This class will ask you to read a set of novels, theoretical essays and social science studies in order to think deeply about sexuality, identity, desire, race, objects, relationality, being, knowing and becoming. We will consider sexuality, desire and gender not as a discrete set of bodily articulations, nor as natural expressions of coherent identities so much as part of the formulation of self that Avery Gordon names “complex personhood.” Beginning with a recent film from the UK that rereads queerness back through a history or labor and ending with a recent film made entirely on the iPhone and that stages queerness as part of an alternative articulation of Hollywood, we will explore new and old theories of queer desire.
Through the readings, discussions, and assignments, you will develop critical analytical skills to consider social change movements with particular attention to how sex, gender, race, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, and other systems of power shape people’s everyday lives. We will trace the intersection of histories of labor, medicine, representation and activism and we will ask difficult questions about assimilation, mainstreaming, globalization and pink capitalism. Advanced undergraduate level course
WMST 3514 Historical Approaches to Feminist Questions:Debates on Women in the Premodern World
This class is an introduction to the debates on women that played a dominant role in both the philosophical and literary traditions of the European/Atlantic world from the classical period through the seventeenth-century. Beginning with the works of ancient political theory that actively debated women’s political, social, and ethical position in society (chiefly Aristotle, Plato, and Plutarch), the course will address the pan-European books of “Good Women” that served as exemplary case studies, the querelle des femmes (or debate on women) that dominated political and humanist discourse of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and the crucial importance of the political analogies between the household and the state and the marital and social contracts in the premodern world (and, indeed, in our own). We will study works from ancient Greece and Rome and medieval and early modern Italy, Spain, France, England, Ethiopia and Mexico, and topics ranging from domestic violence and political resistance theory to transvestitism and lesbianism.
The Senior Seminar in Women's Studies offers you the opportunity to develop a capstone research paper by the end of the first semester of your senior year. Senior seminar essays take the form of a 25-page paper based on original research and characterized by an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, sexuality, and/or gender. You must work with an individual advisor who has expertise in the area of your thesis and who can advise you on the specifics of method and content. Your grade for the semester with be determined by IRWGS's Director of Undergraduate Studies in consultation with your advisor. Students receiving a grade of "B+" of higher in Senior Seminar I will be invited to complete Senior Seminar II in Spring 2015. Senior Seminar II students will complete a senior thesis of 40-60 pages in a course facilitated by the IRWGS Director.
WMST 3525 Senior Seminar I: Knowledge, Practice, Power
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to senior majors. The Senior Seminar in WGSS offers you the opportunity to develop a capstone research project during the first semester of your senior year. The capstone project may be freestanding, or, with permission of the instructor, may be continued during the spring semester as a Senior Thesis. The capstone project must be based on original research and involve an interdisciplinary approach to the study of women, sexuality, and/or gender. You must work with an individual advisor who has expertise in the area of your project and who can advise you on the specifics of method and content. Your grade for the semester with be determined by the Senior Seminar instructor in consultation with your advisor.
WMST 3600 Race and the Politics of Food *New Course*
Description: Who is food for? The simple answer is that food is for everyone, yet a close look at the stories we tell reveals that, actually, food is not for everyone. In our novels, nonfiction, films and even in our manifestoes, some people eat and some provide food; some appetites must be unleashed and others, regulated and controlled; and some people—some people are food. Instead of a benign arena for the imagination and enactment of universal rights, food thus exposes “universal” “human” and “rights” as crucial and deeply contested terrains of raced and gendered power. This economy of exchange, of consumption and deprivation, of the satiation of some bodies through devourment of others, of the invisibility of some hungers and the criminalization of some appetites, are all aspects of our founding narrative. These relations define the past and have also come to define our time. In this seminar, will explore the ways that we imagine food and narrate acts of feeding and eating as a means of examining both the historical enactments and contemporary mechanisms of power.
