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

Autumn 2020 Courses

Undergraduate Courses

AUTUMN 2020

WINTER 2021

 

Graduate Courses

AUTUMN 2020

WINTER 2021

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

AUTUMN 2020

GNSE 12105 Sex and Gender in the City
Instructor: Sneha Annavarapu         
This course is designed to introduce students to some of the key concerns at the intersection of gender studies and urban studies. In this course, we will take gender relations and sexuality as our primary concern and as a constitutive aspect of social relations that vitally shape cities and urban life. We will examine how gender is inscribed in city landscapes, how it is lived and embodied in relation to race, class, and sexuality, and how it is (re)produced through violence, inequality, and resistance. Over the course of the quarter, we will draw on an interdisciplinary scholarship that approaches the central question of how and why thinking about urban life in relation to gender and sex matters.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A FOUNDATIONS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 15200 Introduction to Critical Race Studies: Historical, Global, and Intersectional Perspectives
Instructor:
Deirdre Lyons
This course offers an introduction to the core theoretical foundations of critical race studies, with an emphasis on historical, global, and intersectional approaches to the study of race and ethnicity. Critical race studies, which posits that race is endemic to society, is an interdisciplinary study that calls us to address unequal relationships of power and domination by analyzing the historical and global construction, emergence, and consequences of race. Drawing on historical, global, and intersectional case studies, this course aims to establish a foundation of key terms, theories, and ideas in the field as well as familiarize students with a broad survey across time and world regions. It challenges us to question how race has informed ideas about power, oppression, and liberation in history and the modern world. Readings will draw on classic and contemporary texts from critical race theory, history, feminist studies, post-colonial studies, disability studies, and anthropology, as well as films, podcasts, and class excursions. Evaluation will be based on class participation, short papers, and an independent presentation.

GNSE 17501 Art and Feminism
Instructor:
Maggie Borowitz
How has feminism changed the landscape of artistic practices over the course of the 20th and 21st centuries? What does a history of feminist art look like and how does it relate to a feminist history of art? In this course, students will consider the relationship between art and feminism, focusing upon artwork produced in the Americas over the last century. Through course readings, seminar discussions, and the close analysis of artworks, the course will be structured around a series of thematic investigations across the geographical space of the Americas, focusing especially upon the U.S. and Mexico. We will consider texts by feminist art historians such as Linda Nochlin and Anne Wagner alongside key texts by feminist theorists such as Judith Butler, bell hooks, and Laura Mulvey; we will explore the work of artists who have identified as feminists (e.g., Judy Chicago, Howardena Pindell) as well as those who have complicated or even resisted such identification (e.g., Georgia O'Keeffe, Agnes Martin, Yayoi Kusama). Key themes will include: representations of bodies, eroticisms, domestic space and labor, the relationship between the personal and the political, and the politicization of materials and making processes.

GNSE 17612 The Art of Michelangelo
Instructor: Charles Cohen
The central focus of this course will be Michelangelo’s prolific production in sculpture, painting and architecture while making substantial use of his writings, both poetry and letters, and his extensive extant body of preparatory drawings to help us understand more about 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 roughly chronological starting with his highly precocious 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 already the deity of art and a lonely, troubled, repentant Christian, producing some of his most moving works in a highly personal style.  Beyond close examination of the works themselves, among the themes that will receive considerable attention for the ways they bear upon his art are Michelangelo’s fraught relationship with patrons such as the Medici and a succession of popes; his complex devotion to and rivalry with ancient classical art and his living rivalries with Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Bramante and others; his changing attitude towards religion, especially his engagement with the Catholic Reform and some of its key personalities such as Vittoria Colonna; his sexuality and how it might bear on the representation of gender in his art and poetry; his “official” biographies created by the devotees Giorgio Vasari (1550, 1568) and Ascanio Condivii (1553) during Michelangelo’s lifetime and some of the most influential moments in the artist’s complex, sometimes ambivalent, reception over the centuries; new approaches and ideas about Michelangelo that have emerged in recent decades from the unabated torrent of scholarship and, especially, the restoration and scientific imaging of many of his works.  Through the concentrated art-historical material studied, the course will take seriously the attempt to introduce students with little or no background in art or art history to some of the major avenues for interpretation in this field, including formal, stylistic, iconographical, psychological, social, feminist, theoretical and reception. Readings are chosen with this diversity of approach in mind.

GNSE 20001 Theories of Sexuality and Gender
Instructors: C. Riley Snorton and Allison Reed
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.
THIS COURSE IS REQUIRED OF ALL GNSE MAJORS.

GNSE 20514 The Sociology of Higher Education
Instructor:
Lara Janson
Why do consistent, differential education and economic outcomes exist in American society, and what role does higher education play as a change agent, equalizer, and/or reproducer of society’s inequalities? In this introductory course to key issues and debates in the sociology of education, students will explore theoretical and practical perspectives on social, scientific, economic, and political forces that shape approaches to higher education and its reform. Though the course focuses primarily on higher education in the US, we will also cover topics in elementary and secondary education in the US, as well as from an international comparative perspective. Students will conduct sociological inquiry-based projects, exploring questions related to these key topics, with particular emphasis on gender-, race-, and class-based “achievement gaps” in American higher education.

GNSE 21001 Cultural Psychology
Instructor:
 Richard Shweder
There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.
Prerequisites: Undergraduates must be in third or fourth year.

GNSE 21330 Despair and Consolation: Emotion and Affect in Late-Medieval and Reformation Christianity
Instructor: Matthew Vanderpoel
The course surveys major texts in Christian thought and culture from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, and it focuses on how these authors understood despair—a central theme in the writings of many women and men, secular and religious—and how, if at all, despair may be remedied. We will think alongside these late-medieval and early-modern figures about the phenomenon of emotion, the relations between of feeling and knowing, possible responses to (especially negative) affects, and how religious belief, practice, and experience shape and are shaped by emotional life. Major historical figures to be read include: Catherine of Siena, Jean Gerson, Christine de Pisan, Julian of Norwich, Heinrich Kramer, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Teresa of Ávila, and Michel de Montaigne. We will also read selected contemporary voices in affect theory and disability studies to hone our critical and analytical resources for interpreting the primary texts.

GNSE 21350 Early Modern Women Writing Trauma
Instructor: Beatrice Bradley
This course examines 16th and 17th century women’s writing alongside the scholarship of trauma studies, with attention to themes of childbed suffering, loss, and geographical displacement. How did early modern authors employ a vocabulary for individual and collective encounters with death, illness, violence, and emotional disturbance prior to the modern conceptualization of trauma in the 20th century? What displaced histories are we able to access by bringing sustained focus to women’s writing? We will explore how early modern women articulate questions around suffering, personhood, and macro categories of identity (such as race, gender, class, and disability) as well as how their writing might reframe and/or disrupt the category of trauma in contemporary theory. Early modern authors of focus will include, among others, Aphra Behn, Elizabeth Carey, Margaret Cavendish, and Katherine Philips; we will also read widely across genres and time periods, with a syllabus that incorporates materials ranging from early modern midwifery treatises to contemporary drama.

GNSE 21504 Critical Approaches to Labor Studies
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
Work occupies a central role in our lives. This course will provide a critical overview of labor studies. We will cover topics such as the concept of the working class; labor process theory; perspectives on labor market segmentation based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and migrant status; the types of jobs that are available in the labor market, and what they mean for the workers who hold them. While covering the entire field of labor studies is beyond the scope of any single course, we will draw upon selected readings examining occupations in agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and high-tech sectors from different parts of the world. We also cover labor issues in the informal and the gig economy. This course is open to students across disciplines interested in critical labor studies. It is particularly recommended for proposal and thesis writers.

GNSE 21725 Black in Colonial America: Three Women
Instructor: Sarah Johnson
Through a survey of texts by and about Sally Hemings, Phillis Wheatley and Tituba, “the Indian,” we will consider the lives of three black women in colonial America. In this period of expansion and contraction of the concepts of race and bondage, what kind of “tellings” were possible for these women? By reading texts written as early as 1692 and as late as 2008, we will also consider how representations of these women have changed over time. Simplified by history as a witch, a poet and a mistress, the details of the lives of Tituba, Phillis and Sally resists these epithets. This course will ask why and how they remain present in the written record today, and what this teaches us about the formation of literary and historical canons.

GNSE 22770 Anthropology of Power, Status, and Performance
Instructor:
Tori Gross
This course examines the nature of power and status through the theoretical lens of performativity. We will engage with notions of performativity, articulated by influential theorists of linguistics, gender, and religion, that demonstrate the abilities of performances to effect change in the world. Thinking with performativity, we will interrogate practices of negotiating power and status in a broad range of social, political, and geographical contexts. How is the power made and unmade through particular acts? How is status, a particular type of power differentiation, created collectively and individually through acts of saying and doing? Such questions will animate our explorations of power and status in recent ethnographies focused on Asia, the Americas, and Europe.

