Women's and Gender Studies

As an interdisciplinary program, the Women's & Gender Studies minor draws on insights and analytic tools from the arts, history, literature, media, and the social sciences. Students may enroll in Women's & Gender Studies courses for elective credit or as a minor.

There is no major available in Women's & Gender Studies.

Women's and Gender Studies Minor

Minor Requirements: 5 courses, 20 credits

Core Requirement (1 course, 4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the roles and images of women in Western culture and the realities of women's everyday lives through literature, film, history, art, psychology, and recent feminist scholarship. Analyzes gender inequalities and the influence of gender on social structure, human behavior, and artistic expression. Topics include: the social construction of gender and identity; domestic prescriptions for women; women and work; intersections of gender, class, and race in American society; sexualities and identity; the politics of motherhood and reproductive rights; educating girls; negotiating male privilege and structural inequalities; representations of women in Western art and film; and women as artists and gendered models of creativity in art, film, fiction, and science.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores women's lives from the perspective of the social and natural sciences, including examination of recent biological, psychological, and sociological theories about gender and gender roles, as well as the influence of feminist scholarship in these areas. Topics include: the social construction of gender; the psychology and biology of sex and gender; women and work; media representations of women; the female body and eating disorders; women's health and lifecycle; women and sexuality; reproduction, abortion, and motherhood; and sexual violence against women.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Introduces the key topics and debates that have shaped the field of gender studies, including queer studies, masculinity studies, and women's studies. Through lecture and class discussion of texts from literature, film, history, psychology, and sociology, explores the pervasive influence of gender on the structure of society and our everyday experiences and the role that gender plays in our understanding of love, friendship, sexuality, and even violence. Topics include: biological arguments about gender and sexuality; the social construction of gender and identity; intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; masculinity and femininity; and theories of sexual difference and the construction of sexuality.

Electives (4 courses, 16 credits)

Choose four of the following courses, with no more than two from any single department except Women's & Gender Studies (WGS). Students who have taken WGS-111 or WGS-113 may take WGS-115 (Introduction to Gender Studies) as one of their four elective courses for the WGS minor.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the portrayal of homosexuality in political, social, and cultural discourse. Analyzes the role of media and symbolic construction in the shaping of public values, opinions, and social movements.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores issues of sexuality, gender, race, and social class in the ancient and medieval worlds. Examines key artworks from ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and medieval Europe within historical, social and cultural contexts.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Surveys women artists from the sixteenth century to the present and examines new direction in art-historical scholarship developed by feminist art historians during recent decades.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Study of 20th century writing on the American West by American women and men in the form of novels, memoirs, and short stories. Regularly assigned reading responses and essays on the readings as well as discussion questions and quizzes provide the basis for the study of "frontier" or western literature by American authors. Fulfills the Literature Requirement of the CAS Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:

Take WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Introduces Jane Austen's major novels, including Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park, along with relevant current scholarship and contextualizing historical material. Contemporary parodies, updates, and film adaptations of Austen's work will also be considered. Topics to include the history of the novel, gender and authorship, and narrative theory.

Prerequisites:

WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An investigation of the lives and works of two of nineteenth-century America's greatest and most original poets. Topics will include types of poetic language and formal structure, the work of the poetic imagination in transforming observations of the world into art, and the ways in which poets process the idea of death and the reality of war. Finally, this course examines Whitman and Dickinson's impact on American popular culture as well as on the writings of modern poets and literary critics.

Prerequisites:

WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course studies 19th and 20th century women writers and questions the type of women who write, what they write about, and why they write. Themes we examine include domesticity, assimilation, and madness. Authors studied in the past have included Edith Wharton, Willa Cather, Anzia Yezierska, Nella Larsen, and Sylvia Plath. Normally offered alternate years.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This hybrid course will examine the political leadership and influence of women within political institutions and on public policy. The course is divided into two parts: Part 1 will examine women in politics, with particular attention given to the intersectional realities of race, class, gender identity, and ideological orientation. Specific policy areas, including reproductive choice, housing, pay equity, and domestic relations, will be discussed in Part 2. Prerequisite: Open to non-majors; not open to freshmen. Normally offered alternate years. Cultural Diversity A

Prerequisites:

