BA MA Track
Women in Leadership
Naomi Klein
Women in Leadership
Naomi Klein
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Welcome to the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

All Semesters

  • 01:988:426 Internship for IWL Scholars (BA)

    Examination of women, community activism, and leadership for change; explores how women's leadership shapes organizations, social movements, and policy development. Interns work in placements relevant to their policy interests and produce proposals for social action projects. Prerequisites: Acceptance into IWL Leadership Scholars Program and 01:988:344, or by permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:429 Engendering Development (3)

    Examines gender differences in economic opportunity, human rights, and political representation across developing countries.
    Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 235 or 301.

  • 01:988:430 IWL Social Action Project (BA)

    Independent action projects designed to address a particular problem or women's policy issue relevant to the work done at the internship site. Projects include gender component and development of leadership skills. Class meets biweekly.

  • 01:988:445 Feminist Advocacy for Women's Rights through the United Nations

    The course will foster Women's and Gender Studies learning goals: Students will be able to identify, analyze, and critique the formation and reproduction of social, economic, and political hierarchies grounded in race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, and sexuality. The course aims to bridge feminist theory and praxis through readings, discussions and concrete experiences at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In 2015, the CSW review 20 years of progress since the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing China. The course will explore four broad themes: global strategies for sustainable development; human rights and macroeconomic policies; the contributions and insights of feminist perspectives on women's economic rights and development and the possibilities and liabilities of the United Nations as a venue for feminist advocacy. The course will encourage the use of an intersectional lens to explore these themes.

  • 01:988:465 The Queering of Theory (3)

    Around 1990, “queer” got a major make-over.  Before that queer was more likely to be used as an epithet to disparage Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, and Transsexuals, than to be enthusiastically embraced as a form of self-affirmation. “Queer!” was much more likely to be hurled as an insult, than proclaimed as an identity. Then, quite suddenly, the tables turned:  “We’re here. We’re queer. We’re fabulous. Get used to it.” Queer heralded a new way of declaring “who” we are.  It also changed who “we” are (insofar as we embrace our “queerness.”)  So, what happened?  Why did queer get “resignified” (to invoke Judith Butler’s idiom) and with what effects?  

    In this course, we will explore the changes in thinking “sex” and “sexuality” during the 1970s and 1980s that preceded the new queer apotheosis in order to understand the problems and questions to which “queer” provided a possible answer.  In the 1970s and 1980s, “Lesbian and Gay”, or “Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual” (and sometimes “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transsexual”) named political movements as well as academic fields.  Yet as questions about these identities got more troubling and as thinking about sexuality got more complicated, these names had increasing difficulty bearing the weight of both historical events and theoretical inquiry. Theoretically speaking, after publication of Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality, vol. 1 in 1976 (and its translation into English in 1978), “sexuality” began to be understood as (a) problematic, rather than appearing as a self-evident aspect of human experience.  Historically speaking, after the emergence of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, the notion that “sex” could (or should) serve as the basis for political affinity seemed less clear-cut, and even the notion of what “sex” means—or should mean--became less obvious (as the debates about “safe sex” revealed).  

    Using Foucault’s insights, feminist theorists like Gaye Rubin, Eve Sedgwick, and Judith Butler began to rethink the intellectual work that “sexual identity” performs.  Or, in Butler’s terms, they began to imagine sexual identities as performances.  Their insights opened up new fields of inquiry and new ways of asking questions about sex and sexuality.  Over the course of the 1980s, these new intellectual tools intersected with the new forms of political activism catalyzed in response to AIDS (e.g. ACT-UP) and from this turbulent field of thinking and acting a new form of sexual identification and sexual subjectification was born: Queer.  By tracing this “queer” genealogy, we will explore the ways that sexuality both fictions identities and informs how we experience ourselves in their terms.

  • 01:988:480 Ethics and Leadership (3)

    This course will explore contemporary relations between ethics and politics, between conceptions of leadership and the production of depoliticized masses, between individual values and public beliefs.

  • 01:988:481 Feminism and Visual Culture (3)

    Examines the history of cultural contexts of visual narratives that address gender and sexuality and their influence on cultural policies. Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 201 or 202 or 235 or permission of instructor. 

  • 01:988:482 Feminism, Policy, and the Poor (3)

    Explores the contributions of feminist analysis, advocacy, and policymaking to antipoverty policy and social justice politics. Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 201 or 202 or 235 or permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:485 Motherhood: Nature and Culture, Policy, and Politics (3)

    Investigates how motherhood is shaped by intentional public policies and social, economic, political, and cultural forces in the United States and globally. Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 201 or 202 or 235 or permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:486 Gender, Development, Environment: Policies, Politics, Perspectives (3)

    Using ethnography and gender as a category of analysis examines the experiences and implications of transnational development and environmental policies in specific localities. Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 201 or 202 or 235 or permission of instructor. 

  • 01:988:487 Language of Women's Health and Health Policy (3)

    Examines the creation of narratives of women's health and health policy; through visits from health care experts, considers the impact of these narratives on practice. Prerequisite: 01:988:101 or 201 or 202 or 235 or permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:490 Seminar: Women and Contemporary Issues (3)

    Intensive reading and discussion; designed for graduating seniors. Topic changes annually. Pre-requisite:01:988:301 or 302 or 303 or by permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:491 Seminar in Women's and Gender Studies (3)

    Advanced course on a selected topic in women's and gender studies. Paper is required. Pre-requisite: 01:988:301 or 302 or 303 or by permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:492 Seminar: Special Topics in Women's and Gender Studies (3)

    Selected interdisciplinary topics in women's and gender studies. Past topics included sexuality, popular culture, women and religion, and women and the arts. Prerequisite: 01:988:301 or 302 or 303 or by permission of instructor.

  • 01:988:493,494 Independent Study (3,3)

    Independent study project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. Permission of associate director required.

  • 01:988:497-498 Honors Research in Women's and Gender Studies (3,3)

    Individual research project to be written as honors thesis. Open only to seniors who are candidates for honors in women's and gender studies. Permission of undergraduate director required. Both semesters required.

  • 01:988:498:01 Honors Research in Women’s and Gender Studies (3)

    The second semester of the Honors Research Seminar is designed to support student research and writing in completing the senior honors thesis in women’s and gender studies. The seminar provides a space to generate and critique the work required to complete the thesis, to discuss the knotty problems of interdisciplinary scholarship on gender, and to help you prepare to present and defend your work in front of an audience.

  • 01:988:499 Capstone in Gender and Media (3)

    Development, discussion, production, and critique of a project related to gender, media, and technology. Written and oral project presentation, and options to also create an in-depth multimedia component to the project, complete an internship, or complete a service-learning experience.

  • 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.







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