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CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 720:  TATTO: Teach Women's Studies

WGS 751:  Feminist Theory

CORE FACULTY ELECTIVE COURSES

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Queer and Feminist Ethnography

WGS 586R-1: Race, Class & Justice - Violence and Vulnerability

WGS 586R-2: Race, Class & Justice - Politics of Race & Gender

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 513 Gender & Sexual Diversity

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 720:  TATTO: Teach Women's Studies

Scully, Th 1:00 pm-3:45 pm, In-Person

This course is organized as a practical workshop to help develop confidence in and knowledge about teaching. This seminar is designated as the departmental component of the Laney Graduate School's TATTO requirements.  We address both theoretical as well as practical discussions of pedagogy. Throughout the class, we will cultivate our individual approaches to 'feminist pedagogy' and 'interdisciplinarity,' linking these themes to the practical aspects also of our teaching.  By the end of the class, you will have created a syllabus and supporting materials (exams, projects) for WGS 200.

WGS 751:  Feminist Theory

Amin, Th 4:00 pm – 6:45 pm, In-Person

What is gender? Is gender primarily a division of labor, a fundamental element of kinship, an erotic display, a compelled performance of norms, an internal identity, an artefact of white supremacy, or an anchor for the government of the life of populations? Is it possible to have gender without gender inequality, or is inequality part of the very ontology of gender? Is gender oppression more fundamental than race, class, or sexuality-based oppressions; is it a mere effect of these other oppressions, or does it intersect equally with them? Is the goal of a politics of gender justice to mitigate the harms of gender, to achieve gender equality, to multiply gendered possibilities, or to abolish gender altogether? This course will broach such questions by surveying theories of gender. We will attend to the relationship between theoretical claims about the origins of gender, local gendered experiences, and implied political futures.

CORE FACULTY ELECTIVE COURSES

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Queer and Feminist Ethnography

Mulla, M 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM, In-Person

Same as ANT 585

This course asks how queer and feminist theory and epistemology are embodied in ethnographic work. We will examine how ethnographic writing positions the queer and/or feminist subject within its texts in relation to the world, and to its readership. Our starting point will be to ask how ethnographies locate and challenge gender, sexuality, race, and power. We will specifically interrogate how queer and feminist ethnographies have sought to engage what it means to be human through their attention these categories. We approach each text tracing the material, ideological, emotional, and psychic modalities through which gender, sexuality, race and power are produced. Students will also delve into questions of ethnography as craft, and the ways in which form might come to reflect queer and feminist subjects and epistemologies. We will explore tensions and resonances between queer and feminist approaches, while we discuss and experiment with what it means to make theory through ethnography. Readings are clustered around shared themes and topics, such as abolition, violence, girlhood, pregnancy, legal subjectivity, and kinship. Texts are drawn from a range of historical and geographic localities to allow us to work through what it means to think transnationally and across disciplines.

WGS 586R-1: Race, Class & Justice - Violence and Vulnerability

Sheth, T 2:30 PM – 5:15 PM, In-Person

Same as: ANTH 585, PHIL 789, CPLT 751

In this course, we will explore logics of violence and vulnerability in relation to race as the war underlying the polity, as Michel Foucault defines it. How does violence manifest itself institutionally? How does vulnerability become imposed through various logics and techniques: of law, of class, of race? Philosophers and sociologists have considered technology in its multiple dimensions: legal, political, social, and phenomenological, to name a few. Each epoch brings with it either new logics by which technology functions for societal management. Power, violence, vulnerability can be inflicted and challenged through technologies, understood conceptually as instruments by which to accomplish certain ends. We will look beyond immediate/concrete forms of technology to understand their implicit foundations origins in sovereignty and order, and their purposes; for management, vulnerability, and resistance. Readings will include texts by Ida Wells, Chandan Reddy, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Elaine Scarry, and others.

WGS 586R-2: Race, Class & Justice - Politics of Race & Gender

Reingold, W 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM, In-Person

Same as POLS 585-2

Gender and race interact and intersect in complex and confounding ways, yet they have a persistently powerful influence upon 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, but not exclusively, in the United States. We will study gender and race (and, to a lesser extent, sexuality and ethnicity) not only as identities but also as political constructs or ideologies and as systems of stratification and power that shape political institutions, processes, and outcomes. In addition, we will examine how these aspects of gender and race affect the political behavior and experiences of individuals as citizens, workers, voters, political activists, community leaders, political candidates, and public officials.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 513 Gender & Sexual Diversity