Not open to freshmen

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course examines the interaction between gender and globalization. It discusses the centrality of gender in international development by focusing on gender as one of the most critical factors that affect the success or the failure of globalization. Critically reviewing general theories of globalization, the course presents a historical overview of gender and development. It then explores selected topics: global restructuring and feminization of the labor force, gender in multinational corporations, gender and international migration, sex-tourism, AIDS, and the impact of the state, religion, and culture in creating social dislocations and inequalities. Finally, we will consider strategies of change and diverse forms of resistance by women. Offered as needed. Cultural Diversity B

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the condition of European women from 1800 to 1914. Readings focus primarily on women's experiences in France and Great Britain. Topics include: the effects of industrialization on the lives of working-class women; working and middle-class women's negotiation of marriage, work, and family life; the rise of feminism, women's greater participation in the public sphere, and conservative reaction to these changes in women's place in society; women and crime; Victorian ideas about female sexuality; the politics of class and gender in nineteenth-century European society.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the changing place of women in European society since 1900. Topics include: women's suffrage and the political advances of the 1920s and 1930s; the revolution in sexual mores, birth control, and the rise of companionate marriage; women and the consumer economy; the anti-woman policies of Fascist Italy and Germany under National Socialism; liberation of women and retrenchment in the Soviet Union; World War II; feminism, sexual liberation, and women's political engagement since the 1960s; and, throughout the twentieth century, women's continuing negotiation of work and family responsibilities.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Traces the roles, images and experiences of women in America from colonial times to 1865. Topics include the family, work, religion, education, health care, motherhood, sexuality, social and political activism legal status, labor activism and popular culture. With attention to ethnicity, race, class, age, region of residence, disability and sexual orientation, the course focuses primarily on the everyday lives of ordinary women.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the social and cultural history of women in the United States from the close of the Civil War to the present. Using not only gender but also race, ethnicity, class, age, disability, region of residence, and sexual orientation as important categories of analysis, this course focuses on women's private and public lives. Topics include the family, work, religion, education, health care, private lives, motherhood, sexuality, social and political activism, legal status, labor activism, and popular culture.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course examines American debates over the natures, capacities, and responsibilities of men and women from settlement of the New World through the present. Emphasis is given to three elements of the self: social and civic personhood, the body, and sexuality. We will focus on representations of womanhood and masculinity - across racial, ethnic, and class lines - and their effects on men and women in society, politics, and at law. Course readings will also examine concepts of human nature and the interplay among mind, body, and sexuality.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores ideas about emotional life from the fields of history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology as well as the evolution of emotion rules and prescriptions, focusing on western Europe and the United States since 1700. In the eighteenth century, emotions were seen as a positive influence on politics and public life, especially during the French Revolution. After the fall of Robespierre, the emotions were banished to the private sphere - so we will read both primary sources and recent scholarship on 19th- and 20th- century ideas about masculinity and femininity, romantic love and marriage, childrearing, and about what parents and children are supposed feel toward each other, how ideas about these subjects have changed over time, and whether our feelings change with them.

Prerequisites:

Certificate or Sophomore status, or Instructor's consent

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An opportunity to learn the history of domestic violence including battering, child abuse and child neglect, and the legal response to it. Focus will be on Massachusetts Law and its response, especially the Abuse Prevention Act, its application and enforcement, and on laws protecting children from abuse and neglect. Filings, law office issues and special issues in dealing with battered women and abused and neglected children will be included with the psychological issues, cultural issues, and advocacy possibilities. Normally offered yearly. Sophomore status required. Cultural Diversity A

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Surveys music in the lives of women, including composers, performers, producers, mothers, and educators from the Middle Ages to the present; examines issues of gender and control, perspective in historical narrative, and religious and secular traditions that impact the cross-cultural reception of women's music. Normally offered every year.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of feminist thought. Feminist theories of epistemology, metaphysics and morality will be examined as critiques of traditional philosophy,. Feminist perspectives and methodologies include radical, liberal, postmodern, as well as more recent trends in ecofeminism. Special emphasis will be placed on explicit and implicit practices of alienation and exclusion as they have unfolded in the "gendering" of thought, truth, and reality. 1 term - 4 credits. Normally offered every third year. C b

