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Gender and Women's Studies

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Gender & Women's Studies

Course Descriptions

Fall 2014

GWST 1112: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Tuesday/Thursday, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz (CRN 2703)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1:50pm, 4 credits, Hava Gordon (CRN 3214)

This course fulfills an SI: Society core curriculum requirement.

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Gender and Women's Studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important. Gender and Women's Studies aims to understand how this process of 'gendering' occurs. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. This class presents students with a variety of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions, and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many directions.

GWST 2700: Topics in GWST: Performing Gender in the Wild West (CRN 2976)
Tuesday/Thursday, 4:00-5:50pm, 4 credits, Susan Tyburski

This course will cover themes of colonization, race relations, masculinities, femininities, and sexualities in the context of the wild west.

GWST 3873: The Goddess in Art (CRN 4789)
Tuesday/Thursday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, M.E. Warlick

This course surveys the image of the goddess in art from prehistoric times until the present day from a feminist perspective. Beginning with anthropological and art historical theories about the numerous female figurines of Paleolithic and Neolithic times, the course continues to explore representations of female goddesses from ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, Greece, and Rome. Polarized images of Eve, the Virgin Mary and several female saints during the Middle Ages will be examined. From the Renaissance through the Baroque periods, classical goddesses, especially Venus/Aphrodite, are revived and adapted to both Christian and secular contexts. Images of the sexualized female body will be explored, along with its counterpart, the witch, who was persecuted during the 16th and 17th centuries. This course is interspersed with examples of contemporary art inspired by the "Great Goddess," especially by feminist artists of the 1970s and 1980s. Some discussion of the goddess as she appears in contemporary popular culture concludes the class. Cross-listed with ARTH 3873.

GWST 1015: Voice and Gender
Monday/Wednesday, 8:00-9:50am, 4 credits, TBA (CRN 4792)
Monday/Wednesday, 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, TBA (CRN 4795)

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today's society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues. Cross-listed with COMN 1015.

GWST 2212: GWST Gender, Communication, Culture (CRN 4796)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1:50 pm, 4 credits, Pavithra Prasad

This course focuses on the interactive relationships between gender and communication in contemporary U.S. society. This implies four priorities for the class. First, the course explores multiple ways communication in families, media, and society in general creates and perpetuates gender roles. Second, the course considers how we enact socially created gender differences in public and private settings and how this affects success, satisfaction, and self-esteem. Third, the course connects theory and research to our personal lives. Throughout the quarter, the course considers not only what IS in terms of gender roles, but also what might be and how we, as change agents, may act to improve our individual and collective lives. Fourth, the course connects course content to student service learning experiences. Simultaneously, service informs academic content. All students volunteer across the quarter at a community organization and reflect on these experiences on a regular basis, using course materials as a basis for analysis and understanding. This course has a required service learning project. Cross-listed with COMN 2210.

GWST 2420: Social Inequality (CRN 4797)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8:00-9:50am, 4 credits, Amie Levesque

Dimensions of social class and its effect on economic, political and social institutions as well as style of life. Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 and sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Cross listed with SOCI 2420.

GWST 2730: Gender in Society (CRN 5218)
Tuesday/Thursday 10:00-11:50am, 4 credits, Amie Levesque

How the biological fact of sex is transformed into socially created gender roles. How individuals learn they are male and female, and how their behaviors are learned. A look at gender distinctions built into language, education, mass media, religion, law, health systems and the workplace,  Prerequisite: SOCI 1810 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with SOCI 2730.

Archived Courses

Spring 2014

GWST 1112: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies (CRN 2808)
Mondays/Wednesdays, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of Gender and Women's Studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important. Gender and Women's Studies aims to understand how this process of 'gendering' occurs. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and nationality. Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. This class presents students with a variety of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions, and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many directions.

