Women and Gender Studies
Professors Kane (Sociology) and Rand (Art and Visual Culture; chair); Associate Professors Hill (Politics), Houchins (African American Studies), and Herzig (Women and Gender Studies); Assistant Professors Greer (Mathematics), Buck (Education), and Ewing (Environmental Studies); Visiting Assistant Professor Plastas (History, Politics, and Women and Gender Studies)
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 curricula 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 pursue a secondary concentration 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).
Cross-listed CoursesNote that unless otherwise specified, when a department/program references a course or unit in the department/program, it includes courses and units cross-listed with the department/program.
Major RequirementsAny 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, 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 must be at the 300 or 400 levels.
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 unit may be counted toward the major.
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 senior thesis should begin in the junior year. Each student chooses a thesis advisor, in consultation with the chair, according to the subject matter of the thesis. Planning for the senior thesis and choosing a thesis advisor begin in the junior year. Majors, with the assistance of their advisor, submit a thesis proposal to the Committee on Women and Gender Studies according to a schedule determined by the program committee. Students should consult the program chair for thesis guidelines and a schedule of deadlines.
Pass/Fail Grading OptionAside 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.
Secondary ConcentrationIn the fall of their junior year, students submit to the program committee a secondary concentration proposal consisting of seven courses. Normally, a secondary concentration in women and gender studies consists of Women and Gender Studies 100, 201, Interdisciplinary Studies 250, at least two 300- or 400-level women and gender studies courses, and two other committee-approved courses.
Pass/Fail Grading OptionThere are no restrictions on the use of the pass/fail option within the secondary concentration. Courses
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. R. Herzig.
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. Offered with varying frequency. L. Shankar.
AA/WS 201. African American Women and Feminist Thought.African American history, like European American history, omits the struggles and contributions of its women. Using historical perspectives, the individual and collective experiences of African American women are examined. Particular attention is given to developing knowledge and understanding of African American women's 1) experiences of enslavement, 2) efforts at self-definition and self-sufficiency, 3) social and political activism, and 4) forging of Afra-American/multicultural/womanist/feminist thought. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Normally offered every year. S. Houchins.
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. Normally offered every other year. D. O'Higgins.
HI/WS 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. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every other year. R. Herzig.
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. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. H. Su.
CM/WS 219. Greek Myths and the Psychology of Gender.Ever since Freud argued that Sophocles' Oedipus Rex revealed the most important feature of human development, the Oedipal crisis, psychologists have used Greek myths to understand the human psyche and sexual difference. What do myths tell us about men, women, femaleness, maleness, in ancient Greece or today? Students examine and criticize how influential psychologists such as Freud have interpreted Greek myths and thereby influenced Western notions of gender and sex. This course emphasizes psychological interpretations of Greek myths. It therefore differs from and complements Classical and Medieval Studies 218 (Greek and Roman Myths). Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. L. Maurizio.
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 Women and Gender Studies 224. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. M. Plastas.
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 (i.e., 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 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. Normally offered every other year. S. Houchins.
INDS 236. The Literatures of Women of the African Diaspora.This course focuses primarily on the literatures of black women from Africa, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and Canada, but may examine some works from the United States. All of the texts are in English; some are from the Anglophone diaspora and others are translations from the Lusophone, Hispanophone, and Francophone black world. Students are introduced to historical, feminist, Pan-African, Marxist, and postcolonial critical approaches to analyze this richly diverse yet culturally and politically related body of work. Topics include slavery and migrations, the socioeconomic contexts of prolonged exile from the African continent, liberation struggles on the continent and in the diaspora, as well as the roles of women in these movements. Recommended background: any of the following: African American Studies 140A, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, African American Studies/Anthropology 251, African American Studies/English 253, Anthropology 228, or Politics 235. Cross-listed in African American studies, English, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every year. S. Houchins.
RU/WS 240. Women and Russia.How have Russian women left 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. Normally offered every other year. J. Costlow.
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 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.
HI/WS 252. A Woman's Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800–2000.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. Offered with varying frequency. M. Creighton.
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? What significance does the female canon hold for them as modern and postmodern writers? 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 and 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. Normally offered every other year. S. Strong.