Through our study of a variety of forms, we will consider how race and gender give shape to representations of food, using its seemingly benign and private face to alter our understanding of where violence and domination reside, how they operate, how they can be resisted, and how or if harm can redressed. Some of the genres we may consider are the novel, the critical essay, the autobiography, the cookbook and more. Our texts will include not only familiar forms but also the neighborhoods of NYC and of course, food itself. By considering questions embedded within these texts how do representations of food uphold or breach the structures of racialized and gendered power? How do these overlooked ways of shaping power affect the way we understand and represent food justice, one of the central struggles of our time? we will stay close to our broader concerns with how the work of political imagining simultaneously enables and forecloses the possibility of community.
WMST 3900 Reading and Writing on the Body in the French Middle Ages *New Course*
In this course, we will trace representations of the body—monstrous, debased, dissected, and beautiful—through some of the major works of medieval and Renaissance French literature. Along the way, we will encounter changing conceptions of feminine beauty, disjoined body parts, wounded epic heroes and tortured Christian martyrs, animal-human hybrids, cannibals and monstrous creatures. What characterized the corporeality of the medieval hero? How did writers depict themselves and the objects of their desire? When the sexual body “speaks for itself,” as in one of the medieval fabliaux we will read, what does it say and whose desire does it express?
WMST 3915 Gender and Power in Transnational Perspective
Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or the instructor's permission. Considers formations of gender, sexuality, and power as they circulate transnationally, as well as transnational feminist movements that have emerged to address contemporary gendered inequalities. Topics include political economy, global care chains, sexuality, sex work and trafficking, feminist politics, and human rights.
WMST 4000 Genealogies of Feminism: The Subject(s) of Rights
The rights of women and sexual minorities have been central to feminist theory and activism. What is the genealogy of “rights talk”? What is its feminist genealogy? As the liberal language of rights has become hegemonic, in particular through international instruments that have linked women’s and sexual rights to human rights and as liberal reform goes global, what is hidden from view? What understandings are foreclosed? What politics are blocked? This course will examine these key questions by exploring feminist and other critiques of liberal paradigms; considering alternative languages and practices for emancipation, for example, Marxist thought, socialist practice, or Islamic law and its local practices; and reflecting on assumptions about the human embedded in liberalism, including the idea of human development and capability. We will track the issues by focusing in particular on changing approaches to violence against women (VAW) and gender based violence (GBV). This course is open to all graduate students and meets the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies. Priority will be given to those fulfilling the certificate.
If queerness, as José Muñoz put it, “exists for us as an ideality that can be distilled from the past and used to imagine a future,” we can ask about what comes next, what comes after the future? What queer understandings of time and place enliven the field of queer studies now? Where are we going, where have we been, what time is it and when will we get there? Temporality has become a major concern in studies of sexuality and gender in the last decade and this class sets out to explore why and with what impact? How do concerns about time and temporality rest upon assumptions about space and spatiality? How does a focus on time and temporality allow for or foreclose upon post-colonial questions of mimicry, authenticity, sequence and procession? What can a study of queer temporalities reveal about orientations, speed, embodiment, becoming, being, doing, touching, feeling, unbecoming? Finally, what does the focus on temporality allow us to think, say, see or imagine about the multiple points of intersection between race and sexuality in a global frame? Graduate level course
WMST 4302 2nd Wave and Jewish Women’s Artistic Responses:1939-1990
Days and times: M 4:10 - 6pm
Call number: 00297
Instructor: Irena Klepfisz
Description: Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 13 students. A study of Jewish women’s fiction, memoirs, art and film in response to the feminist/gender issues raised by the Second Wave. The seminar includes analysis of the writings and artwork of Jo Sinclair, Tillie Olsen, Judy Chicago, Helene Aylon, Elana Dykewomon, Rebecca Goldstein, E.M. Broner and others.
WMST BC2140 Critical Approaches to Social and Cultural Theory
Introduction to key concepts from social theory as they are appropriated in critical studies of gender, race, sexuality, class and nation. We will explore how these concepts are taken up from different perspectives to address particular social problems, and the effects of these appropriations in the world.
