Exterior at night

The Center at night

Side Entrance

The entrance of the CSGS

Heather Love audience

The audience listens as Lauren Berlant introduces Heather Love in 2014

Class discussion

Students participate in a classroom discussion at the Center

Héctor Carrillo

Héctor Carrillo talks with students after his book talk in 2018

Joan Scott

Joan Scott speaking at the Center in 2017

panel

Students listen to panelists present in 2017

Community room

The Community Room at 5733 S University

center door

Center entrance

5733 exterior

The exterior of 5733 S University

Bhanu Kapil

Poet Bhanu Kapil at the Center in 2016

Courses

Undergraduate Courses

AUTUMN 2020

WINTER 2021

SPRING 2021

 

Graduate Courses

AUTUMN 2020

WINTER 2021

SPRING 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 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 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 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 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 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 23100 Foucault and The History of Sexuality
Instructor: Arnold Davidson
This course centers on a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault are also discussed. PQ: One prior philosophy course is strongly recommended.

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 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 Hidden 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 of Color Critique and Theology
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
Course description TBD

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 20110 Trans* Forms: On Gender and Genre
Instructor: C. Riley Snorton
Gender and genre share the common root term, “genus,” which refers to classification. In this class, students will engage how authors make use of decolonial, antiracist, feminist and queer theory and praxis to approach and refigure gender’s colonial legacies. Reading across genres--memoir, poetry, and speculative fiction, to name a few --Trans* Forms attends to the remaking and proliferation of gender as matters of form.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A PROBLEMS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

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 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 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 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 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 24001 Love and Eros: Japanese History
Instructor:
James Ketelaar
An examination of cultural forms of affection and the erotic throughout history on the Japanese archipelago. Materials from ancient myth–historical, aristocratic-literary, Buddhistic-devout, Confucian-chaste, and commercialized-erotic imaginations (along with others) will be examined. Several film screenings required. Familiarity with Japanese history and language helpful but not required.

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 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 27012 Histories of Violence in the United States
Instructor: Kathleen Belew
The story of the United States is built on the inclusion or omission of violence: from the genocide of Native Americans to slavery to imperial conquest, from "private" pain of women to the nationalized pain of soldiers. This lecture course brings violence to the center of US history. Moving from early America to the present, we will discuss these overlapping stories in terms of their visibility and invisibility, addressing questions of representation and the haunting function of traumatic experience. Following an emerging subfield of scholarship in histories of violence, this course examines narrative, archival, and political issues around studying, teaching, and writing such stories. The final assignment is a public history presentation project.

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.

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 12104 Foundations in Masculinities Studies
Instructor: Rebecca Ewert
In recent years, the term “toxic masculinity” has been used in contexts from the #MeToo movement to the rise of Donald Trump, from Gillette advertisements to the behavior of men on the reality show The Bachelorette. Why is the conversation around “toxic masculinity” taking place in the United States at this moment? In this course, we will go beyond banal statements like “toxic masculinity” and “men are trash” to critically ask, What role does masculinity play in social life? How is masculinity produced, and are there different ways to be masculine? This course provides students with an intensive introduction to the foundational theory and research in the field of masculinities studies. We will use an intersectional lens to study the ways in which the concept and lived experience of masculinity are shaped by economic, social, cultural, and political forces. We will examine how the gendered social order influences the way people of all genders perform masculinity as well as the ways men perceive themselves and other men, women, and social situations. Verbally and in writing, students will develop an argument about the way contemporary masculinity is constructed and performed.
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 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 20107 Queer and Trans Cinema and Media
Instructor: Kara Keeling
In this course we explore the history of queer and transgender cinema and media in an effort to situate new developments in queer and trans cinema and media making. We will consider relevant theories about gender and sexuality and their implications for our categories of film and media analysis.
THIS COURSE COUNTS AS A PROBLEMS COURSE FOR GNSE MAJORS

GNSE 20113 Inequalities
Instructor: Rochona Majumdar
This course analyzes inequality and the overt and covert violence that results from it. These inequalities are often grounded in gender and sex but also result from a complex intersection of sex gender systems with other historical factors such as city life, environment, media and so on. Inequality is what produces the experience of differential citizenship, a topic that exercises scholars the world over. In particular, those interested in issues of feminism, community, and ethnicity have studied why women (some women more than others) or particular social groups such as gay or trans groups, experience disenfranchisement more than their counterparts, even when, officially, many cultures/ nation states grant their members/citizens formal legal equality. Many of the examples around which this course is framed emerge out of South Asia, but our analyses will be structured through an engagement with theoretical texts that address issues of gendered oppression and discrimination in other parts of the world. Readings will include historical, anthropological, literary texts.
Please note: Students who have previously completed “Problems in the Study of Gender and Sexuality: Inequality” are not eligible to receive credit for this class.
This course counts as a PROBLEMS course for GNSE majors

