Courses

Interrogating Marriage

Tuesdays, 6 – 9 PM / 9.4.07 – 12.11.07

Is Marriage a patriarchal institution? Much feminist scholarship has characterized it that way, but now in the context of the recent Massachusetts Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, the meaning of marriage itself demands serious re-examination.   This course will discuss history, literature, film, and legal evolution, making use of cross-cultural, sociological, anthropological and many other theoretical approaches to the marriage question from 1630 to the present.  As it turns out, sex, marriage, and the family have never been stable institutions; to the contrary, they have continued to function as flash points for the very social and cultural questions that are central to gender studies scholarship.

FACULTY

Renée Bergland is Professor of English and Gender/Cultural Studies at Simmons College.  She teaches courses in American literature and culture, gender studies, and literary and cultural theory.  Her first book, The National Uncanny: Indian Ghosts and American Subjects, focuses on the Native American figures that haunt US cultural narratives.  More recently, she wrote Computer of Venus: Maria Mitchell and the Sexing of Science, forthcoming from Beacon Press in 2007.  Other current projects are an essay collection on the recently discovered Nineteenth-Century American novel The Hermaphrodite, and a monograph on the global Emily Dickinson. 

Leonard Buckle is Associate Professor of Law, Policy and Society and served from 1985 to 2003 as Co-Director of the LPS program.  He teaches negotiation and research methods and supervises dissertations in humanistic and social scientific approaches to the study of law and law-like institutions.  He has done research in tobacco control, community-based dispute resolution and informal uses of the legal system. Before joining the Northeastern University faculty, he taught and conducted research at MIT's department of urban studies and planning, Tufts' department of political science and the Kennedy School of Government.

Suzann Thomas-Buckle is Associate Professor of Law, Policy and Society and served from 1985 to 2003 as Co-Director of the LPS program.  She teaches interdisciplinary research methods and dispute resolution and supervises dissertations in the field of informal justice and the ad hoc construction of social control.  Her academic interests include indigenous legal systems, conflict resolution and the construction of law through formal legislation and litigation and through informal processes in organizations and communities.  Before joining the Northeastern University faculty, she taught and conducted research at MIT's department of urban studies and planning, Tufts' department of political science and the Kennedy School of Government. “I hope to do more work on writing of the west, to explore concepts of the west in future papers, etc.”

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The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085