Courses

Current/Upcoming Microseminars

GCWS Micro-Seminars are a new pilot program for the 2016-2017 academic year. These are five-week, un-graded, graduate-level reading, writing, and discussion-based graduate seminars organized around specific themes in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Specifically, they provide students and instructors the opportunity to delve deeply into ideas not encountered in existing courses at their home institutions. Seminars are open to member institution graduate students, seniors in WGS or a related major, and to faculty. Priority enrollment will be given to graduate students.

2016-2017 Micro-Seminars:

FALL
Sex Panics and Social Control
Taught by Catherine Connell, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University
Wednesdays, 5 – 7 PM (9/21/16 – 10/19/16)
*Meets at Boston College*
Full description, dates, and location information available here.

Who Can Play? Race, Gender, Sports, and Bodies
Taught by Jo Trigilio, Director of Gender/Cultural Studies at Simmons College and Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies;
Tuesdays, 7 – 9 PM (10/18/16 – 11/15/16)
*Meets at Tufts University*
Full description, dates, and location information available here.

SPRING
A Reading with the Author: Compulsory: Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Prison School
Taught by Sabina Vaught, Associate Professor of Education at Tufts University
Fridays, 10 – 12 PM (2/3/17 – 3/10/17)
*Meets at the Harvard Graduate School of Education*
Full description, dates, and location information available here.

Critical Menstruation Studies
Taught by Chris Bobel, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston
Wednesdays, 6 – 8 PM (3/22/17 – 4/19/17)
*Meets at MIT*
Full description, dates, and location information available here.

 

Micro-seminar structure and location:
Seminars meet for two hours, once a week, over five consecutive weeks at one of our GCWS member institutions. In 2016-17, our four micro-seminars will be hosted at Boston College, Tufts University, The Harvard Graduate School of Education, and MIT.  Specific building and room assignments are listed with the micro-seminar descriptions where available. 

Enrollment and assessment:
Participating students will receive a certificate of completion from the GCWS, stamped with the MIT seal. No credit is associated with participation in these seminars. These micro-seminars focus on participation in the absence of formal assessment and provide opportunities to explore subject areas in an in-depth, concentrated manner.

Eligibility:
Graduate students enrolled in any department and degree program at GCWS member institutions may apply.  Undergraduate seniors doing work in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or related major are eligible and encouraged to apply. Faculty may also join, space-permitting.

How to apply:
Students will apply through the GCWS web site through the GCWS microseminar application page.

     Application deadline for Fall 2016 Micro-Seminars:  September 9th, 2016
     Application deadline for Spring 2017 Micro-Seminars:  December 15th, 2016

 

Full micro-seminar descriptions below:

 

Sex Panics and Social Control
GCWS Micro-seminar
**This Micro-seminar will meet at Boston College**
Stokes Hall, Room 476S
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA  02467

Wednesday evenings, 5 7 PM

Fall 2016 dates:
September 21st
September 28th
October 5th
October 12th
October 19th

Public anxieties over teenage sex parties, HIV “bug chasers,” and ritual sexual abuse in daycare are all forms of sex panic, which center on disruptions of the established norms of appropriate sexual behavior that threaten to transform social order and mores. They often entail false or exaggerated claims about the phenomenon at hand that are then used to justify more stringent punitive and surveillance practices against the marginalized. Scholars argue that such panics, seemingly about protecting child welfare, public health, or national security are actually about the regulation of gender, sexuality, race, and class and the maintenance of privilege. In this seminar, we will examine a number of case studies of sex panics from the US, UK, and Canada to investigate their various motivations, discursive constructions, and consequences. This is an interdisciplinary course that includes scholarship from and will be relevant to students interested in sociology, anthropology, education, media studies, philosophy, cultural studies, political science, and American Studies; it also includes journalism and documentary film.

Faculty Leader:
Catherine Connell is Assistant Professor of Sociology, WGS Affiliated Faculty at Boston University, and is also Director of Graduate Studies for the BU Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.  Her work focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, and work & occupations. She is the author of Schools Out: Gay and Lesbian Teachers in the Classroom (2014, UC Press). Her work has been published in Signs, Gender & Society, and Womens Studies Quarterly, among other outlets.

