Fall 2012 Courses
(in parenthesis GSS requirement each course fullfills)
GSS 393: Gender and Science (Science, Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Angela Creager
This course will explore two aspects of the gender and science literature: the historical participation of women (and men) in scientific work, and how feminists have used as well as critiqued science, technology and medicine. We will also explore how biologists, physicians, and other researchers have framed sexuality in scientific terms, and with what consequences.
THR 309 / AMS 327 / GSS 307 / ENG 361: Theatre and Society (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Jill Dolan
Theatre and Society investigates the ways in which theatre and performance speak into their cultural and historical moments. We’ll look at self-avowed political drama or performance in various historical moments in American theatre; at plays or performances that caused controversy in various communities in which they were performed; at street performance within protest movements; and at community-based performance produced for specific reasons within its locale. We’ll also discuss the role of the artist in society. What is the artist’s responsibility to his or her nation? To his or her local community or identity groups?
ENG 408 / GSS 408 / THR 408 / AMS 408: Women in American Theatre and Performance: Doing Gender, Race, Sexuality Onstage and Off (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Jill Dolan
Addresses the history and theory, practices and polemics, of women working in American theatre and performance. We’ll concentrate on contemporary examples, but will look at theatre’s role in the struggle for women’s visibility advanced by American feminism of the 1960s and ‘70s. We’ll study women playwrights, solo performers, collective theatre companies; delve into feminist, queer, critical race, and performance theory; and host many guests currently practicing in the field to give talks and workshops. Our conversations will be polemic and forward-thinking: What is the future of women’s work in this field?
REL 378 / GSS 378 / LAS 379: Religion, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Latin America (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Jessica Delgado
This seminar explores scholarship on the history of religion, gender, and sexuality in Latin America, focusing primarily on the mainland colonial period (1492 - 1821), but including some pre-colonial and the nineteenth century material. Through historical studies, primary documents, and discussion, students will consider connections between religious beliefs, spiritual and sexual practices, gendered social relations, and the way race, class, and gender intersected with ideas about moral and social order in the period under study. We will also think critically about how scholars have portrayed these subjects.
SOC 225 / GSS 225: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Tey Meadow
Male/Female, Man/Woman, Masculine/Feminine, Straight/Gay. These "dueling dualisms" structure our lives, identities and social institutions. Most of us believe that we have a concrete biological sex, social gender and sexual orientation; yet, sociologists increasingly debate the very meanings of these categories and their relationships to one another. We will examine theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding sex, gender and sexuality, paying particular attention to the historical construction of categories, theories about human difference and efforts within sociology to make sex, gender and sexuality into proper objects of study.
ENG 388 / GSS 399: The Female Literary Tradition (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Deborah Nord
The course will survey a range of novels by women writers from the early 19th century to the present. How is the "tradition" transformed by post-WW II globalism, the geography and politics of empire, by differences in nationality, class, religion, and sexuality?
AAS 351 / GSS 351: Law, Social Policy, and African American Women (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Imani Perry
Journeying from enslavement and Jim Crow to the post-civil rights era, this course will learn how law and social policy have shaped, constrained, and been resisted by black women's experience and thought. Using a wide breadth of materials including legal scholarship, social science research, visual arts, and literature, we will also develop an understanding of how property, the body, and the structure and interpretation of domestic relations have been frameworks through which black female subjectivity in the United States was and is mediated.
REL 344 / GSS 344 / JDS 344: Sexuality in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Moulie Vidas
Contemporary discussions about sexuality are filled with Jewish and Christian texts from antiquity. Quotations from the Bible and its ancient interpretations are continuously used to make claims about sexual behavior and sexual desire. Yet these texts themselves come from a very different world, with values, facts and passions of its own. This course examines the classical Jewish and Christian texts on sexuality within their own ancient historical context. Throughout the course, we will emphasize the diversity of positions in antiquity and the broad cultural conversations in which these positions were staked.
AAS 358 / REL 379 / GSS 359: Sexuality and Religion in America (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Wallace Best
Sexuality has long been a contested and contentious issue within American religions, yet only recently have scholars and practitioners begun to forthrightly address it. This course will explore the emerging literature on sexuality and religion as a way to understand how approaches to sex and sexuality within "sacred spaces" have shaped private behavior and public opinion. We will give particular attention to American Evangelical and Catholic religious expressions for the way they have been especially influential in framing (and inhibiting) sexual discourse practices in the US and throughout the world.
CLA 212 / HUM 212 / GSS 212: Classical Mythology (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Denis Feeney
An introduction to the classical myths in their cultural context and in their wider application to human concerns (such as creation, sex and gender, identity, transformation, and death). The course will offer a who's who of the ancient imaginative world, study the main ancient sources of well known stories, and introduce approaches to analyzing modern myths.
PSY 329 / GSS 329: Psychology of Gender (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Keiko Brynildsen
Gender is a topic with which everybody feels intimately familiar. Indeed, people hold strong beliefs about how women and men are similar to and different from each other and about why gender differences exist. This course holds those beliefs up to scientific scrutiny, examining major theories and empirical findings in psychological research on gender. Topics include empirical comparisons of men and women, gender stereotypes and their perpetuation, and the role of gender and gendered beliefs in interpersonal relationships and physical and psychological well-being.
CLG 310 / HLS 311 / GSS 308: Topics in Greek Literature - Mothers and Daughters in Epic and Tragedy (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Brooke Holmes
This course gives upper-level Greek students the chance for comparative, in-depth study of two canonical texts, each representing an important mythological mother-daughter relationship. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter examines the catastrophic consequences of disruption to the mother-daughter relationship and the possibilities for reconciliation. Sophocles' Electra is a study in the mother-daughter relationship gone wrong that culminates with the eternal virgin cheering on her mother's death. Together we will analyze how these works confront myth's family relationships, violence and social conflict, and narrative closure.
*May be taken in lieu of GSS 302 certificate requirement.
FRE 354 / CHV 353 / GSS 353: Sex, Gender and Sexuality from the Enlightenment to Today (Social Science and Humanities)
Professor Natasha Lee
At the eve of the French Revolution, debates concerning sex and gender, identity and equality erupt and announce the stakes of the democracy to come. This course will ask how representations of femininity and masculinity are established in literature, politics and aesthetic discourses from the Enlightenment to today. Inversely, what are the strategies of resistance and transgression through which individuals can, in turn, define themselves? Topics will include writing the self, pleasure, gender as heuristic tool, and the intersection of sex, race and class, in texts ranging from travel narratives to memoirs, as well as in contemporary film.
*May be taken in lieu of GSS 302 certificate requirement.