Exterior at night

The Center at night

Side Entrance

The entrance of the CSGS

Heather Love audience

The audience listens as Lauren Berlant introduces Heather Love in 2014

Class discussion

Students participate in a classroom discussion at the Center

Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo talks with students after his book talk in 2018

Joan Scott

Joan Scott speaking at the Center in 2017

panel

Students listen to panelists present in 2017

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Bhanu Kapil

Poet Bhanu Kapil at the Center in 2016

Courses

Undergraduate Courses

SPRING 2021

 

Graduate Courses

SPRING 2021

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

SPRING 2021

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

GNSE 15220 Unrequited Love in Fiction and Film
Instructor: Madison Chapman
Unrequited love stories are some of the most beloved romances in literature and film. Why do readers and audiences find unique pleasure in the agonizing tragedy of feelings not returned? And what does “unrequited” really mean anyway? This class focuses on unrequited love from the perspective of mostly British women fiction writers and film writer/directors, toggling between eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature and contemporary romances on screen. From Jane Austen to Céline Sciamma, Eliza Haywood to Sofia Coppola, we will consider how women tell stories of attractions plagued by lack of reciprocity, misunderstandings, persistent longing and social obstacles. Moving across centuries, genre and media, we will consider what changes and what remains consistent in how these women illustrate yearning and dissatisfaction. We will read theories of desire in literature and film by Lauren Berlant, Laura Mulvey, Renata Salecl and others in order to work towards a definition of “unrequited love.” Our class will examine unrequitedness across registers, including as a source of dark humor in The Favourite and Austen, and as an occasion for psychological and real violence in Mary Wollstonecraft and The Riot Club. Throughout the course, we will ask ourselves as readers and viewers to interrogate our own investment in the resolution (or, more importantly, the lack thereof) of unrequitedness.

GNSE 18901 Inequality, Politics, and Government in US History
Instructor: Gabriel Winant
This class explores the relationship between social inequality and political democracy in US history. How have American political institutions dealt with and reflected the contradictions of "all men are created equal"? What is the meaning of political citizenship in a socially stratified society? How have social movements and conflicts shaped the institutions of state and the meaning of citizenship? The class touches on slavery and freedom; land and colonialism; racial discrimination; labor relations; gender and sexuality; social welfare policy; taxation and regulation; urban development; immigration; policing and incarceration. Assignments: One primary document analysis (2–3 pages), one secondary reading paper (3–5 pages), and a final paper analyzing a particular political movement, conflict, or policy (10–12 pages).

GNSE 18950 Nineties Feminisms
Instructor: Caroline Heller 
This course will survey feminist literatures of the 1790s, 1890s, and 1990s. We will cover works by authors like Mary Wollstonecraft, Sarah Grand, and Greta Gaard as well as feminist movements from New Woman ideal in the 1890s to ecofeminism and material feminisms in the 1990s.

GNSE 19500 Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley
Instructor: Alexis Chema
This course examines the major works—novels, political treatises, letters, travel essays—of two of Romanticism’s most influential women writers. We will attend to historical, intellectual, and cultural contexts as well as matters of literary concern, such as their pioneering development of modes like gothic and science/speculative fiction, Wollstonecraft’s stylistic theories, and Shelley’s scenes of imaginative sympathy.

GNSE 19701 Oral History: Theory and Methods
Instructor: Nicholas Kryczka
This course explores oral history's theoretical issues and engages students directly in the collection of oral histories in an original project of their own design. Students in disciplines that rely on oral interviews, such as gender studies, history, education, human development, and sociology, will find the course useful. It involves both technical training (in interviewing techniques, recording technology, and archiving methods) and is an encounter with a set of epistemological challenges: How is an archive produced? Who decides what gets in and what is left out? What is the relationship between individual recollection and collective historical memory? Between historic preservation and academic history? What special opportunities and limits do oral histories have as historical evidence? By doing the work of collecting, preserving, and interpreting oral histories, students will develop a sophisticated self-awareness and a disciplined methodology to wrestle with these questions. The course begins with an exploration of conceptual foundations, with classic essays and recent interventions from practitioners and theoreticians of oral history. With principles and best practices of the Oral History Association as a guideline, the course then proceeds to a practicum, with the class grouped into smaller project groups. Informed by student interest, instructor guidance, and local feasibility, each group will research a historical event or community that can sustain a sample of two informants per student. See class notes for practicum details. Students will conduct background research, draft legal releases, conduct and record oral history interviews, develop an archiving plan, and submit a final presentation that reflects their engagement with the methodological, interpretive, and ethical questions raised by course readings and discussion.

GNSE 19860 Ladies Nite: Women Beatniks in Literary Counterculture
Instructor: Carrie Taylor
"Three writers do not a generation make." Often relegated to status of wife or muse in the writings and history of the Beat Generation, women's literary contributions to this experimental zeitgeist remain largely unknown and unread. This course explores the dynamic body of work produced by female Beatniks from the 1950s-1970s. We first trace the Beat Generation's aesthetic roots within the experimental poetics of Romanticism and American Transcendentalism and then shift our focus to post-war Greenwich Village, Mexico, and the American West. We will delve into works from authors like Elise Cowen, Diane diPrima, Denise Levertov and Lucia Berlin, to investigate how women's authorship across place and form--chapbooks, poetry, memoirs, travel journals and films--gave voice to a vibrant, complex feminism awash with psychedelic drugs, sexual liberation and the metaphysical exploration deeply inherent to Beat counterculture. 

