To view Fall 2024 course descriptions, please click HERE.


Course Descriptions

Please use the search field below to search the course titles or descriptions:

16:988:510 Proseminar: Technologies and Poetics of Gender and Sexuality (3 credits)

This concentration investigates the hierarchical production of cultural differences. Technologies of gender and sexuality refer to the manifold imaginary and material practices through which such categorical differences inform particular social and historical contexts. The poetics of gender and sexuality involve the creative and symbolic work that situates “difference” as a defining element of human relationships and cultural meanings.

16:988:515 Feminism: Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course aims to illuminate the interconnections between theory and practice by exploring particular modes of feminist activism and the complex theoretical issues that feminist praxis raises. The course seeks to foster an understanding of the multiple ways that feminist theory has opened our imaginations to the possibilities for inclusive democratic practices and has expanded the repertoire of strategies for realizing social change.

16:988:516 Social Justice Movements (3)

The opening decades of the 21st century have been characterized by growing inequalities within and across nations, war, terrorism, and devastating climate and environmental crises. The U.S. “War on Drugs” has contributed to the growth of the “prison-industrial complex,” which incarcerates 2.2 million Americans, 70% of whom are people of color. Hyper-surveillance, police harassment and brutality, and the deaths of unarmed African Americans in police custody have given rise to the Black Lives Matter campaign. New reproductive and genetic technologies have raised a host of ethical issues not only about how to conceive human life but also about who should be born. Trans* activists have mobilized against surgical interventions and state practices that coerce people to conform to binary gender formations. These developments make it clear that social justice continues to be a pressing and unresolved issue. This course is designed to introduce students to competing theories of social justice and the complexity of social justice issues, while also familiarizing them with various social justice strategies and the demands of successful social justice advocacy and activism. In examining social justice activism, the course focuses on women’s mobilizations for economic, environmental, and reproductive justice, as well as immigrant, Indigenous, LGBTQ, and Trans struggles for livelihoods, rights, and recognition. The course will help students not only to deepen their understanding of the dynamics of oppression with particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality, but to develop their ability to participate in social change.

16:988:517; Advocacy: Tactics and Techniques (3 credits)

Find your voice as a feminist advocate. Learn key concepts such as heterosexism, privilege and oppression, intersectionality, and decoloniality. Explore the multiple histories, presents, and futures of varied feminist activisms and organizing across the global North and South. Develop your anti-colonial, anti-racist, and anti-sexist gender analysis, feminist writing, researching, and reflective participatory decision-making skills. This course will prepare you for the demands of transformative social change advocacy and will assist you in developing basic capacities such a public speaking, agenda-setting, needs assessment, harnessing free media, group facilitation, grant writing, networking, and community organizing.

16:988:520: Proseminar: Agency, Subjectivity and Social Change (3 credits)

This course investigates women’s mobilizations to transform social and political institutions, which also may impact women activists themselves. Examining global feminist movements in the past as well as in the contemporary world, this course seeks to explicate how women's activism and agency continue to challenge dominant discourses on agency, subjectivity, culture, politics, authority, religion, and society. 

16:988:525; 526 Colloquium in Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits)

Topic varies according to instructor.

16:988:530 Proseminar: Gendered Borders/Changing Boundaries (3 credits)

Feminist scholarship has sought to challenge and de-center many traditional boundaries by cultivating voices “from the margin” and exploring dimensions of women’s experiences that defy these boundaries. This concentration examines how feminist scholarship can illuminate phenomena such as fluctuating national borders, shifting contours of sovereignty, displacement, immigration and diasporas, uncertain global economies, hybrid identities, and changing sexualities.

16:988:535 Gender and Human Rights (3 credits)

The history and discourse of women's human rights. United Nations instruments; reframing of human rights as women's rights; gender-based violence; health; sexuality.

16:988:536 Gender and Development (3 credits)

This course analyzes women’s location in economic development processes within theoretical frameworks; reflects upon linkages between the global economy and gendered processes of development; and examines a rights-based approach to gender justice.

16:988:537 Poverty, Inequality, and Gender (3 credits)

This course examines the intersection of poverty, inequality and gender by exploring feminist approaches to theorizing, measuring, and experiencing the relationship between capitalist development and gender and race/ethnic inequality and poverty.

16:988:545 Understanding Quantitative Methods in Feminist Research (3 credits)

Introduction to quantitative methods in feminist research, with an emphasis on interpretation of quantitative claims as well as feminist uses and critiques of quantitative methods.

16:988:555 Advanced Topics in Feminist Theory (3 credits)

Topic varies according to specialization of instructor.

16:988:561 Black Feminist Theory (3 credits)

This course provides a broad survey of contemporary Black feminist theory, including the emergence of Black feminist thought and political action, key actors and debates, theoretical engagements with questions of gender, racial, and sexual difference.

16:988:582 Feminist Genealogies (3 credits)

As a methodology, genealogy does not trace concepts back to their origins (a task which presupposes continuity), but to points at which contradictions and contestations erupt in a manner productive of later discursive formations. This course examines key modern theories whose contradictions provoked feminist thought and elicited feminist critiques (for example, Hegelian, Liberal, Marxist, Existentialist and others).

16:988:583 Contemporary Feminist Theory (3 credits)

This course examines how recent feminist theories have critiqued a variety of traditional boundaries such as theoretical categories of identity, global hierarchies of power, and disciplinary boundaries. The original contributions of feminist theories to conceptual thinking will be explored around key concepts such as agency, identity, difference, location, intersectionality, transnationalism and nationalism, representation, resistance, power and sexuality.

16:988:584,585 Practicum in Women's and Gender Studies (BA credits)

Field work for M.A. degree candidates.

16:988:587 Feminist Pedagogies (3 credits)

This course examines theories and practices of feminist pedagogy, engaging both practical issues of teaching interdisciplinary thinking about gender in a classroom, issues of the connection of theory to practice, and feminist critiques of educational practices.

16:988:590 Independent Study

WGSS Graduate Students with an interest in a specialized area not represented in the current curriculum may arrange an Independent Study under the supervision of a member of the Graduate Faculty.

16:988:601 Readings in Women's and Gender Studies (3 credits)

Open to Ph.D. students preparing for qualifying exams.

16:988:602 Feminist Methodology (3 credits)

This course focuses on both the advantages and disadvantages of different philosophical, methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary traditions for contributing to our knowledge of central issues in women's and gender studies. The goal is to provide students with the critical tools to utilize and interrogate existing methodologies and to adapt them to the enterprise of feminist research. What counts as authoritative knowledge? What defines good research and bad research? What is the role of the social in the constitution of knowledge? What constitutes research as feminist?

16:988:603 Feminist Knowledge Production (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to many of the methods used in feminist interdisciplinary research. The course looks at how to formulate a research question, collect data, interpret and analyze evidence, and report research results. The course will be a forum to apply knowledge of methods and methodologies to students’ own research and research-activist interests.

16:988:604,605 Women's and Gender Studies Dissertation Proposal (3,3 credits)

Open to Ph.D. students preparing dissertation proposals.

16:988:701,702 Research in Women's and Gender Studies (BA credits)