GNSE 23127 Queer Letters and LGBTQ+ Lifeworlds
Instructor: Sarah McDaniel
This course asks after the social and aesthetic possibilities of queer literatures, with a particular interest in such life-writing forms as the personal letter and epistolary (or electronic) correspondence. What, we will ask, can attending to specifically LGBTQ+ correspondences and life-writings teach us about minoritarian lifeworlds and literary canons? And, vice versa, how does an attention to the sub- or counter-cultural spaces of queer literary production change the way we read even canonical literary texts? We will visit a variety of LGBTQ+ literary lifeworlds across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – between London, Paris, New York, San Francisco – and engage a wide range of texts and media that represent and encode queer social circuits: collected correspondences, coterie literatures, auto/biographies, memoirs, poetry, and film. In so doing, we will develop a backdrop of queer theoretical scholarship devoted to questions of community-making, subcultural space and belonging, and queer time, including the work of José Esteban Muñoz, Juana María Rodríguez, Elizabeth Freeman, and Jack Halberstam. In addition to a self-designed archival, analytical, or creative final project, we will also hone archival research strategies through two excursions to local archives and experiment with creative and collaborative strategies for reading and writing as we challenge ourselves to think from the position of correspondents.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A CONCEPTS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 23130 Screwing Up: Shame, Apology, and Gender Theory
Instructor: Bellamy Mitchell
What does it feel like to be wrong? How do we know when we have “erred”, and who decides what’s right? How does feeling shame change how we think of ourselves and how we might behave in the future? What does the “normative” in heteronormative mean? In this class, we will use the question of normativity—senses of wrongness and rightness and how those judgments are articulated, navigated, and enforced—to explore foundational concepts in and across theories of gender and sexuality. We will also examine the social performances of apology, guilt, regret, and remorse that occur when individuals believe they have erred. We will examine ways in which gender and bodily regimes of normativity occur in and around scenes of discomfort, uncertainty, and insecurity as well as through infrastructures of legality and policing. This course pairs our central theoretical texts from feminist, queer, critical race and disability studies with literary texts, works of poetry, and contemporary cultural objects in order to examine how these questions are enacted in a variety of lived and literary perspectives.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A CONCEPTS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 23490 Sex in Twentieth-Century Europe
Instructor: Michaela Appeltová
This course will examine the "syncopated" history of sexuality across this tumultuous century. The period took Europeans from bourgeois norms of sexuality through the 1960s sexual revolution to same-sex marriages; genocide and the emergence of rape as a war crime; and the unprecedented regulation of sexuality and biomedical developments treating infertility. Since the history of sex and sexuality in Europe cannot be thought outside of European colonialism and the Cold War, the course will also examine how sexuality shaped and was shaped by political ideologies. In short, by examining the centrality of "who can have sex with whom," students will rethink "standard" political narratives of twentieth-century Europe. Working with Dagmar Herzog's Sexuality in Europe: A Twentieth-Century History, the main text of the course, and drawing on a variety of primary sources—including law and medical treatises, popular culture, and autobiographies—students will also gain an insight into the ways in which sexuality can be studied beyond archival sources.

GNSE 25021 Tutorial: The World's Exposition—Science, Race, Gender, and Music at the 1893 Chicago World Fair
Instructor:
Ashley Clark
This course surveys the sights, sounds, and tastes that filled Jackson Park and the Midway Plaisance between May 1 and October 30, 1893. During those six months, over 27 million people flocked to Chicago's South Side from across the United States and beyond the Atlantic to experience the marvels illuminating the World's Columbian Exposition. Visitors weaved their way through the newly designed Midway Plaisance, where they passed exhibits of "authentic villages of native peoples" in "traditional" garb until they reached the entrance of the American White City—or, as it was presented, "the apex of civilization"—where exhibits and lectures on the newest theories and innovations filled two hundred neoclassical buildings under one hundred thousand incandescent lights. Walking up the Midway demonstrated "progress" in human development in tune with the main topic of the Columbian Exposition's Congress on Evolution: social Darwinism. In this course, students will learn about explicit displays of progress during the Gilded Age and will be challenged to interrogate allegories of it at the Columbian Exposition. Together, we will practice close reading of primary and secondary texts, close looking of images and objects, and close listening of music and sounds. We will investigate how progress was staged and cogitated in terms of evolutionary theory, race, gender, music, architecture, and technology. This course also encourages a heightened awareness for the historical significance of the physical space in which we live and study. During tenth week, equipped with historical maps of the exposition, we will embark on our own walking tour up the Midway and into the White City's Palace of Fine Arts, known today as the Museum of Science and Industry.

GNSE 25222 Feminist Perspectives on Science
Instructor: Parysa Mostajir
Feminist perspectives on science come from anthropology, sociology, history, and philosophy. What they have in common is a determination to uproot the deepest and least visible forms of oppression in our society: those pertaining to facts and methods we unquestioningly take to be true, known, and valid. We will first acquaint ourselves with the value-free ideal of science as an objective, rational process of discovery, and the ways this ideal has been wielded as an instrument of domination. We will spend the rest of the quarter challenging this dogma by (1) historically demonstrating science’s symbiotic alliances with political ideologies of gender and race, (2) ethnographically examining structural and interactive practicalities of knowledge-construction and -circulation that reproduce social oppression, and (3) epistemologically deconstructing the very notions of objectivity and rationality that are used to insulate science from feminist critique. You may wonder why our syllabus occasionally covers issues of race rather than gender: an important feature of studies in gender is their intersectionality with studies of other groups who experience oppression, e.g. racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, and queer communities.

GNSE 25320 Debate, Dissent, Deviate: Literary Modernities in South Asia
Instructor: Supurna Dasgupta
This class introduces students to the modernist movement in 20th century South Asia. Modernism will be understood here as a radical experimental movement in literature, film, photography and other arts, primarily aimed at critiquing mainstream narratives of history and culture, especially with reference to identity categories such as race, gender, sexuality, class, and caste.  Given its wide scope, we will analyze a variety of texts over the ten-week duration of the class. These include novels, short stories, manifestos, essays, photographs, and films. The chronological span of the class is from the 1930s to the 1970s. Our aim will be to understand the diverse meanings of modernism as we go through our weekly readings. Was it a global phenomenon that was adopted blindly by postcolonial artists? Or were there specifically South Asian innovations that enable us to think about the local story as formative of global modernism? How do vectors of identity such as sexuality and gender, caste and race, alter the genre and the politics of these literary expressions? I will help situate the readings of each week in their specific literary and political contexts. Students will be able to evaluate, experiment with, and analyze various forms of modernist literature emerging out of South Asia. This class will provide them with critical tools to interpret, assess, compare, and contrast cultural histories of non-Western locations and peoples, with an eye for new articulations of gender identities, situated feminisms, and socio-political radicalism. No prior knowledge of any South Asian language or history is necessary.

GNSE 26003 Introduction A L'Autobiographie
Instructor:
Alison James
This course traces the history of the autobiographical genre in France from the eighteenth century to the present. The study of key texts will be accompanied by an introduction to some critical perspectives. We will give special emphasis to questions of reference and authenticity, identity and subject formation, and gender and the family. Authors include Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Stendhal, Colette, Perec, and Sarraute. Taught in French. PQ: FREN 20500 or 20503

GNSE 26111 Queer Asias I
Instructor:
Nisha Kommattam
This course explores representations of queerness, same-sex love and sexualities and debates around them by introducing students to a variety of literary texts translated from Asian languages as well as Asian films, geographically ranging from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Singapore. We will also read scholarship that will help us place the production and reception of these primary sources in historical, political, cultural and religious contexts. In particular, we will examine questions of history and continuity (recurrent themes and images); form and genre (differences of representation in mythological narratives, poetry, biography, fiction, erotic/legal/medical treatises); the relationship of gender to sexuality (differences and similarities between representations of male-male and female-female relations); queerness as a site for exploring other differences, such as caste or religious difference; and questions of cross-cultural and transnational dialogue and cultural specificity. This course is part one of a two-quarter sequence, with the second part offered in Winter Quarter 2021. Each quarter can also be taken separately. Students need to be available for 2 synchronous online meetings per week.

GNSE 26505 The Radiant Pearl: Introduction to Syriac Literature and its Historical Contexts
Instructor: Erin Galgay Walsh
After Greek and Latin, Syriac literature represents the third largest corpus of writings from the formative centuries of Christianity. This course offers students a comprehensive overview of the dominant genres and history of Syriac-speaking Christians from the early centuries through the modern day. Moving beyond traditional historiography that focuses on early Christianity within the Roman Empire, this class examines Christian traditions that took root in the Persian and later Islamic Empires. Syriac Christians preached the Gospel message from the Arabian Peninsula to early modern China and India. Syriac writers raised female biblical figures and holy women to prominent roles within their works. Students will broaden their understanding of the development of Christian thought as they gain greater familiarity with understudied voices and visions for Christian living found within Syriac literature. Special attention will be paid to biblical translation, asceticism, poetry, mystical and theological writings as well as the changing political fortunes of Syriac-speaking populations. No previous knowledge or study expected.