GNSE 20114 Media Wars
Instructor: Jennifer Wild
Media practices and discourses evoking war or violence are common today, such as the “weaponization” of social media; “cyber warfare” and attacks; “online battlefields;” “guerilla” media tactics; “The Great Meme War” and “Infowars.com,” to name a few. In relationship with terms suggesting that we live in an age of “post-truth” dominated by “fake news” or “fact-challenged” journalism, the media wars of today may seem unique to the twenty-first century. But in fact, the history of the use of media to either combat or spread ideas dates back centuries to the earliest phases of mass media and communication. In this class, we will proceed historically, broadly conceiving of media to include print and visual, cultural, and artistic forms, cinema, television, and the internet. While we will explore how media have historically been used to construct or counter dominant systems of representation, we will also discuss how different media forms function formally, learning to analyze how they construct discourses of truth as texts (documentary; propaganda). This class will also function as a contemporary research laboratory where students will be asked to track, evaluate, and theorize contemporary or historical media that are taking part in a so-called “media war.”
Please note: Students who have previously completed “Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: Media Wars” are not eligible to receive credit for this class.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A PROBLEMS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 20513 Beyond Hashtags: Social Movements in Digital Society
Instructor:
Lara Janson
In today’s global network society, the Internet permeates our lives, whether it be our jobs, politics, or relationships. You’re probably reading this course description online, and perhaps next you’ll check your email or social media accounts. Social movements, powerful drivers of social change, are no exception. Digital activism has transformed political and social protest over the past two decades, changing how events, protests, and movements are organized and generating alternative ways to build social movements. Students will receive an introduction to sociological perspectives on social movements and the Internet, and consider the influence of networked communication technologies on the mobilization of social movements throughout the globe, with particular emphasis on feminist, queer/trans, human rights, and racial equity movements.

GNSE 20525 Women's Writing/Writing Women in Islamic Literary History
Instructor:
Shaahin Pishbin
Despite commonplace assumptions about their restricted status in Islam, Muslim women have a long, if sometimes fraught, history of participation in literary culture. Nevertheless, the male-dominated sphere of literary history writing has tended to minimize, misrepresent, or entirely mute their significant contributions. In this course, students will read and discuss the literary works of important yet all-too-often forgotten women writers from the Islamic world from the 7th-21st centuries. We will be reading and analysing works authored by women translated from Arabic, Turkish, Persian, and Urdu, including various genres of poetry (Sufi, lyric, erotic), oratory, short stories, novels, life writing, and songs. Additionally, students will probe methodological and theoretical issues which pertain to the study of women’s writing and Islamicate cultural history. In the context of a weekly seminar guided by primary and secondary readings, presentations, and group discussion, together we will interrogate the gendered aspects of canon formation in the premodern and modern Islamic world; consider how gender has affected form, content, and access to literary spaces; explore modern feminist literature by Muslim women; question Eurocentric approaches to the study and translation of women’s writing; and ask: how can women’s literary history be written and criticised responsibly?

GNSE 21301 Global Mental Health
Instructor:
Zhiying Ma
Global mental health has emerged as a priority for multilateral institutions like the World Health Organization and World Bank, for international non-governmental organizations, and for academic researchers alike. This course examines the foundations, practices, and critiques of this field. We will explore how sociocultural processes shape the experience of distress and mental illness; various cultures of healing, including Western psychiatry, and their power dynamics; gaps and inequalities in service provision; as well as approaches to and challenges of cross-cultural diagnosis/treatment/epidemiology. Specific attention will be paid to how mental health concerns and interventions affect women, racial/ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged groups in different societies. Building on these explorations, we will then turn to the tools, programs, and practices that constitute the somewhat amorphous movement called "Global Mental Health." Ongoing debates of this movement will also be examined. This course will take an interdisciplinary approach, with readings drawn from psychiatry, public policy, anthropology, history, sociology, and so on. Through discussions and assignments, students will develop skills to design, evaluate, and critically reflect upon global mental health interventions.

GNSE 21405 Queer Theory and Queer Practice
Instructor:
Jennifer Sichel
Does "queer" describe a form of sexual desire, a non-normative identity, a critical theory, an outlaw sensibility, an attitude of defiance, a non-linear temporality, an ecology, an ethics of attachment and affiliation? Or something else entirely? Without attempting to iron out contradictions or to propose a singular answer, this course examines what it means to produce queer work in and around the fields of art and art history, with a focus on the period since 1990. Attending closely to intersections of race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, gender, ability and class, we investigate how cultural producers (of various stripes) assemble queer objects, reimagine institutions, resist being defined by the political mainstream, and disseminate alternative futures. We engage work by a wide range of artists, collectives, activists, filmmakers, theorists, and art historians including (but not limited to): ACT UP, Douglas Crimp, Cheryl Dunye, Saidiya Hartman, Sharon Hayes, bell hooks, Isaac Julien, Zoe Leonard, Audre Lorde, LTTR, Uri McMillan, José Esteban Muñoz, Tavia Nyong'o, Marlon T. Riggs, Eve Sedgwick, Sandy Stone, Susan Stryker, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Tourmaline, Julia Bryan Wilson, David Wojnarowicz.

GNSE 21503 Sarah Baartman through Schitt’s Creek:an Introduction to Gender and Popular Culture
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
Throughout the twentieth century, scholars from Simone de Beauvoir through Judith Butler have argued that genders are learned, enacted and ascribed identities, worked out through interaction. As such, the production of ‘gender’ is carried out to some extent in relation to cultural models and artifacts that people use to make sense of, model and reject gendered identities, characteristics and roles. This course takes popular culture, including film, television, literature and social media, as a starting point for understanding the often taken-for granted characteristics deemed gendered in Western culture and elsewhere. Attending to race, class, sexuality, age and other social categorizations throughout, we will draw on representation and cultural theory as well as ethnographic works, mingling a close reading of theorists such as Erving Goffman and bell hooks with detailed attention to the latest reality show or trending hashtag. While we will focus primarily on the most widely disseminated and economically powerful imagery, we will also attend to alternative, resistant and activist media. This is an introductory graduate-level course; graduate students at all levels are invited to join, selected spots are reserved for advanced undergraduates.