Peletz, TTh 1:00 pm-2:15pm In-Person

Same as: ANT 513

This course aims to provide advanced undergraduates and graduate students with anthropological perspectives on gender and sexual diversity both cross-culturally and historically. We begin with early anthropological debates (from the 1970s) on "the status of women" , the prevalence of male dominance, and the ways scholars involved in these debates drew upon 19th- and early 20th-century theorists (such as Marx, Engels, Freud, and Levi-Strauss) to frame both their research questions and their contributions to these debates. We continue with an introduction to the work of Foucault on discourses of sexuality and gender hegemonies. Subsequent sections of the course explore non-binary systems of gender and sexuality and issues of pluralism, particularly in Southeast Asia and Native North America; "sexual subcultures" in the contemporary U.S.; genealogies of queer studies in the U.S. and beyond; Black feminist anthropology and intersectional perspectives on race, class, gender, sexuality, and stratified reproduction; and, finally, some of the implications for gender and sexuality of the recent global turn toward punitiveness, authoritarianism, conservativism, and illiberalism.

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 700:  Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies  Pro-Seminar

WGS 710:  Research Design

WGS 752:  Queer Theory

CORE FACULTY ELECTIVE COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics WGSS: Trans Epistemologies

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Black Feminist Epistemologies

WGS 754: Foucault

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 730R: WGSS Special Topics: Islamic Modernism: Progressive and Feminist Islam 

Same as: Religion (RLR 700); Islamic Civilization (ICIVS 723)

WGS 730R: WGSS Special Topics: Literary Theory Seminar

Same as: CPLT 750: Literary Theory; FREN 780 & PHIL 789

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 700:  Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies  Pro-Seminar

Sheth,  W 1pm-3:45pm, In-Person

What is Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies? Is it necessary to commit to one of these categories in order to be a WGSS scholar? Is it possible to understand oneself as a WGSS scholar in a radically different way, e.g. through (an)other field/discipline altogether? Designed for WGSS doctoral and certificate students, this course explores the question of WGSS in the current North American context. Related themes will include the location/relation of studies in gender, sexuality, race, and feminism in relation to WGSS; the meaning and role of interdisciplinary scholarship; the question of feminist politics in relation to scholarship, and form and function of identity in being a WGSS scholar. Other questions may include the following: how should we understand race and gender in relation to each other? Does prioritizing one over the other change one's relation to WGSS? What places do political structures, from empire, capitalism, liberalism, corporate institutions have in shaping our understandings of the WGSS? What is the relationship between theory in relation to questions of scholarship and/or justice? We will read mostly contemporary pieces that address these questions, and readings may shift as the conversation shifts through the term.

WGS 710:  Research Design

Reingold, Tu 6pm-9pm, In-Person

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.

WGS 752R:  Queer Theory

Marvel, T 2:30pm-5:30pm, In-person

This class will operate as both a survey course - to familiarize students with some of the key texts and (dis)organizing principles in queer theory - as well as an investigation of emerging threads of scholarship and analysis held loosely under the rubric of queer thought. This latter section will draw specifically from works within critical race scholarship, indigenous understandings of queerness, and science and technology studies, as well as from queer legal theory and its attention to questions of governance and power. Throughout, we will ask what work that queer might perform as an object, subject, modifier, foundation, imaginary, genealogy, trajectory, archive, and/or form of solidarity.

CORE FACULTY ELECTIVE COURSES

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Trans Epistemologies

Amin, Th 2:30pm-5:30pm, In-Person

The medicalization of transsexuality in the 1950s in the US, followed by the emergence of an activism that called itself 'transgender' in the 1990s in North America set into motion consequential epistemological transformations and made possible new ways of living. This course will explore these crucial transformations from a decolonial perspective. We will ask how the emergence of transsexuality, then transgender, helped to reify and/or establish key aspects of Western personhood, including possessive individualism, the mind/body distinction, and the separation of gender from sexuality. We will inquire into how these epistemological transformations at once shape trans life in the West and fail to encompass the complexity of trans experience. We will ask to what extent the global exportation of transgender as a category 'colonizes' historically prior, indigenous, racialized, and non-Western modes of transness. Finally, we will explore the alternate epistemologies of personhood held within such pre-transgender modes of transness.
Note: Master and Undergraduate students require Instructor approval to enroll; please contact Dr. Kadji Amin at kadji.amin@emory.edu in advance.

