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

Fall 2020

  • 01:888:290:01 Introduction to Critical Sexualities (3)

    • Instructor: Louisa Schein

    This synchronous online course introduces students to the study of sexuality from historical, cross-cultural, contemporary and global perspectives. We will look at the different meanings given to sexuality and how sexual practices manifest in diverse contexts and consider how they are shaped by culture and media, economy, race and ethnicity, social structure, policy, stigma etc. We ask: what is defined as sex and what is prescribed and prohibited in diverse communities? What is considered normal and what perverse? How is sexuality related to gender, to homoerotics, to trans? What defines a sexual minority? We will look at questions of persecution, discrimination and activism, and at transnational flows and interactions between societies and peoples. In Fall 2020 we will zoom in (literally!) on topics related to our times. We will analyze COVID-19 through the lens of the earlier HIV/AIDS crisis. We will delve into movements for racial justice in relation to sexuality and racial representation as well as sexuality, policing and incarceration. Dynamics of sexuality in China will be considered. Readings, guest lectures and lots of films cover historical, ethnographic, theoretical, sexological, literary and creative approaches to both the U.S. and many other parts of the world.

  • 01:988:101:11 Introduction to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

    • Instructor: Taida Wolfe

    In this introductory course, we will learn about the ways that gender, race, and sexuality interact, intersect and contribute to the social construction of identity. Using mediums such as film, mainstream and social media, literature, and scholarly texts, this course will explore the following themes: history of feminisms, feminisms of color, masculinities, queer theory, body and reproductive politics, systems of oppression and privilege, gender/work, and gendered violence. By the end of the semester, students will be better poised to address questions of difference and diversity outside of the classroom as critical thinkers and contributors towards a more inclusive society.

  • 01:988:101:13,17,18 Introduction to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

    • Instructor: Heather Lewis

    Intro to Race, Gender, & Sexuality is a course that explores identities, intersectional perspectives, and structural powers in relation to gender, race, and sexuality. Students will investigate the mechanisms through which these ideas are produced and reproduced. Meaningful connections will be made between the concepts offered in this course with the dynamic world around us. Students will have opportunities to consider how these concepts structure our social worlds and intimate lives through individual, collaborative, and multi-modal projects driven by their own personal experiences and knowledge. Each student will also engage with a wide variety of content including current videos, movies, podcasts, music, scholarly texts, mainstreams news outlets, and social media threads. By the end of the course, students will have clearer understanding of how their lived experiences relate to broader culture and society in all of its diversity.

  • 01:988:101:15,16 Introduction to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

    • Instructor: Tiffany Marra

    In this introductory course, you will learn about the ways gender, race, and sexuality come to have meaning in the world as social categories. We will interrogate these terms through a range of conceptual frameworks that emerge from the field of Women’s and Gender Studies. Lessons will give particular attention to the meaning, purpose, and applications of feminist thought. This section will have a narrower focus on sexuality, how race and gender relate to it, and the way sexuality is informed by our experiences and social environment.

    This course is highly collaborative – both at the levels of class discussion and practical application. The goal is to encourage and challenge students to be prepared to hold conversations regarding sensitive issues related to gender, race, and sexuality.

  • 01:988:101:90 Introduction to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

    • Instructor: FREEHA RIAZ

    This online, interdisciplinary course will introduce students to the concepts, discussions, debates and intersections related to gender, race and sexualities. We will consider a variety of readings, media resources, and film to consider and understand how gender, race and sexuality have come to have meaning in the world as social categories. We will build and expand our knowledge about these social categories by examining various strands of feminist theories—Black, liberal, radical, socialist, queer, post-structural, post-colonial, Islamic feminism and Womanism(s). We will interrogate these strands of conceptual frameworks to unravel how they intersect with Women’s and Gender Studies to create hierarchies.

  • 01:988:101:91 Introduction to Gender, Race, and Sexuality

    • Instructor: Jillian Salazar

    Introductory survey examining key concepts and themes in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, including: body image and media; class; feminisms; gender/sex; globalization and neoliberalism; intersectionality; patriarchy and privilege; race; reproductive justice; sexuality and queer theory; social justice and human rights; and violence, conflict, and terrorism.

  • 01:988:200:01 Gender, Digital Media, and Social Curation (3)

    • Instructor: Voichita Nachescu

    In this course, we explore contemporary digital media as sites of production of gender, race, and sexuality. Inspired by intersectional theory and cyberfeminism, we examine Twitter, blogs, and podcasts as environments where race / gender /sexuality / are produced, negotiated, and subverted. We critically interrogate the ways new technologies often reinscribe power relations, discipline, and surveillance, and we explore the possibilities and limits of online activism.

    Students will work collaboratively to create a podcast based on their research on a topic of their choice.

