Courses

The following information is from the 2016-17 Vassar College Catalogue.

Women's Studies: I. Introductory

110a. Gender, Social Problems and Social Change 1

(Same as SOCI 110) This course introduces students to a variety of social problems using insights from political science, sociology, and gender studies. We begin with an exploration of the sociological perspective, and how social problems are defined as such. We then examine the general issues of inequalities based on economic and employment status, racial and ethnic identity, and gender and sexual orientation. We apply these categories of analysis to problems facing the educational system and the criminal justice system. As we examine specific issues, we discuss political processes, social movements, and individual actions that people have used to address these problems. Carlos Alamo, Eileen Leonard.

Prerequisite: with permission of the instructor.

This class is taught at the Taconic Correctional Facility for Women to a combined class of Vassar and Taconic students.

One 3-hour period.

130a and b. Introduction to Women's Studies 1

Multidisciplinary study of the scholarship on women, with an introduction to feminist theory and methodology. Includes contemporary and historical experiences of women in private and public spaces. Examination of how the concept of women has been constructed in literature, science, the media, and other institutions, with attention to the way the construction intersects with nationality, race, class, and sexuality.

Two 75-minute periods.

160 Issues in Feminism: Bodies and Texts 1

This course is an introduction to issues in feminism with a focus on the female body and its representations.  We read and write about a variety of texts, consider historical objects as well literary documents, and analyze visual materials from art, fashion, advertising, and film from the nineteenth century  to the present. Particular focus is given to women's bodies in visual, material, and literary culture. We make use of Vassar resources such as the Rare Book Collection, the Costume Shop and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. Barbara Olsen.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

186a. Meeting Places: Bars, Streets, Cafés 1

(Same as FREN 186) "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine." This bitter observation, made by the owner of "Rick's Café" in the 1942 American-made film Casablanca, is often misquoted as, "she had to walk into mine." Indeed, the unexpected encounter with a past acquaintance or stranger is a necessary catalyst that sets in motion the plot of many a novel or film. This freshman writing seminar looks at literary or cinematic chance meetings that occur in three kinds of locales: the bar, the street, and the café. With each story or film we examine, we'll learn something about about France and its relation to certain regions, while considering "place" itself as a critical concept. After viewing Michael Curtiz's film Casablanca, set in French-occupied Morocco, our explorations take us to nineteenth-century Paris in works by George Sand and Guy de Maupassant, to French Indochina in Marguerite Duras' The Lover, to twentieth-century Montreal in works by Liliane Dévieux and Dany Laferrière, to Tahar Ben Jelloun's present-day Tunisia, then back to Paris with Jean-Pierre Jeunet's The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain. Finally, we return to the film Casablanca, better equipped to understand why, if all roads lead to Casablanca, then all roads in Casablanca "must" lead to Rick's Café. The course is taught in English. All works are read in translation. Kathleen Hart.

Two 75-minute periods.

Women's Studies: II. Intermediate

201b. Introduction to Queer Studies 1

This course offers an introduction to queer theories and methodologies as a form of inquiry that emerged out of and alongside feminism, LGBT liberation movements and AIDS activism. In addition to exploring the experiences of LBGTQ individuals and communities in a global context, the course focuses on the historical emergence of a variety of sexual and gender identities as well as the political strategies they pursued. Special attention is paid to the way sexuality intersects with gender, nationality, race, class, and dis/ability. Elias Krell and Jeffrey Schneider.
 

