Academics



Classes - Spring 2011

SP.400 - Special Topics in Women's & Gender Studies Seminar
Gender and Technology (new course!)


3-0-9 HASS-E
Lecture: T EVE (7 - 10PM)

This course will investigate the relevance of gender, race, class and sexuality to technology, as well as considering the ways in which technology itself is implicated in the production of these same identity categories. Examining the contemporary and historical use of technology, the development of new technologies, and the cultural representation of technology, we will consider a wide range of questions, including: What role have women played in the development of technology, and how has technological change affected the roles of women and ideas of gender?  How does technology offer possibilities for new social relations and how should we evaluate these possibilities? What are the social implications of technology and how it is understood and deployed in different cultural contexts? What is the relationship of embodiment to technology? Topics discussed may include medical technologies (reproductive, cosmetic and sex reassignment surgery, prosthetics, ultrasound), genetics and questions of identity, gaming and avatars, cyborgs and robotics, household technologies, technology in the workplace, telephony and mobile technology, technology in the developing world, globalization and militarization, and/or social networking.
K. Surkan

SP.401 - Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
3-0-9 HASS Humanities, must enter HASS-D lottery, Category 4, CI-H
Lecture: TR 3 - 4:30

This course offers an introduction to Women's and Gender Studies, an interdisciplinary academic field that explores critical questions about the meaning of gender in society. The primary goal of this course is to familiarize students with key issues, questions and debates in Women's and Gender Studies scholarship, both historical and contemporary. Gender scholarship critically analyzes themes of gendered performance and power in a range of social spheres, such as law, culture, education, work, medicine, social policy and the family.

Throughout the semester, we will "question gender" in multiple ways: Why has gender been a primary organizing principle of society? How do "gendered scripts" for dress and behavior emerge among different social groups and in different societies and historical periods? How do we explain the sexual division of labor and the unequal status of women and girls and those activities and roles deemed "feminine" in society? How does gender intersect with race and ethnicity? How do gendered structures of power and authority operate? What factors contribute to the formation and success of movements for and against gender equality and fluidity? Can we imagine a future in which we largely ignore gender or envision gender in more expansive or egalitarian ways?
A. Walsh

SP.454J/21A.218J - Identity & Difference
3-0-9 HASS Social Science, HASS-E, CI-H
Lecture: MW EVE (7 - 8:30PM)

This course explores how identities, whether of individuals or groups, are produced, maintained, and transformed. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives that deal with identity formation, including constructions of "the normal." We will explore the utility of these perspectives for understanding identity components such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, social class, and bodily difference. By semester's end students will understand better how an individual can be at once cause and consequence of society, a unique agent of social action and also a social product.
J. Jackson

SP.576/21W.745 - Advanced Essay Workshop
3-0-9 HASS Humanities, Hass-E, CI-H
Lecture: T EVE (7 - 10pm)

The course is designed to help you build upon your strengths as a writer and to expand your repertoire of styles and approaches in essay writing. Our focus will be negotiating and representing identities grounded in gender, race, class, nationality, sexuality, and other categories of identity, either our own or others', in prose that is expository, exploratory, investigative, persuasive, lyrical, or incantatory. We will read nonfiction prose works by a wide array of writers who have used language to negotiate and represent aspects of identity and the ways the different determinants of identity intersect, compete, and cooperate.  How does writing of the sort we will read and discuss - writing that is simultaneously personal and political, representing the self as it scrutinizes culture - address and affect the world of lived experience? This will be a question we will sustain as we move through the semester and as each of you writes your way across the private/public divide.
R. Faery

SP.591J/21M.670J - Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiography
3-0-9 HASS Arts, HASS-E
Lecture: M 2 - 5

Explores forms, content, and contexts of world traditions in dance that played a crucial role in shaping American concert dance with attention to issues of gender and autobiography. Explores artistic lives of dance artists Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Isadora Duncan, Martha Graham, and George Balanchine as American dance innovators. Lectures and discussions analyze these artists' works, taking into consideration historical and political contexts. Viewing assignments and attendance of Boston-area dance performances help students identify visual, musical, and kinesthetic underpinnings of choreographic structure.
T. DeFrantz

SP.601J/17.007J/17.006/24.237 - Feminist Thought
3-0-9 HASS Humanities, HASS-E
Lecture: W 12 - 3

In this course we will examine the development of feminist theory over time. Some subjects we will examine in detail include suffrage and equality; radical feminism; psychoanalysis and feminism; theories of power; sexuality and gender; embodied knowledge; pornography; identities and global feminism; militarism; and the welfare state. Throughout the course we will analyze different ways of looking at power and political culture in modern societies, issues of race and class, poverty and welfare, sexuality and morality.
E. Wood

SP.603/21F.069/21H.153 - Race and Gender in Asian America
3-0-9 HASS Humanities, HASS-E
Lecture: MW 2 - 3:30

This introductory course will examine Asian American culture as a site of anti-racist and anti-imperialist American social formation. We will focus on the study of culture produced by Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, as expressions of the histories of groups immigrating from China, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Novels, short stories, poetry, and films will be our media for studying cultural representations of race, class, gender and sexuality. We will contextualize our understanding of culture with history readings about immigration and anti-Asian movements in the U.S., the U.S. wars in Asia, and the empowering struggles of Asian Americans to claim their place in the U.S.
C. Vo

SP.650J/9.75J - The Psychology of Gender and Race
3-0-9 HASS Social Sciences, HASS-E
Lecture: R EVE (7-10PM)

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; stereotype formation, and stereotype threat; gender and race related issues in achievement; gender and racial similarities and differences across the lifespan. In the Spring semester, topics also include gender and ethnocultural aspects of violence and trauma across cultures.
C. Kapungu

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