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 21506 The Anthropology of Bodily Modification
Instructor: Ella Wilhoit
From the urge to dye one’s hair through the desire to reshape the body entirely, humans have sought to modify their corporeal forms throughout documented history. This is, in fact, one disposition or ability that seemingly sets humans apart from many cousin species. But our processes of bodily modification are also intrinsically cultural—one person’s adornment is another’s mutilation. In this class we examine bodily modification practices cross-culturally, studying the mundane and the extreme, from shaving to tattooing to neck-lengthening to medically unnecessary amputation. We examine gendered forms, from makeup to Botox to foot-binding, and we interrogate racialized and post-colonial practices, such as hair straightening, skin-bleaching, and plastic surgeries. We will trace desires for bodily modification across time and space and consider the body as the earliest canvas, examining the very earliest evidence of bodily adornment, which appears to predate so-called cave painting. In short, we will attempt to historicize, contextualize and give meaning to cross-cultural behaviors of bodily modification, using ethnographic texts, cultural theory and historical and archaeological evidence. This is an introductory graduate level course; undergraduates are welcome with instructor consent.

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 22048 Girlhood
Instructor: Heather Keenleyside
This course focuses on narratives in which the category of “girl” or “girlhood” is under construction, or called into question. We’ll begin with a number of works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (novels by Frances Burney, Jane Austen, Mary Wollstonecraft, Charlotte Bronte), and will move into novels, films, comics, and memoirs from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that draw on or depart from some of those earlier texts. Throughout, the course will draw on work from fields like sociology, history, and feminist and queer theory to consider changing conceptions of childhood, adolescence, and development, as well as the way that intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability shape categories and narratives of “girlhood.”

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 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 24545 The Rise of Free Speech: Aesthetics, Politics, and Censorship, 1857-2020
Instructor: Zach Samalin
This course will consider a variety of historical debates and controversies surrounding the concept of freedom of speech and expression, from 19th century obscenity law through instances of 20th century political and economic repression and on to the concept’s cooptation by right-wing free market discourse and debates about hate speech in the present. Case studies from 19C-21C literature in English and English-translation.

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 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 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 27536 Race and Slavery: 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 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.

 

Graduate Course Descriptions

AUTUMN 2020

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 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 36505 The Hidden 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 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 of Color Critique and Theology
Instructor:
Kris Trujillo
Course description TBD

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 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 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 34001 Love and Eros: Japanese History
Instructor:
James Ketelaar
An examination of cultural forms of affection and the erotic throughout history on the Japanese archipelago. Materials from ancient myth–historical, aristocratic-literary, Buddhistic-devout, Confucian-chaste, and commercialized-erotic imaginations (along with others) will be examined. Several film screenings required. Familiarity with Japanese history and language helpful but not required.

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 36017 Women and the Enlightenment
Instructor: Heather Keenleyside
This course will study women’s relation to the intellectual and political culture of Enlightenment, as both subjects and objects of enquiry. We will examine how writers of this period imagined sexual difference and the category of “woman”; envisioned women’s education and the life of the mind; came to understand women as consumers and creators of culture, as well as agents of sociability, civilization and historical change. Throughout, we will consider the relationship between gender and key Enlightenment ideals of rationality, autonomy, civility, progress, and political liberty.

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 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 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.

SPRING 2021

GNSE 30107 Queer and Trans Cinema and Media
Instructor: Kara Keeling
In this course we explore the history of queer and transgender cinema and media in an effort to situate new developments in queer and trans cinema and media making. We will consider relevant theories about gender and sexuality and their implications for our categories of film and media analysis.

GNSE 30111 Inequalities
Instructor: Rochona Majumdar
This course analyzes inequality and the overt and covert violence that results from it. These inequalities are often grounded in gender and sex but also result from a complex intersection of sex gender systems with other historical factors such as city life, environment, media and so on. Inequality is what produces the experience of differential citizenship, a topic that exercises scholars the world over. In particular, those interested in issues of feminism, community, and ethnicity have studied why women (some women more than others) or particular social groups such as gay or trans groups, experience disenfranchisement more than their counterparts, even when, officially, many cultures/ nation states grant their members/citizens formal legal equality. Many of the examples around which this course is framed emerge out of South Asia, but our analyses will be structured through an engagement with theoretical texts that address issues of gendered oppression and discrimination in other parts of the world. Readings will include historical, anthropological, literary texts.