INDS 260. United States Latina/Chicana Writings.This course rests on two conceptual underpinnings: Gloria Anzaldúa's Neueva Mestiza and the more recent "U.S. Pan-latinidad" postulated by the Latina Feminist Group. The literary and theoretical production of Chicanas and Latinas is examined through these lenses. Particular attention is given to developing a working knowledge of the key historical and cultural discourses engaged by these writings and the various contemporary United States Latina and Chicana positionalities vis-à-vis popular ethnic representations. The course also examines the function given to marketable cultural productions depending on the different agents involved. Cross-listed in American cultural studies, Spanish, and women and gender studies. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. C. Aburto Guzmán.
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. Normally offered every other year. K. Vecsey.
AA/WS 266. Gender, Race, and Science.Examines the intersections of gender and race in the norms and practices of modern science. Using methods drawn from philosophy, history, sociology, and anthropology, the course investigates: 1) participation in the sciences by white women and people of color; 2) the formation of scientific concepts of racial and sexual difference; and 3) the influence of gender and race on key scientific categories such as nature, objectivity, and experimentation. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. R. Herzig.
HI/WS 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. Enrollment limited to 40. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig.
AN/WS 275. Gender Relations in Comparative Perspective.Comparative analysis of the social construction of gender in a wide range of contemporary societies, focusing on the contrast among African, Asian, and North Atlantic notions of gender identity and gender relations. Students work toward a deeper understanding of gender diversity and the nature of the relationship between femininity and masculinity (and between those identified as women and men) from this and other continents, and of our own cultural assumptions. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. E. Eames.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Anthropology 276. Offered with varying frequency. H. Lindkvist.
ED/WS 280. Globalization and Education.In this course students examine the impacts of globalization upon educational institutions, practices, and experiences. We live in an era characterized by global flows of ideas and information, commodities, and persons. This course explores 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. Normally offered every other year. P. Buck.
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 century, 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. Normally offered every other year. E. Rand.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for English 395L or Women's Studies 395L. Enrollment limited to 25. Offered with varying frequency. C. Malcolmson.
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 140, 235, African American Studies/English 121X, 212, African American Studies/Women and Gender Studies 201, English 250, 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. Normally offered every other year. S. Houchins.
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. Offered with varying frequency. K. Low.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 350. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. C. Aburto GuzmC. Aburto Guzmán, M. Rice-DeFosse.
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, 251, 351, Dance/Philosophy 290, Philosophy 226, 262, 274, or any women and gender studies course. Offered with varying frequency. S. McCormick.
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. Normally offered every other year. 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.
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.
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. Normally offered every year. L. Shankar, C. Malcolmson, C. Taylor.
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. Offered with varying frequency. L. Shankar.
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. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. 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.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 400C. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 400D. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig, L. Hill.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 457. Normally offered every year. Staff.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 457. Normally offered every year. Staff.
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. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies 458. Normally offered every year. Staff.
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. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
WGST s23. Technologies of the Body.This reading-intensive, experimental unit 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 unit culminates in the presentation of individual research projects. Recommended background: Women and Gender Studies 100. Enrollment limited to 17. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig.
WGST s24. Technology in New England.A historical survey of the development and use of technologies in New England, focusing on gendered divisions of labor. Students travel to regional historic sites, factories, and corporations in order to examine the machines and processes under consideration. Topics include colonial manufactures, early textile production, extractive industries, infrastructure development, and biotechnology. Not open to students who have received credit for Women's Studies s24. Enrollment limited to 12. Offered with varying frequency. R. Herzig.
INDS s25. Black Terror.This unit explores Gothic fiction and film, works that create an atmosphere of brooding and unknown terror and represent race and gender as sources of dread, of "the Horror. The Horror." Students read works by such authors as Sheridan Le Fanu, Bram Stoker, Toni Morrison, Nalo Hopkinson, Tananarive Due, Thulani Davis, Reginald McKnight, Jean Rhys, and Harriet Wilson. The films include The Mark of Lillith, Dracula, Ganga and Hess, The Hunger, and Carmilla. Using psychoanalytic, film, race, queer, and gender theories as tools, students excavate deeply embedded discourses of race, sex, and sexuality. Recommended background: any of the following: African American Studies/Theater 225, African American Studies/Theater 226, or Theater 102. Cross-listed in African American studies, rhetoric, and women and gender studies. Offered with varying frequency. S. Houchins.
