The minor consists of at least eighteen hours that include the two core courses described below and four other courses chosen from a number of options approved by the Gender Studies Committee. These other courses may explore the contributions made by women to society and culture, examine the experience of the two genders as a result of the cultural, social, psychological, and biological factors which influence their lives; they may look at revisions in the contents, methods, and assumptions of particular disciplines called for in light of recent scholarship. Courses in at least two departments outside the student's major field must be included in the minor, and at least six hours of these options must be in upper-division courses. Many different departments on campus offer course that count towards the Gender Studies minor.
Gend 100 - Studies in Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality
Phil 309J - Feminist Philosophy
Gend400 - Issues in Gender and the Environment
Fall Courses in 2013
GEND 100D Studies in Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality
This course is an interdisciplinary as well as transnational introduction to the major categories, themes, and concepts in research about women's and men's lives around the world. By reading various fictional and non-fictional works, and by watching a few feature and documentary films on issues that encompass the spectrum of gender studies, students will develop a critical framework for thinking about the complex ways in which various microsystems of power and domination, be it gender, race, class, sexuality, etc., intersect and interlock in shaping the lived experiences of different individuals and groups around the world. In the first weeks of classes, we will examine the limits and possibilities of the "intersectional" approach to gender studies. To the rest of the semester, we will explore the ways in which the intersectional approach allows us to or prevents us from understanding the complexity and multidimensionality of the major issues that define the field of gender studies today:
- Patriarchy, gender oppression, and (post)feminism.
- The Crisis of Masculinity: Homosociality and dominant/ subordinate masculinities
- Heteronormativity, homophobia, and LGBTQ rights.
- White supremacy, racial privilege, and color-blind racism.
- (Neo-)Colonialism, fundamentalism, and gender in global context.
- Capitalism, class, and desire.
Our aim in this class is to understand the ways in which the various microsystems of power (gender, sexuality, race, nationality) do not simply describe and inscribe identity (who we are and what we can be), but also how they use different power mechanisms to create social differences and inequalities among individuals and groups. Texts include: Rosemary Hennessey's Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism; Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns; Shyam Selvadurai's Funny Boy; Shira Tarrant's Men Speak Out: Views on gender, Sex, and Power; Tim Wise's Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male. Requirements: HW responses; Social Justice Experiment and Group Presentation; Critical Reports; and a take-home final exam.
GEND 300.50 D Women Behind the Camera
Thursday 6-9pm (6-week course)
The course introduces students to the tradition of Women filmmakers. We will ask questions about the relationship between film, politics and society and the role narrative and documentary films play as a form of social history and national imagery. We will focus on filmmakers who gained international attention: American filmmaker Maya Deren, German filmmakers Helke Sanders, Doris Dörrie and Sandra Nettelbeck, German-Italian filmmaker Angelina Maccarone and Belgian filmmaker Agnès Varda.
GEND 400 Research Seminar
Was Karen Silkwood's gender connected to her exposure to radioactivity at the nuclear plant where she worked? Maybe. Gender, sexuality, and environmental risk are connected in complicated ways.
Environmental stresses--pollution, food and water security, deforestation, global warming--don't just affect Mother Earth. All human beings are potentially at risk in a degraded environment. Poor people suffer more from environmental stress because they are consigned to polluted areas more often than economically privileged people; considered globally, women have to deal with greater environmental stresses, such as hunger and overwork, than do men. Those inequities result far more from socioeconomic systems than from individual discrimination, but individuals can still influence dire situations and make them better.
In GEND 400, we will study films about these issues (such as "Silkwood") and read a variety of texts, including fiction, biography, and scholarly literature. As a seminar, the class is discussion-based and collaborative. Students will present both individual and collaborative projects. We will end the course with special emphasis on current problems in environmentally troubled areas.
AFST 335.01 D Advanced Studies in African American Film: Hip Hop, Rap, Sex & Film
This course will examine the development of hip hop music and culture form the 1970s through the present. The course will focus specifically on the formation of the cultural movement as a transnational, commerce industry. In addition to analyzing hip hop music, the course will look at advertising, fashion, cinema, and other forms of commodity production and consumption.
AMST 359D JS (GEND): Sex, Gender, Sexuality, and Reality in Media
Media shapes our lives: our values, our priorities, our politics, and our practices. And messages about sex, gender, and sexuality embedded in our popular culture are especially powerful and prevalent, although their ubiquity means they often go by unnoticed or unexamined. Meanwhile, our culture's increasing attention to reality-based media can have even stronger influence over what we know, think, and feel about ourselves and others. Nonfiction film, television, literature, journalism, and social media explore and explain our world, and from Jersey Shore to The New York Times, Facebook to memoir, they represent their subject matter as real, accurate, and true, however authentic or constructed it may be. That means we frequently give its messages, including those about gender, even greater weight.
