Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Reading Women's Writing: Living a Feminist Life from Mary Wollstonecraft to Sara Ahmed
In this course we will investigate the tradition of women's writing in English from the sixteenth century to the present day, focusing on the complex relationships among writing, sexuality, race, and gender. We will consider the ways in which writers identifying as female respond to--and often subvert--traditional literary themes and conventions, looking critically as we do so at our own interpretive assumptions as readers. An organizing focus of our reading will be the articulation and/or suppression of female anger and other related emotions in a variety of repressive contexts. Though our focus will be primarily on the interpretation of literary works, we will also develop an awareness of relevant debates in feminist theory, from Mary Wollstonecraft’s revolutionary contribution to notions of female education to Sara Ahmed’s concept of the feminist “killjoy.” Other texts may include: Jane Austen, Mansfield Park; Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway; Toni Morrison, Sula; Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions; Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage; Carmen Maria Machado, Her Body and Other Parties; Kristen Roupenian, You Know You Want This, Rebecca Traister, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

LIT

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Course Description

Writing Gender and Sexuality
In this course we will read, discuss, and write creative works that explore issues of gender and sexuality. Readings will include stories, poems, and essays by James Baldwin, Ana Castillo, Peggy Munson, Eli Claire, Alice Walker, Michelle Tea, Alison Bechdel, and others. The course will include writing workshops with peers and individual meetings with the instructor. Every student will revise a range of pieces across genres and produce a final portfolio. We will do some contemplative work and will engage with choreographer to explore movement in conversation with writing, gender, and sex. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

Gender and the Body
What is your gender and how do you know? In order to answer this question, we need to consider how gender is known through biology, psychology, consumer capitalism, and our everyday embodiment. We will also look at how the meaning and performance of gender have changed over time from Classical Greece to Victorian England to the contemporary U.S. Throughout, we will consider how gender does not operate along, but is always entangled with, race, class, sexuality, nationality, and ability. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Foundations
This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. Focusing on the histories of feminism in the U.S., from the nineteenth century to the present, the course reveals the importance of gender and sexuality as analytical categories to understand social reality and to comprehend important areas of culture. Examining gender and sexuality always in conjunction with the categories of race and class, the course foregrounds how inequalities are perpetuated in different fields of human activity and the creative ways in which feminist movements have resisted these processes. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Race, Rhetoric, and Protest
In this course we will study the theoretical and rhetorical underpinnings of racial protest in America. We will begin by studying movements from the 1950s and 1960s, moving from bus boycotts to Black Power protests, and will build to analyzing recent protests in Ferguson, Dallas, and New York. Readings will include texts from Charles E. Morris III, Aja Martinez, Shon Meckfessel, Gwendolyn Pough, and various articles and op-eds. Students will write analyses of historical and contemporary protest, op-eds about the local culture, and syntheses on the course readings. 3 hrs. Lect

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Contemporary Women Playwrights
In this course we will read and discuss the work of the most influential and interesting American and European playwrights from the 1980s to the present. Authors will include: Maria Irene Fomes, Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, Adrienne Kennedy, Ntozake Shange, Judith Thompson, and Naomi Wallace. Issues of race, class, and gender will be closely examined. Readings will include selections from performance and feminist theory. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, LIT

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Course Description

Economics and Gender
Economics and Gender is an introduction to using the tools of economics to understand gender-related issues. In the first part of the course we will review economic models of the household, fertility, and labor supply and discuss how they help us interpret long-term trends in marriage and divorce, fertility, and women’s labor-force participation. In the second part of the course we will study economic models of wage determination and focus on explanations of, and policy remedies for, earnings differentials by gender. The final part of the course will focus on new research in economics on gender-related topics. (ECON 0155) 3hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Gender Health Environment
Growing concern for the protection of the environment and human health has led policy makers and scholars to consider ways in which gender, class, and race and other forms of identity mediate human-environment interactions. In this course we will explore how access to, control over, and distribution of resources influence environmental and health outcomes both in terms of social inequities and ecological decline. Specific issues we will cover include: ecofeminism, food security, population, gendered conservation, environmental toxins, climate change, food justice, and the green revolution. We will draw comparisons between different societies around the globe as well as look at dynamics between individuals within a society. The majority of case studies are drawn from Sub Saharan Africa and Asia, however some comparisons are also made with the United States. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

History of Sexuality in the United States
In this course we will explore sexuality in relation to race, class, gender, and religion in US history using primary and secondary sources. We will study indigenous sexualities and the impact of settler colonialism, sex work during the American Revolution, sexuality under slavery, the medicalization and criminalization of homosexuality, urban gay subcultures, Cold War sexuality, the politics of birth control, sex during the AIDS epidemic, and sexuality from transgender and non-binary perspectives. Beyond learning historiography, we will examine methodological issues with writing histories of sexuality. When relevant, we will study examples from Europe and Canada. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Trickery, Bodies, and Resistance: The Tradition(s) of Rhetoric
How do female-identifying subjects position themselves (and their bodies) rhetorically in a male-dominated society? How do Black and Latinx rhetorical traditions of call-and-response and code-switching connect with and resist classical traditions of oration and stylistics? In this course we will study the tradition(s) of rhetoric by moving from the trickery of sophists to budding works in feminist rhetorics and cultural rhetorics. Students in this class will learn to synthesize the various traditions of rhetoric in historical and contemporary terms and to critically understand cultural customs that exist outside the white, heteronormative Greco-Roman tradition. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers
A thousand years ago, women writers dominated the Japanese literary world. Then, for centuries, their skill was discounted, their works overlooked, and their voices silenced. Starting with the nineteenth century, however, Japanese women writers started to reclaim their grandmothers’ heritage. They took the male-dominated literary world by assault, pushing boundaries, drawing on their literary legacy and reinventing it, resisting the label of “women’s literature” so often pejoratively attached to their works. In this course we will explore these figures of resistance and their multilayered works in the context of the changing socio-political conditions that shaped women’s positions in Japanese society.3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Gender and Public Policy in the U.S.
How does public policy help shape our lived experiences of gender in the U.S.? How does the gender identity of policymakers impact political systems and decision-making? How might analyzing policy through a gendered lens lead to more equitable and effective outcomes? In this course we will explore these questions through a series of case studies, historical and current examples, guest speakers from many public policy roles, and a collaborative policymaking project. Taught by a Vermont state senator, the course will give students insight into how they can engage in the processes of making public policy both as citizens and in their future careers, as well as calling attention to how gendered norms and practices are interwoven with American laws and institutions. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Studies
This course will provide an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gay and lesbian studies. We will explore three topics: queer theory, the construction and representation of homosexuality in history, and queer culture before and after Stonewall. Readings will include works by Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Eve Sedgwick, George Chauncey, John Boswell, Lillian Faderman, Oscar Wilde, Radclyffe Hall, Michael Cunningham, and Tony Kushner. 3 hrs. lect./3 screen