GNSE 21705 Ectogenes and others: science fiction, feminism, reproduction
Instructor:
Hilary Strang
Recent work in feminist theory and feminist studies of science and technology has reopened and reconfigured questions around reproduction, embodiment, and social relations. Sophie Lewis’s account of “uterine geographies” and Michelle Murphy’s work on chemical latency and “distributed reproduction” stand as examples of this kind of work, which asks us to think about embodied life beyond the individual (and the human) and to see ‘biological reproduction’ as far more than simply biological. Social reproduction theory might be an example in a different key. This kind of investigation has a long (though sometimes quickly passed over) history in feminist thought (Shulamith Firestone’s call for ectogenic reproduction is a famous example), and in the radical reimaginings of personhood, human/nature relations, and sexing and gendering of feminist science fiction. This class will ask students to think between feminist science and technology studies, theoretical approaches to questions around social and biological reproduction, and the opening up of reproductive possibility found in feminist science fiction.

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

GNSE 22104 Feminism(s) in the Basque Country: Gender, Language, and National Identities
Instructor: TBD
Feminist movements are strong and vibrant in the Basque Country. Often presented as an example of a matriarchal culture where women have been able to exercise authority (central to Basque mythology are a number strong female creatures, such as the figure of Mari, a Stone Age goddess), Basque society has in fact been a breeding ground for various forms of women’s struggle against patriarchal oppression. In addition, the history of feminism in the Basque Country has been always inflected by the minority status experienced in both linguistic and national terms by the Basque people, and a number of contemporary feminist intellectuals and writers argue that the modes of oppression affecting them because of their gender are similar and indeed connected to those exercised against their language or against claims for national and political sovereignty. To what extent are these struggles for recognition —of gender, language, nation— one and the same fight? This course will provide a survey of contemporary feminist thought and practices, with particular attention paid to the way these movements position themselves in relation to the minority status assigned to language and nation in the Basque country.
Prerequisites: Some of the course materials will be in Basque or Spanish. Reading proficiency in either of those languages is recommended.

GNSE 22105 Islands of Diaspora: The Making of Race in the Caribbean
Instructor:
Deirdre Lyons
The Caribbean is an archipelago of pluralistic societies composed of diverse peoples of African, South Asian, Chinese, and European descent. Beginning in the fifteenth century and accelerating with the creation of a global economy based on capitalist consumption of slave-produced goods, these islands experienced and absorbed the forced and voluntary migration of millions of persons from across the world. This course examines how the consolidation of African chattel slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, shifting European and American rivalries, revolution, emancipation, indentured labor, twentieth-century migration, decolonization, and independence produced raced and gendered identities, as well as racial and gender ideologies, throughout the Caribbean. Adopting an inter-island approach, we will draw on tools in critical race, ethnic, and gender studies to examine how the region's historical experiences transformed the Caribbean archipelago into pluralistic and multiethnic societies with significant political, cultural, and social differences. Discussions and lecture will draw on critical race and gender studies scholarship, historical documents, novels, films, and other materials. This course fulfills the CRES major/minor advanced theory seminar on race and ethnicity but is open to all undergraduates.

GNSE 22233 Caste and Race: The Politics of Radical Equality
Instructor:
Ahona Panda
This course will explore the bodies of knowledge surrounding the politics and practices of caste in South Asia. We will study the emergence and development of radical social movements in the colonial and postcolonial periods that were opposed to caste oppression, along with scholarship that seeks to understand how such a form of social hierarchy and difference operates within regional and national communities. We will also examine how caste interacts with forms of identity such as class, gender, and religion. Caste has often been compared to race: we will study historical parallels as well as present scholarship and activism that aligns political struggles against caste and racial injustice in South Asia and the United States. Through close readings of primary sources and secondary literature in the fields of history, political science, anthropology and literature, the course will foreground the ubiquity of caste in everyday life in South Asia; the epistemologies that have developed to explain, understand and accommodate it; and finally the urgent, radical struggles that seek to annihilate it.

GNSE 22240 Women's Movements in the Modern Middle East
Instructor:
Kara Peruccio
If asked about women’s movements in the United States, one could expect responses of “Susan B. Anthony,” “first wave versus second wave,” “pussy hats” and so-on. But what about women’s movements in the Middle East? Can you name a famous Middle Eastern feminist? This course will expose you to the rich and diverse history of women’s movements in the Modern Middle East. Beginning in the late nineteenth century when concepts of love and marriage changed popularly and legally, we will move into the twentieth century exploring Middle Eastern women’s involvement at major international women’s congresses, the assimilation of feminism groups by the state in numerous nations, and into the twenty-first century looking at LGBTQ activism. In this course, we will assess the different varieties of feminism and women’s movements, as these concepts are intersectional and not monolithic. You will interrogate the role of the press, education, colonialism/anticolonialism, religion, and popular culture. Alongside secondary sources, you will examine primary sources produced by these movements – pamphlets, posters, memoirs, and even YouTube videos. We will develop close reading skills and you will have the quarter long project of researching, writing, and producing a podcast episode for a class series. Some prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history is helpful, but certainly not required, and all materials will be available in translation.

GNSE 22250 Intimate Rites: Examining Gender and Sexuality in Religion and Spirituality
Instructor:
Rafaella Taylor-Seymour
This class investigates how gender and sexuality shape and are shaped by religion and spiritual experience, engaging with ethnographic literature from a wide range of religious traditions and cultural contexts. The class begins by examining foundational concepts about the self, subjectivity, and belief, considering how they inform ideas about gender and sexuality, on the one hand, and religious experience, on the other. We move on to explore the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sexuality,’ interrogating assumptions that women, queer, and gender non-conforming people are always marginalized by religious institutions and cosmologies. In this vein, our readings will consider how ritual and spirituality are sites where ideas about gender and sexuality can be simultaneously performed, imposed, contested, and creatively reimagined. We will then consider the political stakes of our themes, investigating how individuals and groups put religious and spiritual practices to their own ends, to both the benefit and detriment of others. In the second half of the quarter, we will engage in depth with a series of recent ethnographic monographs that explore our themes in a variety of cultural and religious contexts, from Egypt to Brazil, India to Kenya, considering how they relate to contemporary debates about gender and sexuality.

