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CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 586: Special Topics: Race, Class, & Justice

WGS 720: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

WGS 751: Feminist Theory

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 730R/HISP 740/ANTH 585: Brazilian Ideas: Art and Culture

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 586: Special Topics: Race, Class, & Justice

Sheth; W 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

“Visibly” Muslim women are often perceived as clashing with liberal principles. This perception often emerges from flawed presumptions about how liberated women of color (should) look or behave in Western contexts. Hijabis are only a recent and particularly charged example of regulatory discourse and practices related to women’s behavior and dress that have plagued liberal societies across various regions and historical periods. Black women, Muslim and non-Muslim, face restrictions on their public comportment in many places. In this course, we will reverse the colonial gaze by interrogating discourses that question whether hijabis and other women of color are rational, autonomous or “suitably secular” given their public presentations. Drawing on a rich multidisciplinary archive, including scholarly texts, legal archives, workplace practices, and film, we will explore the assumptions directed towards women of color in contemporary and post-colonial contexts. Readings will include texts by Gayatri Spivak, Frantz Fanon, Lila Ahmed, Leila Abu-Lughod, Su’ad Abeer, Anne McClintock, and others.

WGS 720: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

Wilson; W 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

This course explores the scholarship on, and experience of, teaching in WGSS. Class sessions will be structured around discussion of academic texts about pedagogy, commentary on pedagogical practice from the Chronicle of Higher Education, and construction of syllabi and supporting materials (assignments, projects, etc.) for WGS200. We will approach the seminar as a collective endeavor, so students will be responsible for: leading discussion of the readings; providing feedback on each other’s course materials, and sharing information and experiences about teaching. The goal is to discover and refine each student’s particular approach to the interdisciplinary pedagogy required for teaching a WGS 200 course.

WGS 751: Feminist Theory

Wilson; M 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The institutionalization of feminist theory over the past four decades has produced splits, paradoxes, and contestations that have repeatedly threatened the coherence of the field. In particular, critics have argued that feminist theory is destabilized by the fragmentation of its proper object, woman, as an analytic category. But what if we were to presume that feminist thinking and feminist objects have been splintered, uncertain, and contentious from the very beginning? With this anti-foundationalism in mind, this seminar will not be concerned with producing a proper object for a universal narrative about feminist theory. Rather, it will attempt to think with and about some of the most visible “classic” texts that circulate as theory in US academic feminism. Articulating a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and discursive styles, these texts will allow students to reflect on the epistemological and political stakes of feminist thinking today.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 730R/ HISP 740/ ANTH 585 – Brazilian Ideas: Art and Culture

Duarte; M 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

This course will explore 20th-century intellectual thought and how it conceives the cultural relationship between Brazil and the Western world, taking into account art, music, literature, cinema, and philosophy. Brazilian culture has long questioned its national identity. Since the novels of the 19th century, when Romanticism set the tone, this question has been the core of most Brazilian art. This means that we could look to some art movements as we consider some intellectual figures that thought about Brazil’s formation.

It is the case of Modernism, in the 1920s, and Tropicalism, in the late 1960s. They both were not only striving to create modern works of art but also consciously raising the question of a national identity in a context that, although they didn't called it that way, was a transnational one. The metaphor of anthropophagy – elaborated by the writer and critic Oswald de Andrade in a 1928 manifesto – was the link between the two movements, because it made it possible to conceive the formation of Brazil neither as a mimic of Western World nor as a complete autonomous land. To practice, anthropophagy was the challenge for Brazil to open itself to the world, but only to culturally ingest this world and, through that, gain strength – and even be recognized, at the end, by this world.

This was, of course, a strategy for their art: Modernism would “consume” all the European avant-gardes and Tropicalism did the same with rock, disregarding an essentialist nationalism that was concerned about losing the country’s purity – as if that ever existed. But not only that: this anthropophagy was the cornerstone to imagine the formation of Brazil. The songs of Tropicalism, as well as the essays around it, were actually a powerful expression of anthropophagy. It did not attempt to find a symbolical synthesis for national identity – but rather an allegorical syncretism. This makes Tropicalism a movement that conceived Brazil in a transnational perspective.