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Making Feminist Media
Feminist media has always been from a particular place and engaged with how forms of power like race, gender, sexuality, and nationality get layered not just onto bodies, but into the way we express ourselves. For at least fifty years, feminists have utilized emerging technologies to put feminist theory into the world. In this course we will begin with 1970s mimeographed feminist polemics, move onto the zine movement of Riot Grrls, land in the feminist blogosphere of the first few decades of the 21st century and end with current feminist media on TikTok, podcasts, and other emerging technologies. In this course we will think about feminist media making as a genre and how feminist theory can infuse that genre into a more vibrant, complex, and even transformative site. Throughout the course we will read feminist theory, analyze feminist media, and produce our own feminist media. 3 hrs. lect. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities./

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, LIT, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Philosophy and Feminism
This course will examine the contributions of various feminists and feminist philosophers to some of the central problems of philosophical methodology, epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and ethics. Are there gendered assumptions in operation in the way particular philosophical problems are framed? For example, do the politics of gender contribute to accounts of objective knowledge and rationality? Are some philosophical perspectives better suited to the goals of feminism than others? We will also examine the general relationship between feminism and philosophy, and we will reflect on the relevance of theorizing and philosophizing for feminist political practice.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Gender Politics of the Arab World
The aim of this course is to explore the ways in which the social and cultural construction of sexual difference shapes the politics of gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. Using interdisciplinary feminist theories, we will explore key issues and debates including the interaction of religion and sexuality, women’s movements, gender-based violence, queerness and gay/straight identities. Looking at the ways in which the Arab Spring galvanized what some have called a “gender revolution,” we will examine women’s roles in the various revolutions across the Arab World, and explore the varied and shifting gender dynamics in the region. Taught in English (formerly ARBC/GSFS 0328) 3 hrs. Sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AAL, CMP, CW, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Queerness and Collectivity in German Cinema
How has cinema engaged critically with sexuality across German history? Through the analysis of German queer film, students will develop skills in close reading and critical thinking and gain a grounding in the German queer movement. We will watch works by von Praunheim, Fassbinder, Carow, Petzold, read queer theory, and learn about the history of the various queer movements in East, West and Unified Germany. These films interrogate how power operates in society, both through sexuality’s regulation and through normative, oppressive attitudes towards sexuality. To develop our skills in analysis, we will read scholarly works from classical film theory, and film theory drawing from queer and affect studies.(taught in English)

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Critical Conditions: Gender, Literature, and Illness (Pre-1800)
In this course we will explore the literary representation of illness and pain in a range of texts from the classical period to the present day, focusing in particular on the intersection of illness with questions of gender, race, and sexuality. Beginning with Sophocles’s tragedy Women of Trachis, we will explore the classical representation of acute pain in the context of early Greek medicine, before examining medieval and early modern literary works inspired by the Black Death, including selections from Boccaccio’s Decameron. The second half of the class will focus on modernist and contemporary accounts of illness, including Virginia Woolf’s treatment of both the 1918 influenza epidemic and so-called “shell-shock” in her novel Mrs Dalloway. We will intersperse our literary readings with theoretical explorations of cure, disability, and ableism by writers such as Eli Clare, as well as work from the emerging field of narrative medicine. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Gender in Japan (in English)
In this course we will examine changing ideas about gender and sexuality in Japan in the 10th through 20th centuries, with special attention to the modern period. Sources will include literary texts, films, and social/historical studies. We will discuss topics, including women's writing in classical Japan; the commercialization of sexuality in the 18th century; ideas of "homosexuality" in late-medieval and modern times; and women's social roles and political struggles in the 20th century. 3 hr. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

American Women Poets
We will examine the rich tradition of lyric poetry by women in the U.S. Beginning with the Puritan Anne Bradstreet, one of the New World's earliest published poets, we continue to the 19th century and Emily Dickinson, along with the formidable line of "poetesses" who dominated the popular poetry press in that era. We examine the female contribution to the Modernist aesthetic in figures like Millay, Moore, H.D. and Gertrude Stein; the transformation of modernist ideals by Bishop, Plath, Sexton, and Rich; and, among the postmodernists, Lyn Hejinian and Susan Howe. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, LIT