WMST BC2150 Practicing Intersectionality
Days and times: M W 4:10-5:25p
Call number: 05571
This introductory course for the Interdisciplinary Concentration or Minor in Race and Ethnicity (ICORE/MORE) is open to all students. We focus on the critical study of social difference as an interdisciplinary practice, using texts with diverse modes of argumentation and evidence to analyze social differences as fundamentally entangled and co-produced. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this course, Professor Jordan-Young will frequently be joined by other faculty from the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), who bring distinct disciplinary and subject matter expertise. Some keywords for this course include hybridity, diaspora, borderlands, migration, and intersectionality.
WMST BC3125 Pleasures & Power: Intro. To Sexuality Studies
Days and times: M/W 11:40 am - 12:55 pm
Call number: 07495
Instructor: Alexander Pittman
Description: This introduction to sexuality studies is an examination of the historical origins, social functions, and conceptual limitations of the notion of “sexuality” as a domain of human experience and a field of power relations. Sexuality is often taken to be a natural and unchanging element of individual life. In this course, we seek to examine the ways in which sex is both social and political. We will consider how sexuality has been socially constructed, paying careful attention to the ways these ideas relate to other social forces such as gender, race, and class.
Prerequisites: Critical Approaches or Feminist Theory or permission of instructor. Helps students develop and apply useful theoretical models to feminist organizing on local and international levels. It involves reading, presentations, and seminar reports. Students use first-hand knowledge of the practices of specific women's activist organizations for theoretical work.
Prerequisites: Instructor's permission. (Seminar). The poet Cavafy refers to the pursuit of flesh in a different vein than Wilde's pleasure for pleasure's sake. Cavafy meant a type of championship of carnal pleasure that would reflect on the relationship of the early naked and oiled Greek Olympian athletes. Is there a distinction between the pursuit of athletic pleasure and comradery, and "non team" sexual sports? We use this frame from Cavafy to interrogate a broad range of 19th, 20th, and 21st century world LGBTQ literature. We will use several theoretical works that enlighten our pursuit, including but not limited to Sedgwick, Foucault, Barthes, Butler, Irigaray, Cixous etcetera. Application instructions: E-mail Professor Robinson-Appels (email@example.com) with the subject heading "Drama, Theatre, Theory seminar." In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list, from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.
FREN 3726 Sex, Class, Shame in 20/21st Century Literature
Prerequisites: Prerequisites: completion of FREN W3333 or W3334 and W3405, or the director of undergraduate studies' permission. The second half of the twentieth century in France saw a sudden explosion of literary works examining, with unprecedented explicitness, sexuality and social class and the relations between them. This course will provide an introduction to the literature of sexual and social abjection, beginning with Genet and Violette Leduc and including works by Annie Ernaux, Christine Angot, Virginie Despentes, and Edouard Louis. We will also consider relevant sociological writings by Bourdieu, Eribon, and Goffman. Readings and discussion will be in French.
The political, social, and cultural issues affecting Italy in the crucial, dramatic years between 1943 and 1945. More specifically, the canonical literary and cinematic representations of the war, the "Resistenza" and the Holocaust and the aesthetic issues related to the encounter between history and fiction, reality and imagination. Further examination of how the war has affected women: such an inquiry will require the evaluation of lesser-known women's texts.Topics to be addressed include: war and gender, women as subjects of history, the intersection of the political and the private. Authors to be examined include: Calvino, Fenoglio,Pavese, Levi, Rossellini, Wertmuller, Rosi, Vigano', Milli, Zangrandi, D'Eramo.
Is there an essential difference between women and men? How do questions about race conflict or overlap with those about gender? Is there a "normal" way of being "queer"? Introduction to philosophy and feminism through a critical discussion of these and other questions using historical and contemporary texts, art, and public lectures. Focus includes essentialism, difference, identity, knowledge, objectivity, and queerness. This course will have unrestricted enrollment and no required discussion section.
POLS 3921 American Politics Seminar: Sexuality and Citizenship in U.S.