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics: The Racial History of Sex

WGS 585: Special Topics: Foucault

WGS 585: Special Topics: Queer Reproductive Justice

WGS 700: Pro-Seminar

WGS 710: Research Design

WGS 752: Queer Theory

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585-001: Special Topics: The Racial History of Sex

Politics of Race and Gender

Amin; Th 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Sex, gender, and sexuality are foundational categories within Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This course will examine how histories of race and colonialism constituted sex/gender/sexuality, both jointly, and later on, as distinct categories. The course will emphasize historical scholarship and the historical grounding of more theoretical scholarship. We will study the colonial governance of sex, environmental and climate-based theories of sex, eugenics, black ungendering in North America, and decolonial approaches to epistemologies of sex. 

WGS 585-003: Special Topics: Foucault

Huffer; Tu 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This course will explore the writings of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. We will focus in particular on Foucault’s historical analysis of madness, the rise of sexuality, the power of normalization, the disciplinary production of delinquency and deviance, and the biopolitical specification of bodies and populations in the modern era. We will also pay special attention to Foucault's discursive style and genealogical method. Our main objective will be to read Foucault’s work in-depth rather than to examine how his work has been used by others. That said, the course aims to provide a solid foundation for assessing the many uses of Foucault, especially in contemporary queer and feminist theories. Members of the seminar will be encouraged to connect their readings in Foucault with their own intellectual projects.

Readings will include History of Madness [1961], “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History” [1971], Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison [1975], “Lives of Infamous Men” [1977], History of Sexuality, Vol. I: An Introduction [1976], and other essays.

Enrollment by permission only.

WGS 585-004: Special Topics: Queer Reproductive Justice

Marvel; M 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This seminar aims to explore a range of feminist and queer approaches to reproduction. It will trace a historical arc through 19th and 20th century thinking around reproductive politics and prohibition, and continue into a contemporary analysis of kinship theory, critical race approaches to reproduction and reproductive justice, and queer analyses of futurity. It will map both material questions of social reproduction and reproductive labor, as well as structural and institutional concerns around human population growth and governance. It will also draw from feminist STS and indigenous scholarship in considering human and non-human forms of kin, as well as questions about the place of human lives within ecological systems.

In bringing queer theory into conversation with feminist, critical race, and STS approaches to reproduction, this seminar will provide the analytical language and concepts necessary to evaluate what a ‘queer’ approach to reproductive justice might offer thinkers concerned with pressing environmental as well as reproductive politics.

WGS 700: Pro-Seminar

Huffer; W 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This course offers WGSS doctoral students the opportunity to examine critical texts, debates, fissures, and disruptions that have helped constitute the contemporary field of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) in the US. We will read a combination of canonical texts that have both established and disrupted foundational concepts for the field. We will look carefully at how specific texts, arguments, and assumptions are taken up and recirculated as foundational, only to be taken up and contested again. We will also explore the interface between theories and their institutionalization as a field.

Themes to be covered include: early histories of the institutionalization of WGSS in the US; the successes and failures of that institutionalization; the incorporation of racial difference; and queer, gender, trans perspectives. Authors we will read include: Joan Scott, Adrienne Rich, Wendy Brown, Jacques Derrida, Robyn Wiegman, Jennifer Nash, Roderick Ferguson, Sara Ahmed, Gayle Rubin, Judith Butler, Heather Love, Janet Halley, Lisa Duggan, Jay Prosser, Kadji Amin, and Susan Stryker, among others. Course requirements include active participation in seminar discussions, presentation of a major journal in the field, and a research report on some aspect of WGSS such as intersectionality, early histories, or queer interventions into feminism.

Enrollment by permission only.

WGS 710: Research Design

Reingold; W 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This course is designed as a workshop to help Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students develop their dissertation prospectus. The topics discussed and tasks assigned will be fitted to the interests and needs of participating students, and will be finalized in the first few weeks of the semester. Nonetheless, topics or tasks most likely will include: refining research questions; identifying scholarly contributions; clarifying concepts and conceptual or theoretical frameworks; and thinking self-consciously and critically about methods of inquiry. For the purposes of this course, “methods” is defined broadly to include questions, concerns, and debates about doing research, or making informed choices about available tools of inquiry and analysis. The intention is to include, support, and evaluate the full range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that students bring to the table, from the most humanistic to the most scientific (and everything else between and beyond that dichotomy).

Students will be expected to work both individually and collaboratively on their projects and, thus, should be willing and able to both give and receive constructive criticism. The instructor and students will also work collaboratively with dissertation advisors, to the extent possible.