GNSE 26803 Claire Denis
Instructor:
Dominique Bluher
Claire Denis is one of the major artistic voices in contemporary French cinema, and one of the most challenging filmmakers working today. Over the course of 30 years, she has created an impressive body of work from across a wide variety of genres ranging from semi-autobiographical films informed by her own experiences during her childhood in Africa (Chocolat, White Material), allegorical horror films (Trouble Every Day), or science-fiction films (High-Life). I Can’t Sleep is based on the true story of Thierry Paulin, a gay, black, HIV-positive, transvestite and serial killer. Beau Travail is loosely inspired by Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, and The Intruder by the homonymous autobiographical essay by French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. We will also have a look at her lesser-known films for television, her documentaries about dance and music, and her short films. Her films reflect a deep awareness of the complexities of French post-colonialism, as well as mesmerizing and sensual mise-en-scène of desire. Students taking the class for French credit are expected to complete written assignments (and readings as applicable) in French.

GNSE 28202 United States Latinos
Instructor: Ramon Gutiérrez
An examination of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural histories of those who are now commonly identified as Latinos in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the formative historical experiences of Mexican Americans and mainland Puerto Ricans, although some consideration will also be given to the histories of other Latino groups, i.e., Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. Topics include cultural and geographic origins and ties; imperialism and colonization; the economics of migration and employment; legal status; work, women, and the family; racism and other forms of discrimination; the politics of national identity; language and popular culture; and the place of Latinos in US society.

GNSE 28122 Diasporic Practices in Contemporary Art
Instructor: Julia Phillips
The class will examine various phenomena of “Diasporic Practices in Contemporary Art”, such as fragmented histories, the question of origin(ality), the limits of translation, social belonging and “the chosen family”, and (over-)representation of origin. In class we will discuss readings by (a.o.) Grada Kilomba, Adrian Piper, Éduard Glissant, Langston Hughes, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Hito Steyerl. Students will be asked to present on contemporary artists highlighting their diasporic strategies, while also producing creative works through assignments that employ diasporic strategies and that will be discussed in class.

GNSE 28498 Women, Development and Politics
Instructors: Maria Bautista and Maliha Chishti
This course will explore the dominant and emerging trends and debates in the field of women and international development. The major theoretical perspectives responding to global gender inequities will be explored alongside a wide range of themes impacting majority-world women, such as free market globalization, health and sexuality, race and representation, participatory development, human rights, the environment, and participation in politics. Course lectures will integrate policy and practitioner accounts and perspectives to reflect the strong influence development practice has in shaping and informing the field. Course materials will also include anti-racist, postcolonial, and post-development interruptions to dominant development discourse, specifically to challenge the underlying biases and assumptions of interventions that are predicated on transforming “them” into “us”. The material will also explore the challenges of women participating in politics and what are the consequences when they do or do not.

GNSE 28603 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 28775 Racial Melancholia
Instructor: Kris Trujillo
This course provides students with an opportunity to think race within a psychoanalytic framework. In particular, we will interrogate how psychoanalytic theories of mourning and melancholia have developed over the past century, especially in relationship to the theories of racial melancholia that emerged at the turn of the twenty-first century. Thus, we will approach Asian America, African American, and Latinx archives, especially as they intersect with psychoanalytic formulations of race, gender, and sexuality. Throughout we will 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 can psychoanalysis retain theoretical currency, and how might the temporalities of grief, loss, and mourning even require a sustained tarrying with psychoanalytic theories of melancholia?

GNSE 29117 Theater And Performance In Latin America
Instructor:
Danielle Roper
What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. While we will place particular emphasis on performance art, we will examine some theatrical works. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism. Undergraduates must be in their 3rd or 4th year.

WINTER 2021

GNSE 12106 Women of the Avant Garde
Instructor: Rivky Mondal
This course provides an introduction to the written materials of women artists who belonged to various twentieth-century avant-garde movements and circles. The institutions of “woman art” and “the avant-garde” will come under scrutiny as we consider the literary and archival miscellany of pan- & non-sexual, cross-generational, inter-aesthetic, multilingual, and transnational works by such makers as Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Clarice Lispector, Frida Kahlo, and Yoko Ono.  How do these artists conceive of their work and process as interventions into social, political, and historical realities? How does their subjective view of those realities provide an account of the identificatory powers of their gender and sexuality? We will examine the ways in which abstraction in writing becomes useful for commenting on issues raised by feminist and queer theory, periodization, canonization, and institution.
Taking to the Regenstein’s Special Collections Research Center, we will also open up the criticism, diaries, and letters of these artists to gain a new perspective on their creative processes. In addition to learning how to constellate these materials with the course readings, students will acquire hands-on experience in archival research, annotation, and curation as they make an archival project of their own. Students’ final projects will serve as the basis for a prospective library exhibition in concert with Special Collections.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A FOUNDATIONS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 18804 America in the Nineteenth Century
Instructor: Naama Maor
This lecture course will examine major conflicts that shaped American life during the nineteenth century. Focusing on contemporaries' attempts to seize upon or challenge the nation's commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality, we will examine pivotal moments of contestation, compromise, and community building. Central questions that will frame the course include: How were notions of freedom negotiated and reshaped? What were the political and socioeconomic conditions that prompted the emergence of reform movements, including antislavery, women's rights, temperance, and labor? How did individuals mobilize and stake claims on the state? How were the boundaries of American citizenship debated and transformed over the course of the century?

GNSE 20104 Queer Theology and Queer of Color Critique
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
This course provides an introduction to queer theology by examining, most broadly, the relationship between theology, theory, literature, and art. We will explore the foundations of queer theology in queer theoretical texts and illuminate, in particular, queer theology’s relationship to queer of color critique in order to identify and analyze some of the controversies that have arisen in queer theology and queer religions. Building on a critique of diversity and inclusion, we will pursue a sustained interrogation of the intersection of race, settler colonialism, capitalism, and cultural production through an encounter with theological and literary texts, including but not limited to speculative fiction, poetry, film, and photography, so as to imagine the theological potential of literary and artistic production. Throughout, we will survey and question the dominance of Christianity in queer theological production. How do Christian symbols, claims, and practices reflect and shape the multiplicity of queer life? How might theology provide a language for queer critique? And, how do queer literature and art contest and complicate the values taken for granted by the assumption of queerness’s putative secularity? While still acknowledging the injury to and exclusion of queers enacted by forms of Christianity, this course turns to theology and literature as resources for social justice and transformation.

GNSE 20106 Capitalism, Gender, and Intimate Life
Instructor: Gabriel Winant
What is the relationship between the capitalist economy and the gendered organization of society and identity of individuals? Are these two systems, or one? This class pursues these questions, seeking to understand capitalism as an everyday and intimate experience. How have markets and production shaped and been shaped by personal identity, and in particular gendered identity? We examine the historical interrelationships among practices of sexuality, marriage, family, reproduction, labor, and consumption and trace the economic dimensions of masculinity and femininity over time, focusing largely but not exclusively on US history. Assignments: Midterm paper (8–10 pages)
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A PROBLEMS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 20108 Feminist Political Philosophy
Instructor: Tyler Zimmer
This course focuses on three interrelated themes in contemporary feminist political philosophy: objectification; the relation of gender oppression to the economic structure of society; and the problem of “intersectionality,” that is, the problem of how to construct adequate theories of gender injustice given that gender “intersects” with other axes of oppression, e.g. race and class. Authors we’ll read include (but are not limited to) the following: Martha Nussbaum, Sandra Bartky, Iris Marion Young, Nancy Fraser, Patricia Hill Collins, bell hooks, Serene Khader and Tithi Bhattacharya. 
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A PROBLEMS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 20408 Health Disparities in Breast Cancer
Instructors
: Eileen Dolan & Olufunmilayo Olopade
Across the globe, breast cancer is the most common women’s cancer. In the last two decades, there have been significant advances in breast cancer detection and treatment that have resulted in improved survival rates. Yet, not all populations have benefited equally from these improvements, and there continues to be a disproportionate burden of breast cancer felt by different populations. In the U.S., for example, white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer but African-American women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall. The socioeconomic, environmental, biological, and cultural factors that collectively contribute to these disparities are being identified with a growing emphasis on health disparities research efforts. In this 10-week discussion-based course students will meet twice weekly and cover major aspects of breast cancer disparities.

GNSE 21170 Experiments in Kinship and Care
Instructor:
Bill Hutchinson
In this class, we’ll examine the notions of kinship and care, analyzing them both as conceptual frameworks and as concrete forms of being-together in human and more-than-human relations. Kinship and care are uncertain territories, fluctuating and dynamic; sites of possibility and futurity. Kin-making and care-giving practices reveal existing structures of oppression as well as the utopian possibilities within relation. We’ll spend much of our time engaging with a set of “experiments” or case studies—historical, science fictional, and critical accounts of community—to see how connection appears as a mode of resistance or survival. Throughout, our collective goal will be to think together about living together. Readings may include SF from Octavia Butler, Claire Coleman, Ursula Le Guin, Wu Ming-Yi; theoretical and critical work from Sara Ahmed, Leela Gandhi, Donna Haraway, Laura Harjo, Saidiya Hartman, Kara Keeling, Audre Lorde, José Esteban Muñoz, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Dean Spade, Kim Tallbear, Anna Tsing.