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Course Description

Globalizing Gender
In this course we will explore gender and the process of gendering as a complex and evolving global phenomenon of the 21st century. The readings will focus on the politics and experience of gender and sexualities in various parts of the world, including India, Pakistan, Muslim minorities in South Asia, and among diasporic communities in Europe and the United States. Through lectures and small group discussions, we will critique and analyze themes including third gender, masculinity, changing practices of marriage, the politics of sexuality, and the impact of the women’s movement, and gay rights movement on existing understanding of gendered traditions.3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Mobile Women: Transnational Work Patterns
This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. Focusing on the histories of feminism in the US, from the nineteenth century to the present, the course reveals the importance of gender and sexuality as analytical categories to understand social reality and to comprehend important areas of culture. Examining gender and sexuality always in conjunction with the categories of race and class, the course foregrounds how inequalities are perpetuated in different fields of human activity and the creative ways in which feminist movements have resisted these processes. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Indian Cinema: Romance, Nation, and Identity
In this course we will use the lens of romance to examine the world's largest film-making industry. Focusing primarily on Hindi cinema produced in Bombay/Mumbai, we will examine the narrative conventions, aesthetic devices (such as song-dance sequences), and other cinematic conventions that are unique to Indian films' narration of romance. Through a historical overview of films from the silent, colonial, and post-colonial eras into the contemporary era of globalization, we will track how the family is configured, the assignment of gender roles, and how national identity is allegorized through family romance. The course includes weekly screenings of films, which will be sub-titled in English. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, ART, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

Genders and Sexualities in the US
In this course we will explore and examine how genders and sexualities are constructed and the implications that such constructions have on individuals and societies. We will examine the theories, concepts, practices, and beliefs about sex, gender, sexuality, and sexual identity and explore how these concepts are different between different groups and how they have changed over time, specifically using an intersectional lens. Students will be encouraged to discuss intricacies of their own sexual and gender identities and how these statuses may impact their social status and their relationships with others and the larger society. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Men and Masculinities
In this course we will consider the creation and performance of masculinities in the American context. We will ask how masculinity is constructed and how concepts of masculinity intersect with class, race, sexuality, and nation. Topics will include: The construction of idealized notions of masculinity in opposition to both femininities and subordinated masculinities; depictions of masculinity in the media; male socialization and boyhood; the workplace, family life and fatherhood; trans and gender queer masculinities; men’s health; men as perpetrators and victims of violence; and explicitly male-focused social movements and subcultures (such as pro-feminist men; Men’s Rights Activism; Pick-Up artists, Incels).

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Literature of Displacement: Forced Migration, Diaspora, Exile
In this course we will study postcolonial literature about migration, displacement, exile, and diaspora. Spurred variously by force, necessity and desire, migrants leave their homes and homelands with regret and with hope. Writers address the historical forces that propel these migrations: decolonization and neo-colonialism, globalization, warfare, dispossession, political violence, religious conflict, and environmental catastrophe. They experiment with narrative form and poetic language to explore the experiences of undocumented immigrant workers, exiles, refugees and well-to-do migrants. We will examine how displacement shapes constructions of identity, history, community and place in texts by writers such as Anzaldua, Ali, Darwish, Diome, Patel, Gomez Pena, Said, Rushdie, and others. (formerly ENAM 0462) 3 hrs. sem. Please note that, if circumstances require, this course may occasionally be taught remotely.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, LIT, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Building: Art, Aesthetics, and Mini Golf
In this project-based course, we will build a reproductive justice mini golf course to be housed in the athletics facility. We will collaborate with graphic artists, woodworkers, activists, and faculty and students to design, develop, and construct the mini golf course. The studio course work will include opportunities to explore sculpture, construction, and engineering using many art forms and fabrication processes. The course will engage with Feminist and Queer Studies approaches to using art for social change and what it means to build in feminist ways, both in terms of process and product. All students will contribute to designing and building the mini golf course. No prior experience with GSFS or HARC required

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, ART, SOC

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Course Description

Modern Dance History in the United States: Early Influences to Postmodern Transformations
In this seminar we will focus on the emergence and development of 20th century American concert dance--especially modern and postmodern dance forms--from the confluence of European folk and court dance, African and Caribbean influences, and other American cultural dynamics. We will look at ways in which dance reflects, responds to, and creates its cultural milieu, with special attention to issues of gender, race/ethnicity, and class. Readings, video, and live performance illuminate the artistic products and processes of choreographers whose works mark particular periods or turning points in this unfolding story. Our study is intended to support informed critical articulations and an understanding of the complexity of dance as art. 3 hrs. lect./2 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, ART, HIS, NOR

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Course Description

Writing Race and Class
In this course we will take a literary and intersectional approach to topics of race and class. Readings include stories, essays, poems and videos by writers such as James Baldwin, Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa and Kelly Tsai. Students will respond to critical and creative writing prompts, conduct fieldwork, and design two writing projects of their own. The class format will include conversations with guest writers, writing workshops, contemplative activities, and individual conferences with the instructor. Students will preferably have prior experience in discussing issues of race and class, although introductory theories will be made available to provide frameworks for discussion.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

