Exterior at night

The Center at night

Side Entrance

The entrance of the CSGS

Heather Love audience

The audience listens as Lauren Berlant introduces Heather Love in 2014

Class discussion

Students participate in a classroom discussion at the Center

Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo talks with students after his book talk in 2018

Joan Scott

Joan Scott speaking at the Center in 2017

panel

Students listen to panelists present in 2017

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Bhanu Kapil

Poet Bhanu Kapil at the Center in 2016

Courses

Undergraduate Courses 

AUTUMN 2024

WINTER 2025

SPRING 2025

 

Graduate Courses

AUTUMN 2024 

WINTER 2025

SPRING 2025

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

AUTUMN 2024 

GNSE 12115 Religion And Abortion In American Culture
Instructor:
Emily Crews
In American public discourse, it is common to hear abortion referred to as a “religious issue.” But is abortion a religious issue? If so, in what ways, to whom, and why? In this course we will answer these questions by tracing the relationship between religion and abortion in American history. We will examine the kinds of claims religious groups have made about abortion; how religion has shaped the development of medical, legal, economic, and cultural perspectives on the topic; how debates over abortion have led to the rise of a certain kind of religious politics in the United States; and how issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and the body are implicated in this conversation. Although the course will cover a range of time periods, religious traditions, and types of data (abortion records from Puritan New England, enslaved people’s use of herbal medicine to induce miscarriage, and Jewish considerations of the personhood of the fetus, among others), we will give particular attention to the significance of Christianity in legal and political debates about abortion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. There are no prerequisites for this course and no background in Religious Studies is required. However, this course may be particularly well-suited to students interested in thinking about how certain themes or areas of study—medicine and medical sciences, gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, political science—converge with religion and Religious Studies.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 12123 Global Perspectives on Reproductive Justice Theory and Practice
Instructor:
Malavika Parthasarathy
The US Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has sharpened our awareness of the perils that besiege our reproductive futures. This course offers a deep dive into comparative reproductive justice theory and practice rooted both in unique cultural particularities and in globally resonant issues and challenges. While exposing students to the foundational texts shaping the reproductive justice movement, the course shall engage critically with the possibilities and limitations of a rights based framework and the challenges and liberatory potential of a justice based approach to reproductive decision-making. Drawing from literature and media from across the world, the course shall provide global perspectives on issues as varied as contraception, assisted reproductive technology, mass sterilization, and family leave, along with scholarship and resources from the US. While engaging critically with theory, the course shall also provide practitioners’ perspectives through guest lectures by ethnographers, lawyers, and healthcare professionals working in the field.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors.

GNSE 12131 The Gay Men’s Novel
Instructor:
Gabriel Ojeda-Sague
This course focuses on the history, concerns, aesthetics, movements, and culture of the gay men’s novel, without the boundaries of time period, nation, or original language. The goal for students is to think in-depth about the relationship between sexual identity and narrative form, to learn about gay men’s literary lineages and movements, and to think through queer theoretical concepts through fiction authored by gay men.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors 

GNSE 15002 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I
Instructors:
Various
The first quarter of the GNSE Civ sequence offers a historical examination of bodies, sex, and gender. Through a series of readings that include historical primary sources and examples of cultural production from antiquity to the present, we will investigate how bodies across a variety of cultures become sexed and gendered. In particular, we will ask how the very categories of sex and gender not only produce social meaning from bodies and their anatomical differences but may also be complicit in acts violence, oppression, and colonization. Thematically we will pay attention to the emergence and critique of the distinction between sex and gender; resistances to the gender binary; the relationship between gender, power, and authority; feminism and critiques of Western feminism; the category of woman as an object of scientific knowledge; and the flourishing of and violence against trans life. Finally, while we will be dealing with historical accounts in this course, the aim is to understand how the regulation of bodies in the past has informed and may challenge our understanding of the diversity of embodied experience in the present. 

GNSE 17612 The Art of Michelangelo
Instructor:
Charles Cohen
The focus of this course will be Michelangelo’s sculpture, painting and architecture while making use of his writings and his extensive body of drawings to understand his artistic personality, creative processes, theories of art, and his intellectual and spiritual biography, including his changing attitudes towards Neoplatonism, Christianity and politics. Our structure will be chronological starting with his juvenilia of the 1490s in Florence at the court of Lorenzo the Magnificent through his death in Rome in 1564 as an old man who was simultaneously the deity of art and a lonely, troubled, repentant Christian. Beyond close examination of the works themselves, among the themes that will receive attention for the ways they bear upon his art are Michelangelo’s fraught relationship with patrons; his changing attitude towards religion, especially his engagement with the Catholic Reform; his sexuality and how it might bear on the representation of gender in his art and poetry; his “official” biographies during Michelangelo’s lifetime and complex, ambivalent, reception over the centuries; new ideas about Michelangelo that have emerged from the restoration and scientific imaging of many of his works. At the same time, the course will be an introduction of students with little or no background in art history to some of the major avenues for interpretation in this field, including formal, stylistic, iconographical, psychological, social, feminist, theoretical and reception. 

GNSE 20001 Theories of Sexuality and Gender
Instructor:
Red Tremmel
This is a one-quarter, seminar-style course for undergraduates. Its aim is triple: to engage scenes and concepts central to the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality; to provide familiarity with key theoretical anchors for that study; and to provide skills for deriving the theoretical bases of any kind of method. Students will produce descriptive, argumentative, and experimental engagements with theory and its scenes as the quarter progresses. Prior course experience in gender/sexuality studies (by way of the general education civilization studies courses or other course work) is strongly advised. Instructor Consent required. 

GNSE 20116 Queering the American Family Drama
Instructor:
Leslie Buxbaum
This course will examine what happens to the American Family Drama on stage when the 'family' is queer. Working in dialogue with a current production at Court Theatre, we will move beyond describing surface representations into an exploration of how queering the family implicates narrative, plot, character, formal conventions, aesthetics and production conditions (e.g. casting, venues, audiences, marketing and critical reception). Texts will include theatrical plays and musicals, recorded and live productions, and queer performance theory. This course will be a combined seminar and studio, inviting students to investigate through readings, discussion, staging experiments, and a choice of either a final paper or artistic project.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20117 Feminist Theory and Political Economy
Instructor:
Sarah Johnson
This course has two related aims: to consider how the regulation of economic life—from the household to the global economy—has figured as an object of analysis within feminist thought; and to examine how this analysis, together with the conceptual resources of political economy, has informed feminist theories of domination, freedom, equality, rights, and justice. Readings may include works by Simone de Beauvoir, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Iris Marion Young, Catharine MacKinnon, Nancy Fraser, and Aihwa Ong. The course includes a substantial research requirement, which invites students to draw upon the insights of these theorists as they use archival sources to conduct their own analyses of economic life. Enrollment is limited to undergraduates who have completed their Social Sciences Core requirement.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20132 Gender, Race, and Horror
Instructor:
AE Stevenson
This course will contend with the ways that horror as a film genre constructs and deconstructs notions of gender and race in society. We will attend to texts across decades and subgenres that will illustrate how gender and race are made and regulated through notions of confusion, fear, and repulsion. By attending to these universal human feelings, students will learn how emotions are evoked through the construction of the text, its portrayal of the disruption of gender norms and its construction of racial boundaries. Students will learn the necessary vocabulary and methodologies to be able to critically analyze (audio)visual texts. In order to do this, students will be guided through how to construct argumentative critical papers through proper utilization of grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. By the end of the course, students will be well versed in cinematographic terms such that they will be able to critically analyze texts to understand the impact of perspective, interpretation, and judgment. This course is meant to help students navigate and make sense of an increasingly scary world by learning to appreciate fear as a necessary human expression. Finally, and most importantly, students will be able to engage with the age-old notion of terror to be able lead a more ethical and intellectually richer life.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20136 Generations, Gender, and Genre in Korean Fiction & TV Drama
Instructor:
Kyeong-Hee Choi
The seminar analyzes the issues of generations, gender, and genres that arise from a selection of popular literary and television dramas from modern and contemporary Korea. The selection for the course is marked by the creative contributions of Korean women as novelists, scriptwriters, directors, among others. It includes prose fiction by renowned authors such as Park Wan-sŏ (1931-2011), Han Kang (1970- ), and Cho Nam-joo (1978- ), as well as television series like Mr. Sunshine (2018; scripted by Kim Eun-sook), The Red Sleeve (2021; dir. by Chŏng Chi-in; adapted the 2017 novel by from Kang Mi-kang), and My Liberation Notes (2022; written by Park Hae-yeong). Through a blend of close textual analysis and historical contextualization, the course aims to uncover the ways in which the gendered and generational identities of these creators might have helped certain configurations of concerns, needs, and aspirations saliently emerge in response to social, cultural, historical, and political currents of their time. [Consent Required; No prior knowledge of the Korean language is necessary]
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20141 Queerness in the Shadow of Empire: Sexualities in the Modern Middle East
Instructor:
Eman Abdelhadi
Critics, from both the Right and the Left, claim that liberal sexual regimes are Western, imperial impositions onto Muslim and Middle Eastern societies. On the other hand, LGBTQ+ advocates claim that the restriction of sexuality is itself a colonial legacy. This class will delve into this debate by examining cutting edge empirical and theoretical work on Queer lives in the modern Middle East. Instructor Consent required.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20149 Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
Instructor:
Mary Hicks
Bringing together Latin American social, feminist and queer theory, we will explore four pivotal moments in history—Spanish conquest, independence, industrialization and revolution—in order to interrogate why social conflicts were often mediated through competing definitions of masculinity and femininity as well as how debates about legitimate sexual practice and reproduction ultimately underpinned larger concerns over racial purity, economic inequality, class struggle and the prerogatives of the state. Our readings will span a variety of perspectives and theoretical orientations in order to shed light on the intellectual and social diversity unique to the Latin American context.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20620 Literature, Medicine, and Embodiment
Instructor:
Julie Orlemanski
This class explores the connections between imaginative writing and embodiment, especially as bodies have been understood, cared for, and experienced in the framework of medicine. We’ll read texts that address sickness, healing, diagnosis, disability, and expertise. The class also introduces a number of related theoretical approaches, including the medical humanities, disability studies, narrative medicine, the history of the body, and the history of science. 

GNSE 21303 Gender, Capital, and Desire: Jane Austen and Critical Interpretation
Instructor:
Tristan Schweiger
Today, Jane Austen is one of the most famous (perhaps the most famous), most widely read, and most beloved of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novelists. In the 200 years since her authorial career, her novels have spawned countless imitations, homages, parodies, films, and miniseries – not to mention a thriving “Janeite” fan culture. For just as long, her novels have been the objects of sustained attention by literary critics, theorists, and historians. For example, feminist scholars have long been fascinated by Austen for her treatments of feminine agency, sociality, and desire. Marxists read her novels for the light they shed on an emergent bourgeoisie on the eve of industrialization. And students of the “rise of the novel” in English are often drawn to Austen as an innovator of new styles of narration and a visionary as to the potentials of the form. This course will offer an in-depth examination of Austen, her literary corpus, and her cultural reception as well as a graduate-level introduction to several important schools of critical and theoretical methodology. We will read all six of Austen’s completed novels in addition to criticism spanning feminism, historicism, Marxism, queer studies, postcolonialism, and psychoanalysis. Readings may include pieces by Sara Ahmed, Frances Ferguson, William Galperin, Deidre Lynch, D.A. Miller, Edward Said, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Raymond Williams. Open to MA and PhD students; 3rd- and 4th-year undergrads 

GNSE 21304 Medieval Romance
Instructor:
John Miller
Medieval romance is one of the main ancestors of fantasy and science fiction. This course examines the speculative work of fantasy in medieval romance's explorations of aesthetics, desire, and politics. 

GNSE 21721 Women Who Wrote in Yiddish
Instructor
: Jessica Kirzane
This course explores memoirs, plays, essays, poetry, novels, and journalistic writing of women who wrote in Yiddish, as well as a discussion of the context in which they wrote and their reception and self-perception as "women writers." Among the writers whose work may be represented in this course are Glikl, Yente Mash, Kadya Molodwsky, Chava Rosenfarb, Yente Serdatsky, Rosa Palatnik, Anna Margolin, Celia Dropkin, Rokhl Korn, Beyle Shaechter-Gottesman, Gitl Shaechter-Viswanath, Bella Chagall, Blume Lempel, Esther Kreitman, Debora Vogel, Rokhl Brokhes, Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn, Malka Lee, Ida Maze, Roshelle Weprinski, Miriam Karpilove, Zina Rabinovitz, Rokhl Szabad, Rokhl Faygnberg, Paula Prilutsky, Shira Gorshman, Esther Shumiatsher-Hirshbein and Freydl Shtok. Many of these writers have been underexamined in the history of Yiddish literary studies and this course will bring renewed attention to their work. This course will be taught in English with readings translated from Yiddish. 