GNSE 21300 Our Biopolitics, Ourselves: Feminist Science Fiction
Instructor:
 Hilary Strang
1970s feminist theory made a significant conceptual move in provisionally bracketing off biological sex from the historical/cultural work of gender. Feminist science fiction (in contrast), in its brief flourishing in the 70s and early 80s, finds its utopian moments in the biological, in genetic manipulation, reproductive technology, ecological forms of being and new bodies of a variety of kinds. This class will read science fiction, feminist theory and current critical work that concerns itself with biopolitics in order to ask questions about the divide between nature and culture, what's entailed in imagining the future, what gender and genre might have to do with each other, and just what science fiction is and does anyway. Authors include: Le Guin, Russ, Butler, Piercy, Haraway, Rubin, Firestone.

GNSE 21400 Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Instructor: Linda Zerilli
Beginning with the breakup of the New Left and the proliferation of "new social movements" such as feminism, Black Power, and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as politically significant categories. How did feminist and queer politics come to be scripted increasingly in terms of identity and its negation? To what extent has a juridical and state-centered conception of politics come to displace quotidian practices of freedom and world-building? What are the limits to rights-oriented political movements? What are the political implications of the recent ontological turn to affect in feminist and queer theory?
Note: Undergraduates by consent only.

GNSE 21500 Darwinian Health
Instructor:
Ashley Drake
This course will use an evolutionary, rather than clinical, approach to understanding why we get sick. In particular, we will consider how health issues such as menstruation, senescence, pregnancy sickness, menopause, and diseases can be considered adaptations rather than pathologies. We will also discuss how our rapidly changing environments can reduce the benefits of these adaptations.

GNSE 21506 Feminist Politics in the U.S.: Lessons from the Second Wave 
Instructor:
Rose Owen
Feminist scholars and activists tend to look back on the second wave in the United States as a failure. Indeed, the movement could not pass the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) or regulations of pornography, and abortion became legal only because of a Supreme Court decision. Historical accounts often narrate the women’s liberation movement as dominated by white, wealthy, straight women, who suppressed the voices of women of color and lesbians. This course returns to the era of the “second wave” as a vibrant moment for feminism—perhaps more so than contemporary politics—and to the women’s liberation movement as an important site of feminist organizing and theorizing. After engaging with four notable activist efforts at political and legal transformation, we move on to read Betty Friedan’s famous consciousness-raising text, as well as lesbian manifestos and womanist works that critiqued the mainstream women’s liberation movement. We end by considering the ways in which the backlash against the second wave continues to haunt contemporary feminist politics. Questions raised by the course include: What political goals motivated the women’s liberation movement, and how did they strive to achieve those goals? What lessons can feminist activists and theorists today take away from the movement? Why do we narrate the second wave, and the women’s liberation movement, as a failure? How could re-thinking our treatment of the second wave transform our conception of feminist politics today?

GNSE 21507 Work in the Informal and the Gig Economy
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
In this course, we will understand work organization and labor practices in the informal as well as the gig (or the platform) economy. We would particularly examine issues of labor recruitment and control in the informal and the gig economy using the lens of gender, race, social class and other identities. The course is open to undergraduates and graduate students, and would be of particular use for students planning to write a senior honors thesis or a master's thesis proposal or a dissertation research proposal.

GNSE 21509 Migration and Development
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
In this multidisciplinary course, we examine the key issues and problems of migration (internal & international) and development. This course draws on scholarship from a variety of perspectives including sociology, demography, applied economics, anthropology, human rights, gender and labor studies. While the literature on migration is extensive and beyond the scope of a single course, the readings in this class are based on empirical research that deals with the interrelationship between migration and development. The course is open to undergraduates and graduate students, and would be of particular use for students planning to write a senior honors thesis or a master's thesis proposal or a dissertation research proposal.

GNSE 22220 The Promise of Nightlife: Queer Desires & the Marketing of the Erotic
Instructor: Eva Pensis
In brief, this course will survey various forms of nightlife performance across the 20th and 21st century (drag, stripping, burlesque, variety shows & showgirl performance) alongside popular portrayals of nightlife industries. The course asks what it means (for performers and for pop culture more broadly) that nightlife is thought of as an escape from ordinary life and ordinary or conventional forms of work. The focus of this course will track nightlife performance and industries from the material perspective of the performers, organizers, and collectives that form to address economic, racial, and sexual constraints, in addition to thinking about the figure and function of nightlife in U.S. pop culture's imagination (through, for example, films like Hustlers, Showgirls, etc.). From both questions, we will think through different conceptions and geographies of spectacle, performance, and the erotic that undergird the world of nightlife entertainment. We will also hear from local nightlife performers/artists in Chicago with the option to attend a local nightlife outing as well. We will examine how nightlife has been approached through various disciplines from ethnomusicology, anthropology, performance studies, literary and cultural studies and read works by selected scholars and performers including Esther Newton, Tim Lawrence, Luis-Manuel Garcia, Kia LaBeija, and madison moore.

GNSE 22266 Coming of Age: Autobiography, Bildungsroman, and Memoir in Victorian Britain and its Empire
Instructor: Elaine Hadley
In this course, we will consider the broad generic category of “coming of age” stories that characterized the literary writing of the nineteenth century. Across several different kinds of writing, a focus on the growth and development of the child into adulthood became an obsessive focus. We will read autobiographies by Mill and Martineau, Bildungsroman by Bronte and Eliot, memoirs by Dickens but also lesser known figures: working class autodidacts, women in childbirth, colonial subjects. We will, along the way, learn more about Victorian childhood, the emergence of developmental psychology, psychoanalysis, and the socio-psychological “invention” of adolescence.

GNSE 22482 The Other Woman: Sexual Deviancy in South Asia
Instructor:
Ahona Panda
The figure of the public, often sexually deviant, female in South Asia has existed and been imagined in myriad ways over the centuries, including as courtesans, temple workers, and royal mistresses. In the colonial period, multiple forms of supposed female deviancy began to be labeled with another term— “prostitute”—leading to the loss of social status and legal rights of many women. In this course, we will study the evolution of prostitution and female otherness in South Asian cultural and political history. We will explore how the female deviant shaped religious, social and political life; how notions of sex, sexuality and intimacy informed classical dance, music, literature and performing arts; and how sex work came to be defined and stigmatized by the colonial and postcolonial states in South Asia.

GNSE 22821 Écritures féminines au XIXe siècle : une introduction
Instructor: Chiara Nifosi
How do women portray themselves in the literary production of the long 19th century? What are the main features of the emergence of female authorship in France in this historical moment? The course aims to provide answers to these and other questions by looking at both canonical texts and lesser-known works by women writers such as George Sand, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Marie Krysinska, Renée Vivien, and Liane de Pougy. Our journey will culminate in the Belle Époque (1890-1914), during which an astonishing increase in publications by women writers occurs. In this context, we will reflect on what a female voice entails and whether its features can be isolated when approaching a literary text. Another source of interest in this period is the rediscovery of the myth of Sappho and the exploration of alternative sexualities as discursive spaces of revindication and cultural debate. Finally, we will analyze the importance of an intertextual reading of 19th-century literary production in order to understand how women writers revisit a male-oriented tradition and try to reshape female social and individual identity. Incursions into other media will also contribute to the understanding of the issues at stake.
PQ: FREN 20500 or 20503. The course will be taught in French.

GNSE 22822 Women and Horror in Contemporary Latin America
Instructor: Laura Colaneri
In this seminar, students will explore questions relevant to both horror studies in general and contemporary Latin American horror specifically from a feminist perspective. What does horror as a genre contribute to the representation and exploration of women’s experiences of terrifying events in Latin American history and politics? How can we understand the gendered dynamics of Latin American culture and politics through horror? What do gendered themes in Latin American horror say about societal attitudes, oppression, and struggles for equality? How does the representation of Latin American women in horror texts contribute to or subvert forms of oppression?
This interdisciplinary course will transverse the region as well as genres, covering such texts as the short stories of Amparo Dávila (Mexico) and Mariana Enríquez (Argentina); novellas by Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Felisberto Hernández (Uruguay); and films such as As boas maneiras (Brazil, 2017).

GNSE 23010 Feminism and Islamic Studies
Instructor:
Alireza Doostdar
The goals of this course are three-fold: 1- To examine the (geo)politics of feminism as a Euro-American emancipatory project as it pertains to Muslim-majority societies; 2- to probe the conceptual work made possible by the categories of “woman” and “gender” as pioneered by feminist scholars specifically in relation to the history and anthropology of Islam; and 3- to study and evaluate self-consciously reformist projects engaging with the Islamic tradition in the modern period and the complexities of their relationship with Euro-American feminism. Rather than treating these goals in a strictly chronological manner, we will keep them in tension throughout the course. By permission only. Students should write a one-paragraph statement about why they would like to take this course and what kind of prior preparation they have.

