex, politics, and war? Recommended background: any of the following: Politics 168, 171, 222, 232, 234, 235, 243, 245, 289, 329, 345, 346, 347, 352, 383, Women and Gender Studies 234 or s25. Not open to students who have received credit for PS/WS s32. Enrollment limited to 20. L. Hill. Concentrations
AA/WS s33. Reading Toni Morrison.This course surveys the writing of Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. Texts are selected from her novels, essays, drama, children's literature, and drama and also include criticism written about her work by other scholars. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: African American Studies 100 or 140A, African American Studies/English 225, English 294 or 295, English/Women and Gender Studies 297 or 395. Not open to students who have received credit for AA/WS s32. Enrollment limited to 15. S. Houchins.
WGST s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
The following courses may also be used toward fulfullment of major or minor requirements:
AVC 375. Issues of Sexuality and the Study of Visual Culture.
AS/HI 390T. Men and Women in Japanese History.
ECON 230. Economics of Women, Men, and Work.
EDUC 240. Gender Issues in Education.
ENG 238. Jane Austen: Then and Now.
FYS 135. Women in Art.
FYS 177. Sex and Sexualities.
FYS 305. Corporal Culture: Body and Health in America.
FYS 346. Desire, Devotion, Suffering.
FRE 352. French Literature of the Seventeenth Century: "Woman Writer/Women Written."
PLTC 155. Women, Power, and Political Systems.
PLTC 235. Black Women in the Americas.
PLTC 245. Democracy in the State and in the Home.
PLTC 297. The Household and Political Theory.
PLTC 298. Sexuality and the Politics of Difference.
PLTC 329. Law, Gender, and Sexuality.
PLTC 347. Gender and the State.
RHET 260. Lesbian and Gay Images in Film.
RHET 265. The Rhetoric of Women's Rights.
SOC 270. Sociology of Gender.
SPAN 444. Contemporary Spanish Women Writers.