GNSE 21810 The Werewolf in Literature and Film
Instructor:
David Delbar
Human transformation into animals (and into wolves in particular) is a recurring trope in many cultures’ storytelling. Authors have used the story device to explore the nature of humans and animals, human fear and vulnerability, psychological problems and mental illness, gender and sexuality, social/racial hierarchy, marginalization, identity, and our own capacity for violence and savagery. In this course we will examine werewolves in literature and film from several cultures (French, English, German, Finnish, Blackfoot, Japanese) in English translation, primarily from the late 20th century onward. We will focus on how the aforementioned themes are used and developed in each work and the overarching patterns of werewolf stories. Students will write a final analytical paper or produce a creative project. 

GNSE 22604 Race, Justice, and the Assemblage of American Moralities
Instructor:
Samah Choudhury
This course explores the racial and moral imperatives that are encapsulated within concepts of “Americanness” and the theoretical notions that define the discursive, historical, and sociopolitical boundaries of American identities. How have claims to American identity relied on created religious or religiously-inflected Others? Together, we will consider how the human phenomena of religion and race have developed across our histories in concert with one another. How do racial and moral imperatives the define discursive, historical, and sociopolitical boundaries of American identities? We will examine how these formations have been deployed, defined, and bent to fit particular historical and cultural contexts while continuing to inform each other in a variety of permutations, especially in the United States. How do race and religion also intersect with gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and politics? Our theoretical grounding in migration, encounters, and transnational mobilities will provide insight into how race is imagined on and into differently minoritized people while considering what it means to be participants in the project of racecraft today. Our readings will include historical materials, literary texts, theological reflections, and examples from popular culture that meditate on these topics. 

GNSE 23143 Introduction to Porn Studies
Instructor:
Gabriel Ojeda-Sague
This course is a multi-media introduction to the Western history and study of the mode/label/genre of aesthetic production called pornography and its other appearances as “obscenity,” “erotica,” “porn,” “filth,” “art,” “adult,” “hardcore,” “softcore,” “trash,” and “extremity.” We will study how others have approached this form, how they have sought to control it, uplift it, analyze it, destroy it, take it seriously, or learn to live with it. This course is both an introduction to the academic field of “porn studies” and to its equal and opposite: the endless repository of historical and current attempts to get pornography out of the way, to keep it somewhere else out of sight, to destroy it, or to deem it unworthy of study. We begin with a conversation about what the stakes are and have been in studying porn and how we might go about doing it, and then move through history and media technologies beginning with the category of pornography’s invention with regards to drawings from Pompeii. The course is meant to introduce students to various forms pornography has taken, various historical moments in its sociocultural existence, and various themes that have continued to trouble or enchant looking at pornography. The goal of this course is not to make an argument for or against porn wholesale, but to give students the ability to take this contentious form and its continued life seriously, intelligently, and ethically.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors.

GNSE 23157 Alone in the Mountains: Tales of Freedom and Violence in Contemporary Catalan Literature
Instructor:
Bel Olid
From witches to goges (""water women""), Catalan folklore shows a tradition of women living on their own in the mountains, liberated from societal conventions. These women are portrayed as fascinating yet threatening figures. This ancient imagery has permeated contemporary literature, manifested in novels that depict women who remove themselves from ""civilization"" to inhabit rural areas of Catalunya, seeking freedom and having to confront at the same time societal norms, abusive partners or even their own personal demons. The mountains, far from ideal and peaceful, are an untamed and often brutal space in which human lives hold no greater value than those of goats, mushrooms, rivers. In this course we shall engage with four novels authored by women: Solitude (1904) by Victor Català, Stone in a Landslide (1984) by Maria Barbal, When I Sing Mountains Dance (2019) by Irene Solà, and Alone (2021) by Carlota Gurt. Through the analysis of these literary works, we aim to delve into Catalan culture and explore its literary archetypes, while establishing significant connections among these texts and their place in modern and contemporary literature.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23168 Sex and the Ethnographic Tradition
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
This course examines the role sex has played in the formation of ethnographic knowledge, with particular attention to how studies of sex have challenged static notions of identity and illuminated the complex relationship between social behavior and gendered sense of self. We will consider interest in sex as a motivating factor in the ethnographic enterprise and, reading studies on everything from desire, kink, and play to procreation, heritance and power, will examine complex and social construction of sexed, gendered, and raced selves and Others. How has ethnographic research contested the ubiquitous salience of male/female dichotomies, of patriarchy, and of the cross-cultural, trans-historical applicability of concepts like 'third gender? We will also take a methodological eye, querying how sex has moved from a supposedly 'taboo' category of social inquiry to a focal topic in ethnographic work of all kinds. This is an introductory graduate level course with select spots for advanced undergraduates.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23174 Sex, Gender, and Kinship: Colonial Perspectives
Instructor:
Deirdre Lyons
This course analyzes the contested relationships between gender, sexuality, kinship, and European systems of colonialism from the early modern period through the twentieth century. Drawing on historical case studies, feminist theory and postcolonial studies, this course will cover a broad range of empires and regions to explore topics such as the construction of gender ideologies and how colonial systems of rule were established through changing concepts of gender, sex, and kinship—and their connections to race, colonial power, and neo/post/colonial legacies. Our primary aim is to account for how complex and fraught notions of “gender,” “family,” and “sexuality” mutually emerged alongside transformative shifts in systems of western colonialism.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23177 Gender, Violence and Carcerality
Instructor:
Anna Fox
What is the relationship between gender-based violence and the carceral state? This course will explore the role of gendered violence in the formation, expansion, and legitimation of the carceral state. It will look at how state institutions, like policing, criminal courts, and prisons react to, utilize, and, in some cases, perpetrate gendered violence. This course is organized thematically, using theoretical texts, empirical sociological work, and on-the-ground communiques to illuminate the gendered facets of carceral institutions. Ultimately, we will consider how normative gender regimes may shape the carceral state, and vice versa.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23180 Global Maternal and Child Health
Instructor:
Erick Amick
This course provides a foundation in global perspectives on maternal and child health research, practice, and policy. The course will cover a range of maternal and child health topics to examine critical challenges facing women, children, providers, and policymakers in some of the world's most vulnerable communities. Students in this course will: 1) understand the status of maternal and child health in a variety of communities and contexts, using key health and development indicators; 2) critically analyze past and present public health programs and policies utilized to address maternal and child health needs in diverse communities; 3) assess the economic, political, social, and cultural factors that affect maternal and child health programs and outcomes.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23602 Critical Security Studies
Instructor:
Kara Hooser
This graduate-level elective course is designed to introduce students to approaches to global politics beyond the traditional mainstream canon, surveying a range of perspectives that fall under the heading of ‘critical.' The main goal is to develop an understanding of what is at stake, politically, with some of the main concepts, theories, methodological approaches, and empirical objects within the study of international relations (IR) and international security. The course is divided into two sections. First, we begin by considering what makes a critical approach critical—that is, how is it set apart from conventional approaches? In particular, we will explore how critical approaches encourage us to question our assumptions, first, about what security, power, sovereignty, and other core concepts mean in global politics, and second, about who or what (individuals, groups, nonhuman animals, states, the planet) can be agents of global politics. Some examples of approaches we cover are: theories from the Global South, approaches to human security, global feminisms, securitization theories, ontological security, emotions and affect, the visual turn, new materialisms, and post-colonial perspectives. In the second half of the course, we apply these approaches to a range of issues, including nuclear weapons, borders and immigration, drone warfare, terrorism, and climate change. 

GNSE 23645 Body and the Digital
Instructor:
Crystal Beiersdorfer
As digital technology advances, the separation between IRL and URL blurs. Participants enrolled in this course will explore techniques that will help them create thought-provoking work, learn how to create a research-based digital artwork, strengthen their ability to give and receive critique, and build an understanding of how the corporeal interacts with the digital. Students will offer and receive constructive feedback during instructor-led critiques on peers' works throughout this course. Students will also explore the intersection of gender and digital spaces through weekly readings and discussions. By the end of this course, students will feel comfortable utilizing different processes of development to create digital artwork and speaking about digital spaces, including how different social identities affect our relationship with them. 

GNSE 23702 Sexual Health: Identity, Behavior and Outcomes
Instructor:
David Moskowitz
Sexual health is a growing component of public health outreach. The goal of this course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of sexual health from a public health perspective. Through participation in this course, students will increase their knowledge about the history of sexual health promotion in the public health sphere. They will delve into sexual and gender identity construction and explore identity-behavioral expressions. They will critically examine and discuss common sexual health issues addressed by public health practitioners, their epidemiology, and their underlying social determinants; a global health lens will be applied to such examinations. Additionally, recognition of the key methodological considerations in the measurement of sexual behavior and sexual health outcomes will be elucidated (including strengths and limitations of various methodological approaches –quantitative, qualitative, clinical, and biomedical). By the completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of key theoretical foundations of sexual health promotion and sexual health behavior change and be able to promote sexual health messages through marketing and dissemination. From a policy perspective, student can expect an increased knowledge about issues related to social and legislative policy analyses, their applications, and implications. 

GNSE 24125 Oral Performance And Gender From The Middle Ages To Slam Poetry
Instructor:
Alessandro Minnucci
Italian culture has been continuously enriched by oral artistic practices that transcend the written page through the bodies and voices of performers. The content of this course will analyze various oral traditions from the Italian context, ranging from courtly lyric poetry of the Middle Ages to the vibrant contemporary performance poetry scene. Additionally, the course will examine the interplay between oral traditions and marginalized communities, with a particular focus on the exploration of female voices—from Renaissance mystical performances to feminist oral history practices in the 1970s—while also considering the polyvocal influence of immigration and the use of regional dialects. The course will integrate artistic content with theoretical material on the topic of voice (Agamben, Bologna, Cavarero, Frasca), as well as insights from media studies, feminist and queer studies, critical race studies, and performance theory. By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to deconstruct the traditional dichotomy between written text and oral practices by recognizing the mutual exchange between the two and incorporate Italian oral traditions into the traditional literary canon. Reading knowledge of Italian required. Class will be conducted in English with a separate discussion section available for students seeking credit for the Italian major/minor. Readings will be in Italian and in English. 

GNSE 24426 The Witch Craze in 17th-Century Europe: Scotland, Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and Moravia
Instructor:
Malynne Sternstein
In this course, we look carefully at the reasons for and repercussions of the “witch craze” in the long 17th-century, focussing on primary texts such as trial reports, legal literature, pamphlets, woodcuts, scholarly dissent, and other paraphernalia. The course follows a sweep of the craze from Lancashire in Scotland, where trials began in the 1590s, to Poznań in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, to the Russian village of Lukh on the outskirts of Moscow, where between 1656 and 1660 over twenty-five individuals, most of them male, were tried and several executed, and finally to Northern Moravia under Habsburg rule where inquisitor Hetman Boblig presided over the burning of almost 100 "witches." In each region, trials followed different customs—Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic—and answered to different legislative discourse—ecclesiastical, laic, secular—yet all can be said to be the product of a common desire and collective fear. To supplement our understanding of the multifaceted anxieties that are expressed in works such as King James’ Daemonologie (1597), and to ask more questions of the intersectional phobias around gender, sexuality, religion, and class (rural-urban; colony-metropole), we take up theory from Foucault, Federici, and Mbembe, and others. 

GNSE 24706 Japanese Art in the Sinosphere
Instructor:
Chelsea Foxwell
From the earliest centuries of the common era until the 1870s, Japanese writers, artists, and scholars considered themselves to be living in the Sinosphere: the realm of China’s cultural and political centrality. Starting with a consideration of Chinese material culture in the Tale of Genji, we will proceed to address topics such as the relation between Chinese and Japanese handscroll paintings, the spread of Chinese-style ink monochrome painting in Japan, the rise of the Kano school as official painters and Chinese-style painting experts, and the immense popularity of literati painting and calligraphy. Korean painting’s intersection with Chinese and Japanese art in the medieval and early modern periods will also factor into the discussion. We will evaluate the changing dynamics around political power and gender embodied in the Chinese/Japanese oppositional duality and reassess the prevailing narratives concerning how the Sinosphere faded from view in the Meiji era. 

GNSE 24770 Sex, Crime and Horror in Argentine Literature
Instructor:
Carlos Halaburda
This course examines a historical trajectory of Argentine literature, cinema, and the visual arts through the study of three thematic currents that significantly influenced Argentina’s cultural and socio-political experience with nation-building, modernization, and democracy: sex, crime, and horror. The primary objective of the course is to foster a critical exploration of how foundational works of Romanticism and Realism in the Río de la Plata, the Noir genre, and the Gothic tradition accounted for decisive changes in the social fabric of the country. Students will assess the role of sexuality, crime, and horror stories in the representation of momentous events in Argentine history, spanning from the revolutionary era in the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. Topics include the Wars of Independence, gaucho literature, indigenous resistance, the great transatlantic migratory flows, the rise of the middle classes, Peronismo, youth culture, military dictatorships, human rights violations, LGBT movements, and economic precarity in neoliberal times. Works by Esteban Echeverría, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Juana Manuela Gorriti, José Hernández, Lucio V. and Eduarda Mansilla, Leopoldo Lugones, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan José Saer, Alejandra Pizarnik, Juan Gelman, Silvina Ocampo, Rodolfo Walsh, Manuel Puig, Ricardo Piglia, Mariana Enríquez, María Luisa Bemberg, Luis Puenzo, Albertina Carri, Santiago Mitre, among others.