GNSE 23119 Transnational Queer Politics and Practice
Instructor:
 Cate Fugazzola
This course aims to examine gender and sexual practices and identities in a transnational perspective. As people and ideas move across national, cultural, and racial borders, how is sexuality negotiated and redefined? How are concepts such as "global queerness" and the globalization of sexualities leveraged for change? How are queer identities and practices translated, both culturally and linguistically? To explore transnational articulations of queerness we will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial, feminist, queer, and indigenous approaches to the study of sexualities. We will engage with scholarship on the politics of global gay rights discourses, on the sexual politics of migration, and on the effects of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. By analyzing queer experiences and practices in a transnational context, our goal is to decenter and challenge Western-centric epistemologies and to dive into the complexities of cultural representations of queerness around the globe.
This course counts as a CONCEPTS course for GNSE majors

GNSE 23128 Home and Empire: From Little House on the Prairie to Refugee Camps
Instructor: Greg Valdespino
What can living rooms tell us about Empires? What did it mean to be a housewife in an imperial society? This course answers these and other questions by exploring the relationship between domesticity and imperialism over the past three hundred years. We will explore how Catholic Native Potawatomi women decorated their homes in the early 18th century, how black South African maids interacted with white employers during apartheid, and how young male refugees in contemporary France try to make homes in the land of their former colonial ruler. Through this work students will unpack the racial, gendered, spatial, and political logics of imperial rule. This course is organized around three thematic phases: conquest and expansion, rule and resistance, and decolonization. After introducing theoretical approaches to the study of domesticity and imperialism, we will use case studies from across the globe to work through these thematic groups. We will discuss cases from North America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and Europe. By combining secondary literature with films, memoirs, domestic objects, and visual sources we will evaluate the intersections of imperialism and home-life. Students will ultimately conduct a final research project on a topic of their choosing to explore this courses’ themes in depth. Students will work to challenge notions of home as an idyllic or ahistorical space and see the power and struggles that took place within walls.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A CONCEPTS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 23506 Gender, Sex and Culture
Instructor: Ella Wilhoit
This course examines the social construction of gendered identities in different times and places. We study culturally specific gendered experiences, ‘roles,’ rights and rebellions around the world, discussing the individual and social consequences of gender and the interrelationships between gender and other categories for identity including race, class, and sexuality. While focusing on the global diversity of gendered experience and expectations, we also examine gender in the US, taking a critical approach to understanding gendered inequality and gender-based and sexual violence both abroad and at home. Finally, we examine the role of gendered expectations in Western science, the relationship between gender and ‘globalization,’ and the contemporary movements affecting change in gendered norms, especially in the arts and media.

GNSE 24006 Embodiment and the Senses
Instructor:
Mareike Winchell
 This course approaches bodies as points of insight into governance, the varied experiences of being governed, and efforts to evade and reconfigure institutional expressions of authority. First, we will examine bodies as targets of governance, objects to be reformed, regulated, contained, disciplined, educated, incarcerated, treated, trained, and “cared” for. Next, we will consider how bodies accrue power as sites of resistance, refusal, and critique. Certain bodies in certain places elicit discomfort, unsettling familiar divisions such as of private and public space, of developed and backward, of religious and secular, of reason and madness, of citizenship and (often racialized) non-citizenship. Finally, we will ask how bodies and sensory practices figure in ethical projects of crafting exemplary kinds of subjectivity or collectivity. In this way, the course will introduce students to anthropological approaches to embodiment as well as related questions of bio-politics, gender and race, political subjectivity, care and self-making, post/colonialism, sensory politics and the aesthetic. Along the way, students will gain a new appreciation of the political potency of bodies and bodily practices near and far—from Lenin’s preserved body to Trump’s "small" hands, reproductive labor to sex work, dirty protest to women’s marches, indigenous eco-rituals to queer intimacies.

GNSE 24550 Women and Girls in Science
Instructor:
Kristina Pagel
The goal of this discussion-based course is to examine the gender disparity in science using multiple perspectives. Specifically, we will consider the cultural, biological, and psychological sources of gender differences in science. We will also discuss current methods and develop novel ideas to overcome these disparities.

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 25150 The Gender of Modernity 
Instructor:
Agnes Malinowska 
This course examines the dramatic revisions in gender and sexuality that characterize American modernity. Together, we will read literary texts by women and queer writers to investigate their role in shaping the period’s emergent regimes of sex and gender. We’ll consider modernist revisions of these concepts for their effect on America’s broader social and political terrain and explore the intimate histories they made possible: What new horizons for kinship, care, affect, and the everyday reproduction of life did modernist ideas about sex and gender enable? This class doubles as an advanced introduction to gender and sexuality studies, with a particular emphasis on literary criticism. As we map the contours of a feminist and queer modernity, we will also be staging a series of encounters between our literary objects and influential theoretical texts. In so doing, we will consider a range of methodological orientations -  psychoanalytic, queer, Black feminist, Marxist, postcolonial, historicist, and so on - as themselves telling divergent stories about what it means to be a sexed and gendered body in American modernity. Readings may include works by Djuna Barnes, Gwendolyn Brooks, H.D., Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Nella Larsen, Gertrude Stein; theoretical and critical work from Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Lee Edelman, Rita Felski, Jack Halberstam, Saidiya Hartman, Eve Sedgwick, Hortense Spillers, Gayatri Spivak, Alys Weinbaum.

GNSE 25180 Women Writing God
Instructor:
Sarah Kunjummen
This course examines imaginative works by women that take on the task of representing divine or supernatural being from the medieval era to the present. Drawing on the work of theorists such as Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Judith Butler, we will explore what strategies these writers employ to depict an entity understood to be unrepresentable. What kind of authority is required to present a representation of gods or God to readers, and how do women writers, in particular, establish such authority or manage its absence? What theories of embodiment or spirituality do we find presented in these writings? Is it possible or desirable to articulate a distinctively feminine relation to the body or transcendence across such varied texts? Readings may include Julian of Norwich’s fourteenth-century Revelations of Divine Love, the philosophical writings of Anne Conway, the poems of ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, and novels by Marilynne Robinson and Leslie Marmon Silko.

GNSE 25210 American Epidemics, Past and Present
Instructor: Christopher Kindell
This course explores how disease epidemics have shaped watershed periods in US history from the late eighteenth century to the present. Through readings, lectures, and in-class discussions, we will employ different categories of analysis (e.g., race, gender, class, and citizenship) to answer a range of historical questions focused on disease, health, and medicine. For instance, to what extent did smallpox alter the trajectory of the American Revolution? How did cholera and typhoid affect the lived experiences of slaves and soldiers during the Civil War? In what ways did the US government capitalize on fears over yellow fever and bubonic plague to justify continued interventions across the Caribbean and the Pacific? What do these episodes from the American past reveal about contemporary encounters with modern diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19? Course readings will be drawn from book chapters and scholarly articles, as well as primary sources ranging from public-health reports, medical correspondence, and scientific journals to newspapers, political cartoons, maps, and personal diaries. Grades will be based on participation, weekly Canvas posts, peer review, and a series of written assignments (a proposal and an annotated bibliography, primary source analysis, book review, and rough draft) all of which will culminate in a ten-page final research paper.

GNSE 25262 Gender and Sexuality in a Transnational World
Instructor: Kaneesha Parsard
This course, through attention to critical theory and expressive cultures, surveys gender and sexuality across time and place. Students will learn about theories of sex, gender, and sexuality; colonialisms and nationalisms; social movements; and war, migration, and technology.

GNSE 25602 Feminism, Race, Culture, and Liberation
Instructor: Tasneem Mandviwala
Beginning in the twentieth century, a popular global discourse amongst some feminists, anthropologists, and human rights activists has become focused on liberating oppressed peoples from tyrannical systems of power, most often non-Western women of color from traditional patriarchies. However, oftentimes these well-intentioned movements toward liberation are incompatible with the lived realities of the oppressed, and, oftentimes, the “oppressed” are actually active agents in their own liberations. This course will explore what we mean when we discuss ideas of liberation and social acceptance through a gendered cultural lens, considering the foundations of contemporary feminism and human rights dialogues within different cultural and racial contexts. What and whom are we purportedly liberating with our liberal Western ideals, and what and whom are we failing to consider? Why are gender, sex, and sexuality emphasized to the degree they are, and how do differing emphases produce different sociocultural results? What moral exercises are necessary to most accurately understand the various central elements of a human cultural experience? Can individuals, including ourselves, ever truly be liberated from cultural contexts?

GNSE 26112 Queer Asia(s) 2
Instructor:
Nisha Kommattam
While this course is conceptualized as a sequel to Queer Asia(s) 1 from last fall, it is nevertheless a standalone course that can be taken separately, without prerequisites. This course continues to explore representations of queerness, same-sex love and sexualities and debates around them by introducing students to a variety of literature and films in both Asian languages and English. The geographic regions represented include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Korea and Singapore. There will be a focus on the modern/contemporary period as well as queer diasporas. We will also read scholarship that will help us place the production and reception of these primary sources in historical, political, cultural and religious contexts. Questions of cross-cultural and transnational dialogue and cultural specificity will be addressed. Students need to be available for 2 synchronous online meetings per week.