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An exploration into the various dimensions and ideologies concerning the role of the feminine in relation to the Divine. Belief systems, myths and archetypes from ancient Goddess worship to 20th century feminist theology will be examined in terms of the philosophical content and psychological consequences. Special emphasis will be placed on feminist metaphysical structures for understanding consciousness and Reality. Classes will be conducted by means of lectures, primary and secondary texts and class discussions. Normally offered alternate years. Cultural Diversity A

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Since the beginning of time, women have been "doing battle" to themselves, while men have gone to battle against others. Whether it is through converting to Christ, yielding to captors in order to survive, or carrying a baby, this course introduces students to the many ways in which, whatever battles they face, women are warriors; they survive. Utilizing an array of captivity, conversion, and confession narratives by women, and pairing them across the centuries, students will make connections and draw conclusions between early-and mid-19th-century-American and contemporary women. Students will connect, for example, the trials of the 17th-century Puritan captive, Mary Rowlandson, and contemporary hostage, Elizabeth Smart, to explore how women (no matter how different they seem) draw upon unique inner resources to survive.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Since the beginning of time and across cultures, people have been interested in the supernatural, the paranormal, and the otherworldly. Often, these phenomena have appeared in the form of witches, wizards, and spirits, whether good or bad, wicked or wonderful. Women who have not fulfilled traditional gender roles have historically been cast as witches or, to use Shakespeare's phrase, as "weird sisters", or, in Donald Trump's recent election parlance, as "nasty women." Men in turn appear as wizards, usually more positively than female witches. Men and women alike also can take the form of spirits or ghosts; even houses can be possessed. What lies beneath the great fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal, with the haunted, the possessed, and the spellbinding? What accounts for the different manifestations of spirits? This course takes students on a tour of witches, wizards, and otherworldly spirits throughout American literary history. Tropes of the witch and the wizard have appeared in literature from the time of Shakespeare (see Macbeth) to the contemporary best-selling Harry Potter series, and hits every century in between, such as in Anne Hutchinson's Puritan accounts form the 1600s, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe's in the 1800s, The Wizard of Oz in 1900, and John Updike's The Witches of Eastwick in the 20th century. The course offers readings across genre lines-poetry, fiction, non-fiction, young adult fantasy, and drama-and includes excerpts from film and television shows based upon wizards and witches (such as Bewitched, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Vampire Diaries). The course may include a field trip to Salem, MA, as well as possibly the opportunity to see Wicked at the Boston Opera House (if it is renewed through the fall season, 2017).

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Women's struggles in arenas from war to labor disputes will be examined through films and writings. Societal, historical and cultural contexts of women's roles in films are discussed drawing on film criticism and sociological analyses.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This class explores the images of the traditional "bad" girl in films. The course examines the idea of moving beyond merely the delinquent, many images in film suggest that girls and women who break with the socially condoned role of femininity are somehow bad. Girls and women who have power or challenge authority are often portrayed in films as deviant and therefore "bad". Girls and women who are "frigid" are just as "bad" as their sexually promiscuous silver-screen opposites. This course further focuses on the impact of these images on real life social roles for girls and women as well as the symbiotic relationship between fact and fiction.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An exploration of the nature of masculinity and its connection to interpersonal and collective violence in American society. The course focuses on the emotional, spiritual, social and cultural roots of the crisis of boyhood and masculinity as a context for and consequence of violence.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

A critical analysis of theory and research related to the socialization, roles and social participation of women in contemporary society.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This course examines the complex relationships between women and crime today. This focus will include women as criminal offenders; women as victims of crime; and women as both offenders and victims. Course materials draw from recent feminist scholarship on these issues in the social sciences. Topics include the causes of women's crime women, drugs, and crime; child abuse and trauma; prostitution and sex trafficking; race, gender and victimization; and feminist social movements against violence. Crimes of violence against women are a central focus in the course.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An examination of human sexuality as experience and institution. Sexuality is considered in relationship to power, love, religion, family, race, gender, sexual orientation, violence and courtship.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Native American women and girls experience many threats to their well-being: polluted environments, violence, and the continuation of colonial practices mean that their lives are at risk. Dominant political, economic, and cultural norms do little to protect them. Yet Native American women and girls "can" and "do" assert their right to well-being as they choose to define it, achieving health and self-determination. This class will examine the indigenous women and girls of the United States, to consider the continued impact of colonialism on women's health and the role of self determination in creating opportunities for the improvement of Native American women's health.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An exploration of topics that relate particularly to women as providers and consumers in the health care system. The course will consider historical and current information on issues of reproduction, technology, health and illness.