CW, LIT, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Queer Critique
In this course we will examine what is meant by queer critique through exploring the concepts, issues, and debates central to queer theory and activism both in the U.S. and around the world. We will work to understand how queerness overlaps with and is distinct from other articulations of marginalized sexual subjectivity. We will consider how desires, identities, bodies, and experiences are constructed and represented, assessing the ways in which queer theory allows us to examine sexuality and its raced, classed, gendered, geographic, and (dis)abled dimensions. Through engaged projects, we will practice how to translate and produce queer critique. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Joy
In this course we will examine a range of discourses about pleasure, happiness, and joy as well as explore these topics more experientially. How have feminists interrupted gendered, raced, and ableist notions of happiness? As Sara Ahmed asks, can there be joy in being the “killjoy”? What is the role of laughter and joy in survival, anti-oppression work, and healing from trauma? We will trace the "pleasurable feminisms" of leading Black feminists and sex positive feminists such as Audre Lorde, adrienne maree brown, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Gayle Rubin, Betty Dodson, as well as investigate our own inherited and intentional perceptions of pleasure. Assignments will include research, writing and workshops. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Outlaw Women
In this course we will read and discuss literary texts that feature women who defy social norms: daring survivors, scholars, “whores,” queers, artists, servants, revolutionaries. Texts include Powell’s The Pagoda, Duras’s The Lover, Lorde’s Zami, and Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran. The course will take postcolonial and global approaches to desire and difference and to narratives of resistance, rescue and freedom. We will discuss rhetorical practices, such as écriture féminine, and readerships, such as women’s book groups, through a transnational lense. Students will develop their critical imaginations through discussion, contemplation, research, and analytical and creative writing. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

CMP, CW, LIT, SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Culture, and Power
This course offers a cross-cultural introduction to the issues involved in the study of women and gender. Such an endeavor raises a number of difficult and delicate issues. What explains the diversities and similarities in women's roles across societies? How do we assess women's status and power, and how do we decide which standards to use in doing so? What forces create changes in women's roles? What is the relationship between gender constructions and the nature of communities, economies, and even nations? Our analysis will concentrate on three primary domains: family and kinship, symbolic systems, and political economy. Course readings will focus primarily on non-Western societies. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Technology, and the Future
Can technology make the world more just and equitable? Scientific and technological inventions continually surprise us with visions of the future that promise an end to global inequality and injustice: cooking robots, microcredit apps, test–tube babies. We will center these powerful ideas to unpack how they galvanize raced and sexed bodies to articulate the future. Through an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies we will ask how technological imaginations and interventions invent new global futures, examine their impact and implications, and explore the possibilities for new technological horizons.3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Beyond #Me Too: Feminist Activism against Sexual Violence
Since the 19th century feminist activism has sought to mitigate and redress the effects of sexual violence. Through a series of case studies, in this course we will examine the ways in which activists have contested and redefined our understandings of sexual violence. By addressing the differences in national and global activist moments, historical and contemporary, the course will help clarify how activism helps reshape the sphere of the political. Each case study will also draw attention to the ways in which feminists have engaged with the categories of difference and the politics of marginalization. The critical lens developed will help students imagine options that sidestep carceral justice or judicial reform. (GSFS 0191 or 0200)

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Sexuality, and Psychiatry in US History
In this seminar we will examine how gender and sexuality have intersected with the psychiatric profession since the nineteenth century, focusing mostly on women, and to a lesser extent gender-nonconforming people and men. Course material will be rooted in the U.S. but will occasionally also cover Europe and Latin America. Topics will include racialized notions of madness and hysteria, depression, psychoanalysis, “deviant” genders and sexualities, the rise of psychotropic prescription drugs, addiction, PTSD, eating disorders, and the medicalization of heterosexual women’s desire. Students will explore relevant historiography and will conduct oral histories of a related topic. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

White People
White people did not just appear out of nowhere. Instead, they are the result of a long history of structural and everyday racism that was always intertwined with class, sex, sexuality, and nation. We will explore how whiteness became a foundational category for citizenship in the US, especially after the Civil War when the Color Line was drawn through the legal, cultural, and spatial practices of Jim Crow. We will consider how "new immigrants" and even white "trash" became white primarily through the exclusion of Black Americans. Finally, we will look at the formation of whiteness today as a site of privilege, aggrieved entitlement, and violence. 3 hrs. sem. (GloDeFem)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Sociology of Heterosexuality
Most people believe that heterosexuality is natural or rooted in biology and so never look very closely at it as a product of culture. In this course we will examine the artifacts, institutions, rituals, and ideologies that construct heterosexuality and the heterosexual person in American culture. We will also pay close attention to how heterosexuality works alongside other forms of social power, especially gender, race, and class. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Third World Feminism
In this course we will approach Third World Feminism from two perspectives. First, we will examine the relationship of gender to Third Worldism, the political theory and practice which emerged in the decolonizing post-WWII world. Secondly, we will explore U.S. Third World feminism, which reinterpreted Third Worldist principles for women of color in the United States. Students will learn to approach the goals of Third Worldist projects - self-determination, anti-imperialism, development, liberation - from a gendered perspective. Students will also track how the meaning of "Third World" in the term Third World Feminism shifted over the course of the 20th century. In addition to secondary literature, we will examine primary sources (newspapers, films, interviews) from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the United States. (GloDeFem)

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Theory
The course offers an overview of key feminist texts and theories that have shaped the analysis of gender and sexuality. We will examine foundational theoretical texts that have animated the field of gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. Working within a transnational perspective, the course encompasses texts which fall under the categories of critical race and critical sexuality studies. (GSFS 0200 or GSFS 0191 or GSFS 0289) 3 hr. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

American Misogyny
In this course we will explore the place of misogyny in U.S. media and politics. Early topics will include film noir, Cold War gender scapegoating, and lesbian pulp fiction. Subsequent topics will include the backlash against second-wave feminism, the rise of “post-feminism,” and the impact of reality TV and social media on feminist and antifeminist expression. We will conclude by examining how misogyny informs U.S. culture and politics in the Trump era. Throughout the course, we will consider how discourses of misogyny are inflected by white, cisgender, ableist, ageist, and class privilege. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