GNSE 23129 Gender and Consumption
Instructor: Yaniv Ron-El
The course looks at the intricate relationship between consumption and gender and sexuality. Drawing on the sociology and history of consumer capitalism, it examines how consumer culture has been predicated on patriarchal and hierarchical notions of gender and sexuality, and how it also provided opportunities to challenge them. The course will ask and answer questions such as: What are the social and political meanings of consumption and how it has been gendered? How did consumer society and consumer culture develop in light of gendered ideologies and practices? And what are the models to challenge and change these institutions and their gendered reality? How has consumerism been related to the development of feminism? And how has feminist thought contributed to the critique of consumer capitalism? The course will examine the relationship of gender and sexuality to consumption through major sociological terms and concepts: How consumption, and gender, are practiced and experienced through space; how does consumption perpetuate and facilitate notions of class and class-distinction; how do consumption practices construct identities and gender-identities in particular; how have citizens, and especially women, used their status as consumers to promote political and feminist goals; and what are the relationships between consumption and the body? The course is recommended to students who are interested in the study of gender and sexuality, sociology, history, and anthropology.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A CONCEPTS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 24108 Reproductive Justice Beyond Rights
Instructor:
Amy Krauss This course surveys major debates and tactics of feminist and queer movements between global norths and souths, comparing visions of reproductive and sexual rights based on ideals of liberal individualism and private property with traditions of collective rights claims, practices of care and solidarity, and more expansive visions of reproductive wellbeing and justice. Some of our case studies include the Zika epidemic in Brazil, Mothers Reclaiming Our Children in the U.S., and movements for abortion access in Latin America. Hearing from guest speakers who work as lawyers, healthcare practitioners, activists and community organizers, we will consider reproductive and sexual rights in a field of contestation that involves diverse state interests and social movement histories.

GNSE 24520 Postcolonial Openings: World Literature after 1955
Instructor:
Darrel Chia
In this course, you will become familiar with the perspectives, debates, and attitudes that characterize postcolonial theory, literature, and cinema. We examine a range of interdisciplinary scholarship that engages us in conversations around publics, climate change, gender, complicity/compromise and human rights. By so doing, we register the impulses that animate the field, and sketch its possible futures. A specific focus will be on how postcolonial and queer theory speak to each other. Alongside this, we analyze novels and poetry in English from the latter half of the twentieth century that bear on transnationalism, migration, multiculturalism, anti-colonialism, and globalization. What are the claims made on behalf of literary texts in orienting us to other lives and possibilities, and in registering experiences of displacement in this milieu? We consider works by Arun Kolatkar, Claudia Rankine, Hanif Kureishi, Deepa Mehta, J.M. Coetzee, Jean Rhys, Richard Powers, and Amitav Ghosh.

GNSE 24603 The Song of Songs
Instructor: Simeon Chavel
In this text-course we will read the entire poetic composition, drawing on theory of literature in general and poetry in particular, tracing its unique forms of continuity, and analyzing its biblically distinctive forms of gender characterization. Prerequisite: 1 year Biblical Hebrew.

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

GNSE 25003 Multicultural Development and Gender
Instructor: Tasneem Mandviwala
This course will focus on gender scripts and performance as they are developed within multicultural contexts. We will focus on the mainstream and sub-cultures of the contemporary U.S. as the nation is both famously and infamously a place where individuals from multiple cultural backgrounds coexist. Traditionally, patriarchal norms have shaped many cultures worldwide, including American, so women’s and non-gender-conforming individuals' experiences have been relegated to sub-culture status even for culturally mainstream (i.e., White) individuals. The subculture dynamic becomes even more charged when conflicting scripts of gender must be grappled with between cultures an individual is a member of; for example, for immigrants or people of color. In this course, we will take an intersectional approach to examining the lived experiences of individuals from multicultural backgrounds, pulling apart the multiple racial, cultural, and gendered elements that comprise their realities, shape their decision-making and identity development, and ultimately craft their life trajectories.

GNSE 25141 Structural -isms
Instructor:
Rowan Bayne
What does it mean to designate “structure” as the operative force in discrimination against categories of person—as in appeals to structural racism or structural violence on the basis of gender? And how can we approach this question by attending to aesthetic uses of structure and form, especially as these have been understood in such paradigms as structuralism and recent literary formalisms? How do we read for structure, in reading for racism and for systemic discrimination on other bases? We’ll focus on intersections of race, gender, and class (in U.S. contexts) as these categories have been reconfigured in the past half century or so. To explore appeals to structure, we’ll consider definitions of literary and aesthetic form, debates about structure vs. agency, and questions of individual and collective action as mediated by institutions. Readings will balance theory with examples drawn from fiction, documentary film, built form, and other media. Throughout, we’ll pay particular attention to problems of structure construed as problems of narrative, as we develop sharper terms for understanding how discrimination proceeds structurally.

GNSE 25695 Workplace and Family Policy
Instructor:
Kohki Asai
The topics covered in the course will include: the demographic transition, human capital accumulation, gender wage and employment gaps, discrimination in the workplace, family leave and childcare policies, tax policies including subsidies like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and related welfare policies. We will draw on the theory of static and dynamic labor supply, theories of labor demand, and labor market equilibrium to guide its investigation, and use empirical tools to answer research questions. For each topic covered in this course, I will introduce an elementary treatment of the canonical theoretical model and give examples of its empirical application. In studying empirical applications, we will often draw on analysis from international experience.

GNSE 25706 Gender, Sex, and Empire
Instructor:
 Darcy Heuring
This course examines the complex and contested relationships between gender, sexuality, social organization and power in histories of (primarily British) imperialism and colonialism from the early conquests in the New World through the twentieth century. Employing insights from gender history, postcolonial studies and feminist theory, we look at a broad range of historical case studies to explore themes such as the intersectionality of race, class and gender; the instability of gender ideologies; how power was articulated through the fields of gender and sexuality; the politics of intimacy; and the regulation and 'improvement' of colonial bodies. Our goal is to better understand the ways that gender/sexuality and Western imperialism were co-constitutive in specific imperial and colonial contexts.

