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Undergraduate Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

Undergraduate Fall 2013 Courses

Click here to view the undergraduate Fall 2013 schedule.

Course Descriptions:

01:988:101:12 (Index # 30502) Women, Culture, Society

TTH8 (7:40-9:00) MU-213 CAC

Instructor: Jenna Brager

What is race, class, gender, and sexuality? What relevance do these categories play in the lives of women and men? How has the struggle for racial equality influenced and helped incubate feminist and queer liberation movements in the United States? Can men be feminists? What distinct roles have women of color played in these movements both in the “mainstream” and within their “own” communities? What confrontations have women of color feminists faced in many antiracist struggles?  What are the politics of “beauty,” self-image and the female body?  What has been the recent history of Black feminist cultural production? These questions are critical to the field of Women’s and Gender Studies and we will examine them throughout this introductory course.  This class is grounded in the political, social and cultural struggles of a number of United States communities of color with a focus on African American women.  Documentary film, narrative cinema, poetry, literature, and cultural criticism will be utilized to illuminate key ideas. By participating in this course, you will become well versed in a range of writing, scholarship, and media that is inclusive of the critical race movement, as well as multiracial, and African American feminism, queer theory, masculinity and “whiteness” studies, and a myriad of combinations. And you will have written about your own personal experiences in relation to these concerns.

 

01:988:202 (Index # 29374) Gender, Culture, and Representation: Post-Feminism, Race, & Neoliberal Politics

TTH4 (2:15-3:35) TH-206 C/D

Professor: Nikol Alexander-Floyd

Feminist scholars continue to confront postfeminism, that is, resistance to feminism through not only backlash, but appropriation of feminist ideas and/or incorporation of only formal, as opposed to substantive, forms of equality.  This course examines feminist approaches to postfeminism, as well as how it is elaborated in popular films, advertisements, and tv shows. Particular attention is given throughout to the critical role of race and post-Civil Rights politics and neo-liberalism in the development of postfeminism.

 

01:988:250:01 (Index # 35748) Feminist Perspectives: Politics, Food, and Environment

MTH2 (10:55-12:15) ARH-100 C/D

Professor: Stina Soderling

This course will address questions of the intersection of gender, food, and environmental politics from several different perspectives. We'll be talking about ecofeminism, the sexual politics of meat production, environmental activism, and maybe The Hunger Games. There will also be plenty of room for students to suggest topics of study. No previous experience in Women's studies necessary, but an interest in gender, food, and/or environment will be useful.

 

01:988:255 Gender, Art, and Society - ONLINE

Index # 33046, Section # 90: Katherine Griefen

Index # 35869, Section # 91: Ylena Kalinsky

Index # 35872, Section # 92: Ylena Kalinsky

 Have you realized that when you walk through a museum, most of the artists whose work you are viewing are men?  Yet women have played a major role in shaping art past and present, both as artists, patrons and models.  This course will introduce you to women artists, their achievements, and impact. It will also introduce you to the social and cultural reasons for the neglect of women in the visual arts and how that neglect is being remedied today.  In addition, this course will introduce you to more general concepts involved in gender representation throughout history, developing a global perspective. Course work will involve online assignments and discussions as well as a final assignment.

 

01:988:257 Gender and the Body: Representation and Pornography - ONLINE

Index # 39005, Section # 90: Tara Burk

Index # 39006, Section # 91: Tara Burk

This course will examine how the body has been represented in art and visual culture, as well as in pornography and consider the range of ways the nude body and pornography exist in contemporary art.  We will explore the ways theories, such as feminism, critical race theory, queer theory, have shaped our cultural perspectives on what has been imaged.  Artistic intention in relation to representing the body and the ways ideas about gender have shaped the depictions and portrayals will be discussed, as well as understanding the divisions between anti-porn and sex-positive theorists. We will learn about the key players in feminist art history, women’s and gender studies, sexuality studies, film theory, and cultural history who had a role in defining and expanding the categories we use to discuss these images. Course work will involve online assignments and discussions as well as a final assignment.

 

01:988:259 Homosexuality and Visual Culture - ONLINE

Index # 39008, Section # 90: Katherine Griefen

Index # 39009, Setion # 91: Katherine Griefen

How has history been changed by queer artists?  This course will introduce you to the central role of homosexuality and homoeroticism in visual culture in the distant and recent past as well as the present day.  You’ll learn about the marginalization of GLBTI artists and how, even when seemingly secret or invisible, they continued to participate directly in cultural production.  You’ll also learn about the ways artists, critics, and patrons remedy censorship.  Through this course you’ll develop the skills to discuss critical theory about queerness. Course work will involve online assignments and discussions as well as a final assignment.

 

01:988:490 (Index # 37091): Seminar Women & Contemporary Issues: Literature, Gender, and Environmental Justice

M/TH3 (12:35-1:55) FS-109 C/D

Professor: Yanoula Athanassakis

This course introduces you to both practical and theoretical approaches to environmental justice. We will look at 20th and 21stc. representations of production and consumption as connected to gender and human rights. How are the intimate spaces of women's bodies related to notions of American imperialism, ecological violence, and natural disasters like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina? What are the politics involved in cycles of consumption and production, and what is actually being consumed? To address these issues we will examine visual and written texts of our times and investigate modes of consumption (of land, peoples, toxins, and capital). The last section of the course treats local issues of environmental degradation and gendered toxicity -- such readings will give us a chance to examine the global and local impact of our own everyday choices. Assignments will include in-class writing, two papers, and an exam.


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WGS Statement on Academia and Free Speech Rights

It is inherent to the discipline of Women's Studies to deal with complex subjects through theoretical lenses, which question conventional knowledge production. This department, one of the most distinguished departments of WGS in the country, has a highly visible faculty of national and international reputation invited to speak in various fora on sometimes highly controversial subjects. Such faculty members, as scholars, have not only a right, but also an obligation to produce and disseminate knowledge within and beyond the academy. Moreover, as private citizens, our faculty continue to enjoy the same freedoms of speech and expression as any private citizen and in accordance with university policy the department supports their protection from institutional discipline in the exercise of these academic and free speech rights. 


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