GNSE 26994 Anticolonial Worlding: Literature, Film, Thought
Instructor:
Leah Feldman
This course explores anticolonial worldbuilding through literature, film, art, and philosophy. It focuses on the role of the cultural Cold War in shaping anticolonial aesthetics and politics during the twentieth century as well as its impact on our current political moment. The mid-century was characterized by an expansion of anticolonial festivals, exchanges, and congresses and marked by political crises and coalitional solidarity across Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Soviet and US imperial expansion, and the May 1968 student protests. We will explore how Pan-Arab, Pan-African, Non-Aligned/Global South, Marxist-Leninist, indigenous land rights, and racial justice movements mobilized class, gender, and language politics. Exploring anticolonial literature, film, and art across a multilingual and transnational archive we will ask how socialist and speculative realisms, engaged literature, third cinema, agitprop, and other aesthetic movements generated powerful internationalist imaginations and networks of resistance. 

GNSE 27300 Le Roman de la Rose
Instructor:
Daisy Delogu
The ""Roman de la Rose"" (mid-13th century), a sprawling, encyclopedic summa composed by two separate authors, was arguably the single most influential vernacular text of the Middle Ages. Whether they hated or admired it, subsequent writers could not escape the long shadow cast by this magisterial œuvre. And, as Kate Soper’s recent opera adaptation of the ""Rose"" demonstrates, this labyrinthine work remains a source of creative inspiration. In this course we will read the ""Rose"" together. Each student will choose a critical lens (e.g. gender and sexuality, animal and/or ecocritical studies, ethics and philosophy, reception studies, manuscript studies, text & image, etc.) to structure their engagement with the text, and together we will collaborate to chart a rich and diverse set of interpretive paths through this complex work. All registered students will attend the cours magistral (taught in English). In addition, all registered students will select and attend either the French discussion section, or the critical theory section. Students are welcome to attend both. 

GNSE 27301 Harm Reduction and HIV Prevention in the Overdose Era
Instructors:
Harold Pollack, John A. Schneider
We will discuss some of the debates around harm reduction, some of the cutting-edge harm reduction strategies, HIV prevention and the communities and populations most impacted by overdose and other related health conditions. Prerequisite(s): PQ: Third and fourth-year standing. 

GNSE 28802 United States Labor History
Instructor:
Amy Dru Stanley
This course will explore the history of labor and laboring people in the United States. The significance of work will be considered from the vantage points of political economy, culture, and law. Key topics will include working-class life, industrialization and corporate capitalism, slavery and emancipation, the role of the state and trade unions, and race and sex difference in the workplace. 

GNSE 29427 Fashion, Empire, Capitalism
Instructor:
Katie Hickerson
Clothing, famously termed the “social skin”, mediates the space between individuals and societies. Whether articulating personal taste or reflecting a collective identity, dress can be a powerful symbol—both historically and in the contemporary world. Worn against the skin, clothing is both intimate and connects us to a global, multi-billion-dollar system that employs roughly one in every ten people worldwide. This course addresses the multivalent history of dress from early modern imperial encounters in the Atlantic World, to anti-colonial movements in South Asia, to the nineteen-forties American Zoot Suit Riots—demonstrating the ways that clothes are connected to gendered and racial categories, political projects, and the shape of global capitalism. Students will analyze case studies from Malabar to Manchester, colonial Lima to revolutionary France, nineteenth-century Zanzibar to nineteen-eighties New York. Examining the history of dress and its global interconnections necessitates an interdisciplinary approach; therefore, students will combine historical scholarship with theoretical frameworks from the anthropology of dress and methodologies from material culture studies to analyze sources ranging from museum objects to films, haute couture fashion to flip-flops. Finally, this course sheds light on historic interconnections and the development of fashion systems, asks what ways these continue to animate our contemporary world, and imagines new possibilities for the future. 

The following class can count as a GNSE course in the major only in Autumn 2024: 

REES 20001 Tolstoy's War and Peace
Instructor:
Anne Eakin-Moss
Leo Tolstoy’s monumental novel War and Peace, which the author Henry James called “a loose baggy monster,” is a sui generis work of modern literature that offered a response and challenge to the European Realist novel and founded a Russian national myth. We will read the novel in translation, alongside its adaptations into opera, film, and Broadway musical. We will also read literary theoretical works inspired by the novel and consider the novel in relation to theories of narrative, critical theory of gender, and philosophies of community and everyday experience.  

WINTER 2025 

GNSE 10428 Medieval Desire
Instructor:
Kashaf Qureshi
In medieval literature, various modes of desire intersect in surprising ways: spiritual devotion unfolds through sensual longing, and personal pleasure intertwines with sacrificial love, producing structures of desire that are conflicting, disorienting, and not so dissimilar from our own. In this course, we will survey a range of late medieval genres to unpack the richly imaginative and experimental discourses of desire housed in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. Readings will include dream-vision poems like Pearl, where we will consider the overlaying of economic, domestic, and apocalyptic fantasies; to the hagiographical Book of Margery Kempe, where we will think through the entanglement of gender, embodied spirituality, and erotic encounter. We will interrogate how medieval texts trouble modernity's construction of "sacred" and "secular" desire as constitutive opposites, coming up with our own terms to better describe the interplay between these categories. How do medieval texts blend seemingly different modes of desire—holy and profane, specific and ambiguous, linear and asynchronic—to construct, obscure, and defamiliarize their objects of desire? What claims to selfhood, language, and knowledge are made by these hybrid models of desire and the multiple meanings they allow? Familiarity with medieval literature or Middle English is neither required nor expected. 

GNSE 12103 Treating Trans-: Practices of Medicine, Practices of Theory
Instructor:
Paula Martin
Medical disciplines from psychiatry to surgery have all attempted to identify and to treat gendered misalignment, while queer theory and feminisms have simultaneously tried to understand if and how trans- theories should be integrated into their respective intellectual projects. This course looks at the logics of the medical treatment of transgender (and trans- more broadly) in order to consider the mutual entanglement of clinical processes with theoretical ones. Over the quarter we will read ethnographic accounts and theoretical essays, listen to oral histories, discuss the intersections of race and ability with gender, and interrogate concepts like "material bodies" and "objective science". Primary course questions include: (1) How is “trans-” conceptualized, experienced, and lived? How has trans-studies distinguished itself from feminisms and queer theories? (2) What are the objects, processes, and problematics trans-medicine identifies and treats? How is “trans-” understood and operationalized through medical practices? (3) What meanings of health, power, knowledge, gender, and the body are utilized or defined by our authors? What relations can we draw between them?
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 12127 Indigenous Feminisms of Latin America
Instructor:
Andrea Reed-Leal
This course examines how early modern visual and textual sources partook in the formation of gender and race differences in the Americas. We will explore colonial documents drawing on the work of contemporary Indigenous Feminist thinkers, such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Lorena Cabnal, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Yásnaya Aguilar, among others. Reading the colonial archive while thinking about contemporary Indigenous perspectives can help us bridge the past to the present and discuss issues concerning the underrepresentation of Indigenous women in the archive, language politics, communal identities, and Indigenous epistemologies while being particularly attentive to the rhetorical strategies deployed by colonial texts. Along the way, we will have in perspective how contemporary indigenous women resist, negotiate, and denounce the state, corporate, and patriarchal establishments. In this course, students will engage with primary sources of the colonial period in Latin America as they engage in debates surrounding gender and race in our present moment. Understanding these debates and the history surrounding them is crucial to participating in informed discussion, research, and activism regarding issues of colonialism, race, and gender discrimination of today. Students will participate in class discussions, write weekly responses, lead, and moderate academic-style presentations, and produce a final research paper. Taught in Spanish.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 12128 (In)Visible Women from Dante to Elena Ferrante: Bodies, Power, Identity
Instructor:
Beatrice Fazio
This course introduces students to both historical and current perspectives on gender, with a focus on Italian literature and cinema (14th-21st century). We will examine the representation of women in literature, as discussed in a variety of texts, including Dante’s Divine Comedy, Machiavelli’s comedies, and Elena Ferrante’s novels. We will investigate key issues raised in and by women-authored works, across historical periods as varied as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and Fascism. And we will also explore conceptualizations of gender and sexuality in Italian and international films, unpacking concepts such as gaze, desire, and intersectionality. As students study topics such as identity, construction of difference, feminism and antifeminism, they will acquire the critical vocabulary to describe, interpret, and formulate arguments about women’s agency in literature, film, culture, and society. Taught in English.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 15003 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations II
Instructor:
Various
The second half of the civ sequence will extend our earlier interrogation of bodies, sex, and gender into an examination of sexualities and socialities. Through an encounter with theoretical texts, literature, and art, we will investigate a series of important critiques of biopower, or statist strategies for regulating bodies and controlling populations. These interventions include critiques of nationalism, colonialism, capitalism, and heteronormativity, all of which, as we will see, contribute to our understanding of sexuality. Throughout the course, feminist and queer critique will fundamentally frame our analyses of power, desire, and sexuality. PQ: GNSE 15002. 

GNSE 20139 Midwives, Healers, and "Abortionists"
Instructor:
Peggy Heffington
In the 19th and early 20th centuries in the US, most births moved from the home (where they were often attended by midwives) to the hospital (where they were almost always attended by male doctors). In recent decades, demand for midwives has reemerged across the political spectrum. Some see midwives as a bulwark against contracting reproductive rights and autonomy; some see them as protection from government overreach and regulation, or as a return to a lost traditional or religious past; many see them as an answer to a medical system that has failed to meet the needs of mothers and babies. This course will follow the history of midwives, women healers, and abortion providers from antiquity through the Middle Ages and to the present, with a focus on the political, legal, and religious context of midwifery in twentieth and twenty-first century US. Topics include witchcraft accusations of midwives and healers; the importance of Black midwives in the antebellum south; the role of race and gender in laws against practicing midwifery; convergences and divergences between the natural birth movement and the reproductive rights movement; and the prevalence of homebirth among Christian momfluencers.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20143 Feminisms and Anthropology
Instructors:
Julie Chu and Jennifer Cole
This course examines the fraught yet generative relation between various movements of feminism and the discipline of anthropology. Both feminism(s) and anthropology emerged in the 19th century as fields invested in thinking “the human” through questions of alterity or Otherness. As such, feminist and anthropological inquiries often take up shared objects of analysis--including nature/culture, kinship, the body, sexuality, exchange, value, and power--even as they differ in their political and scholarly orientations through the last century and a half. Tracking the emergence of feminisms and anthropology as distinct fields of academic discourse on the one hand and political intervention on the other, we pursue the following lines of inquiry: (1) a genealogical approach to key concepts and problem-spaces forged at the intersection of these two fields, (2) critical analysis of the relation of feminist and postcolonial social movements to the professionalizing fields of knowledge production (including Marxist-inspired writing on women and economy, Third World feminism and intersectionality, and feminist critiques of science studies), and (3) a reflexive contemporary examination of the way these two strands of thought have come together in the subfield of feminist anthropology, and the continual frictions and resonances of feminist and anthropological approaches in academic settings and in the larger world (e.g., #MeToo, sex positive activism, queer politics, feminist economics). 3rd and 4th year undergraduates only. Graduate students must have consent of one of the instructors.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20147 Archaeology of Gender and Sexuality
Instructors:
Alice Yao and Katie Kearns
How have archaeologists approached the study of gendered practices, and can their work contribute to theoretical and methodological discussions of gender across the social sciences and humanities? How can we use material objects and things to examine or explain gendered identities, especially in the deep past? In this course, students will engage with a range of research, from different disciplinary perspectives, to explore how gender is situated in archaeological theory and praxis and its political implications. Through multiple case studies, the course will interrogate how archaeologists study, analyze, and interpret material remains to examine gendered ideologies and material practices and their intersections with other social constructs: class, sex, race, ethnicity. Coverage is cross-cultural and aims to expose students to the diversity and variability of gendered and sexual experiences of different people across time and space. Topics include but are not limited to: embodiment and expression, gender roles, sexuality, parenthood and childhood, masculinity, biopolitics, and feminist theory.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20148 Drama Queens: Women Playwrights in the Renaissance
Instructor:
Noémie Ndiaye
This course introduces students to early modern female playwrights from England--including Elizabeth Cary, Aphra Behn, and Margaret Cavendish--and from Continental Europe when their work is available in translation--including the French Marguerite de Navarre (Comedy of Mont-de-Marsan), the Italian Margherita Costa (The Buffoons), the Spanish Ana Caro (The Courage to Right a Woman’s Wrongs) and the Mexican Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (Narcissus). In this course, we will analyze the complex work and lives of those brilliant playwrights through various critical lenses including intersectional feminism, transnationalism, and premodern critical race studies.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 21400 Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Instructor:
Linda Zerilli
Beginning with the fraught legacy of the New Left and the proliferation of “new social movements” such as feminism and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as tenacious but open structures of power subject to political critique and social transformation. The relatively stable yet dynamic character of what Gayle Rubin in 1975 famously called “the sex/gender system” raises basic questions of structure and event: (1) how are systemic relations of domination and rule historically constituted and sustained over time?; and (2) how can that which is regularly reproduced be not only momentarily interrupted, but fundamentally altered through both quotidian and extraordinary forms of action and worlding? The unexpected character of the new social movements called for a radical rethinking of structures and their transformation. Haunted by unpredictable forms of resistance, heteropatriarchal structures challenged theorists and activists to forge new frameworks of critique that refigured basic concepts of power, subjectivity, and agency. These frameworks are examined with an eye to how racialized sexuality and gender are created and contested in the context of modern biopolitical capitalism and its constitution of naturalized conceptions of rule. Undergraduates by consent only. 