GNSE 26302 The Literature of Disgust, Rabelais to Nausea
Instructor:
Zachary Samalin
This course will survey a range of literary works which take the disgusting as their principle aesthetic focus, while also providing students with an introduction to core issues and concepts in the history of aesthetic theory, such as the beautiful and the sublime, disinterested judgment and purposive purposelessness, taste and distaste. At the same time, our readings will allow us to explore the ways in which the disgusting has historically been utilized as a way of producing socially critical literature, by representing that which a culture categorically attempts to marginalize, exclude and expel. Readings will engage with the variety of aesthetic functions that the disgusting has been afforded throughout modern literary history, including the carnivalesque and grotesque in Rabelais and the bawdy and satirical in Swift; Zola's gruesome naturalism, Sartre's existential nausea and Clarice Lispector's narrative of spiritual abjection; as well as Thomas Bernhard's experiments with contempt and Dennis Cooper's pseudo‐pornographic genre explorations. We will read widely in literary and cultural theories of disgust, as well as in the psychological and biological literature of the emotion. Prerequisite: Strong stomach.

GNSE 26504 Renaissance Demonology
Instructor: Armando Maggi
In this course we analyze the complex concept of demonology according to early modern European culture from a theological, historical, philosophical, and literary point of view. The term 'demon' in the Renaissance encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Demons are hybrids. They are both the Christian devils, but also synonyms for classical deities, and Neo-platonic spiritual beings. As far as Christian theology is concerned, we read selections from Augustine's and Thomas Aquinas's treatises, some complex exorcisms written in Italy, and a recent translation of the infamous "Malleus maleficarum," the most important treatise on witch-hunt. We pay close attention to the historical evolution of the so-called witch-craze in Europe through a selection of the best secondary literature on this subject, with special emphasis on Michel de Certeau's "The Possession at Loudun." We also study how major Italian and Spanish women mystics, such as Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi and Teresa of Avila, approach the issue of demonic temptation and possession. As far as Renaissance Neoplatonic philosophy is concerned, we read selections from Marsilio Ficino's "Platonic Theology" and Girolamo Cardano's mesmerizing autobiography. We also investigate the connection between demonology and melancholy through a close reading of the initial section of Robert Burton's "Anatomy of Melancholy" and Cervantes's short story "The Glass Graduate" ("El licenciado Vidriera").

GNSE 27005 Violence and the State
Instructor:
Yan Slobodkin
Violence in modern states is at once exceptional and ever-present, thought of as aberration even as it is routinely employed. Focusing primarily on modern Europe and its colonial empires, this seminar will explore this contradiction in theory and practice. We will consider violence at the intersection of race, gender, and class. We will learn how various modern thinkers including Tocqueville, Weber, and Sorel theorized the place of violence in liberal society. We will read writers and activists like Frantz Fanon, Mohandas Gandhi, and Assia Djebar to understand the role of violence in empire and decolonization. Finally, we will connect this history to the present day by considering how it relates to police violence in the contemporary world.

GNSE 27013 Woman/Native
Instructor:
Sonali Thakkar
This course reads works of postcolonial literature and theory in order to consider the entanglements of the figures of "women" and "natives" in colonial as well as postcolonial discourse. We will discuss topics such as the persistent feminization of the profane, degraded, and contagious bodies of colonized natives; representations of women as both the keepers and the victims of "authentic" native culture; the status (symbolic and otherwise) of women in anti-colonial resistance and insurgency; and the psychic pathologies (particularly nervous conditions of anxiety, hysteria, and madness) that appear repeatedly in these works as states to which women and/as natives are especially susceptible. Authors may include Ama Ata Aidoo, Hélène Cixous J.M Coetzee, Maryse Condé, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Mahasweta Devi, Assia Djebar, Frantz Fanon, Sigmund Freud, Silvia Federici, Nuruddin Farah, Bessie Head, V.S. Naipaul, Jean Rhys, Tayeb Salih, Ousmane Sembène, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

GNSE 27210 Making a Scene: Gender, Sexuality and Performance in Modern India
Instructor:
Sharvari Sastry
This interdisciplinary course examines key topics, trajectories and analytical methods in the study of gender and sexuality, approaching them in the Global South context of modern and contemporary Indian society. As a postcolonial nation that recently decriminalized homosexuality (in 2018), yet where caste- and communally-motivated sexual violence is on the rise, the contemporary Indian context pushes us to reflect on how questions of gender and sexuality are animated, constituted and represented, especially within non-Euro/American frameworks. What theoretical concepts have universal purchase, and what is only ever legible in a local register? How do the forces of global capital and imperial power intervene in these processes? We will address these questions through the lens of performance, drawing on ethnographic, textual, visual and filmic sources from various Indian regions, communities and languages (in translation). We will journey through a range of sites and scenes, including courtesan cultures, queer nightlife, drag performances, classical arts, dramatic texts, political protests, and more. Through our eclectic readings and creative assignments, we will collectively question and expand our received notions of gendered and sexualized identities and difference. This is an introductory course, and no prior knowledge of Indian/South Asian cultures and languages is required.

GNSE 27508 Women and the Mafia in Contemporary Italian Cinema
Instructor:
Veronica Vegna
This course will examine how gender dynamics within mafia contexts have been represented in a selection of Italian films. Students will engage in cinematic analysis by drawing from sociological and psychological studies on female roles in relation to organized crime. Both these fields, sociology and psychology, have underscored the important part that women play in relation to the mafia, notwithstanding the rigid patriarchal structure that allows only male affiliation. Although focusing primarily on Sicilian mafia, this course will include information on other types of Italian mafia, namely Camorra, 'Ndrangheta and Sacra Corona Unita. Vocabulary in Italian to identify formal elements of the films will be provided throughout the course.