GNSE 26116 Meaning and the Body
Instructor:
Lisa Hedrick
This course examines recent (20th- and 21st-century) retrievals of the body to understand “meaning.” We will analyze varying construals of nature, materiality, matter, emotion, and thought. Readings will therefore be multidisciplinary, including selections from philosophy, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and religious studies. More specifically, we will examine the relationship between meaning and embodiment by way of the following: modern philosophies of the subject; analytic philosophies of language; deconstruction and the historicization of the body; feminist theories of discourse; new materialist conceptions of matter; new animist conceptions of the subject.

GNSE 27307 Schools and Space: A Chicago History
Instructor: 
Nicholas Kryczka
This course fuses urban and educational history into a two-century case study of Chicago. When the Chicago Public Schools closed fifty schoolhouses in 2013, many stressed the links between public education, uneven neighborhood investment, and racial segregation. But this episode was part of a longer regional history of how metropolitan development, labor markets, and anxieties over migration affected educational policy. The course stresses the relationship between educational policy and the politics of urban development, gender, and race. Schools were sites of gendered work, for the women who operated them and for the children who navigated the moral and vocational paths laid for their futures; meanwhile, the rise of racial ghettoes had an enduring impacts on educational inequity and the shape of African American political life. Over the time span covered by the course, the United States became an indisputably "schooled" society, and Chicago was a leading indicator of national trends. Key historic episodes in American education—the rise of the modern high school, the birth of progressive education, the origins of teachers' unions, the Catholic encounter with race, the fragmentation of suburban school districts, the civil-rights critique of de facto school segregation, the pronounced "failure" of urban education, and the triumph of choice-and-accountability reforms, and the teacher-led resistance that followed—are especially well-illustrated by this course's focus on Chicago.

GNSE 27703 Women and Work In 20th Century China
Instructor:
Jacob Eyferth
This course examines changes in the working lives of East Asian women from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. Most of the readings will be on China but we will also discuss Korea and Japan.

GNSE 28307 Trans/Formations: Changing Bodies and Gender in Premodern Christianity
Instructor: Matthew Vanderpoel
The course surveys ancient and medieval Christian views on the body and gender with a particular interest in ideas of transformation, supplemented by contemporary readings in trans studies. The course focuses on a series of topics: the creation of human bodies, debates about matter, doctrines of the resurrection, eunuchs, possession, gender (non)conformity, and various modes of gender crossing. Thus, it provides both an introduction to major figures in the history of Christianity and a primer in religious-studies and historical methods in light of trans and queer studies. A central question for the course would be how to think about historical distance and anachronism in our use of theoretical lenses with the interpretation of sources. In addition to readings in contemporary feminist, queer, and trans thought, the course primarily treats Christian sources spanning a number of genres such as narrative, theological treatise, allegory, visionary literature, and forensic transcripts.

GNSE 29303 My Body, My Self: Asceticism and Subjectivity
Instructors: Sarah Pierce Taylor and Erin Galgay 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 techne for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. The proposed signature course brings together two scholars of religion working in distinct geographical locations and cultures: Eastern Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature. Despite our disparate areas, together we are interested in bringing critical gender theory to bear on asceticism as a discursive and embodied practice. We envision this course as an opportunity for students to engage asceticism as a series of techniques 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.

GNSE 29318 Modern Disability Histories: Gender, Race, and Disability
Instructor: Michaela Appeltová
This course introduces students to the conceptual apparatus of disability studies and major developments in disability history since the late nineteenth century. The course will consider disability beyond physical impairment, centering the ways in which notions of gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability interact and shape subjects, and how these subject positions shift across political watersheds. Students will engage a variety of sources, such as autobiographies, pamphlets, visual material, laws, and medical texts, as well as historiographical sources. Topics will include late nineteenth-century female "hysteria," evolutionary approaches to sign language and orality, and the effects of industrialization on new impairments; early twentieth-century eugenics and the Nazi T4 program; postwar developments in prosthetics and discursive intersections between psychosis and civil rights movement. Students are encouraged to work on creative collective projects (e.g., an exhibit or a short video) in addition to written assignments.

GNSE 29427 Fashion, Empire, Capitalism
Instructor: Katie Hickerson
Clothing, what anthropologist Terence Turner termed "the social skin," mediates between individuals and society. Chosen to articulate personal taste or assigned as uniforms to signify a collective identity, fashion is marked by politics, both historically and in the contemporary world. Today, the fashion industry employs one in six people on earth and is one of the largest contributors to global carbon emissions. Considering fashion in relation to empires and capitalism can shed light on the forces of the past and asks how these continue to animate the present. This course will include museum visits and object-centered analysis of specific kinds of dress, such as Nazi uniforms, the zoot suit, saris, and kanga cloth. It will analyze social difference articulated through fashion in colonial Lima and twentieth-century Khartoum; global and imperial competitions over fashion-related commodities, such as Dutch, French, and English imperial officials attempt to break the Spanish monopoly of Aztec cochineal, a brilliant red dye that was once one of the world's most prestigious commodities; and consumers' influence on markets, such as nineteenth-century Zanzibari women dictating styles and driving competition between Indian, American, and British cloth producers. Finally, the course, examines the place of fashion within the histories of imperialism and capitalism by examining the transformations in cotton production that ignited the Industrial Revolution.

 

Graduate Course Descriptions

AUTUMN 2020

GNSE 31000 Cultural Psychology
Instructor:
 Richard Shweder
There is a substantial portion of the psychological nature of human beings that is neither homogeneous nor fixed across time and space. At the heart of the discipline of cultural psychology is the tenet of psychological pluralism, which states that the study of "normal" psychology is the study of multiple psychologies and not just the study of a single or uniform fundamental psychology for all peoples of the world. Research findings in cultural psychology thus raise provocative questions about the integrity and value of alternative forms of subjectivity across cultural groups. In this course we analyze the concept of "culture" and examine ethnic and cross-cultural variations in mental functioning with special attention to the cultural psychology of emotions, self, moral judgment, categorization, and reasoning.

GNSE 31285 Toni Morrison, beloved and a mercy
Instructor: Sarah Johnson
“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 31505 Critical Approaches to Labor Studies
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
Work occupies a central role in our lives. This course will provide a critical overview of labor studies. We will cover topics such as the concept of the working class; labor process theory; perspectives on labor market segmentation based on race, ethnicity, gender, class and migrant status; the types of jobs that are available in the labor market, and what they mean for the workers who hold them. While covering the entire field of labor studies is beyond the scope of any single course, we will draw upon selected readings examining occupations in agriculture, manufacturing, hospitality and high-tech sectors from different parts of the world. We also cover labor issues in the informal and the gig economy. This course is open to students across disciplines interested in critical labor studies. It is particularly recommended for proposal and thesis writers.

GNSE 36505 The Radiant Pearl: Introduction to Syriac Literature and its Historical Contexts
Instructor: Erin Galgay Walsh
After Greek and Latin, Syriac literature represents the third largest corpus of writings from the formative centuries of Christianity. This course offers students a comprehensive overview of the dominant genres and history of Syriac-speaking Christians from the early centuries through the modern day. Moving beyond traditional historiography that focuses on early Christianity within the Roman Empire, this class examines Christian traditions that took root in the Persian and later Islamic Empires. Syriac Christians preached the Gospel message from the Arabian Peninsula to early modern China and India. Syriac writers raised female biblical figures and holy women to prominent roles within their works. Students will broaden their understanding of the development of Christian thought as they gain greater familiarity with understudied voices and visions for Christian living found within Syriac literature. Special attention will be paid to biblical translation, asceticism, poetry, mystical and theological writings as well as the changing political fortunes of Syriac-speaking populations. No previous knowledge or study expected.

GNSE 38122 Diasporic Practices in Contemporary Art
Instructor: Julia Phillips
The class will examine various phenomena of “Diasporic Practices in Contemporary Art”, such as fragmented histories, the question of origin(ality), the limits of translation, social belonging and “the chosen family”, and (over-)representation of origin. In class we will discuss readings by (a.o.) Grada Kilomba, Adrian Piper, Éduard Glissant, Langston Hughes, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Hito Steyerl. Students will be asked to present on contemporary artists highlighting their diasporic strategies, while also producing creative works through assignments that employ diasporic strategies and that will be discussed in class.

GNSE 38202 US Latinos: Origins and Histories
Instructor:
Ramon Gutiérrez 
An examination of the diverse social, economic, political, and cultural histories of those who are now commonly identified as Latinos in the United States. Particular emphasis will be placed on the formative historical experiences of Mexican Americans and mainland Puerto Ricans, although some consideration will also be given to the histories of other Latino groups, i.e., Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. Topics include cultural and geographic origins and ties; imperialism and colonization; the economics of migration and employment; legal status; work, women, and the family; racism and other forms of discrimination; the politics of national identity; language and popular culture; and the place of Latinos in US society.