In this seminar, we'll examine various kinds of nonfiction media and consider what it communicates, how it is constructed, and how sex, gender, and sexuality are represented. We'll consider what those forms of information, art, entertainment, and expression have to say about what it means to be male or female; how culture uses that media to respond to, and define, subgroups; and how we respond to the media we consume. We'll examine nonfiction texts from different cultural traditions and disciplines as we engage in vigorous discussion and written analysis, and apply these ideas in a capstone project.
ENGL 367.01 D: Jane Austen and the Novel of Love
This course centers on Austen's novels, with a focus on ideas the courtship plot enables her to explore. We will also pay close attention to the subtle, precise, and witty quality of her prose. Despite their surface charm, lightness of tone, and wit, these novels engage complex moral choices, express deep feeling, and draw subtle distinctions among competing value systems. They highlight tensions between money and love, style and substance, power and vulnerability, restraint and folly. They are also, of course, novels of love: they follow, and arguably perfect, the courtship plot.
So we'll consider what that means and how the courtship plot functions. We'll also consider how these novels respond to the emergence of a consumer culture and its relationship to the established class system in England, political debates over the inherent rights (and distribution of property) sparked by the violent revolution in France, changing relationships between men and women, new values attached to marriage, and the relationship between British imperialism and the stately upper-middle class world Austen's characters inhabit. Finally, we'll explore the enduring popularity of Austen (on both page and screen) and her unique status as a writer who bridges the divide between "high" and "low" culture, for she appeals equally to the general public and serious students of English literature: why have these novels remained so popular and appealing over the past two centuries? Why are they so appealing today? What ideas or ideals about the past are constructed in film adaptations of Austen's work? What happens when Austen goes to Hollywood--or Hollywood goes to Austen?
ENGL 474.30 D: Postcolonial Literature Seminar :Third World Women Writers
This course explores the richness and diversity of literary works by and about Third World women from India, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. We will examine the aesthetics and politics of these literary texts as well as films about Third Worldwomen within their social, cultural, and literary contexts. Our aim will be to understand the ways in which the social, economic, and political structures of gender, race, sexuality, class, nationality, colonialism, and globalization shape and inform the main concerns that Third World women's writings reflect and refract namely, rewriting colonial misrepresentations of Third World women, cultural traditions and gender ideologies, women's place in anti-colonial struggle and national liberation movements, the relationship between women and the nation-state, women's legal and human rights, including reproductive choice and sexual freedom, the impact of globalization on women, the production of cosmopolitan identities, and the question of revolutionary politics in the era of US empire and the New World (dis)Order. Texts include: Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea; Michelle Cliff's No Telephone to Heaven; Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions; Mahasweta Devi's Imaginary Maps; Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran; Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things; and Assia Djebar's The Women of Algiers in Their Apartment. Requirements: Response papers; two short analytical papers; an oral presentation; and a seminar paper.
GERM 304B: Modern German Culture
TR 11:30am -12:45
The course offers a critical understanding of the complexity and diversity of modern German culture by investigating how Germans respond to the challenges and transformations of their nation in the modern and postmodern age. We will focus on the roles that art, literature, film, architecture, music and other forms of cultural practices play in affirming and/or challenging contemporary notions of national identity. Our understanding of these cultural products will be based on categories such as gender, race and ethnicity, and social class. These analytical tools will help us to move beyond a traditional focus on dominant cultural narratives in order to conceive of German culture as a space of conflicting, competing and/or consensual identifications that are continuously challenged in any given historical moment.
HIST 362H American Women's History
TR 10am-11:15 am
This course studies the history of women in the United States, highlighting key themes and moments to show how American women have shaped the nation, have responded to and produced cultural definitions of womanhood, and have challenged and negotiated limitations on their roles. Our topics include education, work, social and economic class, sexuality, race and ethnicity, motherhood and the family, and activism
IHSC/COMM 336W.JS: Food & Nutrition in the Media
Do the communication messages about food and nutrition portrayed in the media shape how we define and make choices for our health? Food in the media is often associated with fun and good times and being hip or cool. However, media consumption, and TV viewing specifically, is a strong predictor of poor nutritional eating habits. Through critical analysis of the media and cultural performance (gender, race, class, sexuality, age, etc.), this seminar is designed to explore possible influences on our perceptions of food and nutrition and how, in turn, this may affect our well-being. This class will examine communication and media as they pertain to these ideas, with emphasis on discussion, writing, oral presentations, and experiential learning. In addition to being a Gender Studies course, it is a junior-seminar and also counts as a class for the Journalism program.
RELS 256D- Gender and Difference in Biblical Texts and Traditions (5092)
TR 11:30 am-12:45 pm
An examination of the role that gender plays in the biblical text, giving attention to feminist methods of interpretation. Texts that suppress the power of the feminine are examined against those that bring to light positive images. The influence of these texts both in establishing traditional roles for women historically and in shaping patriarchal theologies in our contemporary world is investigated.