Courses (in parenthesis GSS requirement each course fullfills)
GSS 420 / SOC 420: Born in the U.S.A.: Culture and Reproduction in Modern America (Science, Social Science, and Humanities Requirement)
Professor Elizabeth Armstrong
Reproduction is a basic biological process, as well as a fundamental one for all societies. While the biology of human reproduction is universal across time and place, cultural norms and social institutions powerfully inflect and shape the experience of pregnancy and childbirth in every society. This course investigates the history and sociology of reproduction, focusing on the contemporary United States, but with an eye towards other societies for comparison. How, why, and for whom does birth matter? How do reproductive practices reflect gender, race, and class? The course examines the culture, politics, and economics of reproduction.
GSS 400: Contemporary Feminist Theory (GSS 400 Graduate Requirement)
Professor Gayle Salamon
We will take as our primary text the new translation of Simone deBeauvoir’s landmark volume The Second Sex, one of the most significant origin points of current understandings of gender. In our sustained consideration of The Second Sex, we will explore Beauvoir’s ideas about the influence of sex and gender on childhood, the family, sexuality, relationships, aging, work, the social order, and the philosophical imaginary. We will also consider contemporary fiction and film alongside that text, taking Beauvoir as our tour guide as we encounter and interpret contemporary representations of gender.
Prerequisite: GSS 201 or equivalent.
GSS 365 / THR 369 / ENG 365: Isn’t It Romantic? The Broadway Musical from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Sondheim (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Stacy Wolf
Song. Dance. Man. Woman. These are the basic components of the Broadway musical theatre. How have musical theatre artists—composers, lyricists, librettists, directors, choreographers, and designers—worked with these building blocks to create this quintessentially American form of art and entertainment? This course will explore conventional and resistant performances of gender and sexuality in the Broadway musical since the 1940s. Why are musicals structured by love and romance? What happens when men and women sing and dance on stage together and separately? How do Broadway musicals converse with ideas about gender and sexuality in mainstream culture?
HIS 384 / GSS 384: Gender and Sexuality in Modern America (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Margot Canaday
An examination of changing patterns of manhood and womanhood, with an emphasis on women's experience. Topics include housekeeping, child rearing, birth control, sexuality, work, feminism, and the role of gender in religious and political movements and economic development.
ENG 333 / GSS 323: Austen, Bronte, Eliot: Abandoning the Marriage Plot (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Deborah Nord
This course will consider the demands, opportunities, and constraints of the marriage plot in
nineteenth-century fiction. We will read early and late novels by Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, and George Eliot with an eye to the evolution of the plot of courtship and marriage in the literary careers
of each. How does each novelist deploy and yet rebel against literary and sexual convention? What
kinds of experiments and departures from tradition does each novelist attempt in her later works and
especially in what turns out to be her final novel?
WWS 452 / POL 326 / GSS 451: Special Topics in Public Affairs - Inequalities (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Nannerl Keohane
GER 321 / GSS 321: Topics in German Medieval Literature: Before Gender: Cross-Dressing and Sex in Medieval Romance (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Sara S. Poor
This course will explore what it meant to be men and women in love (with each other or with God) in some of the most spectacular literary works of the German Middle Ages. The larger context for our disucssion will be a more nuanced understanding of the history of sexuality. Readings and discussion primarily in modern German, some readings and discussion in English.
LAS 323 / GSS 322: Body, Beauty, and Race in Latin America (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Mónica Moreno Figueroa
This course examines relationships between the body, as a symbolic cultural form, and ideas about beauty, race, appearance, racialized perceptions of skin color and physical characteristics within the Latin American context.
AAS 360 / GSS 380: Ain't I A Woman? Women of Color and the Politics of Feminism (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Doctoral Fellow Emily Lutenski
Women of color have produced a heterogeneous body of thought at times at odds with feminist politics that
tend to be dominated by whites and with civil rights and nationalist discourses that tend to be dominated
by men. This course explores this genealogy and how women of color have created knowledge and worked for
justice from marginalized perspectives.
CAAS 387 / GSS 387 / ENG 380: Black Women and Popular Music Culture (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
Professor Daphne Brooks
Seminar on black women and popular music culture.
AMS 345 / GSS 347: Women's Leadership in Modern America (Social Science & Humanities Requirement)
This course examines issues related to gender, race, and class as substructures which shape the leadership of women in modern America. One of the focuses of the course will be to critique meanings of leadership particularly as we study the meaning of freedom in American society within the context of the civil rights and women's movements. Drawing upon a myriad of primary sources including speeches, autobiographical accounts, newspapers, television and film programs, we will highlight how several contemporary American historiographies situate women as activists versus leaders and the significance of this projection.
EEB 301 / GSS 301: Evolution and the Behavior of the Sexes ( Science, Social Science, and Humanities Requirement)
This course, designed to capitalize on diverse student backgrounds, will use principles of evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology to examine mating strategies and their effect on social systems. We will draw examples from vertebrates, with an emphasis on group-living mammals, particularly primates and elephants. Topics will include mate selection, ontogeny of sex differences, sexual diversity, social bonds and cooperation, and intersexual conflict.
REL 328 / GSS 328: Women and Gender in Islamic Societies (Social Science and Humanities Requirement)
Professor Shaun E. Marmon
This seminar focuses on issues of gender and sexuality in Islamic societies, past and present. Readings are drawn from the fields of history, religious studies, anthropology and sociology. Readings also include a wide range of texts in translation, including novels and poetry. Films are an integral part of the course. Topics include: women's lives; women's writings; female piety; marriage and divorce; sexuality and the body; and women and Islamic fundamentalism.
REL 375 / GSS 376: Gender, Bodies, and Sacraments (Social Science and Humanities Requirement)
Professor Jessica Delgado
This seminar will examine the gendered and embodied meanings of sacraments, first through a sustained examination of confession and communion in Catholicism, and second, through an additional example of each student's choosing. Readings will focus on the changing practices and meanings of penitence and Eucharistic sacrifice in medieval and early modern Europe, colonial Latin America, and the contemporary US. Students will also choose an additional example through which to explore the relationship between gender and sacrament in its historical context and will bring this independent reading to bear in class discussions when appropriate.
SOC 540 / GSS 540: Topic in Economic and Organizational Sociology: Gender and Economic Activity (Social Science and Humanities Requirement)
Professor Viviana A. Zelizer
Introduction to a gendered analysis of economic processes and institutions. Course investigates when, why, and in what ways gender shapes production, consumption, distribution, and transfer of assets. After a general discussion of gender theories, it surveys how gender works in a variety of settings and activities, such as labor markets, intimate economies, and caring labor. We end with an overview of strategies aimed at reducing gendered economic inequalities. Overall, the course attempts to strengthen intellectual bridges between economic sociology and gender scholarship.
COURSE OF INTEREST
Tey Meadow’s Freshman seminar, FRS 118 Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus: Cultural Beliefs about Gender Difference.
ENROLLMENT BY APPLICATION OR INTERVIEW. DEPARTMENTAL PERMISSION REQUIRED.