ENGL W3933 Gender and Sexuality in the Irish Novel
Days and times: M 2:10 - 4pm
Call number: 77398
Instructor: Emily C. Bloom
Description: Irish novelists have long been interested in the correlation between gender and sexuality and issues of religion, class, colonization, revolutionary nationalism, migration, and poverty. When Ireland became the first nation to vote in favor of gay marriage by national referendum in 2015, Irish voters were acutely conscious of their country’s fraught history: years of sexual abuse scandals within the Catholic Church had weakened the hold of the Church on voters and young Irish voters, in particular, now wanted their country to take a progressive lead on the world stage. This course will chart changing attitudes towards gender and sexuality from the nineteenth to the twentieth century in terms of the development of novelistic genres. These genres include marriage plot novels in which the 1800 Act of Union was figured as a marriage between a feminized Ireland and a masculine England, the Big House novel—an Irish variant of the Country House Novel—pioneered by women writers, the gothic novel by writers like Bram Stoker, the modernist novels of James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen, banned books that were silenced in the repressive environment of the 1950s, and finally the queer Irish novel of the late twentieth century.
A consideration of women's changing place in modern America; the "family claim"; women in the workplace; educational expansion; the battle for suffrage; social reformers; the sexual revolution; women in the professions; the crisis of depression and war; the feminine mystique; and the new feminism.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. This course will interrogate freedom as a conceptual categroy and explore how the meaning and practice of freedom has been deployed in different historical moments. We will consider how gender, race, sexuality, slavery, colonization, work and religion influenced thinking about individual and collective notions of freedom.
HIST BC3870 Gender & Migration: Global Perspectives
Days and times: T 2:10 - 4:00pm
Call number: 09448
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Enrollment limited to 15. Preregistration required. Sophomore Standing. Explores migration as a gendered process and what factors account for migratory differences by gender across place and time; including labor markets, education demographic and family structure, gender ideologies, religion, government regulations and legal status, and intrinsic aspects of the migratory flow itself.
POLS BC3402 Comparative Politics of Gender Inequality
Days and times: W 2:10-4pm
Call number: 04616
Instructor: Claire F Ullman
Description: Comparative Politics Prerequisites: Not an introductory-level course. Not open to students who have taken the colloquium POLS BC 3507. Enrollment limited to 20 students; L-course sign-up through eBear. Barnard syllabus. Uses major analytical perspectives in comparative politics to understand the persistence of gender inequality in advanced industrial states. Topics include: political representation and participation; political economy and capitalism; the historical development of welfare states; electoral systems, electoral quotas; the role of supranational and international organizations; and social policy.
PSYC BC3379 Psychology of Stereotyping and Prejudice
This research and writing-intensive seminar is designed for senior majors with a background and interest in the sociology of gender and sexuality. The goal of the seminar is to facilitate completion of the senior requirement (a 25-30 page paper) based on “hands on” research with original qualitative data. Since the seminar will be restricted to students with prior academic training in the subfield, students will be able to receive intensive research training and guidance through every step of the research process, from choosing a research question to conducting original ethnographic and interview-based research, to analyzing and interpreting one’s findings. The final goal of the course will be the production of an original paper of standard journal-article length. Students who choose to pursue their projects over the course of a second semester will have the option of revisiting their articles further for submission and publications.
SOCI BC3935 Gender and Organizations
Days and times: W 4:10-6pm
Call number: 04673
Instructor: Heather Hurwitz
Description: This course examines the sociological features of organizations through a gender lens. We will analyze how gender, race, class, and sexuality matter for individuals and groups within a variety of organizational contexts. The course is grounded in the sociological literatures on gender and organizations.
WMST BC3153 Psychology and Women
Days and times: M 4:10 - 6pm
Call number: 01841
Instructor: Wendy Mckenna
Description: Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing and at least two psychology courses. Permission of the instructor required for majors other than Psychology or Women's Studies. Enrollment limited to 20 students. Examines how female experience is and has been understood by psychologists. Through an understanding of gender as a social construction and issues raised by the intersections of gender, sexuality, class, and race, the course will analyze assumptions about what causes us to be gendered and about how being gendered affects behavior.