GNSE 21720 Science Fiction Against the State
Instructor:
Hilary Strang
Ursula Le Guin’s anarchist utopia, The Dispossessed was published 50 years ago, but its complex imagining of a whole way of life without law, police, money or sovereignty, and its investment in thinking that way of living in relation to environment, gender, freedom and work offers a science fictional horizon for what it might be to live communally in our own moment. This course will read The Dispossessed and other science fiction that imagines what it might mean to live against, beyond or without the state, alongside theorizations that may help us formulate our own visions of other possible worlds. We will pay particular attention to questions of environment and ecological relations, race, gender and social reproduction, and feminist utopias. We’ll also spend some time thinking about actually existing forms of living against the state (including blockades, encampments, autonomous zones). SF authors may include Le Guin, Samuel Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Tade Thompson, Sally Gearhart, Iain Banks, and ME O’Brien and Eman Abdelhadi. Other authors read may include Saidiya Hartman, Monique Wittig, Fredy Perlman, James Scott, Pierre Clastres, and David Graeber. 

GNSE 22360 Working 9 to 5
Instructor:
Tristan Schweiger
This course will examine representations of labor and labor struggle in literature, film, and music spanning the 18th through 21st centuries. Theoretical and critical readings will bring Marxist and feminist lenses to the primary texts at hand, in addition to examinations of race, labor, and capital. Primary texts might include Robinson Crusoe, Bartleby the Scrivener, Mary Barton, Blood on the Forge, Sister Carrie, Lucy, 9 to 5, Harlan County USA, and Office Space. 

GNSE 22440 Women in Italian Organized Crime Through Cinema
Instructor:
Veronica Vegna
In this course, we will study filmic representations of women in Italian organized crime, and the implications these portrayals have on the understanding of gender and the mafias through Italian cinema. Sociological and psychological studies have underscored the importance of female roles in relation to mafia organizations, notwithstanding the rigid patriarchal structure that allows only male affiliation. One of the main goals of this class is for students to gain an understanding of different Italian mafias and to get a deeper comprehension of the construction of gender in a selection of films centered around these organizations. We will also discuss how movies contribute to the perception of organized crime. This class will draw on a variety of fields, including sociology, gender studies, and film studies. Taught in English. Students seeking credit for the Italian major/minor must complete a substantial part of the course work (e.g., readings, writing) in Italian. 

GNSE 23150 Dark Stairways of Desire: Lusting beyond the Norm in Contemporary Catalan Literature
Instructor:
Bel Olid
Although we can find a significant number of authors exploring queer desire and identities throughout the history of Catalan Literature (from lesbian scenes in Joanot Martorell's "Tirant lo blanc" to expanding gender identities in Maria Aurèlia Capmany's "Quim/Quima"), more recent Catalan Literature is blooming with queerness and non-normative lust. This course will give an overview of contemporary Catalan works influenced by feminist and queer debates from the seventies on. Beginning with renowned poet Maria Mercè Marçal's only novel, "The Passion According to Rennée Vivien," winner of several of the most prestigious literary awards for Catalan Literature, we will go on to discover 21st-century works by Eva Baltasar and Anna Punsoda. We will also read poems, short stories and excerpts from authors such as Maria Sevilla, Mireia Calafell, Raquel Santanera, Sebastià Portell, Sil Bel and Ian Bermúdez, among others.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23172 Transatlantic Feminism. French, Francophone, and North American perspectives (20th-21st c.)
Instructor:
Léon Pradeau
This course explores modern and contemporary feminism through a transatlantic lens. We will consider three major moments and sites of a multi-centered conversation. First, we will explore the modernist desire for cosmopolitanism which drew writers across the Atlantic (Simone de Beauvoir’s adventures in the US; Djuna Barnes and Gertrude Stein’s lives in Paris). In the central part of the quarter, we will focus on the period between 1960 and 1990 which witnessed intense conversation and contestation between a French paradigm of “écriture féminine” (Hélène Cixous, Monique Wittig), and the rivalling practices and theories in America (from Adrienne Rich and Mary Daly to Judith Butler). Finally, we will explore the ways in which feminist thought has endeavored to account for race, class, rurality, and disability (from Maryse Condé to Aurélie Olivier and Roseline Lambert). The course will explore various media (novels, poetry, theater and performance, film), and various ways to engage critically and creatively with this history of transatlantic feminism. Taught in English but reading knowledge of French is required. Students taking this class for French credit must have taken FREN 20500, 20503 or a literature course taught in French, and will complete assignments in French.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23175 Sexuality in U.S. History Post 1900
Instructor:
Red Tremmel
In this course we will study the history of changing sexual practices, relations, politics, and cultures in the region of North America now comprising the United States and 574 sovereign tribal nations. Moving through various contexts, such as urban drag balls, medical schools, federal agencies, strip clubs, military projects, homophile and other liberatory movements, as well as popular culture, we will use primary and secondary sources to develop a research-based understanding of how sexual discourses are produced, revised, and remixed among and across generations.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23178 The Politics of Homophobia
Instructor:
Omar Safadi
How is the queer enemy politically constructed? And what are the uses and effects of this enemy in contemporary politics? This course investigates queer sexuality as a specific kind of threat and homophobia as a specific mode of political antagonism. Key to understanding this specificity is the examination of other kinds of political enemies. Across categories of gender, sexuality, race, religion, and empire, the course theorizes the queer enemy in a comparative perspective. We begin with Monique Wittig and Donald Cory to conceptualize structural heterosexuality and the political problem that homosexuality poses to society. We then move to Simone de Beauvoir. Here, we consider how the signification of “woman” bears on homophobia’s work in upholding the normative gender order. Next, we turn to critical race theory. Reading Frantz Fanon and W.E.B. Dubois, we take concepts like “black phobo-genesis” and “double consciousness” to think about the intersections and divergences between sexual and racial subjugation. And we conclude the first half of the course by exploring the queer aspects of structural anti-Semitism in the writings of Jean Paul Sartre and Karl Marx. Having explored enmity across categories of political difference, we are now in a better position to delve into the specificities of homophobic antagonism. Not merely a scapegoat, the queer enemy is a political threat that, in turn, indexes deeper and diachronic problem-spaces. We begin the second half of the course by exploring how this threat is framed: through metaphors of civilizational destruction but also through anti-sodomy and anti-disclosure laws. The queer threat, however, is dynamic and shape-shifting. Reading Joel Fishel and Jasbir Puar, we trace how homosexual de-criminalization produced new enemies: an internal enemy- the pedophile - and an external enemy - the “monster terrorist fag.” Mediating transitions in national and imperial power, we examine how the queer transmutes into a colonizing enemy. Through notions of “pinkwashing” and the “Gay International,” we investigate how queer emancipation is made to stand in for colonial domination. But we also read critiques of the gay = colonialism equation, asking how homophobia mediates anti-colonial politics. Finally, we conclude the course with Michel Foucault’s seminal essay, and relate the question of the queer enemy to the threat of radically new and origin-less relationality.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23179 In a Queer Time and Place
Instructor:
Agnes Malinowska
This course investigates queer and trans engagements with temporality, history, and phenomenology in literature, film, the visual arts, and theory.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 24520 Postcolonial Openings: World Literature after 1955
Instructor:
Darrel Chia
This course familiarizes students with the perspectives, debates, and attitudes that characterize the contemporary field of postcolonial theory, with critical attention to how its interdisciplinary formation contributes to reading literary works. What are the claims made on behalf of literary texts in orienting us to other lives and possibilities, and in registering the experiences of displacement under global capitalism? To better answer these questions, we read recent scholarship that engages the field in conversations around gender, affect, climate change, and democracy, to think about the impulses that animate the field, and to sketch new directions. We survey the trajectories and self-criticisms within the field, looking at canonical critics (Fanon, Said, Bhabha, Spivak), as well as reading a range of literary and cinematic works by writers like Jean Rhys, E.M. Forster, Mahasweta Devi, Derek Walcott, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie). 

GNSE 24602 Ghosts & the Fantastic in Literature and Film
Instructor:
Judith Zeitlin
What is a ghost? How and why are ghosts represented in particular forms in a particular culture at particular historical moments and how do these change as stories travel between cultures? This course will explore the complex meanings, both literal and figurative, of ghosts and the fantastic in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean tales and films. Issues to be explored include: 1) the relationship between the supernatural, gender, and sexuality; 2) the confrontation of death and mortality; 3) collective anxieties over the loss of the historical past; 4) the visualization (and exorcism) of ghosts through performance; and 5) responses to ecological and political trauma. 

GNSE 24700 Introduction à la littérature féminine au Maroc
Instructor:
Khalid Lyamlahy
Depuis les années 1980, la littérature féminine au Maroc connaît un essor remarquable qui se traduit dans le renouvellement du paysage littéraire et la diversité des thèmes abordés. En mettant la femme marocaine et ses expériences au centre de l’acte littéraire, les écrivaines marocaines ont brisé les tabous et insufflé une dynamique sociale et politique à l’échelle du pays. Ce cours introductif donnera un aperçu des écritures féminines au Maroc à partir de questions majeures telles que la représentation du corps et de la sexualité, le rapport à la maternité et à la transmission, le poids des traditions et des injonctions sociales, les combats politiques, les droits des femmes ainsi que les luttes contre la discrimination et la violence. Parmi les autrices étudiées figurent Fatima Mernissi, Fatna El Bouih, Leila Abouzeid, Siham Benchekroun et Yasmina Chami. This is an introductory-level course. Taught in French. 

GNSE 29237 Black Social Thought
Instructor:
Brianne Painia
This course will familiarize students with social science academic and lay intellectual theorists who speak to and about the political, economic, and gender ways of being within the African Diaspora. Most of the course will highlight the voices of Western scholars, pan-African international scholars and thought will be discussed as well.  

SPRING 2025 

GNSE 12129 Production and Reproduction: Women in Modern China, Japan, and Korea
Instructor:
Yuanxie Shi
The course introduces both women’s history and theories concerning production and reproduction in modern China, Japan, and Korea. By bringing both production and reproduction into the discussion, the course extends the definition of “work” from workplaces to households, from formal work settings to informalities. We will read and analyze women’s economic engagements in different contexts and localities (e.g. factories, households, political mobilizations, global trade, and sex work) together with scholarships from socio-economic historians, anthropologists, and feminist scholars. Historians have provided a broad chronological framework and empirical studies, such as the birth of feminist movements in twentieth-century East Asia, the pattern of gendered and highly specialized economic development, and women’s work as handicraft makers, factory employers, and sex workers. Anthropologists have established such analytical categories as “skill,” “practical knowledge,” and “gynotechnics” that were largely overlooked when discussing women’s work. Recent Marxist feminist scholars have extended Marxist examination of value to female labor, and contributed to our understanding of social reproduction by theorizing capitalism and its supporting system. With different concepts and frameworks, students are encouraged to reassess the complex meanings of differences outside of contemporary Western feminist theories. This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 12130 Is Religion Bad for Women?
Instructor:
Hannah Jones
Some scholars working in the study of gender and sexuality view religion as the conservative enemy of progress, irreconcilably antagonistic to the flourishing of any non-normative gender or sexuality. At the same time, some religious practitioners view feminism as a Western or liberal invention, an imposition that attempts to manage the lives of religious subjects. Still others find feminism and religious commitment mutually reinforcing, and have developed feminist, womanist, and queer rituals and theologies. This course examines contemporary texts, ethnographies, memoirs, and films that grapple with these tensions. In so doing, the course also helps students develop familiarity with foundational categories both in religious studies and in the study of gender and sexuality. Further questions to be explored include: Does religion facilitate or oppose the flourishing of women, queers, and people of color? Is religion a guardian of tradition that resists politically progressive aims, or do religions offer resources for interrogating secular liberalism? The course primarily considers Islamic, Christian, and Jewish traditions. Prior coursework in religious studies or gender and sexuality studies is helpful but not necessary.
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 13003 Sex Power Culture
Instructor:
Red Tremmel
Taking a historical and interdisciplinary approach that focuses primarily on the US context, this course invites students to identify and analyze the cultural, socioeconomic, and political forces that shape and are shaped by sex, sexuality, and the erotic. We will zoom in on a diverse array of topics, including hook-up culture, porn, the feminist sex wars, reproductive justice, liberatory sexual political movements, and an array of relationship formations such as monogamy and relationship anarchy to ask, what might we know about power by studying sex? And what might we know about sex, by studying power?
This course counts as a Foundations course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 15007 Gender and Sexuality in World Civ III: Sex and Mysticism Instructor: Kris Trujillo
Can you have sex with God? And, if so, what then does sex mean? What, as a matter of fact, might spiritual sex mean for the cultivation of virtues like celibacy or virginity? While early Christianity and the Christian Middle Ages are often characterized by a disciplined asceticism, erotic desire was just as central to cultivating mystical love for God. In fact, the significance of the language of love, passion, loss, nuptial bliss, jubilation, and the body has rendered the Christian mystical tradition a useful resource for contemporary—and especially psychoanalytic—theories of sex, gender, and sexuality. This course will look both to the past and the present in order to explore the workings of pre- and postmodern desire and to draw connections between Christian mysticism and theories and practices of sex. Working across historical periods, we will read exemplary pieces of Christian mystical literature, psychoanalytic theory, and contemporary literature that draws from the medieval past. This course counts as the third quarter of Civ for students who have completed the first two quarters of the sequence (GNSE 15002 and 15003). Preregistration priority will be given to students who enrolled in GNSE 15002 and 15003. If there is space, the course will be open to any student during add/drop. 

