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Gender Studies Courses by Discipline
GEND 011 Introduction to Gender Studies
GEND 191 Independent Study
BIOL 186. Hormones and Behavior (4) A lecture/discussion course focusing on the bi-directional interactions between an animal's behaviors and its endocrine system. Topics include: overview of the vertebrate endocrine system, courtship and sex behaviors, parenting behavior, pheromonal communication, aggression and other social behaviors, learning and memory, hunger, stress, and biological rhythms. Prerequisites: BIOL051, 061, 101
ENGL 025. Sex, Story, Cinema (4)
In spite of its racy title, this course is about the politics, pleasures, myths, dreams, suffering, and limits of the human body as it falls into gender. From the first, this course will help us think through the differences between sex and gender. We will consider how certain cultures and epochs shape gender in particular ways, and we will study how culture produces archetypal stories about "feminine" and "masculine" experience. Do our bodies determine our narratives, the stories we are permitted to tell? Or do our narratives determine the way we become women and men? We will study this topic by reading texts from several literary genres and by learning how to read films as visual texts. This course counts for the IIA-Language and Literature General Education Requirement, and fulfills the lower division English Department requirement.
ENGL 025. Black Women Writers (4)
"They were there with their tongues cocked and loaded, the only real weapon left to weak folks." So Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston describes the powerful expressive response of African American women to political, social, and economic oppression in the early 20th century American South. Over the past 200 years, Black women writers internationally - artistically "cocked and loaded"- have expressed themselves and responded to their sociopolitical and cultural contexts with fiction, poetry, essays, and film of the highest quality. Students in this class will encounter writers of enormous, diverse talents: from neoclassical poet Phyllis Wheatley, to sensual modernists Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, to postmodern surrealist playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, to postcolonial writers Edwidge Dandicat and Zadie Smith. Through these encounters, we will explore such issues as the relationship between voice and self; the meanings of "race," "ethnicity," and "gender"; the conflicts between and among individual, regional, national, and transnational identities; and the interplay between genre and content. Students in this course will engage with powerful art, hone analytical skills for addressing thorny issues of social discrimination, and become more thoughtful readers and writers.
ENGL 025. Desire/Power/Gender (4)
This course will examine key psychological, aesthetic, philosophical, political, and cultural aspects of the relationships between erotics and desire, love and sadism, transcendence and transgression, power and abjection, dominance and submission. The place of gender, as defined and/or identified, will be explored as a way of contrasting the roles of masculinities, concepts of Woman, and gener performatives and constructions. We will read major works of world literature and world cinema, through various periods and genres, in order to questions how these works capture the complex interpretation of desire, power, and gender.
ENGL 025. Multiethnic American Literature: Ecology & Society (4)
This course introduces students to multiple genres of literature with a focus on socio-ecological webs. We will explore the relationship between nature and culture, between literature and the environment in writings by American authors of different ethnic backgrounds.
ENGL 025. Sports and Scandal (4)
Since the heyday of the Gladiator, sport has been a matter of life and death. In some ways, little has changed since Roman times-boxers, for example, risk their lives for money, whereas high altitude climbers spend huge sums of money to risk their lives. But what exactly drives athletes to enter into mortal combat-with others, with the elements, and always, with their own bodies? In this course, we will explore the many dimensions of sports "culture" and, especially, what makes this particular subculture so prone to scandal. We will begin by investigating the construction of sports rituals, "team" concepts, and fan obsessions in the Texas football saga Friday Night Lights, after which, in our unit on the individual sport of boxing, we will consider to what extent the racial, socioeconomic and gender stereotypes featured in this text are debunked-or reinforced-in the collection of boxing stories that inspired the Oscar-winning film Million Dollar Baby. Short stories from The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner collection will be read alongside the pick-up basketball memoir of Melissa King in She's Got Next, wherein we will explore sports as a form of escapism, as well as a formal type of escapism-made possible by the narrative freedoms opened up by the "sports" genre. Toward the end of the semester, we will turn to extreme sports-and the imperialist mindset that often accompanies them-by reading the memoirs of a female survivor of the 1996 disaster on Mount Everest, while interrogating different film depictions of the same event. Finally, we will problematize our own relationship to sports as voyeurs and consumers as we continue to investigate the representation of athletes on film, forcing us to consider the extent to which we are complicit in the creation of the modern day gladiators we esteem and despise.
ENGL 041. British Literature before 1800 (4) A study of major authors, works and traditions from Beowulf through the Pearl Poet, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Swift and others, to Johnson. Balanced concern for particular works, for historical continuity, for distinctive features of movements and periods such as the Renaissance and the Augustan period, and for the expanding definition of English literature.