EN/WS s26. Felicia Skene.This unit examines the life and writings of the largely forgotten Victorian novelist and social reformer, Felicia Skene (1821–1899). Students investigate Skene's life story and read a number of her works, including The Inheritance of Evil, Or, the Consequence of Marrying a Deceased Wife's Sister (1849) and "Penitentiaries and Reformatories" (1865). Focusing on the novel Hidden Depths (1866), students consider the subject of Victorian prostitution, its primary theme, and engage in the research necessary to produce a new edition of that work. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. L. Nayder.
PT/WS s27. Feminisms of the 1970s and 1980s.This unit 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 unit 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 unit 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. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. L. Hill.
AA/WS s33. Reading Toni Morrison.This unit 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 140A, English/Women and Gender Studies 395L, English/Women and Gender Studies 297, English 294 or 295, or African American Studies/English 225. Enrollment limited to 15. Offered with varying frequency. 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.
The following courses meet the requirements for the women and gender studies major and secondary concentration.
AA/WS 201. African American Women and Feminist Thought.
AA/WS 266. Gender, Race, and Science.
AA/WS s33. Reading Toni Morrison.
AN/WS 275. Gender Relations in Comparative Perspective.
AN/WS 276. Sex, Desire, and Culture.
AV/WS 287. Women, Gender, Visual Culture.
AVC 375. Issues of Sexuality and the Study of Visual Culture.
CHEM 132. Women in Chemistry.
CHI 210. Masculinity and Criminality in Chinese Literature and Cinema.
CM/WS 204. Gender and the Body in Ancient Greece.
CM/WS 219. Greek Myths and the Psychology of Gender.
DN/WS 352. The Cultural Performative Body.
ECON 230. Economics of Women, Men, and Work.
EDUC 240. Gender Issues in Education.
ED/WS 280. Globalization and Education.
EN/WS 121G. Asian American Women Writers.
ENG 238. Jane Austen: Then and Now.
EN/WS 297. Feminisms.
EN/WS 395E. Mary Elizabeth Braddon.
ENG 395J. The Gothic Tradition.
EN/WS 395L. Feminist Literary Criticism.
ENG 395P. Pre-1800 Women Writers.
EN/WS 395S. Asian American Women Writers, Filmmakers, and Critics.
EN/WS s26. Felicia Skene.
FRE 352. French Literature of the Seventeenth Century: "Woman Writer/Women Written."
HI/WS 210. Technology in U.S. History.
HI/WS 252. A Women's Place: Gender and Geography in the United States, 1800–2000.
HI/WS 267. Blood, Genes, and American Culture.
HIST 290. Gender and the Civil War.
HIST 390M. Holocaust Memoirs: Gender and Memory.
HIST 390T. Men and Women in Japanese History.
INDS 212. Writing/Righting Chinese Women.
INDS 235. The Politics of Pleasure: Women's Independent and Third Cinema and Video from the African Diaspora.
INDS 236. The Literatures of Women of the African Diaspora.
INDS 260. United States Latina/Chicana Writings.
INDS 325. Black Feminist Literary Theory and Practice.
INDS s25. Black Terror.
JA/WS 255. Modern Japanese Women Writers.
JA/WS s21. Geisha Fantasy: Representations of an Icon.
PHIL 262. Philosophy and Feminism.
PLTC 155. Women, Power, and Political Systems.
PT/WS 220. Gender, War, and Peace.
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.
PT/WS s27. Feminisms of the 1970s and 1980s.
PT/WS s32. Global Flows: Gender and Globalization.
PY/WS 343. Women, Culture, and Health.
RHET 260. Lesbian and Gay Images in Film.
RHET 265. The Rhetoric of Women's Rights.
RU/WS 240. Women and Russia.
SOC 270. Sociology of Gender.
SPAN 264. Mexican Women Writers.
SPAN 344. Contemporary Spanish Women Writers.
TH/WS 264. Voice and Gender.
WGST 350. Walking the Edge: About Borders.
WGST 355. Gender and Technology.
WGST s23. Technologies of the Body.
WGST s24. Technology in New England.