GNSE 15008 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations III: Feminism in Korea
Instructor:
Angie Heo
This course will explore contending strands of feminist thought and practice in modern Korea. Building on previous coursework on feminism and the postcolonial critique of Western feminism, we will consider how various Korean expressions of women’s equality developed in historically contiguous and critical relation to other global feminist ideals and movements (e.g., “The New Woman”, “revolutionary motherhood”, Women of Asia, #MeToo, radical militant feminism, transfeminism, etc…). We will engage a diverse range of historical, literary, and ethnographic sources that probe feminist, proto-feminist, and anti-feminist ideas throughout different periods from Japanese colonialism to the North-South division to the neoliberal South Korean present. This course counts as the third quarter of Civ for students who have completed the first two quarters of the sequence (GNSE 15002 and 15003). Preregistration priority will be given to students who enrolled in GNSE 15002 and 15003. If there is space, the course will be open to any student during add/drop. 

GNSE 15009 Gender and Sexuality in World Civ III: A Hispanic History of Love
Instructor:
Carlos Halaburda
This course introduces students to the Hispanic intellectual tradition on the subject of love. Through an examination of philosophical, medical, theological, and literary texts from the Medieval period to the present, we will discuss how some of the most outstanding writers of the Hispanic world conceived of the idea of love. Students will explore how notions of class, race, gender, and sexuality played into the making of affective and erotic bonds during the different historical periods covered during the term. The main objective in revisiting this long arch of time is to investigate how diverse models of aesthetic production from the Middle Ages to the present responded to the social, economic, and political contexts that shaped the meanings of love. Topics include courtly love, mysticism, religiosity and faith; sentimentalization, family lineage, inheritance, romantic love, the birth of the bourgeoisie; age, honor, class conflict, misogyny, nationalism; camp, kitsch, LGBTQ populations, melodrama, and populism. Works by Fernando de Rojas, Juan Ruiz, Miguel de Cervantes, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Pablo Neruda, Alfonsina Storni, Leandro Fernańdez de Moratín, Jorge Isaacs, Horacio Quiroga, Emilia Pardo Bazań, Eva Perón, Pedro Almodóvar, among others. This course counts as the third quarter of Civ for students who have completed the first two quarters of the sequence (GNSE 15002 and 15003). Preregistration priority will be given to students who enrolled in GNSE 15002 and 15003. If there is space, the course will be open to any student during add/drop. 

GNSE 19205 Poetry in the Land of Childhood
Instructor:
Alexis Chema
Cupboards and attics, nests and shells, the inside of a bush, the bottom of a rowboat: for the 20th century philosopher Gaston Bachelard, intimate “fibred” spaces like these have a special relation to childhood—both as it is experienced and as it is remembered. Taking the lead from Bachelard this course investigates the construction, beginning in the eighteenth century, of childhood as a particular kind of place, one that might be imaginatively accessed through poetic images, rhythm, and rhyme. Our readings will come from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—that is, from the birth of children’s literature to its “golden age”—and will take us from the nursery rhymes and cradle songs of early children’s poetry collections, through William Blake’s “forests of the night,” and to the wonderland of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. 

GNSE 20142 India on Screen: Marriage and Sexuality from Bollywood to Made in Heaven
Instructor:
Rochona Majumdar
From reality shows like Indian Matchmaking and Made in Heaven to the meme of the "Big Fat Indian Wedding" to the preoccupations of Bollywood films like DDLJ and Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani and crossover ones such as Monsoon Wedding, marriage is an obsession in South Asian culture. Focusing on Hindi cinema, this course will explore the socio-political dynamics of this cultural focus on marriage and couple formation. With examples ranging from classical Hindi films from the 1950s-60s to the star-studded melodramas of 1970s and 1980s and the “new Bollywood” era (post-1991), this cinema exhibited and analyzed the central dynamics of marriage: sexual compatibility, fidelity, reproductive futures, and so on. Debates around class, caste, diaspora, and sexuality are equally anchored in issues of marriage and couple formation. In this course, we ask why it is that marriage—its success and failure—has been so central to Indian on-screen identities. Even as screens multiply—on computers, cell phones, and in the multiplex—marriage continues to dominate. No prior knowledge of Indian languages is required, but you must enjoy watching and talking about movies and popular culture.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20144 Wives, widows, and prostitutes: Indian Literature and the "Women's Question"
Instructor:
Ulrike Stark
From the early 19th century onward, the debate on the status of Indian women was an integral part of the discourse on the state of civilization, Hindu tradition, and social reform in colonial India. This course will explore how Indian authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries engaged with the so-called "women's question." Caught between middle-class conservatism and the urge for social reform, Hindi and Urdu writers addressed controversial issues such as female education, child marriage, widow remarriage, and prostitution in their fictional and discursive writings. We will explore the tensions of a literary and social agenda that advocated the 'uplift' of women as a necessary precondition for the progress of the nation, while also expressing patriarchal fears about women's rights and freedom. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Basic knowledge of Hindi and/or Urdu is preferable, but not required. We will read works by Nazir Ahmad, Premcand, Jainendra Kumar, Mirza Hadi Ruswa, and Mahadevi Varma in English translation, and also look at texts used in Indian female education at the time.
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 20145 Women in 20th-Century Architecture
Instructor:
Jacobé Huet
From the emergence of the discipline in the Renaissance to the present day, architecture has been a blatantly male-centric field. This course invites students to consider women who overcame systemic barriers to become figures of agency in 20th-century architecture. We will examine the lives and works of women who have managed to attend architecture schools, despite historical gender-based exclusion or restriction on enrollment, as well as those who found impactful ways to play architectural roles without academic training. We will pay particular attention to how these figures add necessary complexity to the modernist canon. The course will start with a first module on positionality (women as architects, women as clients, and women as residents) followed by a second module with a biographical scope (Minnette De Silva, Eileen Gray, bell hooks, and Sibyl Moholy-Nagy).
This course counts as a Problems course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 21285 Toni Morrison, beloved and a mercy
Instructor:
SJ Zhang
“How lovely it is, this thing we have done - together." Beginning with Morrison’s 1993 Nobel Prize Lecture, this class will read (for many reread) two of Toni Morrison’s novels that pose the house and household as a “site of memory” in which to dramatize gendered histories of race in North America. Our class will annotate together Beloved and A Mercy with the essays, films, poetry of various scholars, in addition to some of Morrison’s literary critical and historical writings. Our in-depth reading of these two works will provide a foundation for engaging in ongoing debates about race and writing in literary studies, black feminists critiques of the classroom, and histories of race-based slavery in North America. If, as Morrison contends, “language” teaches us “how to see without pictures” and that “language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names,” we will aim to hold language close as we consider “what moves at the margin. What it is to have no home in this place. To be set adrift from the one you knew. What it is to live at the edge of towns that cannot bear your company.” 

GNSE 21404 More than Human Ethnography
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
In this course we explore the fields of more-than-human and ‘multispecies’ ethnography. We examine theoretical antecedents promoting the inclusion of non-human actors in ethnographic analysis and read examples of such work, including foundational texts on interspecies engagements, exploitations, and dependencies by Anna Tsing, Eduardo Kohn, Deborah Bird Rose, and Juno Parreñas among many others. We consider the role other species and ‘actants’ played in early social science and contemplate recent studies of “becoming with” animals, plants, fungi, bacteria—encountering complex ecological relationships, examining naturalcultural borders, and querying the role of decolonial thought and queer ecologies in the ‘more-than’ turn. Multispecies and posthumanist approaches encourage a decentering of traditional method; we will couple ethnographic examples with literature by biologists, physicists, and philosophers. The is a discussion-based seminar with significant time devoted to the logistical aspects of ‘more than’ work—to querying how such studies have been conducted in practice. 

GNSE 23003 Introduction: Voix féminines dans la littérature française
Instructor:
Daisy Delogu
Ce cours nous permettra de réintégrer au canon de la littérature française des ouvrages parfois négligés ou relégués au rang de « mineur », tout en prenant connaissance des principaux mouvements littéraires auxquels ces textes appartiennent et contribuent. Nous lirons des textes de genre divers (lais, poèmes, romans, nouvelles, etc.) du Moyen Âge jusqu’au 21e siècle. Taught in French. This is an introductory-level course. 

GNSE 23155 Reproductive citizens: sex, work, and embodiment
Instructor:
Agnes Malinowska
In this class, we focus on literature, film, history, and theory that deal with biological and social reproduction, motherhood and the politics of the home and family, and domestic and sexual labor. Our readings and viewings are centered in the U.S. and span the early twentieth century through the present—and we approach the above themes and structures in relation to the troubled and uneven histories of race, gender, and class that shape them. To this end, we will learn about the history of eugenics and sterilization; the afterlife of slavery and racist (anti-Asian) U.S. immigration policy; settler colonialism and the Native American reservation system; state policing of family and kinship structures; developments in reproductive and gender-affirming biotechnology; and the thorny politics of sex work. At the same time, we will be equally interested in the ways that activists, theorists, and other cultural producers have pushed against oppressive policies and structures to imagine and fight for reproductive justice and liberation at the intersection of race, labor, and gender. We spend time, for example, with Black and Native feminists, Marxist social reproduction theorists, family abolitionists, and sex worker’s rights activists. Readings and viewings may include: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Tillie Olsen, Gayl Jones, Fae Myenne Ng, Louise Erdrich, Lizzie Borden, Barbara Loden, Amy Heckerling, and the International Wages for Housework Campaign.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23173 Discourses of Femicide in Contemporary Latin America
Instructor:
Laura Colaneri
Femicide, or the gender-motivated killing of women and girls, has garnered increasing attention in twenty-first century Latin America, which has some of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the world. Latin American activists, performers, writers, and filmmakers have attempted to reckon with the impacts of femicide in the cultural sphere, seeking to not only identify the social, historical, and political roots of gender violence, but also advocate for justice and mourn those they have lost. This course will discuss prevailing discourses of femicide in the region, addressing the roles of activism, journalism, literature, and film in both shaping and responding to these discourses. Texts will include memoirs like Cristina Rivera Garza’s El invencible verano de Liliana (2021), documentaries like Lourdes Portillo’s Señorita extraviada (2001), as well as fiction, such as Roberto Bolaño’s “La parte de los crímenes” from the novel 2666 (2004). Taught in Spanish.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 23176 Philosophy of Sex
Instructor:
Kévin Irakóze
What is good sex? Is sexual objectification harmful? Do we have a right to sex? What is sexual consent? This course invites students to engage with these questions and many others within the literature on the philosophy of sex. The centrality of sex and sexuality in human life makes it an apt, albeit complex object of philosophical inquiry. And, whereas many thinkers advance that our sexual lives hold a major influence on most other domains on our existence, we spend little time with intellectual inquiry about sex. In this course, we will engage with some classic texts alongside some of the most exciting recent writings in the philosophy of sex. We will explore such themes and topics as the erotic, sexual desire, perversion, consent, sexual orientation, pornography, prostitution, and sex equality. We will explore these themes through various perspectives, including metaphysics, ethics, and politics. Some of the authors we will read include Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Martha Nussbaum, Timo Airaksinen, Jean-Luc Marion, Raja Halwani, Amia Srinivasan and Manon Garcia among others. This course is discussion based and is open to undergraduate students of all levels.
This course counts as a Concepts course for GNSE majors. 

GNSE 24900 Lolita
Instructor:
Malynne Sternstein
“Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul, Lolita: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate, to tap at three on the teeth.” Popular as Nabokov’s “all-American” novel is, it is rarely discussed beyond its psychosexual profile. This intensive text-centered and discussion-based course attempts to supersede the univocal obsession with the novel’s pedophiliac plot as such by concerning itself above all with the novel’s language: language as failure, as mania, and as conjuration. 

GNSE 25055 Uncertain Futures: A Sociology of Times to Come
Instructor:
Eman Abdelhadi
Between global militarism, intensive inequality, and climate catastrophe, the future looks uncertain. This class engages lay, scholarly and fictional futurisms—particularly emerging from Queer, Indigenous and Black traditions. We will read sociological and anthropological texts that consider how different communities envision the decades and centuries to come alongside speculative fiction that theorizes where earth and humanity are heading. Does humanity have a future? How does that future look? How do differing answers to these questions shape individuals’ and communities’ lives and decisions? 