 

Who Can Play? Race, Gender, Sports, and Bodies
GCWS Micro-seminar
**This micro-seminar will meet at Tufts University**
2nd Floor Conference Room at Paige Hall
Tufts University
12 Upper Campus Road
Medford, MA  02155

Tuesday evenings, 7 9 PM

Fall 2016 dates:
 October 18th
October 25th
November 1st
November 8th
November 15th

This seminar will explore the role that sports play in understanding gendered, raced, and sexed bodies in the U.S. The world of sports produces concepts and images of embodiment that effect institutionalized gender and race relations, and in turn, sexism and racism continue to structure the world of sports. Do biological differences between male and female bodies justify "separate and different, but equal" treatment in sports?  How is binary biological sex to be understood in a sports world complicated by anabolic steroids, intersexed individuals, and transpeople?  Why was it considered socially inappropriate for U.S. white women to run track in the 1940’s while U.S. black women became international track stars? How are the characteristics of heavy musculature, strength, toughness, and resilience associated with gender bias in conceptions of leadership? This micro-seminar includes topics and concepts that would be relevant to students interested in gender studies, trans studies, race studies, embodiment theory, and sports theory. 

Faculty Leader:
Jo Trigilio is Director of the Graduate Program in Gender/Cultural Studies at Simmons College and Senior Lecturer of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies.  She is also Co-Chair of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS).  Dr. Trigilio specializes in oppression/liberation theories, including feminist, gender, sexuality, race, and queer theories, with an interest in the intersection of theory and practice. Dr. Trigilio is politically active in the queer community of Boston and is currently leading the Boston Dyke March History and Archive Project.

A Reading with the Author: Compulsory: Education and the Dispossession of Youth in a Prison School

GCWS Micro-seminar
**This Micro-seminar will meet at the Harvard Graduate School of Education**

Classroom: Gutman 440
13 Appian Way
Cambridge, MA 02138
Link to Harvard GSE campus map

Friday mornings, 10 12 PM

Spring 2017 dates:
February 3rd
February 10th
February 17th
February 24th
March 10th*

This micro-seminar will be organized around a collective reading of the instructor’s newly-released ethnography, Compulsory. Compulsory is a critical ethnography of one state’s juvenile prison school system in which the author explores state constructions of race and gender power. Seminar participants will consider the specific questions of juvenile incarceration, compulsory state education, and critical ethnographic research tools. Particular attention will be paid to the use of feminist methodologies and theories in the book, with an eye toward their use in seminar participants’ own scholarly inquiry. This seminar will be relevant to students who are interested in critical qualitative feminist research, prison, education, and/or theories of race and gender.

*Note that this micro-seminar will not be meeting on 3/3.

Faculty Leader:
Sabina Vaught is Associate Professor in the Department of Education, Director of Educational Studies, Chair of Education, and Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Tufts University. Dr. Vaught is also Co-Chair of the Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS).  Dr. Vaught's scholarship examines the state institutional contexts and dynamics of race, gender, schooling, and power. Her research is grounded in critical race and feminist theories.

 

Critical Menstruation Studies
GCWS Micro-seminar
**This Micro-seminar will meet at MIT, building and room TBD**

Wednesday evenings, 6 8 PM

Spring 2017 dates:
 March 22nd
March 29th
April 5th
April 12th
April 19th

Newsweek’s April 29, 2016 cover story on menstrual activism signaled a historic shift. A few months earlier, Cosmopolitan, NPR and the Huffington Post all dubbed 2015 the year the period went public.” Indeed, very recently, we have seen an unprecedented diversity of menstrual-positive expressions —from the artistic to the practical, the serious and the playful, local and the global. In this seminar, we will regard menstruation as a way to make sense of political, social, medical, and biological processes, and the recursive work embedded in its social construction.  Critical menstrual studies is premised upon menstruation as a category of analysis, asking how systems of power and knowledge are built upon its understanding, and furthermore, who benefits from these social constructions. In general, we will explore this question:  what knowledge is gained when menstruation emerges as a dynamic category of analysis? Students in this seminar will explore the extant literature as well as iterative questions germane to this emerging and rapidly proliferating subfield. This micro-seminar includes topics and concepts that would be relevant to students interested in body studies, gender and health (especially through the lenses of medicalization, biopolitics, global development, and neoliberalism), and feminist activism.  

Faculty leader
Chris Bobel is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her scholarship lies at the intersection of social movements, gender, health and embodiment, or how feminist thinking becomes feminist doing at the most intimate and immediate levels. She is the author of The Paradox of Natural MotheringNew Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation, and co-editor of Embodied Resistance: Breaking the Rules, Challenging the Norms.

 

 

 

 

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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