Women's Studies - Fall 2013
English 180A - Making Romance
4 semester hours
Prerequisite: English 101
A love story: the oldest story—yet the least understood? What are the narratives of love? Their conventions, structures, familiar gestures? Their deep underlying meanings? Their psychological ramifications? And how do these stories vary according to the one telling the story? In particular, how does the gender of the author influence the nature of these narratives and, in turn, how do these narratives influence our understanding of gender and the roles we play as men and women?
This course will provide a historical overview of the Romance, beginning with the highly scripted “luf-talking” of the Arthurian romance and moving to the fragmentary forays into love in the postmodern novel. The course will pair male and female authors, continually asking how these gendered narratives both differ and concur. We will read such authors as Chretien de Troyes, Marie de France, William Shakespeare, Mary Wroth, Aphra Behn, F. Scott Fitgerald, Zora Neale Hurston, Chuck Palahniuk, and Suzanne Collins of The Hunger Games. Along the way, we will also explore the primary poetic device for declaring one’s love, the sonnet, and the ubiquitous prosaic one for realizing its happy ending, the fairy tale. Writing intensive.
English 180 - Masculinity in Classic American Autobiography
4 semester hours
Prerequisite: English 101
What does it mean to be a man—or to be "masculine," "manly," "macho," or "butch"? What does it mean to be an American man? This course will focus on the way that classic American writers—men and women—from a variety of backgrounds have defined and approached their own stories and their own relation to the "American story"--whether viewed as the American dream or the American nightmare. We'll move from Benjamin Franklin's ironic 18th century voice to the jeremiad of Frederick Douglass, both of whom share an "up by the bootstraps" focus on achievement and redefinition in the face of political change. We'll groove to Walt Whitman's poetic, erotic explorations of male companionship and sensuality, and get swept into Malcolm X's various "tough guises" as a young gangster, a devout Muslim, and a keen political analyst. We will watch the film The Godfather, examine hip hop visions of masculinity, in music and videos, and listen to the voices of transgender writers who have lived lives perceived as both "male" and "female"--Patrick Califia, Kate Bornstein, Julia Serano. We'll read/look at the pictures in Alison Bechtel's Fun Home, which is a graphic memoir that explores her own childhood and eventual coming out as lesbian in relation to her father's closeted life as a gay man, and laugh at David Sedaris's comedic explorations of growing up young and gay in the American South. There will be two exams, several short response papers, and two longer papers. Students will write a final project that brings it all together by asking: what writer or artist would you add to this course, and why? You'll present your thoughts to the class in a short presentation during the final week of the class, and write a paper or creative project explaining your argument. Writing intensive. Crosslisted with WMST.
English 319 - Women and Literature II. : "Stories and Theories of Their Own"
4 semester hours
In a landmark essay, "When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision," Adrienne Rich makes the case that all writers need to radically "re-see" the world in which they live, and, she argues, have the freedom of a space of their own--the mental and physical space that Virginia Woolf called for 50 years before Rich--in which to ask dangerous questions, "to challenge, to conceive of alternatives, perhaps to the very life you are living at that moment. You have to be free to play around with the notion that day might be night, love might be hate; nothing can be too sacred for the imagination to turn into its opposite or to call experimentally by another name. For writing is re-naming." We're going to look at women writers who have sought to tell their own stories--to re-name the world in a way that helps us to re-see our own worlds--and who, like Woolf, Rich, Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa, have written powerful and beautiful essays about what it has meant to be a woman writer in the modern world. The course will have a particular focus on the conversations and interplays between African American women writers and white women writers, as that dynamic has been so critical to US women’s writing and the development of racialized-discourses that have been painful and damaging, even as amazing art has been produced. Texts I love and will likely choose from include… (& I'd love to have student input before I order!): Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin; Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl; Woolf, A Room of One's Own; Kate Chopin, The Awakening; Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence; Toni Morrison Beloved; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale; Octavia Butler, Parable of the Sower…others? We'll look at American writers from a variety of races and ethnicities and sexual orientations, who have explored and sometimes argued with each other across the decades about womanhood, motherhood, sexuality, writing, art, relationships, and survival itself. Writing and reading intensive, this course will have a CLAC option and is a WMST cross-listed course.