AMR, HIS

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Course Description

The Politics of Reproduction: Sex, Abortion, and Motherhood
In this course we will examine contemporary reproductive issues both in the United States and around the world. We will work to understand both how reproductive politics are informed by broader cultural ideas regarding gender, race, class, ability, sexuality, and geography and also how ideas about reproduction reinforce conceptions of these very identity markers and ways of experiencing the world. Because requirements for being considered a “good” woman are intimately tied to what it means to be a “good” mother, challenging dominant understandings of gender and sexuality requires critical engagement with ideas about reproduction. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Epistemologies: Knowledge, Ignorance and Social Power
As a philosophical field, epistemology investigates questions of what constitutes knowledge and understanding and how we acquire such goods. Feminist epistemologies seek to answer these questions while giving special attention to how social relations of power shape our practices and possibilities of knowledge and ignorance. In this seminar we will trace the vast development of feminist epistemologies from the 1980s to the present. We will explore both how these feminist approaches have contributed to a shift in the landscape of epistemology generally, and how they have offered crucial tools for feminist and critical race theorists seeking to understand the reality of and experiences of oppression. Topics will include situated knowing, objectivity, trust (and distrust) in testimony, and epistemic injustices due to bias. 3 hrs, sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Love, Sex, and Marriage
What are the social terms for sexual agency in countries around the world? How is marriage understood through idealizations of romance as well as familial expectations of duty or status? In this course we consider how other cultures’ views on love, sex, and partnership are made legible and illegible within broader cultural, moral, and state interests. The course asks for in-depth participation, short weekly writings, and a longer final paper that each engage ethnographic works on a range of topics, from critical studies of love and globalization to queer kinmaking, rituals of the ‘lavish wedding,’ and everyday ways of hooking up and breaking up online. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Gender and the Making of Space
In this course we will investigate the complex relationship between gender and architecture, examining how the design of the built environment (buildings, urban spaces, etc.) can reinforce or undermine ideas about the respective roles of women and men in society, from the creation of masculine and feminine spaces to the gendered nature of the architectural profession. By looking at both visual evidence and textual sources we will also uncover how the social construction of gender roles and gendered spaces are, and continue to be, inflected by race, class, and sexuality. Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1407. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Medieval Bodies
In this seminar we will examine how medieval European thinkers and artists theorized and visualized the body in ways that are vastly different from the ways in which the body is conceptualized today. Indeed, the “medieval body” was not a monolithic entity, but rather a shifting constellation of ideas and practices that waxed, waned, and coexisted throughout the Middle Ages. A body could be understood as an earthly body — sexed, fleshly, corruptible — as well as a heavenly and divine body, including Christ’s own. Our considerations will further contextualize representations of gendered, racialized, clerical, monstrous, animal, virginal, non-Christian, heretical, resurrected, and uncircumscribable bodies. Readings of the secondary literature will broaden readings of primary source materials, and our discussions will remain cognizant of gender-, sexuality-, race-, and performance-critical methods. There are no prerequisites for this course, but students will find it helpful to have some familiarity with either the history of art or with medieval history. 3hrs sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Theories of Spectatorship, Audience, and Fandom
In this course we will explore the dynamics of spectatorship, audience engagement, and fan communities, from Hitchcock to anime, from The Beatles to BLACKPINK, from Star Trek to The Untamed. How do we engage with media texts? Is our experience of media today radically different from the early years of cinema? What does it mean to be a fan? Have our notions of fandom changed over time? How do race, gender, class, and cultural context inform media engagement? We will consider key theoretical approaches and interrogate our own position as spectators, consumers, and fans in media culture. (FMMC 0101 or FMMC 0102 or FMMC 0104 or FMMC 0276) 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, ART, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Black Queer Studies
What does sexuality have to do with race? Does racialization inform much of what we understand about gender? Black queer/trans life and thought speaks to much of these concerns. We’ll be challenged to think through ways that oppressions like anti-Black racism, misogyny, and homo/transphobia operate against (and even within) Black queer and Black trans communities, as well as the ways in which these communities respond and create their own theories/practices of life & joy through an examination of Black queer studies that looks across the African diaspora for theories and methodologies which span a range of social, political, and cultural geographies.(BLST 0101, or BLST 0201 or GSFS 0191 or GSFS 0289)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, CW, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Life of the Party: Queer of Color Nightlife
For many, nightlife spaces offer an alternative to the racial, gender, and sexual norms which we are socialized into and expected to follow in the light of day. From bars/clubs to pop-up parties to ballroom, nightlife scenes have been integral to exploration, discovery, and gratification in the lives of queer and trans Black people and other people of color. Through Black Studies approaches to race, gender, sexuality, and performance, we will examine how nightlife functions as pleasure, experimentation, artistry, and, crucially, work for many queers of color. We may read from texts such as Kemi Adeyemi’s Feels Right: Black Queer Women and the Politics of Partying in Chicago and Kareem Khubchandani’s Ishtyle: Accenting Gay Indian Nightlife. (BLST 101 or 201 or GSFS 289) 3 hrs. seminar

Terms Taught

Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, SOC

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Course Description

Gender and International Relations
Many issues facing international society affect, and are affected by, gender. Global poverty, for example, is gendered, since 70% of the world's population living below $1.25 per day is female. Women are far more vulnerable to rape in war and water scarcity, and they are moreover globally politically underrepresented. In this course we will use theories of international relations, including realism, neoliberalism, and feminism, to study how international society addresses (or fails to address) these challenges through bodies such as the UN and treaties such as the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