GNSE 25474 Crossing Boundaries: Virtual Reality, Embodiment, and the Reimagining of Social Space
Instructor:
Cate Fugazzola
In this course, we explore the potential for Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to push multiple boundaries: redefining bodies, crossing borders, and reimagining social spaces. In the first weeks of the course, as we think about bodies in the virtual space, we will be asking questions related to embodiment and representation: how does the process of avatar creation reinforce or dismantle assumptions about gender readability and performance? How do immersive experiences induce feelings of gender euphoria and dysphoria? The following weeks we will explore and discuss the way VR experiences can engage with the concept of physical borders—calling their existence into questions in some cases, making them particularly salient in others. We will discuss virtual travel, digital border-crossing, and explore art installations that reflect on migration experiences. The final weeks will build on our previous conversations, and together we will reflect on the fluid meaning of space in a virtual setting and on the creative possibilities that such fluidity entails: What does it mean to reimagine space beyond physical limitations? How do we understand the political salience of taking up space in digitally built social environments? The course combines readings and theoretical conversations with hands-on experiences in VR and explorations of virtual worlds. Previous experience with VR is not required. We will share a limited number of headsets that will be available for use in class. 

GNSE 26225 Get Cultured in Nine Weeks: Historical Perspectives on Art and Education
Instructors:
Alice Goff and Sophie Salvo
What does it mean to ‘get cultured’? Why—and how—do we do it? Does an education in the arts and letters make us more moral, more intelligent, more resistant to authority—or perhaps more submissive? These questions are at the center of debates about the place of cultural learning in the contemporary world, but our century was not the first to think critically about the social and political functions of this form of education. This course investigates how students, educators, writers, and artists conceptualized the aims and means of becoming cultured from the 1700s forward, focusing on European history and connecting it to the concerns of the present. We will pay particularly close attention to both formal and informal means of cultural education, and to the ways in which these practices have been understood to produce social structures of class, gender, and race. Readings will draw from the fields of history, literature, philosophy, sociology, and art history. At the end of the quarter, students will be asked to design their own fantasy syllabus for “getting cultured in nine weeks.” 

GNSE 28775 Racial Melancholia
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
This course provides students with an opportunity to think race both within a psychoanalytic framework and alongside rituals of loss, grief, and mourning. In particular, we will interrogate how psychoanalytic formulations of mourning and melancholia have shaped theories of racial melancholia that emerged at the turn of the twenty-first century. Turning to Asian American, African American, and Latinx theoretical and literary archives, we will interrogate the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and ask: How do literatures of loss enable us to understand the relationship between histories of racial trauma, injury, and grief, on the one hand, and the formation of racial identity, on the other? What might it mean to imagine literary histories of race as grounded fundamentally in the experience of loss? What forms of reparations, redress, and resistance are called for by such literatures of racial grief, mourning, and melancholia? And, finally, how, if understood as themselves rituals of grief, might psychoanalysis and the writing of literature assume the role of religious devotion in the face of loss and trauma? 

GNSE 29303 Asceticism: Forming the Self
Instructors:
Sarah Pierce Taylor & Erin Walsh
In recent decades scholars of the pre-modern period have turned to the body as a site of renewed historical inquiry. Within the study of religion, this shift has reanimated discussions around asceticism as a particularly potent technē for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. This signature course, taught by two scholars working in disparate historical periods and religious traditions (early Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature), explores how gender theory has engaged ascetic practices for understanding the body and human potential. Students will engage asceticism as a series of techniques or forms of life that envision the sexed and gendered human body as the horizon of corporeal expression and personal imagination. Asceticism serves as a neat conceptual device, allowing us to toggle between the mind and body while tackling questions that fall within the liminal space between them, including debates around gender, sexuality, sovereignty, and biopower. Students along with the instructors will contend with the challenges and opportunities of transnational and transhistorical feminist and queer inquiry as we traverse across the boundaries of tradition, language, and culture. While drawing on rich historical and religious archives, we will anchor our discussions around the interplay of two principal authors: Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault. No prior knowledge of the religious traditions or critical theory discussed is expected.  

 

Graduate Course Descriptions

AUTUMN 2024

GNSE 30136 Generations, Gender, And Genre in Korean Fiction & TV Drama
Instructor:
Kyeong-Hee Choi
The seminar analyzes the issues of generations, gender, and genres that arise from a selection of popular literary and television dramas from modern and contemporary Korea. The selection for the course is marked by the creative contributions of Korean women as novelists, scriptwriters, directors, among others. It includes prose fiction by renowned authors such as Park Wan-sŏ (1931-2011), Han Kang (1970- ), and Cho Nam-joo (1978- ), as well as television series like Mr. Sunshine (2018; scripted by Kim Eun-sook), The Red Sleeve (2021; dir. by Chŏng Chi-in; adapted the 2017 novel by from Kang Mi-kang), and My Liberation Notes (2022; written by Park Hae-yeong). Through a blend of close textual analysis and historical contextualization, the course aims to uncover the ways in which the gendered and generational identities of these creators might have helped certain configurations of concerns, needs, and aspirations saliently emerge in response to social, cultural, historical, and political currents of their time. [Consent Required; No prior knowledge of the Korean language is necessary

GNSE 30141 Queerness in the Shadow of Empire: Sexualities in the Modern Middle East
Instructor:
Eman Abdelhadi
Critics, from both the Right and the Left, claim that liberal sexual regimes are Western, imperial impositions onto Muslim and Middle Eastern societies. On the other hand, LGBTQ+ advocates claim that the restriction of sexuality is itself a colonial legacy. This class will delve into this debate by examining cutting edge empirical and theoretical work on Queer lives in the modern Middle East. Instructor Consent required. 

GNSE 30901 Biopsychology of Sex Differences
Instructor:
Jill Mateo
This course will explore the biological basis of mammalian sex differences and reproductive behaviors. We will consider a variety of species, including humans. We will address the physiological, hormonal, ecological and social basis of sex differences. To get the most from this course, students should have some background in biology, preferably from taking an introductory course in biology or biological psychology. 

GNSE 31721 Women Who Wrote in Yiddish
Instructor:
Jessica Kirzane
This course explores memoirs, plays, essays, poetry, novels, and journalistic writing of women who wrote in Yiddish, as well as a discussion of the context in which they wrote and their reception and self-perception as "women writers." Among the writers whose work may be represented in this course are Glikl, Yente Mash, Kadya Molodwsky, Chava Rosenfarb, Yente Serdatsky, Rosa Palatnik, Anna Margolin, Celia Dropkin, Rokhl Korn, Beyle Shaechter-Gottesman, Gitl Shaechter-Viswanath, Bella Chagall, Blume Lempel, Esther Kreitman, Debora Vogel, Rokhl Brokhes, Sarah Hamer-Jacklyn, Malka Lee, Ida Maze, Roshelle Weprinski, Miriam Karpilove, Zina Rabinovitz, Rokhl Szabad, Rokhl Faygnberg, Paula Prilutsky, Shira Gorshman, Esther Shumiatsher-Hirshbein and Freydl Shtok. Many of these writers have been underexamined in the history of Yiddish literary studies and this course will bring renewed attention to their work. This course will be taught in English with readings translated from Yiddish. 

GNSE 32604 Race, Justice, and the Assemblage of American Moralities
Instructor:
Samah Choudhury
This course explores the racial and moral imperatives that are encapsulated within concepts of “Americanness” and the theoretical notions that define the discursive, historical, and sociopolitical boundaries of American identities. How have claims to American identity relied on created religious or religiously-inflected Others? Together, we will consider how the human phenomena of religion and race have developed across our histories in concert with one another. How do racial and moral imperatives the define discursive, historical, and sociopolitical boundaries of American identities? We will examine how these formations have been deployed, defined, and bent to fit particular historical and cultural contexts while continuing to inform each other in a variety of permutations, especially in the United States. How do race and religion also intersect with gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and politics? Our theoretical grounding in migration, encounters, and transnational mobilities will provide insight into how race is imagined on and into differently minoritized people while considering what it means to be participants in the project of racecraft today. Our readings will include historical materials, literary texts, theological reflections, and examples from popular culture that meditate on these topics. 

GNSE 33168 Sex and the Ethnographic Tradition
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
This course examines the role sex has played in the formation of ethnographic knowledge, with particular attention to how studies of sex have challenged static notions of identity and illuminated the complex relationship between social behavior and gendered sense of self. We will consider interest in sex as a motivating factor in the ethnographic enterprise and, reading studies on everything from desire, kink, and play to procreation, heritance and power, will examine complex and social construction of sexed, gendered, and raced selves and Others. How has ethnographic research contested the ubiquitous salience of male/female dichotomies, of patriarchy, and of the cross-cultural, trans-historical applicability of concepts like 'third gender? We will also take a methodological eye, querying how sex has moved from a supposedly 'taboo' category of social inquiry to a focal topic in ethnographic work of all kinds. This is an introductory graduate level course with select spots for advanced undergraduates. 

GNSE 33702 Sexual Health: Identity, Behavior and Outcomes
Instructor:
David Moskowitz
Sexual health is a growing component of public health outreach. The goal of this course is to provide students with a foundational understanding of sexual health from a public health perspective. Through participation in this course, students will increase their knowledge about the history of sexual health promotion in the public health sphere. They will delve into sexual and gender identity construction and explore identity-behavioral expressions. They will critically examine and discuss common sexual health issues addressed by public health practitioners, their epidemiology, and their underlying social determinants; a global health lens will be applied to such examinations. Additionally, recognition of the key methodological considerations in the measurement of sexual behavior and sexual health outcomes will be elucidated (including strengths and limitations of various methodological approaches –quantitative, qualitative, clinical, and biomedical). By the completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of key theoretical foundations of sexual health promotion and sexual health behavior change and be able to promote sexual health messages through marketing and dissemination. From a policy perspective, student can expect an increased knowledge about issues related to social and legislative policy analyses, their applications, and implications. 

GNSE 33800 Global Maternal and Child Health
Instructor:
Erick Amick
This course provides a foundation in global perspectives on maternal and child health research, practice, and policy. The course will cover a range of maternal and child health topics to examine critical challenges facing women, children, providers, and policymakers in some of the world's most vulnerable communities. Students in this course will: 1) understand the status of maternal and child health in a variety of communities and contexts, using key health and development indicators; 2) critically analyze past and present public health programs and policies utilized to address maternal and child health needs in diverse communities; 3) assess the economic, political, social, and cultural factors that affect maternal and child health programs and outcomes. 

GNSE 34426 The Witch Craze in 17th-Century Europe: Scotland, Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and Moravia
Instructor:
Malynne Sternstein
In this course, we look carefully at the reasons for and repercussions of the “witch craze” in the long 17th-century, focussing on primary texts such as trial reports, legal literature, pamphlets, woodcuts, scholarly dissent, and other paraphernalia. The course follows a sweep of the craze from Lancashire in Scotland, where trials began in the 1590s, to Poznań in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, to the Russian village of Lukh on the outskirts of Moscow, where between 1656 and 1660 over twenty-five individuals, most of them male, were tried and several executed, and finally to Northern Moravia under Habsburg rule where inquisitor Hetman Boblig presided over the burning of almost 100 "witches." In each region, trials followed different customs—Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic—and answered to different legislative discourse—ecclesiastical, laic, secular—yet all can be said to be the product of a common desire and collective fear. To supplement our understanding of the multifaceted anxieties that are expressed in works such as King James’ Daemonologie (1597), and to ask more questions of the intersectional phobias around gender, sexuality, religion, and class (rural-urban; colony-metropole), we take up theory from Foucault, Federici, and Mbembe, and others. 

GNSE 34706 Japanese Art in the Sinosphere
Instructor:
Chelsea Foxwell
From the earliest centuries of the common era until the 1870s, Japanese writers, artists, and scholars considered themselves to be living in the Sinosphere: the realm of China’s cultural and political centrality. Starting with a consideration of Chinese material culture in the Tale of Genji, we will proceed to address topics such as the relation between Chinese and Japanese handscroll paintings, the spread of Chinese-style ink monochrome painting in Japan, the rise of the Kano school as official painters and Chinese-style painting experts, and the immense popularity of literati painting and calligraphy. Korean painting’s intersection with Chinese and Japanese art in the medieval and early modern periods will also factor into the discussion. We will evaluate the changing dynamics around political power and gender embodied in the Chinese/Japanese oppositional duality and reassess the prevailing narratives concerning how the Sinosphere faded from view in the Meiji era. 

GNSE 34771 Sex, Crime and Horror in Argentine Literature
Instructor:
Carlos Halaburda
This course examines a historical trajectory of Argentine literature, cinema, and the visual arts through the study of three thematic currents that significantly influenced Argentina’s cultural and socio-political experience with nation-building, modernization, and democracy: sex, crime, and horror. The primary objective of the course is to foster a critical exploration of how foundational works of Romanticism and Realism in the Río de la Plata, the Noir genre, and the Gothic tradition accounted for decisive changes in the social fabric of the country. Students will assess the role of sexuality, crime, and horror stories in the representation of momentous events in Argentine history, spanning from the revolutionary era in the nineteenth century to the contemporary period. Topics include the Wars of Independence, gaucho literature, indigenous resistance, the great transatlantic migratory flows, the rise of the middle classes, Peronismo, youth culture, military dictatorships, human rights violations, LGBT movements, and economic precarity in neoliberal times. Works by Esteban Echeverría, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Juana Manuela Gorriti, José Hernández, Lucio V. and Eduarda Mansilla, Leopoldo Lugones, Roberto Arlt, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan José Saer, Alejandra Pizarnik, Juan Gelman, Silvina Ocampo, Rodolfo Walsh, Manuel Puig, Ricardo Piglia, Mariana Enríquez, María Luisa Bemberg, Luis Puenzo, Albertina Carri, Santiago Mitre, among others. 

