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

WINTER 2021

SPRING 2021

 

Graduate Courses

WINTER 2021

SPRING 2021

 

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

WINTER 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GNSE 29303 My Body, My Self: Asceticism and Subjectivity
Instructors: Sarah Pierce Taylor and Erin Galgay Walsh
In recent decades scholars of the pre-modern period have turned to the body as a site of renewed historical inquiry. Within the study of religion, this shift has reanimated discussions around asceticism as a particularly potent techne for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. The proposed signature course brings together two scholars of religion working in distinct geographical locations and cultures: Eastern Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature. Despite our disparate areas, together we are interested in bringing critical gender theory to bear on asceticism as a discursive and embodied practice. We envision this course as an opportunity for students to engage asceticism as a series of techniques that envision the sexed and gendered human body as the horizon of corporeal expression and personal imagination. Asceticism serves as a neat conceptual device, allowing us to toggle between the mind and body while tackling questions that fall within the liminal space between them, including debates around gender, sexuality, sovereignty, and biopower. Students along with the instructors will contend with the challenges and opportunities of transnational and transhistorical feminist and queer inquiry as we traverse across the boundaries of tradition, language, and culture. While drawing on rich historical and religious archives, we will anchor our discussions around the interplay of two principal authors: Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Graduate Course Descriptions

WINTER 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GNSE 39303 My Body, My Self: Asceticism and Subjectivity
Instructors: Sarah Pierce Taylor and Erin Galgay Walsh
In recent decades scholars of the pre-modern period have turned to the body as a site of renewed historical inquiry. Within the study of religion, this shift has reanimated discussions around asceticism as a particularly potent techne for self-fashioning. Nevertheless, scholars have struggled to theorize asceticism across religious traditions. The proposed signature course brings together two scholars of religion working in distinct geographical locations and cultures: Eastern Christianity and medieval Indian religious literature. Despite our disparate areas, together we are interested in bringing critical gender theory to bear on asceticism as a discursive and embodied practice. We envision this course as an opportunity for students to engage asceticism as a series of techniques that envision the sexed and gendered human body as the horizon of corporeal expression and personal imagination. Asceticism serves as a neat conceptual device, allowing us to toggle between the mind and body while tackling questions that fall within the liminal space between them, including debates around gender, sexuality, sovereignty, and biopower. Students along with the instructors will contend with the challenges and opportunities of transnational and transhistorical feminist and queer inquiry as we traverse across the boundaries of tradition, language, and culture. While drawing on rich historical and religious archives, we will anchor our discussions around the interplay of two principal authors: Giorgio Agamben and Michel Foucault.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GNSE 32240 Women's Movements in the Modern Middle East
Instructor:
Kara Peruccio
If asked about women’s movements in the United States, one could expect responses of “Susan B. Anthony,” “first wave versus second wave,” “pussy hats” and so-on. But what about women’s movements in the Middle East? Can you name a famous Middle Eastern feminist? This course will expose you to the rich and diverse history of women’s movements in the Modern Middle East. Beginning in the late nineteenth century when concepts of love and marriage changed popularly and legally, we will move into the twentieth century exploring Middle Eastern women’s involvement at major international women’s congresses, the assimilation of feminism groups by the state in numerous nations, and into the twenty-first century looking at LGBTQ activism. In this course, we will assess the different varieties of feminism and women’s movements, as these concepts are intersectional and not monolithic. You will interrogate the role of the press, education, colonialism/anticolonialism, religion, and popular culture. Alongside secondary sources, you will examine primary sources produced by these movements – pamphlets, posters, memoirs, and even YouTube videos. We will develop close reading skills and you will have the quarter long project of researching, writing, and producing a podcast episode for a class series. Some prior knowledge of Middle Eastern history is helpful, but certainly not required, and all materials will be available in translation.

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

GNSE 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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