Required text (tentative):

Irene L. Clark. 2007. Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation: Entering the Conversation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

ISBN-13: 978-0131735330

WGS 752: Queer Theory

Moon; M 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Ten years after Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's death, this course will explore the legacy of her work and that of some of her recent interlocutors, exploring a wide array of foci ranging from affect theory and illness narrative to reparative practices, the organization of knowledge (as in Melissa Adler, Cruising the Library), and anality and artmaking . A guiding research question for the course will be how Sedgwick's work and work that engages with it can provide intellectual and political resources for a forthcoming collection of essays on her work (Reading Sedgwick, ed. Lauren Berlant) calls "the bleak contemporary moment."

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 586: Race, Class & Justice

WGS 720R: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

WGS 751: Feminist Theory

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 585/History 585: Special Topics: Voicing the Voiceless

WGS 730/ENG 752/CPLT 752/PSP 789: Special Topics: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Transnational Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, and the Occult

WGS 730/PHIL 789: Topics in Feminist Philosophies

WGS 730/FREN 775: Revolutionary Perversions: Literature, Sexuality, Anacrhony

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 586: Race, Class, and Justice

Politics of Race and Gender

Reingold; Th 1:00-4:00

Gender and race interact and intersect in complex and confounding ways, yet they have a persistently powerful influence on politics and society. This seminar will introduce students to major theoretical perspectives, debates, controversies, and research findings in the empirical study of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and politics primarily in the United States. Depending on student interest, we may also explore related research in international relations and comparative politics.

Readings will likely include a number of earlier, foundational works as well as more recent research that builds upon, complements, and/or challenges these foundational studies (and others).

WGS 720: TATTO: Teaching Women's Studies

Wilson; W 10:00-1:00

This course explores the scholarship on, and experience of, teaching in WGSS. Class sessions will be structured around discussion of academic texts about pedagogy, guest presentations, construction of syllabi and supporting materials (assignments, projects, etc.), and practice teaching sessions. We will approach the seminar as a collective endeavor, so students will be responsible for: leading discussion of the readings; providing feedback on each other’s course materials; preparing for each other’s practice-teaching sessions, and sharing information and experiences about teaching. The goal is to discover and refine each student’s particular approach to the interdisciplinary pedagogy required for teaching a WGS200 course.

This course is intended for WGSS students in their second year.

WGS 751: Feminist Theory

Wilson; M 2:00-5:00

The institutionalization of feminist theory over the past four decades has produced splits, paradoxes, and contestations that have repeatedly threatened the coherence of the field. In particular, critics have argued that feminist theory is destabilized by the fragmentation of its proper object, woman, as an analytic category. But what if we were to presume that feminist thinking and feminist objects have been splintered, uncertain, and contentious from the very beginning? With this anti-foundationalism in mind, this seminar will not be concerned with producing a proper object for a universal narrative about feminist theory. Rather, it will attempt to think with and about some of the most visible “classic” texts that circulate as theory in US academic feminism. Articulating a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and discursive styles, these texts will allow students to reflect on the epistemological and political stakes of feminist thinking today.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 585/HIST 585: Special Topics

Voicing the Voiceless: Writing Histories of the Marginalized in India and the USA

Pandey/Prude; Th 1:00-4:00pm

This course deals with histories of the marginalized and the subordinated in South Asia and North America: women; gays, lesbians, and transsexuals; dispossessed indigenous communities; religious minorities; African-Americans, Dalits, lower classes and migrants. We are concerned with the disfranchised in the broadest sense of the term, groups who were considered incapable of representing themselves or writing their own histories – indeed, often as people without history, and certainly without an archive. We will investigate different modes of disenfranchisement and different kinds of silences.

The seminar will examine how recent intellectual and political challenges and debates have produced new ideas of history and archive. We will examine new trends in the writing of history following interventions by feminism, the African American and Dalit movements, anti-colonial, postcolonial and ‘minority’ histories. While the instructors’ specialization means the seminar is built around the history and historiography of North America and South Asia, students working on other parts of the world will be encouraged to bring their own questions, perspectives, and readings to the table – to enrich the conversation and extend the scope of our discussions.

