Current/Upcoming Courses

Workshop for Dissertation Writers in Women's and Gender Studies

Fall/Spring: Tuesdays, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
September 15, 2015 – May 10, 2016

A writing workshop for graduate students at the dissertation level.  Classes will include presentations and discussions of dissertation writers’ work-in-progress.  Discussions will include both theoretical considerations and practical ones as we address feminist research in historical archives, feminist fieldwork, feminist interpretation of literary, visual and material culture, and feminist research that theorizes the political...  more » 

Understanding the Pornographic and the Obscene

Fall semester: Tuesdays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
September 15, 2015 – December 15, 2015

Expressions, images, and narratives labeled "obscene" and "pornographic" are often deeply charged. Pornography appears in a broad range of historical periods and cultural contexts; it varies drastically; and it is often influential in the way people define, think about, and understand sexuality. Both feminists and non-feminists from a range of disciplines, and outside the academy, have taken up the topic of pornography, producing dynamic debate but little consensus. Some have attended to the links between pornography and key concepts of personal autonomy, bodily integrity, and civil society... more » 

American Motherhood and Mothering: Theory, Discourse, Practice, and Change

Fall semester: Mondays, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
September 14, 2015 – December 16, 2015

Motherhood is often lauded as the most important job, and Americans regularly talk about valuing family.  However, as it tends to be women who are primarily responsible for caregiving in the family, the work is systematically devalued economically, socially, and legally.  The gendered nature of mothering also has a profound influence on women’s and men’s lives outside of the family, especially at work. To explore the complex intellectual and practical issues contemporary American motherhood raises for feminist scholars, this course... more » 

Feminist Inquiry

Spring semester:  Tuesdays, 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM
February 2, 2016 – May 10, 2016

This course investigates theories and practices of feminist inquiry across a range of disciplines by studying a series of pairings of humanist and social science works by feminist scholars. It is not intended as a survey course on feminist theory, although students will recognize many pivotal thinkers included in our reading list. As an interdisciplinary course, Feminist Inquiry also cannot offer a strict "how-to" approach to research, but instead will engage students in questioning disciplinary assumptions and methodologies, seeking new ways to frame scholarly questions, and reconsidering the relationship between subjects and objects of study... more »

The Secret Sex Life of Anthropological Artifacts: Gender and Race in the Museum

Spring semester: Thursdays, 4:00 - 7:00 PM
February 4, 2016 – May 12, 2016

Objects in museum collections lead secret lives. Enmeshed in webs of sexed and gendered significance, they speak to hidden relations of desire and the erotics of power. There is a given-ness to museum display - to the selection of objects, the breadth of their claims for representativeness, the manner of their acquisition - that this course challenges using an interdisciplinary feminist lens. What does it mean to collect human cultural and biological history? What are the roles of gender, sex, and race in shaping the politics of anthropological collection and study? more »


Next Steps

Course List

Contact Us

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