Prerequisite: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

203 Women in Greek and Roman History and Myth 1

(Same as GRST 203) Greek and Roman literary and historical accounts abound with vividly drawn women such as Helen, Antigone, Medea, Livia, and Agrippina, the mother of Nero. But how representative were such figures of the daily lives of women throughout Greek and Roman antiquity? This course investigates the images and realities of women in the ancient Greek and Roman world, from the Greek Late Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the Roman Empire (up to the III c. CE) by juxtaposing evidence from literature, historical sources, and archaeological material. Throughout, the course examines the complex ways in which ancient women interacted with the institutions of the state, the family, religion, and the arts. Barbara Olsen.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

204 Gender and Sexuality in Roman Culture 1

(Same as GRST 204) This course examines in detail the sexual attitudes and behaviors of the ancient Romans and the gender roles that both shaped and were shaped by those attitudes. We study selections from ancient Greek and Roman literature, examine artistic remains, and read articles written by prominent scholars of ancient Rome. While the readings are in roughly chronological order, the course is principally organized by topic (e.g., a day for "Roman pederasty" or "Vestal virgins"). All readings are in English translation.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

205b. Arab Women Writers 1

(Same as AFRS 205) This course examines a selection of literary works by modern and contemporary Arab women writers in English translation. We will read fiction, poetry, autobiographies, short stories, and critical scholarship by and about Arab women, from North Africa and the Middle East, in order to develop a critical understanding of the social, political, and cultural context(s) of these writings, and to form an enlightened opinion about the issues and concerns raised by Arab women writers throughout the Twentieth Century, at different historical junctures, and in different locations. Our class discussions will focus-among other themes-on: (1) Arab women writers and feminism. (2) Arab Women and Islamism. (3) Arab women and the West. (4) Arab Nationalism(s), Arab Modernity(s), and Arab women. (5) Arab Women writing in the Diaspora: hyphenated identities and different routes of homecoming. The authors to be read include Assia Djebar (Algeria); Fatima Mernissi (Morocco); Nawal Sadaawi (Egypt); Hanan Al-Shaykh (Lebanon); and Sahar Khalifeh (Palestine); and many others. Mootacem Mhiri.

Two 75-minute periods.

210a. Domestic Violence 1

(Same as SOCI 210) This course provides a general overview of the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence in the United States and its effects on battered women. We examine the role of the Battered Women's Movement in both the development of societal awareness about domestic violence and in the initiation of legal sanctions against it. We also explore and discuss, both from a historical and present day perspective, ways in which our culture covertly and overtly condones the abuse of women by their intimate partners. Darlene DePorto.

214b. Transnational Perspectives on Women and Work 1

(Same as LALS 214 and SOCI 214) This class is a theoretical and empirical exploration of women's paid and unpaid labor. We examine how women's experiences as workers --- across space, place, and time --- interact with larger economic structures, historical moments, and narratives about womanhood. We pay particular attention to the ways in which race, class, gender, sexuality and citizenship intersect and shape not only women's relationships to work and family, but to other women workers (at times very differently geopolitically situated). We are attentive to the construction of women workers, the work itself, and the meanings women give to production, reproduction, and the global economy. Light Carruyo.

Two 75-minute periods.

215 Pre-modern Drama: Text and Performance before 1800 1

Study of selected dramatic texts and their embodiment both on the page and the stage. Authors, critical and theoretical approaches, dramatic genres, historical coverage, and themes may vary from year to year. 

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

218b. Literature, Gender, and Sexuality 1

(Same as AFRS 218    and ENGL 218) This course considers matters of gender and sexuality in literary texts, criticism, and theory. The focus varies from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre; constructions of masculinity and femininity; sexual identities; or representations of gender in relation to race and class.

Topic for 2016/17b:  Black Feminism. From the Combahee River Collective to Beyonce as feminist figure, this course pushes you to consider the ways in which black American women have historically and contemporaneously negotiated the intersections between race, class, gender, and sexuality in order to formulate their own feminist theory and praxis. Eve Dunbar.

Two 75-minute periods.

219 Queering the Archive 1

This course provides a review of the methodologies and theories for collecting oral histories and other forms of archiving, with attention specifically to the difficulties attending histories of queer sexualities and gender non-conformity. As a class, we learn about the practice and politics of archiving, speaking with archivists from Vassar Library's Special Collections, the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive at the Schomburg Center, and the Lesbian Herstory Archive, as well as practitioners and scholars of public and/or oral histories, both in and outside the academy and across disciplinary boundaries. We strive in this course to think expansively and creatively about what exactly constitutes archives and artifacts. As we learn and practice methodologies for oral history, we inquire also into what it might mean to queer those practices, especially if we think of "queerness" as anti-disciplinary. Hiram Perez.