Weekly readings will include classic texts in North American and South Asian history and more recent interventions in the debates on the historical discipline and the meaning of the archive. Examples are Eugene Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll; Laurel T. Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale. The Life of Martha Ballard; Ted Rosengarten’s All God’s Dangers, The Life of Nate Shaw; on the American side; Ranajit Guha’s Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency; Shahid Amin’s Event, Metaphor, Memory; Prathama Banerjee’s The Politics of Time; Ruby Lal’s Coming of Age in 19th century India; plus various Pandey edited anthologies, which include important contributions from leading US and Indian scholars.

WGS 730/ENG 752/CPLT 752/PSP 789: Studies in Twentieth-Century American Literature: Transnational Surrealism, Psychoanalysis, and the Occult

Kalaidjian; W 1:00-4:00

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the literary, pictorial, and psychoanalytic registers of transnational surrealist aesthetics. Readings and discussions will begin with surrealist manifestoes of the modern interwar period, Salvador Dalí’s early dialogue with Jacques Lacan, Georges Bataille’s writings for the journal and secret societyAcéphale, and particular attention will be devoted to the gender and sexual politics of women’s place within and beyond surrealism by examining the feminist writing, visual art, and occult practices of Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Ithell Colquhoun. In addition, the seminar will study postcolonial surrealist aesthetics in figures such as Frida Kahlo, Suzanne Cesaire, and Wifredo Lam.

The seminar will employ the archival resources of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and investigate surrealism’s migration at mid-century from Europe to London and finally New York City in little magazines such as Minotaure, London Bulletin, VVV, and focusing, in particular, on the New York circle represented by the Julien Levy Gallery and in View: Charles Henri Ford’s avant-garde journal of the 1940s. In the public sphere, the seminar will consider surrealism’s intervention in Dalí’s Dream of Venus pavilion for the 1939 New York World’s fair and his later Hollywood collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in Spellbound (1945).

WGS 730/PHIL 789: Topics in Feminist Philosophies

Huseyinzadegan; M 2:00-5:00

This course aims to give you a brief introduction to feminist philosophy from the 1940s to the present. Problem areas and figures within feminist philosophies that we will cover include but are not limited to: existential feminist thought (Beauvoir), Black and intersectional feminist thought (Lorde, hooks, Davis, Hill Collins), trans* feminist thought (Serano, Bettcher), "Third-world" and postcolonial feminist thought (Spivak, Mohanty, Narayan, Lugones, Mahmood), feminist epistemology (Dotson, Sullivan, Tuana), queer feminist thought (Puar, Halberstam). Other texts will be added based on participants' interests.

WGS 730/FREN 775: Revolutionary Perversions: Literature, Sexuality, Anachrony

Marder; T 1:00-4:00

In this course, we shall examine how representations of “non-normative” sexuality in several major nineteenth-century works relate to the problem of representing history in the aftermath of the French revolution. Many of the most famous canonical literary texts written in French prior to 1871 include references to impotence, lesbianism, hysteria, cross-dressing, bestiality, masturbation and prostitution in the context of narratives that re-write or un-write the legacy of the French revolution. By focusing on the literary treatment of these ‘perverse’ forms of sexuality, we shall attempt to see how they encourage us to think differently about questions of historical transmission, language, gender, and sovereignty. Possible texts include: La Philosophie dans le boudoir (Sade), René (Chateaubriand), Ourika, Mme de Duras, Armance (Stendhal), Le Père Goriot and La Fille aux yeux d’or (Balzac), L’Education sentimentale (Flaubert), “Le Secret de l’Echafaud” (Villiers de L’Isle-Adam), and selections from Baudelaire’s prose poems. Critical readings may include works by Freud, Marx, Benjamin, Blanchot, Daniel Arasse, Derrida, and others. 

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics: Feminism and Deconstruction

WGS 585: Special Topics: Biopolitics

WGS 710: Research Design

WGS 752: Queer Theory

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585-001: Special Topics: Feminism and Deconstruction

Wilson: W 10:00-1:00

What happens when we deconstruct a text, a theory, or an identity? What does it mean to say “there is no outside-text” (il n'y a pas de hors-texte)? What are the critical effects of putting something “under erasure”? What is at work in Derrida’s infamous neologism différance? This course in an introduction to the logics and methodology of deconstruction and their implications for feminist and queer readers. The course will begin with close readings of early texts by Derrida (e.g., Of Grammatology, “Différance”, “Freud and the Scene of Writing”) and will examine key hinge terms generated by his deconstructive readings: writing, gram, trace, pharmakon, différance. The course will then investigate how this work has been taken up by influential feminist and queer readers (e.g., Judith Butler, Penelope Deutscher, Lee Edelman, Barbara Johnson, Vicki Kirby, Gayatri Spivak). Students will emerge from this course with a proficiency in the methodology of deconstruction and an understanding of the scope of deconstruction's influence on feminist and queer theory.