GNSE 36994 Anticolonial Worlding: Literature, Film, Thought
Instructor:
Leah Feldman
This course explores anticolonial worldbuilding through literature, film, art, and philosophy. It focuses on the role of the cultural Cold War in shaping anticolonial aesthetics and politics during the twentieth century as well as its impact on our current political moment. The mid-century was characterized by an expansion of anticolonial festivals, exchanges, and congresses and marked by political crises and coalitional solidarity across Vietnam, Palestine, Cuba, Soviet and US imperial expansion, and the May 1968 student protests. We will explore how Pan-Arab, Pan-African, Non-Aligned/Global South, Marxist-Leninist, indigenous land rights, and racial justice movements mobilized class, gender, and language politics. Exploring anticolonial literature, film, and art across a multilingual and transnational archive we will ask how socialist and speculative realisms, engaged literature, third cinema, agitprop, and other aesthetic movements generated powerful internationalist imaginations and networks of resistance. 

GNSE 37300 Le Roman de la Rose
Instructor:
Daisy Delogu
The ""Roman de la Rose"" (mid-13th century), a sprawling, encyclopedic summa composed by two separate authors, was arguably the single most influential vernacular text of the Middle Ages. Whether they hated or admired it, subsequent writers could not escape the long shadow cast by this magisterial œuvre. And, as Kate Soper’s recent opera adaptation of the ""Rose"" demonstrates, this labyrinthine work remains a source of creative inspiration. In this course we will read the ""Rose"" together. Each student will choose a critical lens (e.g. gender and sexuality, animal and/or ecocritical studies, ethics and philosophy, reception studies, manuscript studies, text & image, etc.) to structure their engagement with the text, and together we will collaborate to chart a rich and diverse set of interpretive paths through this complex work. All registered students will attend the cours magistral (taught in English). In addition, all registered students will select and attend either the French discussion section, or the critical theory section. Students are welcome to attend both. 

GNSE 38802 United States Labor History
Instructor:
Amy Dru Stanley
This course will explore the history of labor and laboring people in the United States. The significance of work will be considered from the vantage points of political economy, culture, and law. Key topics will include working-class life, industrialization and corporate capitalism, slavery and emancipation, the role of the state and trade unions, and race and sex difference in the workplace. Graduate students by consent of instructor. 

GNSE 39109 Sex, Gender, and Kinship: Colonial Perspectives
Instructor:
Deirdre Lyons
This course analyzes the contested relationships between gender, sexuality, kinship, and European systems of colonialism from the early modern period through the twentieth century. Drawing on historical case studies, feminist theory and postcolonial studies, this course will cover a broad range of empires and regions to explore topics such as the construction of gender ideologies and how colonial systems of rule were established through changing concepts of gender, sex, and kinship—and their connections to race, colonial power, and neo/post/colonial legacies. Our primary aim is to account for how complex and fraught notions of “gender,” “family,” and “sexuality” mutually emerged alongside transformative shifts in systems of western colonialism. 

GNSE 41303 Gender, Capital, and Desire: Jane Austen and Critical Interpretation
Instructor:
Tristan Schweiger
Today, Jane Austen is one of the most famous (perhaps the most famous), most widely read, and most beloved of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novelists. In the 200 years since her authorial career, her novels have spawned countless imitations, homages, parodies, films, and miniseries – not to mention a thriving “Janeite” fan culture. For just as long, her novels have been the objects of sustained attention by literary critics, theorists, and historians. For example, feminist scholars have long been fascinated by Austen for her treatments of feminine agency, sociality, and desire. Marxists read her novels for the light they shed on an emergent bourgeoisie on the eve of industrialization. And students of the “rise of the novel” in English are often drawn to Austen as an innovator of new styles of narration and a visionary as to the potentials of the form. This course will offer an in-depth examination of Austen, her literary corpus, and her cultural reception as well as a graduate-level introduction to several important schools of critical and theoretical methodology. We will read all six of Austen’s completed novels in addition to criticism spanning feminism, historicism, Marxism, queer studies, postcolonialism, and psychoanalysis. Readings may include pieces by Sara Ahmed, Frances Ferguson, William Galperin, Deidre Lynch, D.A. Miller, Edward Said, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Raymond Williams. Open to MA and PhD students; 3rd- and 4th-year undergrads

GNSE 41304 Medieval Romance
Instructor:
John Miller
Medieval romance is one of the main ancestors of fantasy and science fiction. This course examines the speculative work of fantasy in medieval romance's explorations of aesthetics, desire, and politics. 

GNSE 43602 Critical Security Studies
Instructor:
Kara Hooser
This graduate-level elective course is designed to introduce students to approaches to global politics beyond the traditional mainstream canon, surveying a range of perspectives that fall under the heading of ‘critical.' The main goal is to develop an understanding of what is at stake, politically, with some of the main concepts, theories, methodological approaches, and empirical objects within the study of international relations (IR) and international security. The course is divided into two sections. First, we begin by considering what makes a critical approach critical—that is, how is it set apart from conventional approaches? In particular, we will explore how critical approaches encourage us to question our assumptions, first, about what security, power, sovereignty, and other core concepts mean in global politics, and second, about who or what (individuals, groups, nonhuman animals, states, the planet) can be agents of global politics. Some examples of approaches we cover are: theories from the Global South, approaches to human security, global feminisms, securitization theories, ontological security, emotions and affect, the visual turn, new materialisms, and post-colonial perspectives. In the second half of the course, we apply these approaches to a range of issues, including nuclear weapons, borders and immigration, drone warfare, terrorism, and climate change. 

GNSE 43901 Queerness and Disability in Latin American Literature and Culture, 1880-1930
Instructor:
Carlos Halaburda
With the rise of Latin American modernity, LGBTQ and crip populations were portrayed in literature, medical science, and visual culture as deviant. The discursive mechanisms to produce truths about bodies as normative or perverse, real or unreal, fit or disabled not only achieved authority in medicine, but also in numerous platforms where ableist heteronormativity was sedimented as a hegemonic way of life. Literature, theater, museums, the modern press, and the visual arts became semiotic territories for the production of racial, gender, sex, and psychophysical difference. But queer/crip/trans* and critical race theory have offered tools to critique the sexual hegemony and ableism of such patriarchal-colonial mindset. This graduate course introduces students to such debates in new Latin American critical studies, with a global perspective. Focusing on the cultural production of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, students will investigate and critique the somatic constructions of the so-called “deviant” in excerpts from novels, plays, chronicles, early films, and clinical studies. Texts by José Tomás de Cuéllar, Luis Montané Dardé, Leonidio Ribeiro, Eduardo Castrejón, Adolfo Caminha, Augusto D’Halmar, Rómulo Gallegos, José González Castillo, Elías Castelnuovo, Teresa de La Parra, Bernardo Arias Trujillo, Francisco de Veyga, Ofelia Rodríguez Acosta, among others. The course will be taught in Spanish and English. 

GNSE 46800 Relationship Science
Instructor:
Lydia Emery
In 1999, Ellen Berscheid wrote that “relationships are both the foundation and the theme of the human condition.” In this advanced graduate seminar, we will explore theory and research on the science of romantic relationships: what makes them work, why they can encounter challenges, and how they underlie who we are as humans. We will examine topics such as attachment, interdependence, love, self-growth, and diversity in the context of close relationships. By the end of the course, students will be knowledgeable about the state of relationship science research and able to generate original research on the topic. 

GNSE 46905 Performance Theory
Instructor:
Leah Feldman This course offers a critical introduction to theories of performance and performativity across a transnational scope. We will read theories of performance that explore the relationship between text, body and audience alongside the history of performative theory and its afterlives in queer and affect theory. Drawing on comparative literary method, this course presents texts both within and beyond the Euro-American canon, across languages, and across disciplines to consider how empire and post-coloniality, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality shape performances and the publics that they address. We will think about the relationship between performance and politics and how performance as both an aesthetic genre and theoretical concept shapes the relationship between text, language, and embodied experience and explore the role of the spectator and their participatory function in the making of performances. 

The following class can count as a GNSE course for the Certificate only in Autumn 2024:

REES 30001 Tolstoy's War and Peace
Instructor:
Anne Eakin-Moss Leo
Tolstoy’s monumental novel War and Peace, which the author Henry James called “a loose baggy monster,” is a sui generis work of modern literature that offered a response and challenge to the European Realist novel and founded a Russian national myth. We will read the novel in translation, alongside its adaptations into opera, film, and Broadway musical. We will also read literary theoretical works inspired by the novel and consider the novel in relation to theories of narrative, critical theory of gender, and philosophies of community and everyday experience.

WINTER 2025

GNSE 30147 Archaeology of Gender and Sexuality
Instructors:
Alice Yao and Katie Kearns
How have archaeologists approached the study of gendered practices, and can their work contribute to theoretical and methodological discussions of gender across the social sciences and humanities? How can we use material objects and things to examine or explain gendered identities, especially in the deep past? In this course, students will engage with a range of research, from different disciplinary perspectives, to explore how gender is situated in archaeological theory and praxis and its political implications. Through multiple case studies, the course will interrogate how archaeologists study, analyze, and interpret material remains to examine gendered ideologies and material practices and their intersections with other social constructs: class, sex, race, ethnicity. Coverage is cross-cultural and aims to expose students to the diversity and variability of gendered and sexual experiences of different people across time and space. Topics include but are not limited to: embodiment and expression, gender roles, sexuality, parenthood and childhood, masculinity, biopolitics, and feminist theory.

GNSE 30237 Black Social Thought
Instructor:
Brianne Painia
This course will familiarize students with social science academic and lay intellectual theorists who speak to and about the political, economic, and gender ways of being within the African Diaspora. Most of the course will highlight the voices of Western scholars, pan-African international scholars and thought will be discussed as well.

GNSE 31400 Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Instructor:
Linda Zerilli
Beginning with the fraught legacy of the New Left and the proliferation of “new social movements” such as feminism and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as tenacious but open structures of power subject to political critique and social transformation. The relatively stable yet dynamic character of what Gayle Rubin in 1975 famously called “the sex/gender system” raises basic questions of structure and event: (1) how are systemic relations of domination and rule historically constituted and sustained over time?; and (2) how can that which is regularly reproduced be not only momentarily interrupted, but fundamentally altered through both quotidian and extraordinary forms of action and worlding? The unexpected character of the new social movements called for a radical rethinking of structures and their transformation. Haunted by unpredictable forms of resistance, heteropatriarchal structures challenged theorists and activists to forge new frameworks of critique that refigured basic concepts of power, subjectivity, and agency. These frameworks are examined with an eye to how racialized sexuality and gender are created and contested in the context of modern biopolitical capitalism and its constitution of naturalized conceptions of rule.

GNSE 32103 Feminisms and Anthropology
Instructors:
Julie Chu and Jennifer Cole
This course examines the fraught yet generative relation between various movements of feminism and the discipline of anthropology. Both feminism(s) and anthropology emerged in the 19th century as fields invested in thinking “the human” through questions of alterity or Otherness. As such, feminist and anthropological inquiries often take up shared objects of analysis--including nature/culture, kinship, the body, sexuality, exchange, value, and power--even as they differ in their political and scholarly orientations through the last century and a half. Tracking the emergence of feminisms and anthropology as distinct fields of academic discourse on the one hand and political intervention on the other, we pursue the following lines of inquiry: (1) a genealogical approach to key concepts and problem-spaces forged at the intersection of these two fields, (2) critical analysis of the relation of feminist and postcolonial social movements to the professionalizing fields of knowledge production (including Marxist-inspired writing on women and economy, Third World feminism and intersectionality, and feminist critiques of science studies), and (3) a reflexive contemporary examination of the way these two strands of thought have come together in the subfield of feminist anthropology, and the continual frictions and resonances of feminist and anthropological approaches in academic settings and in the larger world (e.g., #MeToo, sex positive activism, queer politics, feminist economics). Graduate students must have consent of one of the instructors.

GNSE 34520 Postcolonial Openings: World Literature after 1955
Instructor:
Darrel Chia
This course familiarizes students with the perspectives, debates, and attitudes that characterize the contemporary field of postcolonial theory, with critical attention to how its interdisciplinary formation contributes to reading literary works. What are the claims made on behalf of literary texts in orienting us to other lives and possibilities, and in registering the experiences of displacement under global capitalism? To better answer these questions, we read recent scholarship that engages the field in conversations around gender, affect, climate change, and democracy, to think about the impulses that animate the field, and to sketch new directions. We survey the trajectories and self-criticisms within the field, looking at canonical critics (Fanon, Said, Bhabha, Spivak), as well as reading a range of literary and cinematic works by writers like Jean Rhys, E.M. Forster, Mahasweta Devi, Derek Walcott, Arundhati Roy, and Salman Rushdie).