GWST 2215: Selling Sex, Gender, and the American Dream: 1950-Present (CRN 3457)
Mondays/Wednesdays, 2-3:50pm, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

This course analyzes how commercial culture has evolved into the defining cornerstone of American life over the last sixty years. In the first half of the quarter, we will examine key historical moments (including the Cold War, the Civil Rights/Women's and Gay Liberation movements) and investigate how women, ethnic minorities, and members of the LGBTQ community became important "consumer citizens" in the United States. The second half of the quarter will examine these same social groups from a contemporary perspective, and the degree to which globalization, "multiculturalism" and "going green" have emerged as dominant tropes in contemporary commercial culture. By moving from past to present, students will gain an understanding of the complex connections between consumption and U.S. nation-building, as well the consequences "shopping" and the accumulation of "stuff" have had in both shaping and reconfiguring understandings of what it means to live the "American Dream."

GWST 2983: GWST Colloquium: B'hoys to Men: 19th Century Masculinities (CRN 1598)
Tuesdays, 8-9:50am, 2 credits, Charlotte Quinney

This course will explore the various attempts to construct and define masculine power and identity in nineteenth-century America. For example, we will analyze the formation of class identities and the professionalization of manhood, showing how working-class identity was articulated as nationalistic, patriotic, and in opposition to racial and ethnic groups such as the Irish and the Chinese. We will investigate how patriarchy was often cloaked in the benevolent rhetoric of paternalism, and how the notion of the family was fraught with irony in the slaveholding South. This class will trace the decline of gentility and middle-class manhood in the Wild West, as well as exploring masculine indulgence in sentimentality, friendship, and fraternalism. The focus of this course is masculine identity as expressed in literature, pornography, politics, reform movements, protest, labor, and entertainment, as well as an analysis of male sexuality, body politics, performativity and masquerade, and the intersectionality of gender, race and class.

Winter 2014

GWST 3950: Theories in Gender and Women's Studies (CRN 3348)
Monday, 6-9:50pm, 4 credits, Jodie Kreider
Prerequisite: GWST 1112.

This course is an overview of a number of different manifestations of gender theory. The course is divided into four parts: feminist theory, masculinity theory, queer theory, and international perspectives. We will be covering some of the foundational approaches to questions of sexuality and gender identity, as well as exploring examples of these questions through select works of literature and film. This course may be repeated for credit as long as course subtitles are different.

GWST 2230: Gender in a New Era of Empire (CRN 4531)
Monday/Wednesday, 2-3:50pm, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

What does empire look like in the twenty-first century? More importantly, what might a feminist analysis tell us about the ways international state politics, corporate globalization, and cultural imperialism have converged to help move people, ideas, and goods across and between state borders? To help answer these questions, this class will examine notions of cultural imperialism within the context of the United States. Our ultimate goal is to understand how new forms of commercial empire and U.S. militarism are deeply intertwined to the racial, gendered, and sexual modes of conquest and imperialism in the past. By moving from past to present, students will be asked to rethink their understanding of U.S. nationalism, cultural imperialism, and militarism within a feminist framework that accounts for power and inequalities and various configurations of gender, sex, and racialized identities.

GWST 2700: Topics: Enacting Gender Violence: Law, Literature and Theater (CRN 4317)
Tuesday/Thursday, 4-5:50pm, 4 credits, Susan Tyburski

This course will use an interdisciplinary lens to explore how law, literature and popular culture shape gender norms, enact gender violence and provide space(s) for resistance. We will consider the following questions: How does the law perpetrate, enact, protect against, punish, and redress gender violence? What role does stigma play in gender violence? What can an exploration of select legal and literary texts teach us about the intersections of racial, gender and economic violence? What can we learn from literary and theatrical enactments of trials involving gender violence? How does our adversary system of justice inflict violence on offenders, victims, their families and communities? How do documentary theater productions, such as The Laramie Project and 8, creatively reorder legal enactments, and what is the effect of such creative reordering? Finally, how do law and literature provide spaces for resisting gender violence?

GWST 1015: Voice and Gender (CRN 2496)
Tuesday/Thursday, 8-9:50am, 4 credits, Shadee Abdi

In this course, students explore gender in personal and political contexts with the intent of developing their individual voices in these arenas. Students learn to express creatively their voice through strengthening both their written and oral communication skills. This course also discusses gender issues prevalent in today's society and significant moments in rhetorical history that have impacted these issues.