ENGL 122. Literature and Psychology (4) A study of psychoanalytical methods in the interpretation of literary texts through a close investigation of language, narrative, structure, symbol and archetypal patterns. Considers such phenomena as family romance, primal scene, return of the repressed, and the schizophrenic experience as related to film, to the literary work and the creative process.
ENGL 123. Film, Literature, and the Arts (4) Investigates the theory, practice and critical methods underlying aesthetic form in the arts, including film, literature, painting and sculpture. Corollary illustrations are drawn from music and architecture. This comparative course attempts to examine the underlying styles and structures among the arts.
ENGL 125. Critical Colloquium (4) A study of the theory and practice of the major modes of interpreting and criticizing literature, including but not limited to formalist, psychoanalytic, structuralistic, gender and feminist and deconstructionist in representative perspectives offered by designated English Department members and guest lecturers.
ENGL 127. Contemporary Critical Issues (4) Examines major aspects of literary theory from structuralism to post-structuralism. Focuses on the interplay between and among such movements as deconstruction, post-colonialism, the new historicism, phenomenology and psychoanalysis. The course also discusses how contemporary theory has impacted such topics as gender, canon, reader-response and post-modernism.
ENGL 131. Shakespeare (4) Eight to ten of Shakespeare's plays, studied from a variety of critical perspectives, such as the historical, psychological, philosophical, formalist, cultural and theatrical approaches. Selections from each major genre (comedy, tragedy, history). Specific plays vary from term to term; the reading list may include such works as Twelfth Night, The Tempest, King Lear, Macbeth, Richard II, Henry IV (Parts One and Two) and Henry VIII.
ENGL 135. Major American Authors (4) Advanced, in-depth analysis of an individual author (or pair of authors) including aesthetic qualities of the work throughout the author's career, historical and cultural contexts shaping the work, literary influences on the author's writing and thought, influence on other writers, and major scholarship about the work. Students will conduct directed research. By semester the focus of the course changes to include authors such as Twain, Dickinson & Whitman, Ellison & Wright, Faulkner & Morrison, Frost & Stevens, Kingston & Tan, Melville, Steinbeck & Dos Passos. May be repeated once for credit with a different focus.
English 140. English Renaissance
Was Christopher Marlowe really an atheist, spy, and homosexual? Was John Webster a bloody-minded little boy who loved to torture mice and women? Do men play women on the Renaissance stage because they long "to be, or not to be" in drag? Was the Catholic Church a site of devotion or debauchery, penitence or perversion? What exactly do Cardinals hide under their robes? Why does nearly every English tragedy written between 1590 and 1640 take place in Italy, when none of these plays have to do with the moon, amore, or big pizza pies? Is incest really best? What is the relationship between gender and the revenge genre? These are just some of the questions we will seek to answer as we explore how Renaissance revenge tragedy mirrors the lechery and treachery of its own historical period--an incomparable time of brazen broads and bloody, bawdy, villains.
ENGL 141. Topics in British Literature Pre-1800 (4) Study of a single literary period designed to strengthen students' critical reading and writing skills as well as examine questions of literary themes, cultural and intellectual context, national identity, ethnicity, class, and/or gender. Students will conduct directed research. Topics vary with titles such as The Age of Beowulf, The Medieval Mind, English Renaissance, Women Writers before Austen, and The Age of Unreason: 18th Century Literature. May be repeated once for credit with a different focus.
ENGL 161. Topics in American Ethnic Literature (4) Studies of contributors to American Literature within the context of their shared ethnicity. Topics change. Possible offerings include American Immigrant Literature, African-American Poetry, Black Women Writers, Blues, Jazz and Literature, and Chicano/a Literature. May be repeated once for credit with a different focus.
HIST 065. Women and War (4) This course takes an international approach to studying the history of women and war. Our objective will be to better understand how women's experience during war has changed over time and differed for women in a variety of countries. We will begin by studying the mythology of women and war, connecting ancient Greek war goddess Athena with present-day Hollywood depictions of women warriors. Lectures will then focus on the theories positioning women in war history, and will proceed with a survey of women's participation in several modern wars, comparing women's experience in the U.S. with women in other parts of the world. Finally, the course will end with an in-depth discussion of several key themes in the histories of women and war: domestic ideology, prostitution, nursing, soldiering, war work, and protest/peace politics.
HIST 133. Women in United States History (4) The course examines the history of women in the United States from the colonial era to the present. In addition to examining political reform, it offers insights into the day-to-day lives of diverse American women at various points in the female life cycle. The course is organized chronologically and thematically to promote the study of women in relation to major historical events and to explore women's roles in families, communities, the nation, and the world. It examines cultural models of American womanhood, including maternal, domestic, sexual, and social models, their development and recent changes. The course uses various primary and secondary sources to evaluate both current and historical arguments regarding the status, roles, and experiences of American women.