History of American Women: 1869-1999
This course will examine women's social, political, cultural, and economic position in American society from 1869 through the late 20th century. We will explore the shifting ideological basis for gender roles, as well as the effects of race, class, ethnicity, and region on women's lives. Topics covered will include: women's political identity, women's work, sexuality, access to education, the limits of "sisterhood" across racial and economic boundaries, and the opportunities women used to expand their sphere of influence. 3 hrs lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Women in the Black Freedom Struggle
The Civil Rights and Black Power Movements have become iconic examples of Black activism in the US. However, female activists are often ignored in historical accounts of these movements. In this course, we will examine the contributions of Black female activists to the Black Freedom Struggle. We will discuss women in the Civil Rights Movement both in the South and the North, the role of women in the Black Panther Party, but also the active involvement of women in white supremacist campaigns in the South. We will pay special attention to the diversity of Black women’s perspectives and highlight how Black women’s experiences differed from both white female and Black male activists. (BLST 0101 or GSFS 0191, or by instructor approval) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Politics of Identity
In this course we will introduce students to social diversity in the U.S. as it is reflected in four master identities: class, gender, race, and sexuality. We will examine what these identities mean for group membership, how group membership is attained or ascribed and maintained. Using both historical and contemporary materials, we will explore how identities have developed over time and how they have been challenged. In addition, we will examine how multiple identities intersect and the implications of these intersections have on individual identities. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Women, Religion, and Ethnography
In this course we will focus on ethnographic scholarship regarding women in various religious traditions. We will begin with questions of feminist ethnography as proposed by Lila Abu-Lughod and then read a range of ethnographies focusing on women in different contexts, including a female Muslim healer in South India, Kalasha women in Pakistan, Bedouin Muslim women in Egypt, and Catholic nuns in Mexico. We will focus on how gendered and religious identities are constructed and intertwined, and what ethnography contributes to the study of both religion and gender. A prior course in Religion, Anthropology, or Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies is recommended. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Witches in Global Visual Culture
In this course we will study the global visual representation of witches. During the 15th-18th century witch trials were responsible for the killing of between 40,000-50,000 women. In the 21st century, women are still being accused of witchcraft, and are murdered because women are believed to bring good or bad luck. Studying the construction of the witch narratives throughout history could alleviate this perception and reduce violence against women. We will examine passages from The Hammer of Witches and witches’ trials, as well as study the intersections between witchcraft, capitalism, and psychoanalysis. We will also focus on the role eugenics and artificial intelligence have played in modifying the depictions of witches. We will consider the way feminism has re-semanticized witches in the fight against patriarchy through political movements, theory (e.g. Silvia Federici) and visual culture by viewing art, graphic novels, TV series, and films from countries throughout the world.

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Decolonizing Porn: Circulating Desire between Europe and the Americas
In this course we will use feminist, queer, critical race, and decolonial theories to analyze porn in Europe and the Americas. The goal is to give students the analytic tools they need to think deeply about the centrality of porn to our lives and to global capitalism, creating jobs in the “gig economy” as well as huge amounts of profit even as it extracts unpaid labor from trafficked bodies. We will consider pornographic photography, cinema, AI, and deep fakes. Texts will include Linda Williams’ Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the ‘Frenzy of the Visible,” Gayle Rubin’s “Thinking Sex,” Heather Berg, Porn Work and Jennifer Nash’s The Black Body in Ecstasy. In the SPAN section of the course, students will also be asked to participate in Spanish at least three times on the Spanish-language day of the class. All students will present their public-facing projects at the end of the class. (GloDeFem)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

A History of Gender in Early America
Exploration, conquest, settlement, revolution, and nation-building: no course in early American history should ignore such traditional topics. In this course, though, we will examine the various ways that gender shaped these historical processes. How, for example, did colonials’ assumptions about manhood and womanhood affect the development of slavery in America? Or how did the Founding Fathers’ identities as men inform their attitudes about democracy and citizenship? We will scrutinize historical documents, of both a private and public nature, and discuss several recent scholarly works on gender from 1600-1850 to consider these kinds of questions. Pre-1800. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, NOR

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Course Description

Sex and Society
In this seminar we will explore the pleasures, power, and problems of sex and will place sexuality in dynamic interaction with larger social issues. It is impossible to understand sexuality as separate from other dimensions of the human condition such as economics, politics, work, family, race, and gender. In particular, we will examine questions related to the science of sex, morality, monogamy, sex work, power and domination, desire and fantasy, and sexual politics. Overall, students will gain an understanding of sexuality as a social phenomenon. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

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Course Description

Black, Listed: Surveillance, Race, and Gender
The fields of Black studies, feminist geographies, and surveillance studies are brought together in this course to examine transformations in geographic and social control in U.S. and transnational contexts. The ways in which racialized and gendered populations have experienced and continue to experience geopolitical domination and surveillance constitutes the central theme of the course. Students will develop collaborative and independent research skills. Topics of inquiry include: the trans-Atlantic slave trade; prisons and policing; education; (anti-)surveillance technologies; airports and borders. We may draw substantially from texts such as Simone Browne’s Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness and Toby Beauchamp’s Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices. (Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Gender, Power, and Politics on the Early Modern Stage (I) (Pre-1800)
In this class we will explore the representation of gendered embodiment on the early modern stage, considering as we do so how theatrical embodiment intersects with other treatments of the body in early modern culture. We will read both early modern and contemporary theoretical accounts of gender as performance, investigating among other issues the use of boy actors, the representation of specifically “female” disorders (e.g., “suffocation” or hysteria), the performance of maternity, and the treatment of same-sex eroticism. Of particular importance will be the representation of the articulate or angry woman as the “shrew” or “scold,” and we will begin the class with an investigation of so-called “shrew-taming” narratives. Primary readings will include: Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and The Winter’s Tale, Webster’s Duchess of Malfi, and Cavendish’s Convent of Pleasure. We will end the semester with a look at how this material plays out in our current political moment, focusing in particular on the representation of Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, and Christine Blasey Ford. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Men and Masculinities
In this course we will consider the creation and performance of masculinities in the American context.  We will ask how men are made and how that making relies on class, race, sexuality, and nation. We will begin with early capitalism and the birth of the ideal man as “market man.”  We will then look at how ideal masculinity depends on the creation of “degenerate” men, like the myth of the hyper-masculinized Black male “beast” and the creation of the mythic mannish lesbian.  We will then trace these late 19th century men and masculinities into our current moment of political machismo, trolling misogyny, bromance, feminist men, hipster men, dandy bois, transmen, and more.  Readings will include: Michael Kimmel, Guyland; C.J. Pascoe and Tristan Bridges, Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity and Change; C.J. Pascoe, Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School; Judith Halberstam, Female Masculinity, and bell hooks, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity.  (GSFS 0191 or GSFS 0200 or GSFS 0289) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