GWST 2982: Colloquium: Queer(ing) Sexualities and Religion (CRN 2168)

Wednesday, 4-5:50pm, 2 credits, Heike Peckruhn

This course will examine sexualities and religion from queer perspectives. Critical investigations will center around how religion and sexuality interrelate and inform one another in regards to construction of genders and sexual expressions, how sexualities can queer religion, and how religious practices can queer our understanding of sexuality. Western constructions of sexuality and Christian religious beliefs/practices will be a focus, though other religious practices will be considered depending on student interest.

GWST 3975: Capstone Seminar (CRN 3206)
2 credits, Hava Gordon

ASEM 2687: Sex and Globalization (CRN 2910)
Monday/Wednesday, 10-11:50am, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz

Over the last thirty years scholars from a variety of disparate fields have laid claim to the study of the complex, pervasive phenomena that many now simply refer to as "globalization." More recently, however, feminist scholars in these same fields have argued that globalization is also an inherently gendered (and sexed and raced) phenomenon that has profound consequences on people's livelihoods, identities, and well-being around the world. This course will examine globalization as a process that centers upon these gendered, raced, and sexual differences. You will be introduced to range of interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and asked to consider the following questions: What does a gendered analysis of globalization look like? How does it enhance our understanding of the ways power, privilege and inequality manifest themselves in different parts of the world? In what ways do women and men get enlisted to support (both physically and symbolically) global commerce, migration, and war? 

Fall 2013

GWST 1112: Introduction to Gender and Women's Studies
Tuesday/Thursday, 10-11:50, 4 credits, Lindsey Feitz (CRN 2872)
Tuesday/Thursday, 12-1:50, 4 credits, Hava Gordon (CRN 4269)
This course fulfills an SI: Society core curriculum requirement.

This course provides an introduction to the discipline of gender and women's studies. All cultures engage in a complex process of assigning cultural values and social roles which vary according to the cultural environment in which human interaction occurs. Among these, the process of translating biological differences into a complex system of gender remains one of the most important.

Gender and women's studies aims to understand how this process of "gendering" occurs. This course also explores how this system of meaning relates to other systems of allocating power, including socioeconomic class, social status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality and nationality.

Using this lens, this course explores contemporary social developments and problems. This class presents students with a variety of texts from sociological articles to literary fictions, and documentary and fictional cinema to explore gender from many directions.

GWST 2700: Topics in GWST: The 21st Century Minstrel Showdown: Hip-hop culture vs. rap music and the commodification of social identities (CRN 3354)
Monday/Wednesday, 4-5:50, 4 credits, B. Afeni McNeely Cobham

The influences of Hip-Hop in America and throughout the world posit this art form among the great cultural aesthetics found in both the Harlem Renaissance and Black Arts Movements. As with any complex genre, elements of Hip-Hop culture, specifically rap music, have been praised for contributions to popular culture and admonished for representations that consistently marginalize women, the
LGBTQIA community, and people of color. This course will explore and seek to understand the long-standing cultural warfare that exists among nine elements of Hip-Hop culture and the impact these challenges have on gender and social identities. Students will be challenged to think critically about Hip-Hop beyond the scope of entertainment. We will accomplish this by examining literature, films and music that provide interdisciplinary discourse on Hip-Hop in our society.

GWST 2981: Colloquium in GWST: Gender in Sports: Identifying the Gendered Ideology in Sports Culture (CRN 2873)
Wednesday, 8-9:50am, 2 credits, Leslie Anne Jennings

Sports occupy a prominent role in American and international cultures. From the vast athletics of the Olympics to the local organization of a T-ball league, American and international cultures clearly delineate sports as either male or female endeavors. While some sports are now practiced by both men and women, such as tennis, swimming and gymnastics, the majority of sports are still considered masculine pursuits. Both female and homosexual athletes are marginalized by their position outside the normative role of the male athlete. However, the male athlete must also conform to the conventions of idealized masculinity in order to maintain his position within the wider gendered culture. This course examines how cultural conceptions of gender determine the manner in which sports are practiced, popularized and ultimately consumed.