Prerequisite: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

220b. Medieval and Renaissance Culture 1

(Same as HIST 220 and MRST 220) Topic for 2016/17b: Sex, Power, and Resistance in the Renaissance. From the fifteenth century until the end of the seventeenth century, European women and men argued about the nature and status of woman and their debates still engage us today. Critically, this period represents a shift in thinking about women. We examine literature, treatises, and polemical works that reveal how the discussion shifted from theological to biological definitions of woman. How did people in the Renaissance articulate biological and intellectual differences between men and women? How did they view sexual identity? Furthermore, women, such as Isabella of Castile, Elizabeth I, and Catherine de Medici, became powerful rulers, as a result of hereditary accidents, which gave greater urgency to the definition of power and gender. While many women accepted the more conventional patriarchal framework, others resisted and challenged the denigration of woman through writing, legal action and work. Sumita Choudhury.

Two 75-minute periods.

222a. Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Islamic Spaces 1

(Same as RELI 222) This course explores the relationship between Islam, gender, and sexuality through a focus on space. The course is organized through six key spaces that have formed gendered bodies in Islamic contexts and diasporas: the home, the mosque, the baths (hammam), the school, the public square, and the interior soul. As we move through each of these spaces, we explore how sexual difference, gender, sexuality, and religious practice take on different shapes in different settings, and at different life stages. We read canonical works of Muslim feminist thought, as well as the classical sources they engage with. We pay attention to gender diversity in the classical traditions and contemporary Islamic contexts, coming-of-age and other life stages, and to the role of gender and sexuality in mystical relationship with the divine. Kirsten Wesselhoeft.

 

Two 75-minute periods.

230a. Women in Film 1

(Same as FILM 230) This course both examines the representation of women on film from an international perspective, and explores the works of key international women directors. Issues addressed include: constructions of femininity, masculinity, and sexuality, and the mapping of intersections between gender, power, race, class, and nation. We then study women directors of feature films such as Kathryn Bigelow (USA), Julie Dash (USA), Mingmonkul Sonakul (Thailand), Deepa Mehta (India), Nan Triveni Achnas (Indonesia), Jane Campion (New Zealand), Chantal Akerman (Belgium), and Yasmin Ahmad (Malaysia). Readings are drawn from feminist (film) theory, post-colonial theory, genre theory, and cultural studies. Screenings may include Sweetie, Sepet, The Photograph, Fire, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, and Near Dark. Rodica Blumenfeld.

Prerequisite: one course in Film or Women's Studies.

Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

231b. Women Making Music 1

(Same as MUSI 231) A study of women's involvement in Western and non-Western musical cultures. Drawing on recent work in feminist musicology and ethnomusicology, the course studies a wide range of music created by women, both past and present. It explores such topics as musical instruments and gender, voice and embodiment, access to training and performance opportunities, and representations of women musicians in art and literature. Kathryn Libin.

Prerequisite: one unit in Music, or Women's Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

234 Women in American Musical Theater 1

(Same as DRAM 234) This course focuses on the role of female characters in the American Musical Theater. The musical is both a populist and nonconventional form of drama, as such it both reflects contemporary assumptions of gendered behavior and has the potential to challenge conventional notions of normative behavior. Through an examination of librettos, music, and secondary sources covering shows from Show Boat to Spring Awakening the class will examine the way American Musicals have constructed and represented gendered identities. The class is organized thematically and will also consider issues of race, class, and sexuality as they intersect with issues of gender. Denise Walen.

Prerequisites: DRAM 221/DRAM 222 or WMST 130.

Not offered in 2016/2017.

Two 75-minute periods.

240b. Gender in American Popular Media 1

This course sets out to study the intersections between American popular culture and the politics of gender, race, class, and sex. Objects of study may include dolls and other toys as well as a variety of television and film genres, including classical Hollywood, documentaries, talk shows, music videos, cartoons, pornography, and independent film. Readings draw on a number of important contributions in feminist cultural analysis, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and journalism from across the humanities and social sciences. Anne Brancky.