AMR, CW, HIS, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Feminist Epistemologies
In recent years, feminist epistemologies, such as feminist standpoint theories and feminist empiricisms, have been extremely influential in developing social theories of knowledge. They have also served as a crucial intellectual tool for feminist theorists trying to understand the connections between social relations of gender and the production of knowledge and ignorance. In this course we will investigate some of the major themes and challenges of feminist epistemologies and feminist philosophies of science: How is knowledge socially situated? What does it mean to look at knowledge through a gendered lens? How is objective knowledge possible according to feminist epistemologies? We will work to understand the influence of feminist epistemologies in contemporary philosophy. We will also consider how feminist epistemologies have guided research on gendered and raced relations. (Approval required; Open to philosophy and GSFS senior and junior majors. GSFS majors must have previously taken GSFS 0320, or permission.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Feminist Engaged Research
What makes research feminist? How does one conduct feminist research? How has feminist research been useful to social movements and how have movements informed feminist research? What happens to feminist research when it moves to the public sphere? In this class students learn how to produce original feminist research—how to craft research questions, write a literature review, choose relevant methodologies, and collect and analyze qualitative data. In addition to writing a research paper, students will translate their research findings into an alternative (non-academic paper) format and for an audience beyond our classroom. (Minimum of 3 GSFS classes. Class intended for GSFS majors and minors and students in the IGS Gender Track.) 3 hrs. Sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Transnational Feminist Conservation
In this course we explore a transnational feminist approach to conservation. We will start by delving into the masculinist history of conservation, and reviewing a set of theories and vocabularies focused on gender, as well as race, class, and ability as key sites of power that effect both human and non-human bodies and ecological processes, from coral reefs to the arctic tundra. We will compare case studies across multiple regions globally on topics such as conservation via population control, feminist food, community-based conservation, and feminist-indigenous approaches to inquiry. We will debate feminist science, examining the conflicting epistemic foundations of objective versus situated knowledge. We will hone our writing skills in a variety of genres including blogs, academic essays, poems, and zines. (ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215 or ENVS/GSFS 209) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, CMP, CW, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Readings in African History: Women and Gender in Africa
This course takes up the challenge of understanding women's experiences and the role of gender in Africa's past. We will read from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and literary forms, including ethnographies, life histories, and fiction, in order to explore different methodological and interpretive approaches to these subjects. Themes will include: changes in the structure of patriarchy and women's status in the pre-colonial period, the gendered impact of colonial rule on African economies and ecologies, historical identities of masculinity and femininity, and gendered experience of postcolonial "development." Prior experience in African history is not required. (formerly HIST/WAGS 0421) 3 hrs. seminar

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

HIS, SAF

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Course Description

The U.S. Politics of Race, Gender, and Class
Race, gender, and class have long shaped American politics. They have formed the basis for social movements, have structured institutions, and have affected the way political actors–from voters to activists to elected officials–have made their day-to-day decisions. What do political scientists know about the roles that race, gender, and class play in politics, separately and together, and what do we yet have to learn? (PSCI 0102 or PSCI 0104) 3 hrs. sem. (American Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Literature of Displacement: Forced Migration, Diaspora, Exile
We will study contemporary postcolonial literature and theory about migration, displacement, exile, and diaspora. Spurred variously by force, necessity and desire, migrants leave their homes and homelands with regret and with hope. Writers address the historical forces that shape these migrations: decolonization and neo-colonialism, globalization, warfare, dispossession, political violence, religious conflict, and environmental catastrophe. These writers experiment with narrative form and poetic language to explore the experiences of undocumented immigrant workers, exiles, refugees and well-to-do migrants. We will examine constructions of identity, history, community and place in texts by Anzaldua, Ali, Darwish, Diome, Patel, Gomez Pena, Said, Rushdie, Spivak, and others. (Diversity) (Rec)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, CMP, LIT, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

Making Monsters: Global Visual Culture
In this course we will trace a cultural history of the monster, focusing on the construction of monstrosity as an imaginary concept based on cultural ideas regarding power and its manipulation, deformed and reproductive bodies, witchcraft, sexuality, race, the intelligence of female subjects, transgression of heteronormativity, masculine fears, fears of the other, and fears of the unknown and the powerful. Monsters also have a biopolitical dimension and can manipulate our lives. Using a global perspective (e.g. the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa), we will study monsters as depicted in science, art, cinema, and popular culture. We will emphasize feminist, decolonial and horror theories, as well as post- and transhumanism. Resources may include: Divine images, mythological and folklore figures, representation of the Native Americans during colonization, freaks, ‘degenerate’ art, industrial and nuclear accident monsters, vampires, zombies, and mutants. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Patriarchy’s Toxic Imagination in Global Horror Cinema
What is toxicity and how is this linked to patriarchy and contemporary horror cinema? In this course we will analyze a number of movies in order to understand how the construction of female bodies as monsters is linked to toxic imagination and patriarchal values. Approaching toxicity from Mel Y. Chen’s perspective and using affect theory (e.g. Ahmed), we will delve into issues such as reproductive horror, trans horror, posthumanism, environmentalism, and religious horror. Among movies included: Huesera: The Bone Woman, 2023; Woman of the Photographs, 2023; Crimes of the Future, 2022; Culpa, 2022; Madres, 2021; Titane, 2021; Coven: Akelarre, 2020; Impetigore, 2019; Saint Maude, 2019; Bit, 2019; Mesmeralda, 2019; La casa lobo 2018; The Autopsy of Jane Doe, 2016; Prevenge, 2016; Antibirth, 2016; and Madre, 2016.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, LNG