Prerequisites:

SPAN-300; Spanish 302 or its equivalent is strongly recommended

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the changing roles of women in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America through fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and film. Special focus is placed on the impact that changes in social ideology and culture have had on their identity and writings. Texts available in English.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores what we can learn from the books that teenage girls read. In addition to a wide array of interesting and complex Young Adult novels targeted to young female readers, students will be exposed to theories of adolescent development, literary criticism, and social theory. Topics include how the dilemmas of girlhood have changed or stayed constant and the urge, so common in books for children and teens, to teach kids how to think and behave.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines through both classic and contemporary science fiction a variety of possibilities for world-reimagining in the realms of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of difference. Draws on theories of utopian and dystopian discourse, engages with questions of biology and reproduction, and explores colonialism through first-contact and space empire narratives.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the social, moral, and political construction of masculinity through an analysis of film and other expressions of popular culture. Using case studies, explores the specific ways in which boys are impacted, stigmatized, and "made bad" in institutional arenas such as schools, sports, politics, family systems, the military,the workplace, and the criminal justice system.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores how gender and sexuality are depicted, constructed, and interrogated across a variety of visual mediums, including film, television, and photography. We will pair foundational readings in queer and feminist thought with representations in order to consider how theory and popular culture engage in a constant dialogue. Topics include: the maintenance of norms regarding gender and sexuality; how race, class, and ability complicate our understanding of gender and sexuality; the ways in which sexuality intertwines with other social and political formations; imagining alternative theories and practices in representing gender and sexuality in contemporary media culture. Possible texts include theoretical work by Sigmund Freud, Judith Butler, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and David Halperin and media such as The Shape of Water (2017), Blade Runner (1982), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007), and Jess Dugan's To Survive on This Shore (2018).

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Investigates the complex intersections between feminism and popular culture through several different lenses: by exploring how feminists make arguments about popular culture; by looking at the complexities of public femininity in today's popular culture, including figures such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and television shows like The Bachelor and Grey's Anatomy; by focusing on a variety of articulations of feminism within mass media, blogs, social media, and popular books such as Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs, and Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman. Along the way we will ask questions about: what makes a work of art feminist; how modern media contributes to or distracts us from a variety of political debates in the realm of female equality and how can we, as individuals, use modern media to create and advance smart, feminist arguments.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Investigates how feminists, both today and in history, have understood inequality and difference and looked for the best ways to address these issues and bring about social justice. Examines how feminist theorists help us to understand how gender and other social categories, such as race, class sexuality, disability, age and nationality, are constructed within and through each other; and analyzes feminist engagements with liberalism, socialism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, post-colonialism, critical race theory, and queer theory, as well as consider anti-feminist arguments. Readings include classic critical texts by authors including Mary Wollstonecraft, Emma Goldman, Virginia Woolf, Chandra Mohanty, Gloria Anzaldua, and Judith Butler.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores of various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the voices of women from around the world as they respond to important global issues such as sexual violence and gendered oppression. Topics include: national citizenship, sexual politics, legal discourse, aesthetic representation, literary movements, genre, constructions of femininity, sexual identities, and representations of gender in relation to race and class and international cultures, and the relationship of self-image to the body politic.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explore the deep antipathy women have faced at nearly every turn in their struggles for civic and social inclusion. Anti-feminist denials of women's rights have taken the form of attacks on women's nature, bodies, and fitness for public life, tagging them with labels of otherness: opponents of women's rights deem them irrational, unnatural, traitors to society, even sexual deviants. This course will examine the dangers that women allegedly represent to social stability from the Enlightenment to the present day, as well as how women have fought back to assert their rights and independence.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the stories that help us to understand communities, identities, and bodies that could be considered queer, and the ways that film, music, memoir and fiction have discussed queer as different, unusual, or other. Texts include the documentary, "Paris Is Burning", Frank Ocean's 2012 album, "Channel Orange", and Janet Mock's recent memoir, "Redefining Realness", as well as foundational queer theory from Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Lee Edelman, among others, to help build a framework for approaching and interpreting both fictional and non-fictional accounts of queer lives.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the history of female portrayal on the Western stage including women in Shakespeare and other early modern plays (when female characters were played by men); in Restoration comedy; the works of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw; and 20th and 21st century depictions of women on stage, including in the works of authors such as Lillian Hellman, Lorraine Hansberry, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks, Rebecca Gilman, and Sarah Ruhl. Students develop familiarity with key concepts in performance theory including catharsis, Brecht's alienation effect, and the distinction between performance and the performative.