GNSE 27536 The Transatlantic Slave Trade & the Making of the Black Lusophone Atlantic, 1450-1888
Instructor: Erin McCullugh
By the abolition of Brazilian slavery in 1888, an estimated 4.3 million men, women, and children had been imported from Africa to Brazil. Yet, the narratives of slavery and freedom in the North Anglophone and Francophone Atlantic often dominate the popular imagination. This course is aimed at increasing knowledge about how slavery and the transatlantic slave trade shaped the Atlantic World through an examination of the deeply intertwined histories of Brazil and West Africa. This course offers a critical “genealogy of the present” by investigating the historical roots of racial, gendered, and social inequality that persist in Brazil and Lusophone West Africa today. It will focus on the diverse social, cultural, and political linkages that were forged as a result of the transatlantic trade with particular attention to the Portuguese in West Africa; the development and growth of the slave trade to Brazil; the relationship between slavery and gender; the continuity and adaptation of African social and cultural practices; and resistance, rebellion, and freedom. We will end the course with a look at how different communities, individuals, and nations continue to grapple with the memory and legacy of slavery today.

GNSE 27539 The Politics of Black Queer Feminist Praxis
Instructor: Laterricka Smith
This course critically interrogates contemporary “status quo” power dynamics through a lens of Black Queer Feminism. This course understands Black Queer Feminism as a political praxis that operationalizes intersectionality by seeking to deconstruct normative and hegemonic systems of power. While many of the attendees of the Women’s March of 2017 were white, over 53% of white women had just voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. This comes at a stark comparison with the 94% of Black women that voted for Hilary Clinton. As one journalist cleverly wrote, this highlights a “53 percent problem in American Feminism”. This seminar-style course, through critical engagement with Black Queer Feminist praxis (thought and action), attempts to reconcile this 53 percent problem. We will begin with a history of Black feminist thought and transition to its contemporary iterations, including trans politics and queer theory. Along with a diasporic and transnational analysis, we will investigate: how do contemporary iterations of radical Black feminism engage with and resist against the state? How does Black Queer Feminism shape politics and society? The syllabus will incorporate readings from various disciplines including political science, sociology, and Black studies and will focus on how the simultaneity of hegemony shapes access to and relationships with power.

GNSE 27902 Wives, Widows, and Prostitutes: Indian Literature and the "Women's Question"
Instructor:
Ulrike Stark
From the early 19th century onward, the debate on the status of Indian women was an integral part of the discourse on the state of civilization, Hindu tradition, and social reform in colonial India. This course will explore how Indian authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries engaged with the so-called "women's question." Caught between middle-class conservatism and the urge for social reform, Hindi and Urdu writers addressed controversial issues such as female education, child marriage, widow remarriage, and prostitution in their fictional and discursive writings. We will explore the tensions of a literary and social agenda that advocated the 'uplift' of women as a necessary precondition for the progress of the nation, while also expressing patriarchal fears about women's rights and freedom. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Basic knowledge of Hindi and/or Urdu is preferable, but not required. We will read works by Nazir Ahmad, Premcand, Jainendra Kumar, Mirza Hadi Ruswa, and Mahadevi Varma in English translation, and also look at texts used in Indian female education at the time.

GNSE 28602 Cinema in Africa
Instructor:
Loren Kruger
This course examines Africa in film as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV, and includes films that reflect on the impact of global trends in Africa and local responses, as well as changing racial and gender identifications. We will begin with La Noire de... (1966), by the “father” of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted w/ a South African film, African Jim (1960) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin’s Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga, Sembene’s Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno’s Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine 20th and 21st century films such as I am a not a Witch and The wound (both 2017), which show tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the implications of these tensions for women and men, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and fiction film. Prerequisites: One or more of the following: Intro to Film/ International Cinema AND/OR Intro to African Studies or equivalent

GNSE 28705 Literature as Resistance: Reclaiming Italian Margins
Instructor:
Elizabeth Tavella
Resistance takes on many forms, some more explicit, some more elusive and covert; the act of writing is one of them. How has writing been used as an act of resistance in the Italian social landscape? How does literature present marginalized individuals with a way to resist cultural and physical oppression, and provide them with a means to promote social and cultural transformation? To answer these and other related questions, this course will explore the formation of counter-hegemonic discourse through the literary production of contemporary writers at the margins of Italian society. In order to accomplish this, we will focus on various liminal yet generative sites of struggle such as concentration camps, prisons, slaughterhouses, and urban peripheries through a variety of literary genres, including poetry, memoirs, and speculative fiction. Our corpus will include the works of Goliarda Sapienza, Amara Lakhous, Liana Millu, Carla Lonzi, and Nanni Balestrini, among others. By analyzing the intersecting roles of race, gender, class, species, and ecology, we will investigate how literature can function as a site of identity affirmation as well as a response to domination. This journey across spaces of resistance will allow us not only to retrace the history of Italian social movements, from the Italian resistance to the Feminist movement in the 1970s and contemporary migration politics, but also to rethink the boundaries of the literary canon. Taught in English.

GNSE 29001 Painting and Description in the Roman World: Philostratus’ Imagines—Religion, Education, Sexuality
Instructor: Jas Elsner
This course explores Roman art, especially painting, through the single most thoughtful, playful and creative text on naturalistic painting written in antiquity. Arguably, it is the most interesting examination of the brilliance and the problems of naturalism ever written in the Western tradition, creating a non-historicist, fictive and rhetorically-inflected model for thinking about art. Philostratus took the rhetorical trope of Ekphrasis to new heights, in an extraordinary intermedial investigation of textuality through the prism of visuality and of visual art through the descriptive prism of fictional prose. The course will involve close readings of Philostratus’ descriptions of paintings alongside exploration of the Greek and Roman art of the imperial period from Pompeian paintings via floor Mosaics to sarcophagi. A reading knowledge of Greek could not be described as a disadvantage (!) but is not a requirement. The course will be taught over 5 weeks in the Spring Quarter on an intensive schedule. Before the course begins, read the Imagines of the Elder Philostratus in the Loeb Classical Library translation (by Arthur Fairbanks, 1931, Harvard U.P., much reprinted). This book is not exorbitantly expensive and is worth buying, as we will all need a copy throughout.