Set readings

All reading will be available on Canvas and on Course Reserves in Woodruff Library

WGS 585-002/PHIL 789-003: Special Topics: Biopolitics

Amin; W 2:00-5:00

“Biopolitics,” a concept Michel Foucault elaborates in his lectures at the Collège de France, is becoming an increasingly important keyword in cultural theory. Defined as a form of politics that targets the life of the population – though sometimes through individual bodies or infra-individual particles of biomatter – biopolitics ramifies across the domains of eugenics, reproduction, racialization, war, colonialism, biotechnology, health, sexuality, and disability. This seminar will trace major debates and schools of thought around biopolitics. We will begin by comparing Foucault’s own writing on biopolitics with the work of theorists who have built on and modified this concept: Gilles Deleuze on “control societies,” Achille Mbembe on “necropolitics,” and Jasbir Puar on “debility.” We will then survey recent scholarship on the biopolitics of race, colonialism, eugenics, health, and biotechnology. Our major goal will be to square two discourses that too often diverge – one which understands biopolitics as a racializing division between those whose lives are augmented and those who are consigned to death, and another which understands it as primarily a politics of health and biotechnological enhancement.

WGS 710: Research Design

Reingold; M 10:00-1:00

This course is designed as a workshop to help Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students develop their dissertation prospectus. The topics discussed and tasks assigned will be fitted to the interests and needs of participating students, and will be finalized in the first few weeks of the semester. Nonetheless, topics or tasks most likely will include: refining research questions; identifying scholarly contributions; clarifying concepts and conceptual or theoretical frameworks; and thinking self-consciously and critically about methods of inquiry. For the purposes of this course, “methods” is defined broadly to include questions, concerns, and debates about doing research, or making informed choices about available tools of inquiry and analysis. The intention is to include, support, and evaluate the full range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches that students bring to the table, from the most humanistic to the most scientific (and everything else between and beyond that dichotomy). Students will be expected to work both individually and collaboratively on their projects and, thus, should be willing and able to both give and receive constructive criticism. The instructor and students will also work collaboratively with dissertation advisors, to the extent possible.

Required text (tentative):

Irene L. Clark. 2007. Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation: Entering the Conversation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

ISBN-13: 978-0131735330

WGS 752: Queer Theory

Warren; M 4:00-7:00

This course will serve as an introduction to the debates and methodological concerns of 'queer of color critique.' How does the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, and class complicate and revise fundamental presumptions of queer theory? Has the postmodern and post-foundational turn in queer theory impeded or expanded the methodological concerns of 'queer of color critique'? Do we even have a protocol to sustain such critique in an intellectual era of surface reading, Afro-pessimism, and post-ideology? These questions will serve as theoretical guides in our exploration. When necessary, we will revist traditional texts in queer theory to understand the critiques and interventions of 'queer of color' scholarship. This seminar privileges theoretical approaches and concerns (such as psychoanalysis, Marxism, and structuralism) rather than mere historical or social scientific ones.

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics: Alternative Sexual Modernities

WGS 585: Special Topics/PHIL 789/CPLT 751: Foucault

WGS 585: Special Topics: Introduction to Semiotics

WGS 585: Special Topics: Law and Vulnerability

WGS 586R: Race, Class & Justice

WGS 720R: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

WGS 751R: Feminist Theory

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 527: Gender and Global Health

WGS 585: Special Topics: Subaltern Studies: Past, Present, and Future

WGS 730R: Special Topics: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics

Alternative Sexual Modernities

Amin; Th 4:00-7:00

The fields of queer and transgender studies are beset by a paradox: though they have been critical of liberalism’s limited imaginary, they emerge from the political context of liberal sexual modernity. Postcolonial and native critique has long held that the very concept of modernity emerged as part of the colonizing project, condemning colonial territories to backwardness and to the chore of eternally catching up. What would a sexual politics, a queer and trans* theory, and a scholarly analytic look like that attend to the alternative sexual modernities of those left out of the progress narrative of LGBT history?