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Black Feminist Epistemologies

Finch, Mon: 2:30-5:30pm, In-person

Course Description: TBA

WGS 754 Foucault (Same as Comp Lit 751/Phil 789)

Huffer, W 6pm-9pm, In-Person

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.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 730R WGSS Special Topics: Islamic Modernism: Progressive and Feminist Islam 

Same as: Religion (RLR 700); Islamic Civilization (ICIVS 723)

Kugle, W 2:30-5:15 pm; In-Person 

Contemporary Progressive Islam and its related Feminist Islam grew out of “Islamic Modernism.” During colonial times, Muslim scholars sought Islamic reformation, insisting that the Islam is adaptable to modern social, technical and political life. This seminar will focus on two regions (Egypt-Sudan and India-Pakistan). Into the 21st century, the goal shifted from “reform to become modern” toward “liberation to acquire rights, freedom and dignity.” One essential theme was that democracy is integral to Islam, despite the monarchal and patriarchal social structure that shaped Islam and gave it dominance in pre-modern periods. As the seminar ends with a deep read of key scholars in Islamic Feminism (like amina wadud, Asma Barlas, Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Fatima Mernissi and Sadiyya Shaikh) the geographical scope of the seminar widens because Islamic feminists form a transnational and global network. 

WGS730R: WGSS Special Topics: Literary Theory Seminar

Same as: CPLT 750: Literary Theory; FREN 780 & PHIL 789

Bennington, Th 1-3:45PM, In-Person

The course explores some of the ways in which an influential way of thinking about language has affected ways of thinking about literature. After investigating the main tenets of structuralist theory, as derived from Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale, we shall go on to see how the internal logic of structuralism led to the rather different positions often referred to as `post-structuralism' and/or `post-modernism', and to a questioning of the position of theory itself.

 

 

 

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: The Racial History of Sex

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Feminism and Deconstruction

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Feminist/Queer Ethnography

WGS 720: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

WGS 751: Feminist Theory

AFFILIATED COURSES

SEM: 833(LAW):  Law & Vulnerability

WGS 730R/ FREN 775/CPLT 751: Revolutionary Perversions

WGS 730R/HIST585/ANT 585/RLR 700: Colonial/Postcolonial History

SEM: 823(LAW): Family Law: From Partners to Parents

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: The Racial History of Sex

Amin, Wed. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Distance Learning

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 Special Topics WGSS: Feminism and Deconstruction

Wilson, Mon. 1:00pm - 4:00 pm, Distance Learning

 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.
 

WGS 585 Special Topics WGSS: Feminist/Queer Ethnography

Karkazis, Thr. 1:00pm – 4:00 pm, Distance Learning

This seminar examines feminist ethnography and queer ethnography as scholarly subfields, bodies of critical theory, and methods in arenas in which trans, queer, and feminist critical work is advanced. Through ethnographic case studies and theoretical essays, we will engage theoretical, epistemological, practical, and ethical questions of how to research, observe, describe, record, interpret, and present material about the contemporary world. We will pay particular attention to how sex, gender, and sexuality are constructed, lived, performed, subverted, transformed, and transgressed in a variety of cultural contexts, as well as the impact of colonialism and western thought on conceptions/embodiments of these categories.  Through readings, discussions, and independent research, we will grapple with enduring questions and new inquiries about issues of sex, gender, and sexuality in relation to race, class, ethnicity, nationalism and globalization.

WGS 720: TATTO: Teaching Women’s Studies

 Wilson, Wed. 9:40am – 12:40 pm, Distance Learning

This course (WGS720 Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity [TATTO]) is a core WGSS course and part of the LGS requirements for graduate teacher training. The course is organized as a workshop.  We will undertake three tasks this semester:

(1) reading and discussing important pedagogical theories in order to provide conceptual frameworks for your teaching. You will write a short theoretical reflection on teaching and submit it to a WGSS journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or similar publication venue;

(2) producing a statement of teaching philosophy;

(3) producing a syllabus and supporting materials (assignments, exams, projects etc.) for WGS200.

Along the way we will engage current debates in pedagogical research and commentary (via the Chronicle of Higher Education), we will create a toolkit of materials, activities and techniques for teaching, and we will occasionally invite a guest speaker to the class. Attention will be paid through the semester to the challenges and difficulties that arise in the classroom and we will discuss strategies for meeting those challenges. Flexibility is built into the syllabus—we can adapt the syllabus to accommodate your interests, needs and goals as they emerge.

 WGS 751: Feminist Theory

 Sheth, Tue. 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Distance Learning

 Feminist thought has been articulated in many forms, from organized social activism to the oft-attempted, sometimes successful institutional reform of laws and practices, to the contestation of monolithic visions of feminism. However, common to all of these is the need to think through and beyond institutions and structures. The readings in this course will explore those fissures and fragmentations through various popular and lesser known texts. Selected texts will address questions of gender, race, sexuality, and agency, against the backdrop of culture, violence, religion, and the polity.