Prerequisites: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

241b. Topics in the Construction of Gender 1

This course examines the construction of gender as a social category and introduces students to various methodologies of gender studies and feminist analysis. Particular attention is given to the connections between gender, class, race, sex, and sexual identity. Topics vary from year to year and may include the study of gender in the context of a particular historical period, medicine and science, or the arts and literature. May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2016/17b: Queer and Trans of Color Interventions. This course examines queer and transgender of color performance, theory, and activisms in a global context. Trans and gender nonconforming of color authors are centered in this course. The course asks what analytics, politics, and aesthetics QTOC critique opens for persons with a variety of identifications and texts that might seem to fall outside a "trans" purview. Our texts are interdisciplinary: we listen to music, watch films and live performances, host guest speakers, read memoir, fiction, history, ethnography, manifesto, and critical theory. Students will be encouraged to make connections between queer and trans of color activism(s) today and other historical and present social justice movements within and outside the U.S. Creative and critical written assignments provide opportunities to develop self-reflexivity, hone analytical skills, and make connections between our everyday lives and larger social, political, and economic structures. Ultimately, the course invites students to think about how queer and transgender of color theories are imbricated with social justice and artistic formations in our contemporary world. Elias Krell.

 

Prerequisite: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

245a. Making Waves: Topics in Feminist Activism 1

(Same as AFRS 245 and SOCI 245) Topic for 2016/17a: Black Women in Feminism. This course explores the role Black women played in the development and growth of feminism in the U.S. from the 19th Century to the present. We will pay particular attention to the work of Anna Julia Cooper, Audre Lorde and bell hooks. Film, poetry, music, novels as well as articles and books will be among the texts for the course. Diane Harriford.

Two 75-minute periods.

250a and b. Feminist Theory 1

(Same as PHIL 250) The central purpose of the course is to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives in feminism-including liberal, radical, socialist, psychoanalytic and postmodern perspectives. We explore how each of these feminist perspectives is indebted to more 'mainstream' theoretical frameworks (for example, to liberal political theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis). We also examine the ways in which each version of feminist theory raises new questions and challenges for these 'mainstream' theories. We attempt to understand the theoretical resources that each of these perspectives provides the projects of feminism, how they highlight different aspects of women's oppression and offer a variety of different solutions. We look at the ways in which issues of race, class and sexuality figure in various theoretical feminist perspectives and consider the divergent takes that different theoretical perspectives offer on issues such as domestic violence, pornography, housework and childcare, economic equality, and respect for cultural differences. We try to get clearer on a variety of complex concepts important to feminism - such as rights, equality, choice, essentialism, cultural appropriation and intersectionality. Uma Narayan.

Prerequisite: one unit of Philosophy or Women's Studies.

Two 75-minute periods.

251a. Global Feminism 1

(Same as INTL 251) The course focuses on several different forms of work that women , mostly in Third World countries, do in order to earn their livelihood within the circuits of the contemporary global economy. The types of work we examine include factory work, home-based work, sex work, office work, care work, informal sector work and agricultural labor. We consider how these forms of work both benefit and burden women, and how women's work interacts with gender roles, reinforcing or transforming them. We also consider some of the general aspects of economic globalization and how it affects poor working women; migration within and across national borders, urbanization, the spread of a culture of consumption, and ecological devastation. Uma Narayan

Two 75-minute periods.

254a. Bio-Politics of Breast Cancer 1

(Same as STS 254) We examine the basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological data relevant to our current understanding of the risks (including environmental, genetic, hormonal and lifestyle factors), detection, treatment (including both traditional and alternative approaches), and prevention of breast cancer. In trying to understand these data in the context of the culture of the disease, we explore the roles of the pharmaceutical companies, federal and private foundations, survivor and other activist groups, and the media in shaping research, treatment and policy strategies related to breast cancer. Janet Gray.

Two 75-minute periods.