This course will provincialize some foundational elements of sexual modernity: time, kinship, self-determination, egalitarianism, and secularism. We will attend to the genealogies of these concepts, then examine theories and case studies – from the global South, black studies, and native studies in particular – that go beyond them. As a class, we approach these materials imaginatively as alternative sexual modernities and seek a mode of thought adequate to them.

WGS 585: Special Topics/PHIL 789/CPLT 751

Foucault

Huffer; W 1:00-4:00

This course will explore the writings of the French philosopher Michel Foucault. We will focus in particular on Foucault’s historical analysis of madness, the rise of sexuality, the power of normalization, the disciplinary production of delinquency and deviance, and the biopolitical specification of bodies and populations in the modern era. We will also pay special attention to Foucault's discursive style and genealogical method. Our main objective will be to read Foucault’s work in depth rather than to examine how his work has been used by others. That said, the course aims to provide a solid foundation for assessing the many uses of Foucault, especially in contemporary queer and feminist theories.

Members of the seminar will be encouraged to connect their readings in Foucault with their own intellectual projects. Readings include History of Madness; “Nietzsche, Genealogy, History;” Abnormal; Discipline and Punish; History of Sexuality Volume One; “Lives of Infamous Men;” and “Preface” to History of Sexuality Volume Two.

WGS 585: Special Topics

Introduction to Semiotics

Warren; W 4:30-7:30

How does one ‘read’ a cultural object? Do our eyes and psyches determine our reality—what we see, hear, and feel—or do cultural objects shape our sense of the material world? In what ways, can we differentiate the psychic from the material? This course interrogates the ‘subject’ of semiotics, the construction of the ‘visual field,’ and the complex relationship between the ‘subject,’ and the field of visual plentitude. At the intersection of this dyad stands the ‘screen’, which is a cultural-effect and at the same time ‘produces’ culture.

This course is designed as an introduction to major debates in semiotic and film analysis. Using film, photography, and other visual media, we explore our own subject-positionality and complicity in visual plentitude. Special attention will be given to psychoanalytic and post-modern cinematic perspectives.

WGS 585: Special Topics

Law and Vulnerability

Marvel/Fineman; M:3:00-5:00
Gambrell Hall (Law School) 5D

This seminar explores the relationship between law and vulnerability from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. The course is anchored in the understanding that fundamental to our shared humanity is our shared vulnerability, which is universal and constant and inherent in the human condition. It will offer students an opportunity to engage with multiple perspectives on vulnerability, with an emphasis on law, justice, state policy, and legislative ethics. While vulnerability can never be eliminated, society through its institutions confers certain "assets" or resources, such as wealth, health, education, family relationships, and marketable skills on individuals and groups. These assets give individuals "resilience" in the face of their vulnerability.

This seminar will explore how as society now is structured, however, certain individuals and groups operate from positions of entrenched advantage or privilege, while others are disadvantaged in ways that seem to be invisible as we engage in law and policy discussions.

WGS 586R: Race, Class & Justice

Critical Race Theory

Sheth; T 4:30-7:30

How does race manifest itself in law? How does whiteness become a form of property? How do race and gender function in relation to each other? How do we recognize a terrorist? A good Muslim? A bad Arab? a criminal? A (bad) immigrant v. a cosmopolitan citizen? Do persons make decisions about their identities or are they “produced” in ways beyond their control? Can one’s racial, ethnic, gendered self-recognition be publicized in ways that they like, or will that identity necessarily be misrecognized and reappropriated? Is Blackness different from the production of other kinds of racial identities? In this course, we will look at a range of writings on or are produced within political and legal contexts.

This course will explore various theoretical and philosophical readings on how groups, cultures, and identities emerge through various institutions, technologies, and discourses. We will read works by scholars in law, philosophy, sociology, politics, history, and feminist theory, among other fields. Readings may include legal statutes, case studies, ethnic histories, and texts by Foucault, Butler, W. Brown, N.T Saito, D. Carbado, K. Johnson, K. Crenshaw, C. Taylor, N. Fraser, Alcoff, Mariana Ortega, among others.