AFFILIATED COURSES

SEM: 833(LAW):  Law & Vulnerability

Fineman, Tue. 12:15pm – 2:15pm, Distance Learning

DATES: 2021-01-19 through 2021-04-26

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 a 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 730R/ FREN 775/CPLT 751: Revolutionary Perversions, : Literature, Sexuality, Anachrony

 Marder, Wed. 1:00 pm – 4:00pm, Distance Learning

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. The course will be taught in English although we will focus on the works in the original French texts. Reading knowledge of French recommended but not required as (almost) all of the works are available in translation.

 WGS 730R/HIST585/ANT 585/RLR 700: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories: Explorations

Pandey, Mondays 2:40 pm - 5:35 pm, Distance Learning

The course begins with a consideration of the philosophical differences between colonial and postcolonial histories. The former believes in the absolute, universal truth of their findings, presented from some Archimedean standpoint, above if not outside society. Postcolonial histories speak of multiple knowledge-positions, of histories that are necessarily partial and selective, that appear different from different locations, and are always implicated in the here and now of social and political interests. The seminar will investigate crosscurrents within and across cultures and regions, confluences and contradictions that go into the articulation of particular histories. We will also explore intersections across time, the conversation between a mutually constitutive past and present that occurs whenever history is written.

The seminar will be built around a close reading of texts recognized for their critical intervention in debates on the making of the modern world: texts emerging from deliberations in feminism, subaltern studies, borderland studies, critical race theory – in South Asia, North and South America, Europe and other areas that participants wish to explore.

SEM: 823(LAW): Family Law: From Partners to Parents

Fineman, Th. 12:15pm – 2:15pm, Distance Learning

Dates: 2021-01-19 through 2021-04-26

This seminar will explore the trends in family law governing marriage and parenthood over the past several decades. During the latter part of the 20th century, substantial changes in behavior have occurred, reflecting attitudinal shifts about women’s equality, sex and sexuality, and the importance and permanence of the marriage bond. Often identified as battlegrounds in the “cultural wars,” these are areas where the law has scrambled to adjust to evolving expectations and emerging notions of equity and equality. We will look at “traditional” marriage, challenges from those excluded from marriage, the “breakdown” of marriage, and alternatives to formal marriage, such as contract and non-marital cohabitation. Laws governing the parent-child relationship have also changed in response to or as part of the disruption of the traditional family model. The very idea of absolute parental rights has been questioned as the child has partially emerged from the cloak of family privacy and is seen as an independent rights holder in some circumstances. The seminar will also consider how new technologies and altered attitudes about assisted reproduction have presented unique challenges for the law in regard to who is or how one becomes a parent.

 

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics: Blackness and Psychoanalysis

WGS 586R: Race, Class, & Justice: Violence and Vulnerability

WGS 700: Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Pro-Seminar

WGS 710: Research Design

WGS 752R: Queer Theory

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 589R: Bodies, Sexualities & Science: Medicine, Science, and Power

WGS 730R: Special Topics: Édouard Glissant and Feminist

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

CORE FACULTY COURSES

WGS 585: Special Topics: Blackness and Psychoanalysis

Warren; Th 4:20pm-7:20pm

Is blackness an irresistible fetish (caught within the matrix of perversion), the object of a destructive drive, or the inexhaustible (circular) movement of desire? How do our cultural fantasies teach us to desire blackness? Is anti-blackness an unconscious symptom, a corporeal letter written on the `body politic,' and are we resigned to `enjoy our symptom'? Does psychoanalysis offer blackness a powerful intramural hermeneutic or is it best left for the analytic session? This course will stage an encounter between blackness and psychoanalysis; ultimately considering how the encounter transforms/deforms both. We will grapple with the unconscious operations of blackness, the historical absence of blackness in psychoanalytic thought, and the usefulness of psychoanalytic reading practices for Black Studies. The course will rely heavily on Lacanian psychoanalysis (along with readings from Freud and Kristeva). Readings will include theoretical texts by David Marriott, Hortense Spillers, Franz Fanon, Kalpana Sheshadri-Crooks, Jared Sexton, Frank Wilderson, Slavoj Zizek, Bruce Fink, Tracy Mcnulty, Henry Krips, Adrian Johnson, Serge Leclaire, and Kaja Silverman, among others.