GNSE 30114 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.

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 31506 The Anthropology of Bodily Modification
Instructor: Ella Wilhoit
From the urge to dye one’s hair through the desire to reshape the body entirely, humans have sought to modify their corporeal forms throughout documented history. This is, in fact, one disposition or ability that seemingly sets humans apart from many cousin species. But our processes of bodily modification are also intrinsically cultural—one person’s adornment is another’s mutilation. In this class we examine bodily modification practices cross-culturally, studying the mundane and the extreme, from shaving to tattooing to neck-lengthening to medically unnecessary amputation. We examine gendered forms, from makeup to Botox to foot-binding, and we interrogate racialized and post-colonial practices, such as hair straightening, skin-bleaching, and plastic surgeries. We will trace desires for bodily modification across time and space and consider the body as the earliest canvas, examining the very earliest evidence of bodily adornment, which appears to predate so-called cave painting. In short, we will attempt to historicize, contextualize and give meaning to cross-cultural behaviors of bodily modification, using ethnographic texts, cultural theory and historical and archaeological evidence. This is an introductory graduate level course; undergraduates are welcome with instructor consent.

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 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 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 40315 Black Fugitivity & Fugitive Democracy: Radical Democratic Theory and Race 
Instructor: George Shulman visiting professor (Gallatin School, New York University)
What kind of rhetorical and political work is the trope of “fugitivity” being used to perform by scholars across the humanities and social sciences? How should we assess its appeal, value, limitations, and dangers? This seminar pursues these broad questions by exploring figurations of fugitivity specifically in political theory and in black studies, in work by Hannah Arendt and Sheldon Wolin on the one hand, and in work by Hortense Spillers, Fred Moten, and Saidiyah Hartman on the other hand. In these texts fugitivity gains its meanings by juxtaposing death-like imprisonment and impasse to creative action and vitality, but they represent the meaning, location, protagonists, and characteristic practices of fugitivity differently. Seeking to preserve “the political,” Hannah Arendt turns to a fugitive natality as redemption from the social. Sheldon Wolin describes moments of participation and insurgency as “fugitive democracy.” Fred Moten refuses both the political and the democratic in the name of protecting a black fugitivty he lodges in stateless sociality, associates with maternity, and celebrates as socio-poetic insurgency. His avowedly “anti-political romance” of black fugitivity resonates with the feminist thought of Spillers and Hartman, while posing a profound challenge to any theorizing of the political. How can it be that fugitivity is invoked both to secure and yet also to undo the political? Our goal is to discern the stakes in these differences about sociality, maternity, and blackness, about the democratic and the political. To do so we study texts by Arendt, Wolin, Spillers, Moten and Hartman. We explore debates over Arendt’s intervention into the Little Rock de-segregation struggle, and recent political theory essays on the relation between “fugitive democracy” and “black fugitivity.” We also raise questions about genre, and consider the literary as a form of political theory, by reading Harriet Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad.

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 42230 Anthropology of Motherhood
Instructor: Kathryn Takabvirwa
Motherhood is a deeply contested and highly charged field of politics. From maternity-related over wage inequality to debates over breastfeeding in restaurants, from racial preference in donor egg selection, to challenges over breeches in surrogacy contracts, Family and Child Services and the judgement of ‘unfit,’ to accusations of witchcraft in cases of infertility, motherhood is the stuff of life and death. In this course, we examine critical issues in the theorization of reproduction and the sociopolitical and affective dimensions of the making of motherhood. The course considers the ways motherhood stands as a locus for the debates around governance, gendered citizenship, privacy, religion, kinship, and the family.

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 46706 Global Intimacies
Instructor: Sonali Thakkar
This course investigates the intimate dimensions of contemporary transnational experience. We will focus on representations of familial bonds and on transformations of love relations under conditions of diaspora and migration, and we will consider whether migration and other forms of transnational experience might entail rethinking the contours of terms like family and intimacy. Authors may include Gordimer, Gunesekera, Hartman, Ishiguro, Kincaid, Lahiri, Mootoo, Shamsie, with films by Cronenberg, Liem, and key theoretical texts.

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

 

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