  • 01:988:240:01 Gender and Science (3)

    • Instructor: Kyla Schuller

    An introduction to many of the ways feminists engage with the sciences, this course examines ways that feminists have critiqued the production of scientific knowledge as well as ways that contemporary critical analyses of gender, race, and sexuality draw on scientific research. Taking both an historical and theoretical perspective, students will explore the various ways scientists have defined gender, race, and sexual difference in humans and other animals from the nineteenth century to the present. We will investigate how dynamics of race and gender shaped specific episodes in the history of science, such as nineteenth-century race science and contemporary brain organization research. We will also look at contemporary scientific practice, especially examining the role of women in science and cultural ideas about women scientists, as well as at feminist writers who argue that we should deepen our understanding of scientific research in order to advance feminist causes. Throughout we will examine science in many genres: histories of science, fictional writing, documentary film, and feminist theory, among others.

  • 01:988:258:90 Gender, Race, and Contemporary Art (3)

    • Instructor: Susana Galan

    This course will survey some of the ways visual representation serves to reflect and critique the construction of racial and gender identity in society. Our study will focus on how such identity groupings are defined culturally and globally, and we will look at a range of contemporary art practices used to challenge, highlight, confront, and ultimately encourage recognition of the complex systems of representation that give way to ideas about race and gender and their relationship to identity performance and subjective experience. We will also learn methods used to interrogate the representation of race and gender, and consider how viewing art through this critical lens may enrich our understanding of art in general. While art historians have focused extensively on questions of gender since the late 1960s, robust research on issues of race is a more recent phenomenon in the discipline and there is still much work to do. Much of this scholarship has focused on African American/Black identity, especially as it is closely tied in with larger themes of American art and society, so while we will address other racial and ethnic identities, the content of this course skews heavily in this direction. Students are encouraged to bring into class discussions additional examples of contemporary artists addressing cultures and identities not explicitly covered in the course material.

  • 01:988:284:01 Feminist Knowledge Production (3)

    • Instructor: Judy Gerson

    Run as a workshop, this seminar offers students a semester to explore their own research questions and develop important and useful research skills. We start synchronously with six weeks of common readings and then turn to everyone’s own research projects. We’ll work collectively and proceed step-by-step to make sure every student will have a meaningful, hands-on, and manageable research experience. Your final project may take the form of a research proposal, a research paper, a zine, podcast, photo album, lecture, webinar, performance, etc. You’ll come away with skills that will enable you to think critically and produce new knowledge relevant both within and outside the academy. All students are truly welcome in this interdisciplinary course, which also fulfills a WGSS requirement. There are no prerequisites and no prior knowledge is necessary. Any questions or need more information, please contact Professor Gerson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • 01:988:317:01 Gender and Consumption (3)

    • Instructor: Voichita Nachescu

    In this course, we explore the significance of mass consumption in relation to gender and racial capitalism. What does it mean to be a consumer? What are the possibilities and limits of consumer activism? Over the course of the semester we will be tackling these questions as we explore different aspects of consumer culture, its institutions and sub-cultures, and its global reach. In addition, we examine consumption from a historical and transnational perspective, beginning with the emergence of the raced and gendered consumer in relationship with capitalism and modernity, and linking consumption with citizenship, race, class, and sexuality.

  • 01:988:329:01 History of Race and Sex in America (3)

    • Instructor: Deborah Gray White

    Cross-listed with 01:512:366:01

    This course explores the ways that race and sex have influenced identity in America. It investigates how class, gender and nationalism have intersected with race and sex to determine life chances in America; how the state (local, state and national government) has impacted sexuality, people of color, and women; and how our ideas about masculinity and femininity were formed. The course begins with an exploration of the concepts used in this class with particular focus on the concept of intersectionality. It continues by taking a close look at the way that the variables under review came together at various times in American history. We will study topics such as race-making, interracial marriage, gender making, immigration, gay identity and rights. Because of the continued concerns about Covid-19, the course will be conducted online using zoom.

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

    • Instructor: Ed Cohen


    The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze famously characterized Foucault’s life by saying: “Only one thing mattered to Foucault: What does it mean to think?” I’d restate that as: “Only one thing mattered to Foucault: How does thinking matter?” Indeed, as Foucault himself remarked: “In what does [philosophical thought] consist if not in the endeavor to know how and to what extent it might be possible to think differently, instead of legitimating what is already known? … The object [is] to learn to what extent the effort to think one’s own history can free thought from what it silently thinks, and so to enable it to think differently.” In this course we will closely read just a few of the texts Foucault wrote in the mid-1970s in order to trace the development of his thinking. We will focus on texts he wrote about public health, “abnormality,” the origin of the prison, “sexuality,” and modern governance in order to explore his desire to “think differently”–especially insofar as living differently always entails thinking differently as well. We might learn something about thinking along the way as well.







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