WGS 586R: Race, Class, & Justice: Violence and Vulnerability

Sheth; T 4:20pm-7:20pm

In this course, we will explore logics of violence and vulnerability in relation to race war, as Michel Foucault defines it. How does violence manifest itself institutionally? How does vulnerability become imposed through various logics and techniques: of law, of class, of race? Philosophers and sociologists have considered technology in its multiple dimensions: legal, political, social, and phenomenological, to name a few. Each epoch brings with it either new logics by which technology functions for societal management. Power, violence, vulnerability can be inflicted and challenged through technologies, understood conceptually as instruments by which to accomplish certain ends. We will look beyond immediate/concrete forms of technology to understand their implicit foundations origins in sovereignty and order, and their purposes; for management, vulnerability, and resistance. Readings may include Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Achille Mbembe, Frank Wilderson, Saidiya Hartman, Jasbir Puar, Ann Stoler, Judith Butler, as well as court cases and archival materials.

WGS 700: Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Pro-Seminar

Wilson; M 9:40am-12:40pm

The goal of Proseminar is to help the incoming cohort of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) doctoral students orient themselves to their new field of study. We will examine the critical texts and debates that have shaped and reshaped the contemporary field of WGSS in the US. We will look carefully at how specific texts, arguments, and assumptions are taken up and circulated as foundations for scholarly work in WGSS, only to be taken up and contested again. We will explore how theory, political movements, and everyday practices become institutionalized as the academic field of WGSS. We will also pay close attention to how an academic field is always unsettled and how we can locate ourselves in relation to those ongoing scholarly transformations.

WGS 710: Research Design

Reingold; W 1pm-4pm

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.

WGS 752R: Queer Theory

Marvel; Th 9:40am-12:40pm

This class will operate as both a survey course - to familiarize students with some of the key texts and (dis)organizing principles in queer theory - as well as an investigation of emerging threads of scholarship and analysis held loosely under the rubric of queer thought. This latter section will draw specifically from works within critical race scholarship, indigenous understandings of queerness, and science and technology studies, as well as from queer legal theory and its attention to questions of governance and power. Throughout, we will ask what work that 'queer' might perform as an object, subject, modifier, foundation, imaginary, genealogy, trajectory, archive, and/or form of solidarity.

AFFILIATED COURSES

WGS 589R: Bodies, Sexualities & Science: Medicine, Science, and Power

Karkazis; W 9:40am-12:40pm

Medicine and science influence nearly every aspect of life--they create, heal, and augment, but they also diminish, disrupt, and destroy. Possibly most importantly, they organize our lives, and that organization both determined by and confers (or denies) power. Drawing on science and technology studies and feminist, race, and disability theory (among others), this seminar will explore the relationships among medicine, science, and broader systems of social organization and power, including the politics embedded in and enacted through medicoscientific knowledges and practices. We will pay particular attention to the role of medicine and the biological sciences in the construction of 'difference' (e.g., sex/gender, race, sexuality), exploring how knowledge is produced, and its effects on structures of inequality and lived experience. Throughout the course, we consider the general methodological problem of how "differences" deemed socially-important are conceptualized and represented in medicoscientific investigations, and the ways that 'expert' scientific discourses influence law and policy.

WGS 730R: Special Topics: Édouard Glissant and Feminist

Loichot; T 1pm-4pm

Édouard Glissant and Feminist Theory Content: Martinican poet and Philosopher Edouard Glissant seems like an unlikely partner for feminist theory. Some critics have argued that the question of women, gender, and sexuality was thwarted in his writings that privilege the imperative of remaining human (i.e. non-gender-marked or coded as masculine by default) in a context of enslavement, colonization and de-colonization. This seminar will show, however, that Glissant's thought had a lot to gain from women and feminist thinkers and poets, and that his theories (or Relation, Opacity, Creolization, Tout-Monde, and Caribbeanness/Antillanité) have a lot to contribute to feminist theories of sexuality, time, space, memory, theology, and ecology. The seminar is organized around systematic pairings of Glissant's texts and its feminine/feminist interlocutors. Seminar contributors will be encouraged to propose and theorize their own pairings with authors from the syllabus and/or of their own choosing.

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

Bruyere; W 1pm-4pm

Health Humanities Content: In this seminar, the emergent field of Health Humanities serves as a platform to both think about the pressure to be interdisciplinary scholars in precarious times and reabsorb some of it in the form of close readings. A focus on temporality will allow us to make provisions for notions of demographic transition, chronic illness, and health crisis in the critical repertoire of affect studies, visual culture, and literary criticism. Taught in English.

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.