Course Materials

Syllabi:

Introduction to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies: Gender, Sex, and Power

This interdisciplinary course will examine the ways that social roles, expectations, status, experiences, and gender socialization shape our world and the experiences of people within that world. In this course, students will learn about and discuss the ways that women are viewed and defined within society and the ways that sex and gender roles in the Western world shape experiences and opportunities.

Every part of this course is heavily concerned with connecting the notions women and gender to race, class, and sexuality, creating what is known as an intersectional analysis. As a class, we will imagine this intersectional framework as existing both within and beyond U.S. borders in an effort to consider what it means to think about and analyze women, gender, and sexuality internationally and transnationally. In the final part of the course, we will consider how activist movements have conceived of and affected changes in the ways institutions are shaped around and through these categories.

Introduction to Queer Studies

Queer, as a term, has a fraught history and relationship with sexual minorities. Originally beginning as a term of  hate speech that glanced backward at the term’s original use as “odd or different,” queer has been a shifting term in the last three decades, often used to resist the denigration of  those deemed sexual and gender deviants, while refusing incorporation into “normal” status. This course will explore the past, present, and future of queer and the field of queer studies. As an interdisciplinary enterprise, the course draws on work in politics, philosophy, film, sociology, history, and literary studies to examine the ways that a politics of normalization has fed into multiple systems of domination, particularly in the United States. With its point of departure in feminist critiques of  sexuality as well as gay and lesbian studies, queer studies has expanded the interrogation of  identity to focus on many other culturally salient categories, such as race, class, religion, and nationality. Therefore, this course frames the introduction to queer studies through a lens of queer of color critique and critical trans politics.

Feminist Perspectives on Violence: Women and Violence (online)

This course uses an interdisciplinary feminist approach to analyze instances of interpersonal and institutionalized violence in which women are either victims or perpetrators. This course aims to give students a basic understanding of the kinds of violence that feminists have theorized about and organized around. Students will learn to identify a feminist approach to violence, will examine debates as to what kinds of acts constitute violence, and will explore feminist theories as to the causes of various forms of gender-based violence. Students will also examine some of the diverse strategies proposed, at both the societal and the individual level, to combat gender-based violence. We will pay particular attention to the ways race, class, ability, and citizenship intersect in women’s lives in order to grasp how particular women are made more or less vulnerable to experiences of interpersonal and state violence. This course will use films, scholarly texts, personal essays, and other conceptual aids to examine gender-based forms of violence. This course focuses on the interrelationships between systems of power such as the formation and valuing of the state, colonization, incarceration, and militarization and how these impact gendered experiences of systemic and interpersonal violence.

U.S. Women Writers: Text and Context

This course will examine literature speaking to the experiences and histories of women in the United States through the lens of spaces of confinement for women. Through fiction, autobiography, short stories, poetry, and film, we will consider productions of cultural materials by women in the United States and non-binary gendered people writing about their experiences being classified as women. The course will explore the role that gender identity, race, sexuality, class, and nationality play in the writing of experiences and histories of women in the United States and how literature can be used to connect to history, contemporary events, and the lives of students.

Black Women Writers: Text and Context (online)

This course will examine literature speaking to the experiences and histories of  Black women in the United States. Through fiction, autobiography, short stories, poetry, and film, we will consider productions of cultural materials by Black women in the United States through the framework of Black feminist thought. The course will explore the role that gender, race, sexuality, class, and nationality play in the writing of experiences and histories of Black women in the United States and how literature can be used to connect to history, contemporary events, and the lives of students.

Issues in Women’s Studies: Feminist Praxis

This interdisciplinary course will examine the ways that social roles, expectations, status, experiences, and gender socialization shape our world and the experiences of people within that world. In this course, students will learn about and discuss the ways that women are viewed and defined within society and the ways that sex and gender roles in the Western world shape experiences and opportunities. Every part of this course is heavily concerned with connecting the notions women and gender to race, class, and sexuality, creating what is known as an intersectional analysis. As a class, we will imagine this intersectional framework as existing both within and beyond U.S. borders in an effort to consider what it means to think about and analyze women and gender internationally and transnationally. In the final part of the course, we will consider how activist movements have conceived of and consummated changes in the ways institutions are shaped around and through these categories. This course is structured around questions of praxeological impact – What kinds of knowledge are produced and acted upon in a feminist and feminist-influenced world?

Handouts/Activities

Coalitional Politics Workshop

First Day Inventory: Introduction to Queer Studies version

How to Read Theory: Some Tips

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