WGS 720R: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

Browne; TBA

This course is organized as a seminar covering the scholarship and debates on teaching in WGS and as a practical workshop. Class sessions will involve a combination of hands-on activities, discussions, guest “presentations” and practice teaching sessions. We will approach teaching as a collective endeavor; you will be responsible for: leading discussion of the readings and topics; providing feedback on each other’s course materials; preparing for each other’s practice-teaching session and sharing information and experiences about teaching. Through interrogating scholarship and working on our own course materials, you will cultivate your individual approach to the themes of “feminist pedagogy” and “interdisciplinary” and link these themes to practical aspects of your teaching. By the end of the class, you will have created a syllabus and supporting materials (assignments, exams, projects, etc.) for WGS100.​

WGS 751R: Feminist Theory

Wilson; M 2:00-5:00

The institutionalization of feminist theory over the past four decades has produced splits, debates, and contestations that have repeatedly threatened the coherence of the field. Critics complain that feminist theory is destabilized by the fragmentation of its proper object, woman, as an analytic category. But if the theoretical object of a feminist political project is no longer stable, we might ask if this retrospective projection of stability does not itself deny the splintered, uncertain, and contentious nature of feminist thinking from its very inception.

With that in mind, this seminar will not be concerned to produce the proper object for a universal narrative about feminism’s conceptual foundations. Rather, it will attempt to think with and about some of the most visible “classic” texts that circulate as theory in US academic feminism (e.g., Anzaldúa, Barad, Butler, Beauvoir, Brown, Cixous, Combahee River Collective, Gallop, Halley, Haraway, Irigaray, MacKinnon, Rubin, Scott, Solanas, Spillers, Spivak, Stryker, Wollstonecraft). Articulating a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, methods, and discursive styles, these texts will allow seminar members to reflect on the epistemological and political stakes of feminist thinking today.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 527/GH 559: Gender and Global Health

Yount; F 2:00-5:00

This course provides an overview of theories, case studies, and social interventions related to gender and global health, with a focus on poor settings. Students are exposed to major theories in the social sciences and public health that have advanced an understanding of the institutional and ideological bases of gender inequities and of the power dynamics within couples and families that influence women's and men’s health and wellbeing in these settings. The theoretical and empirical underpinnings of existing social policies and interventions intended to empower women in resource-poor countries are stressed, and case studies of the health-related consequences of these policies and interventions are discussed. By the end of the course, students will have developed the ability to evaluate critically and to identify the relationships between theory, evidence, and social interventions related to gender and health in poor settings.

WGS 585: Special Topics: Subaltern Studies: Past, Present, and Future

Pandey; Th 1:00-4:00

What is Subaltern Studies? A history of the poor and the marginalized in the colonized world? A supplement to standard histories of state and society? A new archive for people without history, and without written records of their own? Or a challenge to the disciplines of anthropology, history, sociology, religious studies, etc, as we know them? The first volumes of the Indian Subaltern Studies initiative, launched by a group of graduate students and teachers in the early 1980s, were regarded as another instance of ‘history from below’, with the difference that the method was now being applied to a ‘Third World’ country by its own scholars. Later Subaltern Studies have been seen as a prominent example of postcolonial writing, and accused of having succumbed to Western theory in a way that reduces the original concern with the ‘subaltern’.

What were the political and historiographical debates out of which these writings emerged, and what are the debates they have in turn generated? What accounts for the alleged move from a critique of nationalism and the state, to a critique of history? How have scholars of South and North America, Africa and other parts of the world responded to the idea of ‘Subaltern Studies’, and to questions regarding the portability of theory or its applicability across cultures and continents? The purpose of this course is to think through some of these questions in light of our different disciplines and individual research agendas.

WGS 730R: Special Topics: Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Feminist Landscapes: History and Archive in South Asia

Lal; M 2:00-5:00

Feminist scholars of India have taken a renewed interest in thinking figures of girl and woman and their landscapes by critically re-engaging the archival and ethnographic practices by which feminine figures are imagined and placed in history. The rich and vibrant feminist postcolonial theory as it relates to the archive, however, is soaked with debates, and contestations – and marked by a wider scholarly reception that still hasn’t considered feminist work as “History”. Indeed, feminist writings have been classified as a field of its own. With this context, this seminar will explore why there still exists a historical discourse that works as if the feminist political project is hardly relevant to “History”. Why is history not feminist in its very inception? We shall investigate these questions and others such as the legacy of the pre-modern Indian feminine worlds from the vantage point of the ‘modern’, as if this were normative.

We will read a variety of texts dealing with pre-colonial, colonial and postcolonial India to examine the archive – and its ‘plenty”– and probe historical investigations, their limitation, and how we might open up new set of questions and approaches in order to bring to life rich and ‘unimaginable’ historical figures.