GNSE 38775 Racial Melancholia
Instructor: Kris Trujillo
This course provides students with an opportunity to think race within a psychoanalytic framework. In particular, we will interrogate how psychoanalytic theories of mourning and melancholia have developed over the past century, especially in relationship to the theories of racial melancholia that emerged at the turn of the twenty-first century. Thus, we will approach Asian America, African American, and Latinx archives, especially as they intersect with psychoanalytic formulations of race, gender, and sexuality. Throughout we will 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 can psychoanalysis retain theoretical currency, and how might the temporalities of grief, loss, and mourning even require a sustained tarrying with psychoanalytic theories of melancholia?

GNSE 39117 Theater And Performance In Latin America
Instructor:
Danielle Roper
What is performance? How has it been used in Latin America and the Caribbean? This course is an introduction to theatre and performance in Latin America and the Caribbean that will examine the intersection of performance and social life. While we will place particular emphasis on performance art, we will examine some theatrical works. We ask: how have embodied practice, theatre and visual art been used to negotiate ideologies of race, gender and sexuality? What is the role of performance in relation to systems of power? How has it negotiated dictatorship, military rule, and social memory? Ultimately, the aim of this course is to give students an overview of Latin American performance including blackface performance, indigenous performance, as well as performance and activism. Undergraduates must be in their 3rd or 4th year.

GNSE 45600 When Cultures Collide: Multiculturalism in Liberal Democracies
Instructor:
Richard Shweder
Coming to terms with diversity in an increasingly multicultural world has become one of the most pressing public policy projects for liberal democracies in the early 21st century. One way to come to terms with diversity is to try to understand the scope and limits of toleration for variety at different national sites where immigration from foreign lands has complicated the cultural landscape. This seminar examines a series of legal and moral questions about the proper response to norm conflict between mainstream populations and cultural minority groups (including old and new immigrants), with special reference to court cases that have arisen in the recent history of the United States.

GNSE 50000 Theological Criticism: Creation and Gender
Instructor:
Willemien Otten
The seminar on theological criticism aims to explore the problem of how constructive theology can best make use of historical sources and do so in responsible fashion. While simply adhering to one’s confessional tradition yields uncritical positions, an eclectic attitude towards historical sources may not be a wise alternative. Without forcing theologians to become historians, this seminar deals with the larger issue of how to select and use one’s source material in such a way that the historical work is methodologically sound and the theological end product accessible and informative, while remaining properly constructive. The seminar starts with the use of premodern sources but other, later sources will also be brought to the discussion. As the seminar is in large part student-driven, students are invited to bring in sources of their choice to the table as well. This year’s theological critical focus will be on gender and creation and is loosely structured around Otten's Thinking Nature and the Nature of Thinking.

WINTER 2021

GNSE 30104 Queer Theology and Queer of Color Critique
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
This course provides an introduction to queer theology by examining, most broadly, the relationship between theology, theory, literature, and art. We will explore the foundations of queer theology in queer theoretical texts and illuminate, in particular, queer theology’s relationship to queer of color critique in order to identify and analyze some of the controversies that have arisen in queer theology and queer religions. Building on a critique of diversity and inclusion, we will pursue a sustained interrogation of the intersection of race, settler colonialism, capitalism, and cultural production through an encounter with theological and literary texts, including but not limited to speculative fiction, poetry, film, and photography, so as to imagine the theological potential of literary and artistic production. Throughout, we will survey and question the dominance of Christianity in queer theological production. How do Christian symbols, claims, and practices reflect and shape the multiplicity of queer life? How might theology provide a language for queer critique? And, how do queer literature and art contest and complicate the values taken for granted by the assumption of queerness’s putative secularity? While still acknowledging the injury to and exclusion of queers enacted by forms of Christianity, this course turns to theology and literature as resources for social justice and transformation.

GNSE 30106 Capitalism, Gender, and Intimate Life
Instructor: Gabriel Winant
What is the relationship between the capitalist economy and the gendered organization of society and identity of individuals? Are these two systems, or one? This class pursues these questions, seeking to understand capitalism as an everyday and intimate experience. How have markets and production shaped and been shaped by personal identity, and in particular gendered identity? We examine the historical interrelationships among practices of sexuality, marriage, family, reproduction, labor, and consumption and trace the economic dimensions of masculinity and femininity over time, focusing largely but not exclusively on US history. Assignments: Midterm paper (8–10 pages)

GNSE 30408 Health Disparities in Breast Cancer
Instructors
: Eileen Dolan & Olufunmilayo Olopade
Across the globe, breast cancer is the most common women’s cancer. In the last two decades, there have been significant advances in breast cancer detection and treatment that have resulted in improved survival rates. Yet, not all populations have benefited equally from these improvements, and there continues to be a disproportionate burden of breast cancer felt by different populations. In the U.S., for example, white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer but African-American women have the highest breast cancer mortality overall. The socioeconomic, environmental, biological, and cultural factors that collectively contribute to these disparities are being identified with a growing emphasis on health disparities research efforts. In this 10-week discussion-based course students will meet twice weekly and cover major aspects of breast cancer disparities.

GNSE 31400 Advanced Theories of Gender and Sexuality
Instructor: Linda Zerilli
Beginning with the breakup of the New Left and the proliferation of "new social movements" such as feminism, Black Power, and gay liberation, this seminar explores the key debates around which gender and sexuality were articulated as politically significant categories. How did feminist and queer politics come to be scripted increasingly in terms of identity and its negation? To what extent has a juridical and state-centered conception of politics come to displace quotidian practices of freedom and world-building? What are the limits to rights-oriented political movements? What are the political implications of the recent ontological turn to affect in feminist and queer theory?

GNSE 31507 Work in the Informal and the Gig Economy
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
In this course, we will understand work organization and labor practices in the informal as well as the gig (or the platform) economy. We would particularly examine issues of labor recruitment and control in the informal and the gig economy using the lens of gender, race, social class and other identities. The course is open to undergraduates and graduate students, and would be of particular use for students planning to write a senior honors thesis or a master's thesis proposal or a dissertation research proposal.

GNSE 31509 Migration and Development
Instructor:
Amit Anshumali
In this multidisciplinary course, we examine the key issues and problems of migration (internal & international) and development. This course draws on scholarship from a variety of perspectives including sociology, demography, applied economics, anthropology, human rights, gender and labor studies. While the literature on migration is extensive and beyond the scope of a single course, the readings in this class are based on empirical research that deals with the interrelationship between migration and development. The course is open to undergraduates and graduate students, and would be of particular use for students planning to write a senior honors thesis or a master's thesis proposal or a dissertation research proposal.

GNSE 32482 The Other Woman: Sexual Deviancy in South Asia
Instructor:
Ahona Panda
The figure of the public, often sexually deviant, female in South Asia has existed and been imagined in myriad ways over the centuries, including as courtesans, temple workers, and royal mistresses. In the colonial period, multiple forms of supposed female deviancy began to be labeled with another term— “prostitute”—leading to the loss of social status and legal rights of many women. In this course, we will study the evolution of prostitution and female otherness in South Asian cultural and political history. We will explore how the female deviant shaped religious, social and political life; how notions of sex, sexuality and intimacy informed classical dance, music, literature and performing arts; and how sex work came to be defined and stigmatized by the colonial and postcolonial states in South Asia.

GNSE 33119 Transnational Queer Politics and Practice
Instructor:
 Cate Fugazzola
This course aims to examine gender and sexual practices and identities in a transnational perspective. As people and ideas move across national, cultural, and racial borders, how is sexuality negotiated and redefined? How are concepts such as "global queerness" and the globalization of sexualities leveraged for change? How are queer identities and practices translated, both culturally and linguistically? To explore transnational articulations of queerness we will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial, feminist, queer, and indigenous approaches to the study of sexualities. We will engage with scholarship on the politics of global gay rights discourses, on the sexual politics of migration, and on the effects of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. By analyzing queer experiences and practices in a transnational context, our goal is to decenter and challenge Western-centric epistemologies and to dive into the complexities of cultural representations of queerness around the globe.

GNSE 33506 Gender, Sex and Culture
Instructor: Ella Wilhoit
This introductory graduate course examines the social construction of gendered identities in different times and places. We study culturally specific gendered experiences, ‘roles,’ rights and rebellions around the world, discussing the individual and social consequences of gender and the interrelationships between gender and other categories for identity including race, class, and sexuality. While focusing on the global diversity of gendered experience and expectations, we also examine gender in the US, taking a critical approach to understanding gendered inequality and gender-based and sexual violence both abroad and at home. Finally, we examine the role of gendered expectations in Western science, the relationship between gender and ‘globalization,’ and the contemporary movements affecting change in gendered norms, especially in the arts and media.

GNSE 34550 Women and Girls in Science
Instructor:
Kristina Pagel
The goal of this discussion-based course is to examine the gender disparity in science using multiple perspectives. Specifically, we will consider the cultural, biological, and psychological sources of gender differences in science. We will also discuss current methods and develop novel ideas to overcome these disparities.