WGS Track Courses

Some CAS courses can be taken to fulfill the WGS minor by registering for the optional WGS track of that course. Students who register for this track and complete the required WGS readings and assignments may count a maximum number of one of these courses toward the minor in Women's & Gender Studies. In order to register for the WGS track of a listed course, students should consult the instructor and the director of the Women's & Gender Studies program no later than the first week of class.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An introduction to the role of media in contemporary society, focusing on media's influence on cultural, political, and ideological processes. An examination of the historical contexts within which newspapers, radio, television, and new media technologies develop, and how audiences interact with and influence the use of media.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

A critique of the circulation of media goods and ideologies from both a cultural and political/economic perspective. Topics include global Hollywood, the images of Muslim women in transnational media, the information society, and global social movements.

Prerequisites:

WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

In-depth exploration of American Realism from the post-Civil War era to the pre-WWI era (roughly 1875 to 1915). Particular emphasis is given to the role of houses and material and consumer culture in the forging of American identity. Authors may include Howells, Twain, James and Wharton among others. Normally offered alternate years. Students will also visit authors' houses in the Boston area. This course requires prior approval in order to count towards the Women's and Gender Studies Minor. Students should consult with the instructor and the director of the WGS Minor no later than the first week of classes.

Prerequisites:

WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

An Exploration of Post-colonial literature and how the "empire writes back" following the collapse of European colonialism. Special emphasis will be placed on the legacy of British Colonial rule and the contemporary use of literature and the English Language to both resist and problematize Eurocentric cultural assumptions. Authors studied will include E.M. Foster, Salman Rushdie, J.M. Coetzee, Anita Desai, Hanif Kureishi, and Zadie Smith, among others. Students will be introduced to Post-colonial critical theory and view film adaptations of literary texts.

Prerequisites:

WRI-102 or WRI-H103

Credits:

4.00

Description:

This class will engage with the major novels and selected literary writings of two of the twentieth century's most important modernist voices, Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster. We will approach their writings within the intellectual framework of British modernism and the cultural context of the Bloomsbury Group out of which they emerged. Special attention will be paid to their theoretical writings on fiction as well as their respective contributions to feminism and queer theory. The class will also view cinematic adaptations of certain novels and discuss how these films have contributed to the enduring appeal and status of these texts as classics of twentieth-century fiction.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the social and political development of European society between the two world wars, primarily through the literature, art, and films of the period. Topics include: the dissolution of pre-1914 middle class society; deviance and sexuality in the 1920s; the role of decadence in art and the Fascist response to deviance in life and art; women, workers, and the new technology; the rise of Fascism; political engagement and polarization throughout European society in the face of economic and social crisis.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores German history since 1945 through film, newsreels and other archival footage, war memorials and museums, novels, published diaries, memoirs, and recent historical scholarship. Topics include the representation, in film and other texts, of: post-war rebuilding; the German Economic Miracle; divided Berlin; 1960s and 70s radical politics; coming to terms since 1945, with Germany's Nazi past and the Holocaust; coming to terms since 1990 with the Stasi and East German past; "Ostalgie" (nostalgia in the 21st century for some aspects of East German socialism); the multi-cultural society that is Germany today, with new Turkish, Greek, Russian, Arab, and even Israeli communities.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Consideration of the physiological, psychological and social factors associated with the aging process. Contemporary American values toward the elderly are compared and contrasted with historical and cross-cultural studies. Current opportunities and techniques enabling the elderly to enrich and expand their societal roles are explored.