259 The History of the Family in Early Modern Europe 1

(Same as HIST 259) This course examines the changing notions of family, marriage, and childhood between 1500 and 1800 and their ties to the larger early modern context. During this period, Europeans came to see the family less as a network of social and political relationships and more as a set of bonds based on intimacy and affection. Major topics include family and politics in the Italian city-state, the Reformation and witchcraft, absolutism, and paternal authority, and the increasing importance of the idea of the nuclear family. Sumita Choudhury.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

260a. Sex & Reproduction in 19th Century United States: Before Margaret Sanger 1

(Same as HIST 260) Focusing on the United States from roughly 1800 to 1900, this course explores sex and reproduction and their relationship to broader transformations in society, politics, and women's rights. Among the issues considered are birth patterns on the frontier and in the slave South; industrialization, urbanization, and falling fertility; the rise of sex radicalism; and the emergence of "heterosexual" and "homosexual" as categories of identity. The course examines public scandals, such as the infamous Beecher-Tilton adultery trial, and the controversy over education and women's health that was prompted by the opening of Vassar College. The course ends by tracing the complex impact of the Comstock law (1873) and the emergence of a modern movement for birth control. Rebecca Edwards.

Two 75-minute periods.

261b. Women in 20th Century America 1

(Same as HIST 261) How did class, race, and ethnicity combine with gender to shape women's lives in the twentieth century? Beginning in 1890 and ending at the turn of this century, this course looks at changes in female employment patterns, how women from different backgrounds combined work and family responsibilities and women's leisure lives. We also study women's activism on behalf of political rights, moral reform, racial and economic equality, and reproductive rights. Readings include memoirs, novels, government documents, and feminist political tracts. Miriam Cohen.

Two 75-minute periods.

262a. Native American Women 1

(Same as AMST 262) In an effort to subjugate indigenous nations, colonizing and Christianizing enterprises in the Americas included the implicit understanding that subduing Native American women through rape and murder maintained imperial hierarchies of gender and power; this was necessary to eradicate Native people's traditional egalitarian societies and uphold the colonial agenda. Needless to say, Native women's stories and histories have been inaccurately portrayed, often tainted with nostalgia and delivered through a lens of western patriarchy and discourses of domination. Through class readings and writing assignments, discussions and films, this course examines Native women's lives by considering the intersections of gender and race through indigenous frameworks. We expose Native women's various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the importance of indigenous women's voices to national and global issues such as sexual violence, environmentalism, and health. The class also takes into consideration the shortcomings of western feminisms in relation to the realities of Native women and Native people's sovereignty in general. Areas of particular importance to this course are indigenous women's urban experience, Haudenosaunee influence on early U.S. suffragists, indigenous women in the creative arts, third-gender/two-spiritedness, and Native women's traditional and contemporary roles as cultural carriers. Molly McGlennen.

Two 75-minute periods.

264 African American Women's History 1

(Same as AFRS 264) In this interdisciplinary course, we explore the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists, and creators during the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism, and cultural expression of a diverse group of African American women, we examine how they have understood their lives, resisted oppression, constructed emancipatory visions, and struggled to change society. Lisa Collins.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

270 Gender and Social Space 1

(Same as GEOG 270 and URBS 270) This course explores the ways in which gender informs the spatial organization of daily life; the interrelation of gender and key spatial forms and practices such as the home, the city, the hotel, migration, shopping, community activism, and walking at night. It draws on feminist theoretical work from diverse fields such as geography, architecture, anthropology and urban studies not only to begin to map the gendered divisions of the social world but also to understand gender itself as a spatial practice. Lisa Brawley.

Prerequisite: one of the following: URBS 100, GEOG 102, or WMST 130, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

Two 75-minute periods.

277b. Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology 1

(Same as STS 277) In this course students examine the intersections of science and technology with the categories of gender, race, class, and sexuality. We explore the ways that science and technology help to construct these socio-cultural categories and how the constructions play out in society. Examples come from the history of science and technology, concerns about gender identity, health care, environmentalism, and equal opportunity in education and careers. Throughout the course, we ask how the social institution and power of science itself is affected by social categories. We also investigate alternative approaches to the construction of knowledge. Jill Schneiderman.