GNSE 38230 Fashion and Change: The Theory of Fashion
Instructor:
Timothy Campbell
This course offers a representative view of foundational and recent fashion theory and history, with a historical focus on the long modern era extending from the eighteenth century to the present. While engaging the general aesthetic and commercial phenomenon of fashion, we will also devote special attention to fashion as a discourse preoccupied with the problem of cultural change—the surprisingly difficult question of how and why change does or does not happen. We will aim for a broader appreciation of fashion’s inner workings, but we will also confront the long tradition of thinking culture itself through fashion, to ask whether and how we might also do the same.

GNSE 40450 In a Queer Time and Place
Instructor:
Agnes Malinowska
This course investigates queer and trans engagements with temporality, history, and phenomenology in literature, film, the visual arts, and theory.

GNSE 41720 Science Fiction Against the State
Instructor:
Hilary Strang
Ursula Le Guin’s anarchist utopia, The Dispossessed was published 50 years ago, but its complex imagining of a whole way of life without law, police, money or sovereignty, and its investment in thinking that way of living in relation to environment, gender, freedom and work offers a science fictional horizon for what it might be to live communally in our own moment. This course will read The Dispossessed and other science fiction that imagines what it might mean to live against, beyond or without the state, alongside theorizations that may help us formulate our own visions of other possible worlds. We will pay particular attention to questions of environment and ecological relations, race, gender and social reproduction, and feminist utopias. We’ll also spend some time thinking about actually existing forms of living against the state (including blockades, encampments, autonomous zones). SF authors may include Le Guin, Samuel Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Tade Thompson, Sally Gearhart, Iain Banks, and ME O’Brien and Eman Abdelhadi. Other authors read may include Saidiya Hartman, Monique Wittig, Fredy Perlman, James Scott, Pierre Clastres, and David Graeber.

GNSE 42360 Working 9 to 5
Instructor:
Tristan Schweiger
This course will examine representations of labor and labor struggle in literature, film, and music spanning the 18th through 21st centuries. Theoretical and critical readings will bring Marxist and feminist lenses to the primary texts at hand, in addition to examinations of race, labor, and capital. Primary texts might include Robinson Crusoe, Bartleby the Scrivener, Mary Barton, Blood on the Forge, Sister Carrie, Lucy, 9 to 5, Harlan County USA, and Office Space.

GNSE 44905 Feminism and the Radical Democratic Imaginary
Instructor:
Linda Zerilli
In Part I of this course we explore how conceptualizations of the past shape imaginative visions of possible futures. How we understand the past has a direct bearing on what can count as a “realistic” course of social, political, and economic action. Our conception of the past is itself shaped by a projected future and different societies have different ways of imagining the relations between their own future and past. Originating in the revolutionary 18th century, Western feminism’s conceptualization of this relation, its own “futures past” (to speak with Reinhard Koselleck), is characterized by an anticipatory and distinctively modern temporality that assumes the novelty and openness of the future. If the history of feminism calls at times for rewriting, that is less because new facts are discovered than that the ever-changing present opens new perspectives on the past and makes new demands on what it can mean. The past is figured more in terms of projected futures than fidelity to how things really were. For this reason, feminist historiography is rife with debates about whose story is told, and the idea of a “wave” itself has with good reason been criticized as overly generalizing in ways that blind us to the far more fraught and complex histories not captured in its conceptual net.

SPRING 2025

GNSE 30142 India on Screen: Marriage and Sexuality from Bollywood to Made in Heaven
Instructor:
Rochona Majumdar
From reality shows like Indian Matchmaking and Made in Heaven to the meme of the "Big Fat Indian Wedding" to the preoccupations of Bollywood films like DDLJ and Rocky aur Rani ki Prem Kahani and crossover ones such as Monsoon Wedding, marriage is an obsession in South Asian culture. Focusing on Hindi cinema, this course will explore the socio-political dynamics of this cultural focus on marriage and couple formation. With examples ranging from classical Hindi films from the 1950s-60s to the star-studded melodramas of 1970s and 1980s and the “new Bollywood” era (post-1991), this cinema exhibited and analyzed the central dynamics of marriage: sexual compatibility, fidelity, reproductive futures, and so on. Debates around class, caste, diaspora, and sexuality are equally anchored in issues of marriage and couple formation. In this course, we ask why it is that marriage—its success and failure—has been so central to Indian on-screen identities. Even as screens multiply—on computers, cell phones, and in the multiplex—marriage continues to dominate. No prior knowledge of Indian languages is required, but you must enjoy watching and talking about movies and popular culture.

GNSE 30905 The Print Revolution and New Readers: Women, Workers, Children
Instructor:
Alexis Chema
In this course we will examine the explosive proliferation of print—books, newspapers, journals, magazines, pamphlets, illustrations—during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. One of the most striking effects of this “Print Revolution” was the extension of reading material to new groups of readers. We will pay particular attention to the changing ways in which women, workers, and children accessed and interacted with printed texts. With the help of literary, historical, and sociological scholarship, we will aim to understand the Print Revolution in relation to the political revolutions, intellectual paradigms, and social upheavals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

GNSE 31404 More than Human Ethnography
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
In this course we explore the fields of more-than-human and ‘multispecies’ ethnography. We examine theoretical antecedents promoting the inclusion of non-human actors in ethnographic analysis and read examples of such work, including foundational texts on interspecies engagements, exploitations, and dependencies by Anna Tsing, Eduardo Kohn, Deborah Bird Rose, and Juno Parreñas among many others. We consider the role other species and ‘actants’ played in early social science and contemplate recent studies of “becoming with” animals, plants, fungi, bacteria—encountering complex ecological relationships, examining naturalcultural borders, and querying the role of decolonial thought and queer ecologies in the ‘more-than’ turn. Multispecies and posthumanist approaches encourage a decentering of traditional method; we will couple ethnographic examples with literature by biologists, physicists, and philosophers. The is a discussion-based seminar with significant time devoted to the logistical aspects of ‘more than’ work—to querying how such studies have been conducted in practice.

GNSE 35055 Uncertain Futures: A Sociology of Times to Come
Instructor:
Eman Abdelhadi
Between global militarism, intensive inequality, and climate catastrophe, the future looks uncertain. This class engages lay, scholarly and fictional futurisms—particularly emerging from Queer, Indigenous and Black traditions. We will read sociological and anthropological texts that consider how different communities envision the decades and centuries to come alongside speculative fiction that theorizes where earth and humanity are heading. Does humanity have a future? How does that future look? How do differing answers to these questions shape individuals’ and communities’ lives and decisions?

GNSE 36225 Get Cultured in Nine Weeks: Historical Perspectives on Art and Education
Instructors:
Alice Goff and Sophie Salvo
What does it mean to ‘get cultured’? Why—and how—do we do it? Does an education in the arts and letters make us more moral, more intelligent, more resistant to authority—or perhaps more submissive? These questions are at the center of debates about the place of cultural learning in the contemporary world, but our century was not the first to think critically about the social and political functions of this form of education. This course investigates how students, educators, writers, and artists conceptualized the aims and means of becoming cultured from the 1700s forward, focusing on European history and connecting it to the concerns of the present. We will pay particularly close attention to both formal and informal means of cultural education, and to the ways in which these practices have been understood to produce social structures of class, gender, and race. Readings will draw from the fields of history, literature, philosophy, sociology, and art history. At the end of the quarter, students will be asked to design their own fantasy syllabus for “getting cultured in nine weeks.”

GNSE 38775 Racial Melancholia
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
This course provides students with an opportunity to think race both within a psychoanalytic framework and alongside rituals of loss, grief, and mourning. In particular, we will interrogate how psychoanalytic formulations of mourning and melancholia have shaped theories of racial melancholia that emerged at the turn of the twenty-first century. Turning to Asian American, African American, and Latinx theoretical and literary archives, we will interrogate the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and ask: How do literatures of loss enable us to understand the relationship between histories of racial trauma, injury, and grief, on the one hand, and the formation of racial identity, on the other? What might it mean to imagine literary histories of race as grounded fundamentally in the experience of loss? What forms of reparations, redress, and resistance are called for by such literatures of racial grief, mourning, and melancholia? And, finally, how, if understood as themselves rituals of grief, might psychoanalysis and the writing of literature assume the role of religious devotion in the face of loss and trauma?

GNSE 39303 Asceticism: Forming the Self
Instructors:
Sarah Pierce Taylor & Erin Walsh
In recent decades scholars of the pre-modern period have turned to the body as a site of renewed historical inquiry. Within the study of religion, this shift has reanimated discussions around asceticism as a particularly potent technē for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. This signature course, taught by two scholars working in disparate historical periods and religious traditions (early Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature), explores how gender theory has engaged ascetic practices for understanding the body and human potential. Students will engage asceticism as a series of techniques or forms of life that envision the sexed and gendered human body as the horizon of corporeal expression and personal imagination. Asceticism serves as a neat conceptual device, allowing us to toggle between the mind and body while tackling questions that fall within the liminal space between them, including debates around gender, sexuality, sovereignty, and biopower. Students along with the instructors will contend with the challenges and opportunities of transnational and transhistorical feminist and queer inquiry as we traverse across the boundaries of tradition, language, and culture. While drawing on rich historical and religious archives, we will anchor our discussions around the interplay of two principal authors: Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault. No prior knowledge of the religious traditions or critical theory discussed is expected.

GNSE 43500 Archives of Slavery and Gender in the Americas
Instructor:
SJ Zhang
This class offers an in-depth introduction to archival research methodologies with a focus on gender and slavery in the Americas. Students will apply their knowledge by working in historical and contemporary archives via two trips to special collections: one to view archival texts from the period and another to find an archival object of the student’s choosing that will provide the topic of their final research paper.

GNSE 46001 Beyond the Blanks of History: When Women of Color Reclaim the Narrative
Instructor:
Nikhita Obeegadoo
“History” is skewed and incomplete. It leaves out as much as it reveals. As they relegate past suffering to oblivion, historical omissions perpetuate the violence that they seek to hide. And this violence is often felt on multiple levels by women of color who find themselves imbricated within (neo)colonial, patriarchal, heteronormative, classist and ableist societal structures. In this course, we will situate ourselves at the intersection of literature, history and gender studies. We will explore the following questions together: Faced with the blind spots of history, how can literature function as an alternative archive that draws attention to the invisibilized stories of women of color? Simultaneously, how does literature sensitize us to the impossibility of fully knowing the past, no matter how hard we try? Course material may include theoretical texts, fiction, poetry, songs, podcasts, film, graphic novels and social media material. Potential examples include Saidiya Hartman’s “Venus in Two Acts” (2008), Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King (2022), Gaiutra Bahadur’s Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture (2013), Nathacha Appanah’s La Mémoire Délavée (2023), Lia Brozgal’s Absent the Archive: Cultural Traces of a Massacre in Paris, 17 October 1961 (2022), Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows (2022), and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine’s poetry. Advanced undergraduates with appropriate experience in the subject may petition for admission. Taught in English. All course material will be available in English, though students are encouraged to engage with original materials. Work may be submitted in English, French or Spanish.

GNSE 47900 Wives, widows, and prostitutes: Indian Literature and the "Women's Question"
Instructor:
Ulrike Stark
From the early 19th century onward, the debate on the status of Indian women was an integral part of the discourse on the state of civilization, Hindu tradition, and social reform in colonial India. This course will explore how Indian authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries engaged with the so-called "women's question." Caught between middle-class conservatism and the urge for social reform, Hindi and Urdu writers addressed controversial issues such as female education, child marriage, widow remarriage, and prostitution in their fictional and discursive writings. We will explore the tensions of a literary and social agenda that advocated the 'uplift' of women as a necessary precondition for the progress of the nation, while also expressing patriarchal fears about women's rights and freedom. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Basic knowledge of Hindi and/or Urdu is preferable, but not required. We will read works by Nazir Ahmad, Premcand, Jainendra Kumar, Mirza Hadi Ruswa, and Mahadevi Varma in English translation, and also look at texts used in Indian female education at the time.

GNSE 54777 The Print Revolution and New Readers: Women, Workers, Children
Instructor:
Alexis Chema
In this course we will examine the expansion of print during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and its relationship to the social history of reading. One of the most striking features of this so-called “Print Revolution” was the extension of reading material to new groups of readers: by the end of the nineteenth century, more women, working-class, and child readers existed than ever before. In what distinctive ways did these groups participate in print and manuscript culture? What did they read and to what ends? How did literary texts represent, herald, instruct, or proscribe new readers, and how did new readers comply with, subvert, misunderstand, adapt, or otherwise interact with the texts they read? How did the extension of the “reading habit” to new groups of readers impact the political revolutions, intellectual paradigms, and social upheavals of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? And finally, what kinds of evidence can literary scholars draw upon to make what kinds of claims about reading and readers in the past? We will approach these questions through the lenses of popular literature (especially ballads, chapbooks, satire, and romance) and with the help of literary, historical, and sociological scholarship.

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