HIST 135. Women in Time and Place (4) In the early twenty-first century news reports have covered the first mainstream woman presidential candidate, the Supreme Court's upholding of the Congressional "partial-birth" abortion ban, mothers protesting the war in Iraq and young women fighting there, and how women in the US still make only 77 cents for every dollar men make. This course uses historical analysis to understand several current "women's issues," such as reproductive rights, women's roles in wartime, political participation, sports and body image, and work. The course considers the perspectives and experiences of women from various social and cultural groups and sets US women's experience in an international context.
HIST 167. Gender in the History of Science (4) This course introduces students to the literature on gender in the history of science, technology, and medicine. The course explores five interrelated topics: (1) The historical participation of women and men in scientific work, (2) the scientific and historical construction of sex and sexuality, (3) the influence of ideologies of gender on the methodology of science, medicine, and engineering, (4) the gendering of technologies and artifacts, (5) the relation between ideas of gender, science, and politics. Based on their increased historical understanding, students reflect upon their own gendered experiences and expectations in encountering science as students, laboratory workers, patients, and consumers. This course is open to both science and non-science majors. This course is open to both science and non-science majors. No prerequisites.
Modern Languages & Literature
FREN 128. Images et Voix de Femmes (4) Images and voices of women from courtly love to the present. An analysis of "la condition feminine" in the French literary and cultural context. In French. Prerequisite: FREN 025 or permission of the instructor. Offered occasionally in English as FREN 051. May be repeated with permission of the instructor.
SPAN 114. Cine hispano/Hispanic Film (4)
A study of the development of Latin American or Peninsular cinema through the analysis of themes, styles, and cinematic techniques. Themes might include Latin American women film directors or the films of Pedro Almodóvar, among others. In Spanish. Films in Spanish with English subtitles. Offered occasionally in English.
PSYC 066. Human Sexuality (4) Study of the biological, psychological and cultural bases of human sexual behavior. Topics will include female and male sexual anatomy and physiology; love and communication; sexual behavior patterns; homosexuality and bisexuality; contraception, pregnancy and childbirth; sexual difficulties and sex therapy; and sexually transmitted diseases. Reviews changes in sexual functioning throughout the life span. Explores the development of male and female gender roles and the effect of gender roles on various aspects of life. Open to freshmen. Does not count toward major.
PSYC 140. Psychology of Gender (4)
This course introduces students to psychological research on the experiences, behaviors, and abilities of men and women. A comparative approach is used to examine historical, contemporary, and cultural differences. Topics include gender differences and similarities in mental abilities, social behavior, mental health issues, and experiences of men and women in the workplace. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above.
Religious & Classical Studies
CLAS 120. Sexuality in Greek Society (4) An introductory survey of the sexual attitudes and gender roles of women and men in ancient Greek society. We will focus on the suppression of female sexuality and the channeling of male sexuality, in the different places and times of ancient Greece, from the Homeric heroes and their women to the heirs of Alexander the Great. Offered in alternate years.
CLAS 122. Sexuality in Roman Society (4) An introductory survey of the sexual attitudes and gender roles of women and men in ancient Roman society. We will focus on the subordination, exploitation, and suppression of male and female sexuality from the charter society of Aeneas to the politics and economy of the Roman Republic, and the philosophies and religions of the Roman Empire. Offered in alternate years.
RELI 044. Sex, Sin, and Salvation (4) This course will explore and analyze sexuality and gender in terms of ethics and religion. The course will focus on historical and contemporary Christian perspectives, with some attention to other religious traditions and philosophical perspectives. Topics will include such issues as sexual ethics, homosexuality, sexuality and spirituality, gender roles and connections between gender and ethical perspectives.
RELI 193. Women and Christianity
Mary Magdalene holds the status of first apostle and "apostle to the apostles," because she was the first person to see the resurrected Jesus. Yet the Catholic Church does not allow women to become priests. Why not? How have women shaped the direction of this religion? This course examines women in Christian history and literature as well as the construction of ideal models of womanhood and gender roles in Christian traditions. What leadership positions have women undertaken in churches? How has Christian theology and doctrine shaped the lives of average women? What does Christian literature say about the relationship between women and sexuality? How have women challenged and changed gender norms in Christian traditions? If the Christian god is male, does that make male god?
