Classes - Fall 2008

Class Number Class Title & Syllabus Professor(s) Time / Room
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies A. Walsh TR 3-4:30
Sexual and Gender Identities K. Surkan T 7-10pm
Gender/Media Studies K. Surkan W 2-5
Women in the Developing World N. Gole T 7-10pm
Gender, Sexuality, and Society H. Paxson TR 1-2:30
Major Authors P. Donaldson TR 1:30-3
Medieval Literature A. Bahr MW 3:30-5
Writing about Race K. Ragusa MW 1-2:30
The Science of Race, Sex, and Gender A. Sur TR 2:30-4
The Psychology of Gender and Race (International Focus) C. Kapungu R 7-10pm

SP.401 Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies

Drawing on multiple disciplines - such as literature, history, economics, psychology, philosophy, political science, anthropology, media studies and the arts - to examine cultural assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality. Integrates analysis of current events through student presentations, aiming to increase awareness of contemporary and historical experiences of women, and of the ways sex and gender interact with race, class, nationality, and other social identities. Students are introduced to recent scholarship on gender and its implications for traditional disciplines.
This class will introduce the student to several different frameworks for thinking about sex and gender, among other social categories, like race and class, across a variety of social and cultural contexts. We will consider the ways that gender functions in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and how it interacts with race and class in the media and in the concrete reality of women.s and men.s lives. The class will focus on in-class discussions of the readings and on their application to the US and beyond.
A. Walsh

SP.406 Sexual and Gender Identities

Introduces scholarly debates about sexual identities, gender identities and expressions, and sexual orientation and its representation in various media. Topics may include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sexual identities as well as their histories in Western and non-Western cultures; queer theory and theories of identity; the origins of social movements for equality; issues of race and diversity within LGBT communities; questions of visibility and media representation; and the politics of sexual orientation in contemporary American institutions. Materials include secondary readings in history, philosophy and cultural theory as well as novels and plays, films and television programs, community studies, oral histories, and legal cases.
K. Surkan

SP.414 Gender/Media Studies

Examines representations of race, gender, and sexual identity in the media. Considers issues of authorship, spectatorship, and the ways in which various media (film, television, print journalism, advertising) enable, facilitate, and challenge these social constructions in society. Studies the impact of new media and digital media through analysis of gendered and racialized language and embodiment online in blogs and vlogs, avatars, and in the construction of cyberidentities. Provides introduction to feminist approaches to media studies by drawing from work in feminist film theory, cultural studies, gender and politics, and cyberfeminism.
K. Surkan

SP.427 Women in the Developing World

Explores how contemporary Muslim critics challenge Western feminist definitions of gender emancipation and distinctions between private and public spheres. Through analysis of both contemporary artists. visual expressions and social scientific texts commenting on women.s bodies and piousness, discusses conflict and cohabitations between Islam and modernity. Topics include: the veiling of women, the construction of mosques, new themes in Islamic literature, (re)contructions of memory and new patterns of consumption and leisure in Muslim-majority and Muslim migrant contexts.
N Gole

SP.455J Gender, Sexuality and Society

An introduction to the anthropological study of human sexuality, gender constructs, and the sociocultural systems that these are embedded in. Examines current critiques of Western philosophical and psychological traditions, and cross-cultural variability and universals of gender and sexuality. Enrollment limited.
H. Paxson

SP.512 Major Authors

Meets with 21L.705 when the topic has content consistent with the requirements for Women's Studies subjects such as "Willa Cather" and "Morrison and Melville." Close study of a limited group of writers. Instruction and practice in oral and written communication. Previously taught topics include John Milton and his Age, Chaucer, Herman Melville, Toni Morrison, and Oscar Wilde and the '90s. Enrollment limited to 12.
P. Donaldson

SP.514 Medieval Literature

Meets with 21L.460 when the topic has content consistent with the requirements for Women's Studies subjects such as "Medieval Women's Literature." Surveys a range of literary works across different European cultures from the Roman Empire to the beginnings of the Renaissance. Literary movements and cultural developments discussed in their social, political, and historical contexts. Topics covered include the growth of religious communities, the shift from orality to literacy, the culture of chivalry and courtly love, the emergence of scholasticism and universities, changes in devotional practices and popular piety, religious intolerance and the Crusades, and the rise of nationalism and class consciousness. Previously taught topics include Medieval Women Writers, The Crusades, and Dante, Boccaccio and Chaucer. Enrollment limited.
A. Bahr

SP.575J Writing about Race

The issue of race and racial identity have preoccupied many writers throughout the history of the US. Students read Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Louise Erdrich, William Faulkner, Maxine Hong Kingston, Sandra Cisneros, and Judson Mitcham, and consider the story of race in its peculiarly American dimensions. The reading, along with the writing of members of the class, is the focus of class discussions. Oral presentations on subjects of individual interest are also part of the class activities. Students explore race and ethnicity in personal essays, pieces of cultural criticism or analysis, or (with permission of instructor) fiction. All written work is read and responded to in class workshops and subsequently revised. Enrollment limited.
K. Ragusa

SP.640J The Science of Race, Sex, and Gender

Examines the role of science and medicine in the origins and evolution of the concepts of race, sex, and gender from the seventeenth century to the present. Focus on how biological, anthropological, and medical concepts intersect with social, cultural, and political ideas about racial, sexual, and gender difference in the U.S. and globally. Approach is historical and comparative across disciplines emphasizing the different modes of explanation and use of evidence in each field.
A. Sur

SP.650J/9.75J The Psychology of Gender and Race (International focus)

Examines evidence (and lack thereof) regarding when and how an individual's thoughts, feelings, and actions are affected by gender and race. Topics include gender and racial factors in: identity development; cognition and emotion; stereotypes; physical and mental health, sexuality, close relationships, and work. Enrollment limited to 20.
C. Kapungu