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 35991 Sophocles, The Women of Trachis
Instructor:
Glenn Most
A close literary and philological analysis of one of the most remarkable and perplexing of all Greek tragedies. While this has traditionally been one of the most neglected of Sophocles' tragedies, it is a drama of extraordinary force and beauty and the issues that it explores - husband and wife, parents and child, sexual violence, myth and temporality, divinity and humanity, suffering and transcendence - are ones that are both of permanent interest and of particular relevance to our present concerns. The poetic text, in its many dimensions, will offer more than adequate material for classroom analysis and discussion, but some attention will also be directed to the reception of this play. PQ: Reading knowledge of ancient Greek or permission of the instructor.

GNSE 36233 Kincaid and Naipaul
Instructor: Kaneesha Parsard
This course focuses on the works of Jamaica Kincaid, V.S. Naipaul (whom cultural critic Shalini Puri once called a “postcolonial skeptic”), and their interlocutors. We will read fiction and non-fiction alike to investigate history, debt, and violence and the act of writing about the postcolony from the Global North.

GNSE 39303 My Body, My Self: Asceticism and Subjectivity
Instructors: Sarah Pierce Taylor and Erin Galgay 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 techne for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. The proposed signature course brings together two scholars of religion working in distinct geographical locations and cultures: Eastern Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature. Despite our disparate areas, together we are interested in bringing critical gender theory to bear on asceticism as a discursive and embodied practice. We envision this course as an opportunity for students to engage asceticism as a series of techniques 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.

GNSE 41170 Experiments in Kinship and Care
Instructor:
Bill Hutchinson
In this class, we’ll examine the notions of kinship and care, analyzing them both as conceptual frameworks and as concrete forms of being-together in human and more-than-human relations. Kinship and care are uncertain territories, fluctuating and dynamic; sites of possibility and futurity. Kin-making and care-giving practices reveal existing structures of oppression as well as the utopian possibilities within relation. We’ll spend much of our time engaging with a set of “experiments” or case studies—historical, science fictional, and critical accounts of community—to see how connection appears as a mode of resistance or survival. Throughout, our collective goal will be to think together about living together. Readings may include SF from Octavia Butler, Claire Coleman, Ursula Le Guin, Wu Ming-Yi; theoretical and critical work from Sara Ahmed, Leela Gandhi, Donna Haraway, Laura Harjo, Saidiya Hartman, Kara Keeling, Audre Lorde, José Esteban Muñoz, Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Dean Spade, Kim Tallbear, Anna Tsing.

GNSE 41300 Our Biopolitics, Ourselves: Feminist Science Fiction
Instructor:
 Hilary Strang
1970s feminist theory made a significant conceptual move in provisionally bracketing off biological sex from the historical/cultural work of gender. Feminist science fiction (in contrast), in its brief flourishing in the 70s and early 80s, finds its utopian moments in the biological, in genetic manipulation, reproductive technology, ecological forms of being and new bodies of a variety of kinds. This class will read science fiction, feminist theory and current critical work that concerns itself with biopolitics in order to ask questions about the divide between nature and culture, what's entailed in imagining the future, what gender and genre might have to do with each other, and just what science fiction is and does anyway. Authors include: Le Guin, Russ, Butler, Piercy, Haraway, Rubin, Firestone.

GNSE 43310 Feminism and Islamic Studies
Instructor: Alireza Doostdar
The goals of this course are three-fold: 1- To examine the (geo)politics of feminism as a Euro-American emancipatory project as it pertains to Muslim-majority societies; 2- to probe the conceptual work made possible by the categories of “woman” and “gender” as pioneered by feminist scholars specifically in relation to the history and anthropology of Islam; and 3- to study and evaluate self-consciously reformist projects engaging with the Islamic tradition in the modern period and the complexities of their relationship with Euro-American feminism. Rather than treating these goals in a strictly chronological manner, we will keep them in tension throughout the course. By permission only. Students should write a one-paragraph statement about why they would like to take this course and what kind of prior preparation they have.

GNSE 43501 Contemporary Models of Theology
Instructor: Dwight Hopkins
This class compares and contrasts various systems and methods in contemporary theology. By contemporary, we mean theological developments in the USA from the late 1960s to the present. Specifically, we reflect critically on the following models: progressive liberal, post liberal, black theology, feminist theology, and womanist theology. As we engage these systems of thought, we want to examine the contexts and logic of their theologies and the sources used to construct theology.

GNSE 45150 The Gender of Modernity
Instructor:
Agnes Malinowska 
This course examines the dramatic revisions in gender and sexuality that characterize American modernity. Together, we will read literary texts by women and queer writers to investigate their role in shaping the period’s emergent regimes of sex and gender. We’ll consider modernist revisions of these concepts for their effect on America’s broader social and political terrain and explore the intimate histories they made possible: What new horizons for kinship, care, affect, and the everyday reproduction of life did modernist ideas about sex and gender enable? This class doubles as an advanced introduction to gender and sexuality studies, with a particular emphasis on literary criticism. As we map the contours of a feminist and queer modernity, we will also be staging a series of encounters between our literary objects and influential theoretical texts. In so doing, we will consider a range of methodological orientations -  psychoanalytic, queer, Black feminist, Marxist, postcolonial, historicist, and so on - as themselves telling divergent stories about what it means to be a sexed and gendered body in American modernity. Readings may include works by Djuna Barnes, Gwendolyn Brooks, H.D., Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Henry James, Nella Larsen, Gertrude Stein; theoretical and critical work from Lauren Berlant, Leo Bersani, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Lee Edelman, Rita Felski, Jack Halberstam, Saidiya Hartman, Eve Sedgwick, Hortense Spillers, Gayatri Spivak, Alys Weinbaum.

GNSE 45180 Women Writing God
Instructor:
Sarah Kunjummen
This course examines imaginative works by women that take on the task of representing divine or supernatural being from the medieval era to the present. Drawing on the work of theorists such as Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Judith Butler, we will explore what strategies these writers employ to depict an entity understood to be unrepresentable. What kind of authority is required to present a representation of gods or God to readers, and how do women writers, in particular, establish such authority or manage its absence? What theories of embodiment or spirituality do we find presented in these writings? Is it possible or desirable to articulate a distinctively feminine relation to the body or transcendence across such varied texts? Readings may include Julian of Norwich’s fourteenth-century Revelations of Divine Love, the philosophical writings of Anne Conway, the poems of ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, and novels by Marilynne Robinson and Leslie Marmon Silko.

GNSE 47920 Seminar: Race, Place, and Gender in American Country Music
Instructor:
Anna Schultz
It goes without saying that place is an overdetermined trope of country music. Whether in the rural idylls of “Kentucky” or the urban bars of “Jackson,” country music’s geographic imaginaries are implicitly white. The whiteness of country music’s lyrical content occludes a long counter-history of Black musicianship and Blacksound (Morrison 2019) that continues to resonate in the genre’s sonic register. Over the past twenty years, increasing numbers of BIPOC artists are reimagining country music’s spaces as they reclaim its sounds. While race was largely kept off the table until recently, gender has openly inflected country music’s place-based nostalgia since the genre’s inception (if primarily from a male perspective), and since the middle of the twentieth century, gender has been a hotly contested terrain. How might we think about race, gender, and place as foundational and co-constitutive categories within country music? In this course, we interrogate the complex histories and present-day realities of race and gender that bubble uncomfortably beneath the surface of place-based narratives. Using theoretical tools from music studies, critical race studies, gender studies, and anthropology, we will address sound, culture, and text in country music. Our examples are drawn from commercial country, alt-country, bluegrass, Old-time, Western swing, and Americana. Topics may include: idylls and anti-idylls; blackness; whiteness; masculinity; rural nostalgia; racialized genres and the music industry; Black country musicians; queer country; minstrelsy; women in country; Indigenous country; fan culture; region and nation.

GNSE 49201 Colloquium: Approaches to Atlantic Slavery Studies
Instructor: Rashauna Johnson
We are witnessing an outpouring of scholarship on Atlantic slavery even as some historians are increasingly critical of the archival method. This course uses select theoretical readings and recent monographs and articles to examine this conceptual and methodological debate. Topics to be examined include histories of women, gender, and sexuality; dispossession and resistance; urban and migration history; and interdisciplinary and speculative techniques.

GNSE 52802 Politics of Inimacy
Instructor:
Mareike Winchell
This course draws from interdisciplinary debates to position intimate forms in relation to broader textures of emotion and ethics, desire and race, labor and liberation. Heuristically, intimacy allows us to attend to practices that spill beyond more dyadic understandings of ostensibly private domains of sexuality or kinship as opposed to public forms of economic production and labor. Course readings, taken primarily but not exclusively from the Latin American region, will consider specific instances when the gathering together of bodies in close quarters (e.g. in arrangements of domestic servitude, colonial-era monasteries and convents, indigenous slave-holding in the Americas, settler households and adoptive parentage configurations) became problematic and subject to governmental intervention. We will further ask how, in moments of colonial reform, post-colonial change, and de-colonial mobilization, intimate forms became newly offensive but also grounded (and continue to ground) emergent claims to life and rights. The course ends by meditating on the entailments of intimacy for ethnography, namely, as a model of research rooted in attachments and vulnerabilities rather than spectatorship and distance.

 

 

Return to current courses