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Course Description

Independent Study
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Essay
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval required)

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Film, TV & Gender
In this course we will examine unconventional representations of gender and sexuality in current television series and movies, as well as a few earlier films. We will use feminist approaches to think about spectatorship, femininity and masculinity, transgender politics, the family, cult films, and fan cultures. Our goal will be to investigate how popular film and television can inform our understanding of gender and sexuality by following existing models and gesturing toward new possibilities. Students will write short critical and creative pieces in addition to a longer critical essay.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Effortless Perfection, Mental Health, and the Female Collegiate Experience
In this course, students will explore numerous gendered issues including self-esteem, confidence, assertiveness, body image and disordered eating, hook-up culture and sexual power dynamics, mental health, and identity. They will examine these issues through the lens of “Effortless Perfection” – a term coined by the 2003 Duke University Women’s Initiative to describe the “expectation” that female undergrads “be smart, accomplished, fit, beautiful, and popular, and that all this would happen without visible effort.” The class will be structured in accordance with the instructor’s recently released book, The Effortless Perfection Myth. Assignments will include a series of reflections and a final paper wherein students will use their personal experiences to write the chapter they feel is missing from the book.

Cara Peterson graduated from the Bread Loaf School of English in 2023.

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

The Art of Black Women's Storytelling
In this course we will explore Black women’s storytelling from the 19th century to present day. We will examine multiple forms of Black women’s storytelling such as kitchen table narratives, music, personal and academic essays, plays, poetry/spoken word, anthologies, podcasts, digital blogs/vlogs, films, and TV shows. Our exploration of these forms of storytelling will highlight the capacious nature of literacy by decentering Western conceptions of knowledge production as solely written. Black literacy becomes understood as oral, performative, visual, and written storytelling and therefore framed as an activity that is individual and communal, historical and cultural memory, and social and political activism. This course will include readings, discussions, small group projects, and film screenings.

Veronica Ahmed Coates '14 is a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Purdue University. Her current research focuses on Black women's literature in the 20th and 21st centuries and Black women's reproductive history. She's also an instructor for WGSS and Black Studies, a twin mom, and is an indie bookshop enthusiast./

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

HIS, LIT, WTR

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Course Description

Sex and Science, Power and Poison
Where does “the” body begin and end, if at all? What cultural forces, material objects, and political systems simultaneously shape us as social subjects and biological bodies? How do our bodies know and transmit experiences of toxic exposures, viscerally and affectively? How do social markers of identity, especially gender, sexuality, race, and class, affect our lived experiences through a toxic world? Reading the works of such intersectional feminists as Thuy Linh Tu, Vanessa Agard-Jones, Traci Brynne Voyles, and Max Liboiron, we will study imbrications of sex, science, and power, with a focus on toxicants, engaging with critical race and queer theories, postcolonial and feminist STS, health social movements, critical public health, and environmental justice.
Dr. Melina Packer is a scholar of critical feminist science studies whose research grapples with the messy entanglements of nature, culture, gender, sexuality, race, and animality. She received her PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies./

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

WTR

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Course Description

Collaborative Film-making
This course offers students an opportunity to collaboratively make videos with a group of young women workers in Bangalore, India who were the first in their families to get professional jobs and join the city’s growing startup economy. However, with job cuts, many workers lost their jobs. Others stayed on, knowing their jobs were precarious. How do the workers make meaningful lives amidst this uncertainty? Through a transnational and collaborative project, Middlebury students will connect with workers, read about the ethics and challenges of collaborative research and develop 5-minute films of their lives through videos, photographs, and audio files shared online. No prior experience with filmmaking is required.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

CW, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

The Roaring Twenties
What will relationships look like at Middlebury and beyond, post-pandemic? Drawing on fiction, film, theory, and art, we will produce a collaborative exhibit on American sex and sociality in the 2020s. Our goal will be to depict the ideas and desires of Gen Zers, a generation more racially diverse, gender fluid, and well-educated than older Americans but facing higher social and economic uncertainty. What do Gen Z dreams and concerns look like in the context of #MeToo, BLM, and other movements? This course will be a place to study and understand shifts in dating, sex, solidarity, and citizenship—what those shifts are, and what they could be.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Queer Media Cultures
This course introduces students to queer media scholarship through the lens of contemporary film and television, social media and popular culture. We will learn about the foundational concepts of queer and feminist theory, transgender studies and biopolitics. In addition, we will consider how popular media has the potential to resist—or sometimes ends up reifying—dominant ideologies of sexuality, gender, race, citizenship and labor. Training and assessment will focus on visual literacy and media analysis (including a review of basic concepts of cinematography and editing) in the form of short critical and creative assignments. (Not open to students who have already taken GSFS/FMMC 1010.)

/Peter Tarjanyi is a Visiting Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Middlebury College./

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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