GNSE 29313 Childhood and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century
Instructor: Naama Maor
How and when did we come to embrace the idea that children are innocent and defenseless? What are the implications of framing children's rights as human rights? In this course, we will explore key historical transformations in the legal, social, and cultural construction of childhood in modern Western societies. We will examine children's own experiences and how adults rendered them the subjects of study and state regulation. Topics of discussion will include work, leisure, education, sexuality, criminality, consumerism, and censorship. Throughout, we will discuss how ideas about race, gender, class, and age have shaped the way that the public and the state had defined childhood: who was entitled to a protected period of nurture, care, and play; who was allowed to be disobedient, or even lawless, and still avoid legal consequences. We will explore how and why some children have been and continue to be excluded from this idealized vision.

GNSE 29318 Modern Disability Histories: Gender, Race, and Disability
Instructor:
Michaela Appeltova
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.

 

Graduate Course Descriptions

SPRING 2021

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

GNSE 31405 Queer Theory and Queer Practice
Instructor:
Jennifer Sichel
Does "queer" describe a form of sexual desire, a non-normative identity, a critical theory, an outlaw sensibility, an attitude of defiance, a non-linear temporality, an ecology, an ethics of attachment and affiliation? Or something else entirely? Without attempting to iron out contradictions or to propose a singular answer, this course examines what it means to produce queer work in and around the fields of art and art history, with a focus on the period since 1990. Attending closely to intersections of race, ethnicity, sex, sexuality, gender, ability and class, we investigate how cultural producers (of various stripes) assemble queer objects, reimagine institutions, resist being defined by the political mainstream, and disseminate alternative futures. We engage work by a wide range of artists, collectives, activists, filmmakers, theorists, and art historians including (but not limited to): ACT UP, Douglas Crimp, Cheryl Dunye, Saidiya Hartman, Sharon Hayes, bell hooks, Isaac Julien, Zoe Leonard, Audre Lorde, LTTR, Uri McMillan, José Esteban Muñoz, Tavia Nyong'o, Marlon T. Riggs, Eve Sedgwick, Sandy Stone, Susan Stryker, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Tourmaline, Julia Bryan Wilson, David Wojnarowicz.

GNSE 31503 Sarah Baartman through Schitt’s Creek:an Introduction to Gender and Popular Culture
Instructor:
Ella Wilhoit
Throughout the twentieth century, scholars from Simone de Beauvoir through Judith Butler have argued that genders are learned, enacted and ascribed identities, worked out through interaction. As such, the production of ‘gender’ is carried out to some extent in relation to cultural models and artifacts that people use to make sense of, model and reject gendered identities, characteristics and roles. This course takes popular culture, including film, television, literature and social media, as a starting point for understanding the often taken-for granted characteristics deemed gendered in Western culture and elsewhere. Attending to race, class, sexuality, age and other social categorizations throughout, we will draw on representation and cultural theory as well as ethnographic works, mingling a close reading of theorists such as Erving Goffman and bell hooks with detailed attention to the latest reality show or trending hashtag. While we will focus primarily on the most widely disseminated and economically powerful imagery, we will also attend to alternative, resistant and activist media. This is an introductory graduate-level course; graduate students at all levels are invited to join, selected spots are reserved for advanced undergraduates.

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

GNSE 32233 Caste and Race: The Politics of Radical Equality
Instructor:
Ahona Panda
This course will explore the bodies of knowledge surrounding the politics and practices of caste in South Asia. We will study the emergence and development of radical social movements in the colonial and postcolonial periods that were opposed to caste oppression, along with scholarship that seeks to understand how such a form of social hierarchy and difference operates within regional and national communities. We will also examine how caste interacts with forms of identity such as class, gender, and religion. Caste has often been compared to race: we will study historical parallels as well as present scholarship and activism that aligns political struggles against caste and racial injustice in South Asia and the United States. Through close readings of primary sources and secondary literature in the fields of history, political science, anthropology and literature, the course will foreground the ubiquity of caste in everyday life in South Asia; the epistemologies that have developed to explain, understand and accommodate it; and finally the urgent, radical struggles that seek to annihilate it.

GNSE 33501 Gender, Sex, and Empire
Instructor:
 Darcy Heuring
This course examines the complex and contested relationships between gender, sexuality, social organization and power in histories of (primarily British) imperialism and colonialism from the early conquests in the New World through the twentieth century. Employing insights from gender history, postcolonial studies and feminist theory, we look at a broad range of historical case studies to explore themes such as the intersectionality of race, class and gender; the instability of gender ideologies; how power was articulated through the fields of gender and sexuality; the politics of intimacy; and the regulation and 'improvement' of colonial bodies. Our goal is to better understand the ways that gender/sexuality and Western imperialism were co-constitutive in specific imperial and colonial contexts.

GNSE 34108 Reproductive Justice Beyond Rights
Instructor:
Amy Krauss
This course surveys major debates and tactics of feminist and queer movements between global norths and souths, comparing visions of reproductive and sexual rights based on ideals of liberal individualism and private property with traditions of collective rights claims, practices of care and solidarity, and more expansive visions of reproductive wellbeing and justice. Some of our case studies include the Zika epidemic in Brazil, Mothers Reclaiming Our Children in the U.S., and movements for abortion access in Latin America. Hearing from guest speakers who work as lawyers, healthcare practitioners, activists and community organizers, we will consider reproductive and sexual rights in a field of contestation that involves diverse state interests and social movement histories.

GNSE 34520 Postcolonial Openings: World Literature after 1955
Instructor:
Darrel Chia
In this course, you will become familiar with the perspectives, debates, and attitudes that characterize postcolonial theory, literature, and cinema. We examine a range of interdisciplinary scholarship that engages us in conversations around publics, climate change, gender, complicity/compromise and human rights. By so doing, we register the impulses that animate the field, and sketch its possible futures. A specific focus will be on how postcolonial and queer theory speak to each other. Alongside this, we analyze novels and poetry in English from the latter half of the twentieth century that bear on transnationalism, migration, multiculturalism, anti-colonialism, and globalization. What are the claims made on behalf of literary texts in orienting us to other lives and possibilities, and in registering experiences of displacement in this milieu? We consider works by Arun Kolatkar, Claudia Rankine, Hanif Kureishi, Deepa Mehta, J.M. Coetzee, Jean Rhys, Richard Powers, and Amitav Ghosh.