Two 75-minute periods.

281b. Gender and Science 1

(Same as STS 281) This multidisciplinary course critically examines the intersections between science and the categories of gender, race, class, and sexuality. The course explores the ways that science and culture construct such categories and how the constructions play out in society. We consider how these constructions and the practice of science matter in terms of health care, education, food, the environment, safety, careers, and power in society. We examine the historical and current relationships between "western" science, multicultural sciences, imperialism, and economic globalization. Throughout the course, we ask how the social institution and power of science itself is affected by gender, race, class, and sexuality. For instance, who does science and who decides which projects to pursue and what constitutes a "fact"? Finally, we investigate alternative approaches to constructing knowledge. Ms. Schneiderman.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite for fieldwork: 2 units of work in Women's Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

297a and b. Reading Courses 0.5

Topic for 297.01/51: Queer Theory. The program.

Topic for 297.02/52: Lesbian Sex and Politics in the United States. The program.

Topic for 297.03/53: Constructing American Masculinities. The program.

Topic for 297.04/54: Women and Sport. The program.

298a or b. Independent Study 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite for independent study: 2 units of work in Women's Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

299a. Thesis Preparation 0.5

A graded ½ unit co-requisite of the Senior Thesis, taken in the first half of the fall semester in the senior year.

1st 6-week course.

Women's Studies: III. Advanced

301a. Senior Thesis or Project 0.5

A 1-unit thesis or project written in two semesters.

Yearlong course 301-WMST 302.

302b. Senior Thesis or Project 0.5

A 1-unit thesis or project written in two semesters.

Yearlong course WMST 301-302.

306 Women's Movements in Asia 1

(Same as ASIA 306 and SOCI 306) This interdisciplinary course examines the reemergence of women's movements in contemporary Asia by focusing on their cultural and historical contexts that go beyond the theory of "resource mobilization." Drawing upon case studies from Korea, Japan, India, and China, it traces the rise of feminist consciousness and women's movements at the turn of the twentieth century, and then analyzes the relationships between contemporary women's movements and the following topics: nationalism, political democratization, capitalist industrialization, ambivalence toward modernization, and postmodern conditions. Seungsook Moon.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

317a. Women, Crime, and Punishment 1

(Same as SOCI 317) This course begins with a comparative analysis of the involvement of men and women in crime in the United States and explanations offered for the striking variability. It proceeds by examining the exceptionally high rate of imprisonment for women in the U.S., the demographics of those who are imprisoned, the crimes they are convicted of, and the conditions under which they are confined. It deals with such issues as substance abuse problems, violence against women, medical care in prison, prison programming and efforts at rehabilitation, legal rights of inmates, and family issues, particularly the care of the children of incarcerated women. It also examines prison friendships, families, and sexualities, and post-release. The course ends with a consideration of the possibilities of a fundamental change in the current US system of crime and punishment specifically regarding women. Eileen Leonard.
 

One 2-hour period.

318 Literary Studies in Gender and Sexuality 1

(Same as ENGL 318) Advanced study of gender and sexuality in literary texts, theory and criticism. The focus will vary from year to year but will include a substantial theoretical or critical component that may draw from a range of approaches, such as feminist theory, queer theory, transgender studies, feminist psychoanalysis, disability studies and critical race theory.