SOCI 093A. Social Problems
How do harmful conditions become social problems? How does a social problem become considered worthy of political action? This course will enable students to address these questions from a sociological perspective. We will analyze and critique common-sense assumptions about the nature of social problems, and better understand the processes through which harmful problems arise and receive attention. We will interrogate views depicted by various sources including government, activist groups and especially the mass media. Our goal is to understand how various issues come to be labeled as social problems, which actors are important in this process and how the emergence of social problems influences U.S. social norms. Though we will examine examples from the global south, it focuses largely on the U.S. context. We will highlight various commonly accepted social problems including crime, drugs, racism, obesity, abortion and environmental problems.
SOCI 093B. Women & Crime
This course will focus on the experiences of women and girls in the criminal justice system as victims, offenders, and professionals. However, the role of gender, in a broad context, will be key. We will examine both traditional and feminist theoretical accounts of conformity and criminality. Next, we will focus on the experiences of women as offenders in the criminal and juvenile justice systems, female victimization, and the experiences of women who work in the criminal justice system. We will also spend time focusing on the nature and extent of female crime and delinquency and the intersection of girl's lives, girl's problems, and girl's official delinquency. We will also discuss the controversial issues of girl's violence and girls in gangs. We will then turn to the experiences that girls have in the juvenile justice system: in the detention centers, the courts, and the training schools. A similar sort of approach will be used in the discussion of adult women's offenses and experiences with the criminal justice system. Here, a special focus will be prostitution and pornography as it relates to everyday women's offenses. We will briefly consider the history of women's criminal behavior. The course will consider police interactions with offenders, women's experience in court, and women's experiences in jail and prison. A special theme here will be the skyrocketing number of women in adult jails and prisons.
SOCI 123. Sex and Gender (4) A comparative analysis of the social construction of gender in a wide range of contemporary societies, both Western and Non-Western. The following topics will be addressed: gender as symbolic ordering, gender as culturally constructed identity, domains of power and authority, production and reproduction, colonialism and the underdevelopment of women and the Third World response to Western feminism. Prerequisite: a course in sociology or permission of the instructor.
SOCI 172. Social Inequality (4) This course will examine the historical causes, current structure, and consequences of social inequality. The emphasis will be on contemporary social, economic and political issues in the United States, but there will be some comparisons with other societies. We will focus on both individual group experiences of inequality due to age, class, gender and race, the effects of social inequality on society in general, and possible ways to reduce the level of social inequality in the United States. Prerequisite: SOCI 071 or permission of the instructor.
SPTS 141. Sport in America (4) The passions and politics of American sport are a significant theme in our society. This course uses a sociological perspective to provide an appreciation of sport as an integral part of our cultural dynamics. The relationship of sport and other social institutions such as media, economy, politics, and education will be covered, as well as the relationship of sport and social stratification such as gender, race, and class.
ARTH 112. 19th Century European Art (4) Major artists and artistic movements of the period will be explored including Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism. We will analyze the effects of gender upon representation and artistic practice, the effects of politics and class upon visual representation and the impact of urbanization. Painting, sculpture, photography, and architecture will be considered. Art historical methods including formalism, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and gender theory will be explored in our analyses.
ARTH 114. 20th Century Art and Film (4) Major styles of the 20th century including Fauvism, Cubism, Expressionism, Surrealism, etc., and their appearance in the visual arts, theater design, and film will be explored. We will also evaluate how Western European artists borrowed imagery from other cultures and their relationship to colonialist concerns. We will also consider representations of the body and how this imagery relates to gender constructions. The effects of urbanization upon the artistic enterprise and the development of abstract and non-objective art will also be considered. This course satisfies a requirement of the Film Studies minor.
ARTH 116. Contemporary World Art 1945 to Present (4) This course will explore major artists, styles and movements in world art from 1945 to the present. Gestural abstraction, Pop, Photo Realism, Happenings, Video, Performance, Conceptual and Political art as well as film are a few of the tends that will be considered. Ever-expanding notions of what constitutes art in this pluralistic era will be examined. This course satisfies a requirement of the Film Studies minor.
ARTH 118. Art in the United States: 1865 - 1945 (4) This course will explore major painters, sculptors and architects and filmmakers in the U.S. from 1865 - 1945. Topics such as depictions of race and immigration, the impact of technology upon visual perception, art and politics and the impact of gender upon art will be discussed. Expatriate art, the Ash Can School, the Stieglitz Group, The New Deal art projects and other significant styles and trends will also be examined.
ARTH 124. Sex, Gender and the Arts (4) We will explore the construction of masculinity and femininity in Western art from the Renaissance to the present. The art will be analyzed in the contest of literary, philosophical, medical and legal discourses. We will examine how gender is encoded in visual representation, and often serves as prescriptions rather than descriptions of human behavior.