GNSE 39001 Painting and Description in the Roman World: Philostratus’ Imagines—Religion, Education, Sexuality
Instructor: Jas Elsner
This course explores Roman art, especially painting, through the single most thoughtful, playful and creative text on naturalistic painting written in antiquity. Arguably, it is the most interesting examination of the brilliance and the problems of naturalism ever written in the Western tradition, creating a non-historicist, fictive and rhetorically-inflected model for thinking about art. Philostratus took the rhetorical trope of Ekphrasis to new heights, in an extraordinary intermedial investigation of textuality through the prism of visuality and of visual art through the descriptive prism of fictional prose. The course will involve close readings of Philostratus’ descriptions of paintings alongside exploration of the Greek and Roman art of the imperial period from Pompeian paintings via floor Mosaics to sarcophagi. A reading knowledge of Greek could not be described as a disadvantage (!) but is not a requirement. The course will be taught over 5 weeks in the Spring Quarter on an intensive schedule. =Before the course begins, read the Imagines of the Elder Philostratus in the Loeb Classical Library translation (by Arthur Fairbanks, 1931, Harvard U.P., much reprinted). This book is not exorbitantly expensive and is worth buying, as we will all need a copy throughout.

GNSE 41700 Ectogenes and others: science fiction, feminism, reproduction
Instructor:
Hilary Strang
Recent work in feminist theory and feminist studies of science and technology has reopened and reconfigured questions around reproduction, embodiment, and social relations. Sophie Lewis’s account of “uterine geographies” and Michelle Murphy’s work on chemical latency and “distributed reproduction” stand as examples of this kind of work, which asks us to think about embodied life beyond the individual (and the human) and to see ‘biological reproduction’ as far more than simply biological. Social reproduction theory might be an example in a different key. This kind of investigation has a long (though sometimes quickly passed over) history in feminist thought (Shulamith Firestone’s call for ectogenic reproduction is a famous example), and in the radical reimaginings of personhood, human/nature relations, and sexing and gendering of feminist science fiction. This class will ask students to think between feminist science and technology studies, theoretical approaches to questions around social and biological reproduction, and the opening up of reproductive possibility found in feminist science fiction.

GNSE 43400 France and Its Empire, 1830–2020
Instructor: Leora Auslander
Opening with the French invasion of Algeria and closing with the contemporary debates around race, gender, secularism, and Islam, this course will provide both an overview of France's engagement in the world and its consequences and an in-depth knowledge of some key moments or events. Special attention will be given to the engagement of French feminists in the imperial project and the development of feminist movements in West and North Africa; the role of indigenous intermediaries; and the mobilization of culture in the interests of both imperial rule and anti-colonial nationalism. Materials will include primary printed and visual and material sources, such as films, as well as a textbook for background. The format will combine lecture and discussion. Assignments: class presentations on the readings, a midterm paper, and a final paper. Attendance will be required and participation graded.

GNSE 44102 The Victorian Unconscious 
Instructor: Zach Samalin
The goal of this course is to analyze the emergence of psychoanalysis within its historical context, and to explore the ways in which psychoanalytic theory functions at once as an artifact of 19th century culture and as an interpretive system that can afford us a particular set of insights into that culture. Readings will include 19th century novels and poetry by Emily Brontë, H. Rider Haggard and Thomas Hardy, among others, as well as anthropological, sexological, sociological and psychiatric texts that represent the backdrop to the development of psychoanalytic theory.

GNSE 44603 The Song of Songs
Instructor: Simeon Chavel
In this text-course we will read the entire poetic composition, drawing on theory of literature in general and poetry in particular, tracing its unique forms of continuity, and analyzing its biblically distinctive forms of gender characterization. Prerequisite: 1 year Biblical Hebrew.

GNSE 45141 Structural -isms
Instructor:
Rowan Bayne
What does it mean to designate “structure” as the operative force in discrimination against categories of person—as in appeals to structural racism or structural violence on the basis of gender? And how can we approach this question by attending to aesthetic uses of structure and form, especially as these have been understood in such paradigms as structuralism and recent literary formalisms? How do we read for structure, in reading for racism and for systemic discrimination on other bases? We’ll focus on intersections of race, gender, and class (in U.S. contexts) as these categories have been reconfigured in the past half century or so. To explore appeals to structure, we’ll consider definitions of literary and aesthetic form, debates about structure vs. agency, and questions of individual and collective action as mediated by institutions. Readings will balance theory with examples drawn from fiction, documentary film, built form, and other media. Throughout, we’ll pay particular attention to problems of structure construed as problems of narrative, as we develop sharper terms for understanding how discrimination proceeds structurally.

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

GNSE 48602 Cinema in Africa
Instructor: Loren Kruger
This course examines Africa in film as well as films produced in Africa. It places cinema in Sub Saharan Africa in its social, cultural, and aesthetic contexts ranging from neocolonial to postcolonial, Western to Southern Africa, documentary to fiction, art cinema to TV, and includes films that reflect on the impact of global trends in Africa and local responses, as well as changing racial and gender identifications. We will begin with La Noire de... (1966), by the “father” of African cinema, Ousmane Sembene, contrasted w/ a South African film, African Jim (1960) that more closely resembles African American musical film, and anti-colonial and anti-apartheid films from Lionel Rogosin’s Come Back Africa (1959) to Sarah Maldoror’s Sambizanga, Sembene’s Camp de Thiaroye (1984), and Jean Marie Teno’s Afrique, Je te Plumerai (1995). The rest of the course will examine 20th and 21st century films such as I am a not a Witch and The wound (both 2017), which show tensions between urban and rural, traditional and modern life, and the implications of these tensions for women and men, Western and Southern Africa, in fiction, documentary and fiction film. Prerequisites: One or more of the following: Intro to Film/ International Cinema AND/OR Intro to African Studies or equivalent

 

Course Archive