Open to Juniors and Seniors with two units of 200-level work in English or by permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

321 Feminism, Knowledge, Praxis 1

(Same as SOCI 321) How do feminist politics inform how research, pedagogy, and social action are approached? Can feminist anti-racist praxis and insights into issues of race, power and knowledge, intersecting inequalities, and human agency change the way we understand and represent the social world? We discuss several qualitative approaches used by feminists to document the social world (e.g. ethnography, discourse analysis, oral history). Additionally, we explore and engage with contemplative practices such as mediation, engaged listening, and creative-visualization. Our goal is to develop an understanding of the relationship between power, knowledge and action and to collectively envision healing forms of critical social inquiry. Light Carruyo.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

331 Gender, Resources, and Justice 1

(Same as ESSC 331) This multidisciplinary course acquaints students with the debates and theoretical approaches involved in understanding resource issues from a gender and justice perspective. It is intended for those in the social and natural sciences who, while familiar with their own disciplinary approaches to resource issues, are not familiar with gendered perspectives on resource issues and the activism that surrounds them. It is also appropriate for students of gender studies unfamiliar with feminist scholarship in this area. Increasing concern for the development of more sustainable production systems has led to consideration of the ways in which gender, race, and class influence human-earth interactions. The course examines conceptual issues related to gender studies, earth systems, and land-use policies. It interrogates the complex intersections of activists, agencies and institutions in the global arena through a focus on contested power relations. The readings, videos, and other materials used in the class are drawn from both the South and the North to familiarize students with the similarities and differences in gendered relationships to the earth, access to resources, and resource justice activism. Jill Schneiderman.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

355b. Childhood and Children in Nineteenth-Century Britain 1

(Same as HIST 355) This course examines both the social constructions of childhood and the experiences of children in Britain during the nineteenth century, a period of immense industrial and social change. We analyze the various understandings of childhood at the beginning of the century (including utilitarian, Romantic, and evangelical approaches to childhood) and explore how, by the end of the century, all social classes shared similar expectations of what it meant to be a child. Main topics include the relationships between children and parents, child labor, sexuality, education, health and welfare, abuse, delinquency, and children as imperial subjects. Lydia Murdoch.

362 Senior Seminar: Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature 1

(Same as ASIA 362 and CHJA 362) An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women's roles in Japan and China. All selections are in English translation. Peipei Qiu.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

366b. Art and Activism in the United States 1

(Same as AFRS 366, AMST 366, and ART 366) Topic for 2016/17b: Exquisite Intimacy. An interdisciplinary exploration of the work and role of quilts within the US. Closely considering quilts as well as their creators, users, keepers, and interpreters, we study these integral coverings and the practices of their making and use with keen attention to their recurrence as core symbols within American history, literature, and life. Lisa Collins.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

367 Artists' Books from the Women's Studio Workshop 1

(Same as AMST 367 and ART 367) In this interdisciplinary seminar, we explore the limited edition artists' books created through the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York. Founded in 1974, the Women's Studio Workshop encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, and women artists associated with the workshop have, since 1979, created over 180 hand-printed books using a variety of media, including hand-made paper, letterpress, silkscreen, photography, intaglio, and ceramics. Vassar College recently became an official repository for this vibrant collection which, in the words of the workshop's co-founder, documents "the artistic activities of the longest continually operating women's workspace in the country." Working directly with the artists' books, this seminar will meet in Vassar Library's Special Collections and closely investigate the range of media, subject matter, and aesthetic sensibilities of the rare books, as well as their contexts and meanings. We will also travel to the Women's Studio Workshop to experience firsthand the artistic process in an alternative space. Lisa Collins.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

370 Feminist Perspectives on Environmentalism 1

(Same as ENST 370 and ESSC 370) In this seminar we explore some basic concepts and approaches within feminist environmental analysis paying particular attention to feminist theory and its relevance to environmental issues. We examine a range of feminist research and analysis in 'environmental studies' that is connected by the recognition that gender subordination and environmental destruction are related phenomena. That is, they are the linked outcomes of forms of interactions with nature that are shaped by hierarchy and dominance, and they have global relevance. The course helps students discover the expansive contributions of feminist analysis and action to environmental research and advocacy; it provides the chance for students to apply the contributions of a feminist perspective to their own specific environmental interests. Jill Schneiderman.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor; WMST 130 recommended.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 2-hour period.

375b. Seminar in Women's Studies 1

This capstone seminar examines recent topics in contemporary feminist theory, foregrounding work at the frontier and periphery of what we might call 21st century feminisms. Class readings and viewings are radically interdisciplinary and include themes such as sex worker rights, transgender feminisms, women of color feminisms, transnational feminisms, crip feminisms, post-feminisms, feminism and the body, and media activisms. Elias Krell.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

One 2-hour period.