For the most current list of courses with an option WGS track, or for more information, contact the director of Women's & Gender Studies.

Advanced Topics

Students may wish to include specialized research and/or an internship as part of their minor program. They may do so by completing the following course under the supervision of the program director or a member of the Women's & Gender Studies Committee:

Prerequisites:

An Independent Study form must be submitted to the CAS Dean's Office.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Substantive reading/research in an area of special interest in Women's and Gender Studies, directed by a faculty member in the appropriate academic discipline. Open to Juniors and Seniors by special arrangement with the relevant faculty member and the Director of Women's and Gender Studies. Instructor's permission required.

Residency Requirement Policy: In the College of Arts and Sciences, a two-course (8 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course (16 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

Minor Programs Policy: A student declaring a minor may use no more than two courses from a major to fulfill the requirements for the minor. No more than one course from one minor may count toward the fulfillment of a second minor. Students may not minor in a subject in which they are also completing a major. For more information, see the Minor Programs section of the CAS Degree Requirements page.

Women's and Gender Studies Courses

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the roles and images of women in Western culture and the realities of women's everyday lives through literature, film, history, art, psychology, and recent feminist scholarship. Analyzes gender inequalities and the influence of gender on social structure, human behavior, and artistic expression. Topics include: the social construction of gender and identity; domestic prescriptions for women; women and work; intersections of gender, class, and race in American society; sexualities and identity; the politics of motherhood and reproductive rights; educating girls; negotiating male privilege and structural inequalities; representations of women in Western art and film; and women as artists and gendered models of creativity in art, film, fiction, and science.

Prerequisites:

At least a 3.3 GPA required.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the roles and images of women in Western culture and the realities of women's everyday lives through literature, film, history, art, psychology, and recent feminist scholarship. Analyzes gender inequalities and the influence of gender on social structure, human behavior, and artistic expression. Topics include: the social construction of gender and identity; domestic prescriptions for women; women and work; intersections of gender, class, and race in American society; sexualities and identity; the politics of motherhood and reproductive rights; educating girls; negotiating male privilege and structural inequalities; representations of women in Western art and film; and women as artists and gendered models of creativity in art, film, fiction, and science.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores women's lives from the perspective of the social and natural sciences, including examination of recent biological, psychological, and sociological theories about gender and gender roles, as well as the influence of feminist scholarship in these areas. Topics include: the social construction of gender; the psychology and biology of sex and gender; women and work; media representations of women; the female body and eating disorders; women's health and lifecycle; women and sexuality; reproduction, abortion, and motherhood; and sexual violence against women.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Introduces the key topics and debates that have shaped the field of gender studies, including queer studies, masculinity studies, and women's studies. Through lecture and class discussion of texts from literature, film, history, psychology, and sociology, explores the pervasive influence of gender on the structure of society and our everyday experiences and the role that gender plays in our understanding of love, friendship, sexuality, and even violence. Topics include: biological arguments about gender and sexuality; the social construction of gender and identity; intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality; masculinity and femininity; and theories of sexual difference and the construction of sexuality.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores what we can learn from the books that teenage girls read. In addition to a wide array of interesting and complex Young Adult novels targeted to young female readers, students will be exposed to theories of adolescent development, literary criticism, and social theory. Topics include how the dilemmas of girlhood have changed or stayed constant and the urge, so common in books for children and teens, to teach kids how to think and behave.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines through both classic and contemporary science fiction a variety of possibilities for world-reimagining in the realms of gender, sexuality, race, and other forms of difference. Draws on theories of utopian and dystopian discourse, engages with questions of biology and reproduction, and explores colonialism through first-contact and space empire narratives.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the social, moral, and political construction of masculinity through an analysis of film and other expressions of popular culture. Using case studies, explores the specific ways in which boys are impacted, stigmatized, and "made bad" in institutional arenas such as schools, sports, politics, family systems, the military,the workplace, and the criminal justice system.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores how gender and sexuality are depicted, constructed, and interrogated across a variety of visual mediums, including film, television, and photography. We will pair foundational readings in queer and feminist thought with representations in order to consider how theory and popular culture engage in a constant dialogue. Topics include: the maintenance of norms regarding gender and sexuality; how race, class, and ability complicate our understanding of gender and sexuality; the ways in which sexuality intertwines with other social and political formations; imagining alternative theories and practices in representing gender and sexuality in contemporary media culture. Possible texts include theoretical work by Sigmund Freud, Judith Butler, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, and David Halperin and media such as The Shape of Water (2017), Blade Runner (1982), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (2003-2007), and Jess Dugan's To Survive on This Shore (2018).