HIST 111H 01. Medieval Europe
The origins of medieval Europe are grounded in the world of Late Antiquity. This class begins with the last of the Western Roman Emperors by surveying the “barbarian” kingdoms that had been created in the fourth and fifth centuries. Essential to understanding Europe is the relationship between East and West. Starting with a dominant Byzantium in the early part of our course, we’ll examine ups and downs in the East/West relationship in the ninth and early twelfth centuries and their antagonistic relationship after 1204 and the sack of Constantinople. Essential to this story are the lives of women and religious minorities, such as Jews, Muslims, and pagans. Those stories will be woven in with the traditional highlights of the Middle Ages, such as Charlemagne’s ascension as Holy Roman Emperor, the Viking raids throughout Europe, the rise of the Normans and the conquest of England, the reform papacy and the Crusades, and the beginning of the Renaissance. Medieval Europe changed drastically over the thousand years studied in this course, and we will attempt to both understand the events and processes that contributed to that change as well as the shape of Europe at the end of our period. This course counts toward the PAST minor. Writing intensive.
HFS 245, History of Women in Sport
4 semester hours
Historical Perspectives of Women in Sport studies the development of sport from early religious ritual to a modern corporate model in western society. The genesis and development of recreation, sport, and exercise for women has been influenced by religion, medicine, economics, politics, and ideology. The intersection of gender, race, and socioeconomic class for women of color is examined, as is the struggle by women for admission in the Olympics. Sport has served as a historical site for feminist transformation and the development of alternative western sport forms. Women have “dared to compete”. The struggle of women to gain entry into sport is both sad and inspirational. Class structure includes short lectures, videos, small group discussion, and analytical minute papers. Students write a sport autobiography, conduct a short cross generation sport interview, and study a related topic of interest in depth.
Phil 200R 01 and 02. Race, Gender, Science and Medicine
In Race, Gender, Science and Medicine students will critically analyze: 1. The role of race and gender in science and medicine; i.e. how these impact the doing of science and medicine. 2. How science and medicine have studied race and gender. 3. The interaction between science, medicine, and marginalized people. We will look at variety of views on these issues, assess the evidence and arguments that are presented to us through our texts and hopefully have energetic class discussions about the material. You will be assessed through quizzes, written assignments, and a final project. This course is reading intensive.
POLI 319 1W Men, Politics & Popular Culture
Prerequisites: A Political Theory course (POLI 211R, 212R, 215R or 216R), or permission of the instructor; Jr class standing
What does it mean to be a “man” in America today? What conceptions circulate about men, their needs and their desires? Are men naturally violent? Is it really true that women make better parents then men? Is it a privilege to be a man, or a burden? What are the origins of contemporary American “masculinities”? How does gender discourse circulate in our political community, and what practical effect does it have on our work, family, and community lives? What is the significance of contemporary “men’s movements” – both anti- and pro-feminist? Has feminist ideology and its influence on family and criminal law resulted in “reverse” discrimination against men? We will explore the social meanings of masculinity and fatherhood through analysis of several primary works of literature and film, informed by cultural studies and political theoretical analyses. 02/13
SOCI 210S 01 Sociology of Family
This course explores the ways in which social, economic, political and cultural forces shape the family. During the semester we will review sociological literature on the family, reflect on our own experiences, analyze the social problems families face, investigate social policies surrounding the family, and seek to understand the interconnection between the family and the other institutions that constitute society.
The class is designed to address the wide diversity in family forms, practices and experiences, and to acknowledge the link between societal changes and changes in family patterns. With this emphasis on diversity and change, course materials will continuously address the intersection of race and ethnicity, class, and gender on experiences in the family and family structure.
Spanish 260/1.1: El mundo contemporáneo (Contemporary Issues of the Hispanic World)
(2 semester hours)
Prerequisite: Spanish 112, or Spanish 150, or placement at the 200 level.
This course focuses on contemporary issues of the Hispanic world including topics such as immigration, politics, pop culture, economics, demography, religion, social class, and globalization. The course will help students develop conversational skills and strategies.
Spanish 263/1.2: El cine y el cambio social (Film and Social Change)
(2 semester hours)
Prerequisite: Spanish 112, 150 or 200 level placement
This course introduces students to film from Spain and Latin America that intersect with social and historical transitions. Students will explore the cultural context of each film, analyze major themes, and discuss the role of film as a reflection of and catalyst for social change. The course will focus on aiding students in developing language skills for description and reporting. Along with the practice/development of their language skills, students will learn basic principles of cinematic analysis and language.