380b. Religion, Sex, and the Modern State 1

(Same as RELI 380) This course examines the intertwined regulation of religion and sexuality by modern states through six case studies from around the world: Nigeria, France, Norway, Iran, Uganda, and India. These cases take us through a range of political systems and both religiously homogenous and religiously diverse societies, showing how in each case the state is intimately concerned with the relationship between religion, sexuality, and sexual difference. Through our analysis of these cases, we cover topics including comparative secularisms, race and citizenship, Islamic law, postcolonial feminist and queer theory, the sociology of religious revival, and religion and global media. At the end of the course, students will have a globally-informed and nuanced understanding of the stakes of contemporary debates about religious freedom, women's rights, and LGBTQ rights around the world. Kirsten Wesselhoeft.

One 2-hour period.

381a. How Queer is That? 1

This course sets out to examine what, exactly, constitutes the object of inquiry in queer studies. What is sexuality, and how does it relate to gender, race, class, or nation? Does homosexuality designate one transhistorial and transcultural phenomenon, or do we need to distinguish premodern same-sex practices from the modern identities that emerged in the 19th century? As part of investigating the terms and methodologies associated with queer studies, the course will interrogate competing narratives about the origins of homosexuality and what is at stake in any given account. Special attention will also be paid to the intellectual and political connections between queer studies and feminism, critical race studies, postcolonialism, Marxism, etc. Additional topics may include bisexuality, tensions between mainstream tactics and subcultural formations, the closet, coming out, popular culture, debates around gay marriage, and similarities and differences between lesbian and gay culture. Readings and films will draw on works by Butler, Foucault, Freud, Halberstam, Halperin, de Lauretis, Lorde, E. Newton, Rich, M. Riggs, Sedgwick, and Wilde. Hiram Perez.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor; WMST 130 and relevant 200-level course desirable.

One 2-hour period.

382b. Marie-Antoinette 1

(Same as HIST 382) More than 200 years after her death, Marie-Antoinette continues to be an object of fascination because of her supposed excesses and her death at the guillotine. For her contemporaries, Marie-Antoinette often symbolized all that was wrong in French body politic. Through the life of Marie-Antoinette, we investigate the changing political and cultural landscape of eighteenth-century France including the French Revolution. Topics include women and power, political scandal and public opinion, fashion and self-representation, motherhood and domesticity, and revolution and gender iconography. Throughout the course, we explore the changing nature of the biographical narrative. The course also considers the legacy of Marie Antoinette as martyr and fetish object in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and her continuing relevance today. Sumita Choudhury.

384 Transnational Queer: Genders, Sexualities, Identities 1

(Same as CLCS 384 and INTL 384) What does it mean to be Queer? This seminar examines, critiques, and interrogates queer identities and constructions in France and North America. In what ways do diverse cultures engage with discourses on gender and sexuality? Can or should our understanding of queerness change depending on cultural contexts? Through guest lectures and discussion seminars, the course examines a broad range of queer cultural production, from fiction to cinema and performance. Topics include such diverse issues as queer bodies, national citizenship, sexual politics, legal discourse, and aesthetic representation. All lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. Vinay Swamy.

Prerequisites: Freshman Writing Seminar and one 200-level course.

By special permission.

Not offered in 2016/17.

One 3-hour period.

385b. Women, Culture, and Development 1

(Same as INTL 385, LALS 385 and SOCI 385) This course examines the ongoing debates within development studies about how integration into the global economy is experienced by women around the world. Drawing on gender studies, cultural and global political economy, we explore the multiple ways in which women struggle to secure wellbeing, challenge injustice, and live meaningful lives. Light Carruyo.

399a or b. Senior Independent Study 0.5 to 1

Prerequisite for independent study: 2 units of work in Women's Studies or from the list of Approved Courses.

Permission of the director is required for all independent work.