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Investigates the complex intersections between feminism and popular culture through several different lenses: by exploring how feminists make arguments about popular culture; by looking at the complexities of public femininity in today's popular culture, including figures such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry and television shows like The Bachelor and Grey's Anatomy; by focusing on a variety of articulations of feminism within mass media, blogs, social media, and popular books such as Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs, and Caitlin Moran's How to Be a Woman. Along the way we will ask questions about: what makes a work of art feminist; how modern media contributes to or distracts us from a variety of political debates in the realm of female equality and how can we, as individuals, use modern media to create and advance smart, feminist arguments.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Investigates how feminists, both today and in history, have understood inequality and difference and looked for the best ways to address these issues and bring about social justice. Examines how feminist theorists help us to understand how gender and other social categories, such as race, class sexuality, disability, age and nationality, are constructed within and through each other; and analyzes feminist engagements with liberalism, socialism, psychoanalysis, existentialism, post-colonialism, critical race theory, and queer theory, as well as consider anti-feminist arguments. Readings include classic critical texts by authors including Mary Wollstonecraft, Emma Goldman, Virginia Woolf, Chandra Mohanty, Gloria Anzaldua, and Judith Butler.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores of various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the voices of women from around the world as they respond to important global issues such as sexual violence and gendered oppression. Topics include: national citizenship, sexual politics, legal discourse, aesthetic representation, literary movements, genre, constructions of femininity, sexual identities, and representations of gender in relation to race and class and international cultures, and the relationship of self-image to the body politic.

Prerequisites:

CAS or SBS Honors Students only or at least 3.3 GPA

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores of various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the voices of women from around the world as they respond to important global issues such as sexual violence and gendered oppression. Topics include: national citizenship, sexual politics, legal discourse, aesthetic representation, literary movements, genre, constructions of femininity, sexual identities, and representations of gender in relation to race and class and international cultures, and the relationship of self-image to the body politic.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explore the deep antipathy women have faced at nearly every turn in their struggles for civic and social inclusion. Anti-feminist denials of women's rights have taken the form of attacks on women's nature, bodies, and fitness for public life, tagging them with labels of otherness: opponents of women's rights deem them irrational, unnatural, traitors to society, even sexual deviants. This course will examine the dangers that women allegedly represent to social stability from the Enlightenment to the present day, as well as how women have fought back to assert their rights and independence.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Explores the stories that help us to understand communities, identities, and bodies that could be considered queer, and the ways that film, music, memoir and fiction have discussed queer as different, unusual, or other. Texts include the documentary, "Paris Is Burning", Frank Ocean's 2012 album, "Channel Orange", and Janet Mock's recent memoir, "Redefining Realness", as well as foundational queer theory from Judith Butler, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Lee Edelman, among others, to help build a framework for approaching and interpreting both fictional and non-fictional accounts of queer lives.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Examines the history of female portrayal on the Western stage including women in Shakespeare and other early modern plays (when female characters were played by men); in Restoration comedy; the works of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw; and 20th and 21st century depictions of women on stage, including in the works of authors such as Lillian Hellman, Lorraine Hansberry, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, Suzan-Lori Parks, Rebecca Gilman, and Sarah Ruhl. Students develop familiarity with key concepts in performance theory including catharsis, Brecht's alienation effect, and the distinction between performance and the performative.

Prerequisites:

An Independent Study form must be submitted to the CAS Dean's Office.

Credits:

4.00

Description:

Substantive reading/research in an area of special interest in Women's and Gender Studies, directed by a faculty member in the appropriate academic discipline. Open to Juniors and Seniors by special arrangement with the relevant faculty member and the Director of Women's and Gender Studies. Instructor's permission required.