Women's Studies

Director: Uma Narayan (Philosophy); Steering Committee: Rodica Diaconescu–Blumenfeld (Italian), Patricia–Pia Celerier (French), Colleen Ballerino Cohen (Anthropology/Women's Studies), Miriam Cohen (History), Margot Crawford (English), Leslie Dunn (English), Janet Gray (Psychology), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Ann Imbrie (English), Kirsten Menking (Geology), Seungsook Moon (Sociology), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Mary Shanley (Political Science), Deborah Paredez (Drama), Karen Robertson (English/Women's Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography/Geology), Patricia Wallace (English), Susan Zlotnick (English). Members of the Program: Rodica Diaconescu–Blumenfeld (Italian), Lisa Brawley, (Urban Studies/Women's Studies), Margot Crawford (English), Patricia–Pia Celerier (French), Colleen Ballerino Cohen (Anthropology/Women's Studies), Miriam Cohen (History), Lisa Collins (Art), Leslie Dunn (English), Janet Gray (Psychology), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Ann Imbrie (English), Jean Kane (English), Kirsten Menking (Geology), Seungsook Moon (Sociology), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Deborah Paredez (Drama), Karen Robertson (English/Women's Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography/Geology), Mary Shanley (Political Science), Patricia Wallace (English), Susan Zlotnick (English). Participating Faculty: Mita Choudhury (History), Anne Constantinople (Psychology), Rebecca Edwards (History), Gretchen Gerzina (English), Luke Harris (Political Science), Mia Mask (Film), Shirley Lans–Johnson (Economics), Michael Joyce (English), Sarah Kozloff (Film), Eileen Leonard (Sociology), Lisa Paravisini–Gebert (Hispanic Studies), Robin Trainor (Education), Denise Walen (Film), Adelaide Villemoare (Political Science), Yu Zhou (Geology).

Students who wish to concentrate in the multidisciplinary program in Women's Studies or elect the correlate sequence should consult the director of the program. With an adviser or advisers in the program, applicants plan a course of study, tailored to their particular interests and needs in the field. The concentration or correlate sequence must be approved by the adviser or advisers and the director of the program.

Requirements for Concentration: 12 units elected from at least three disciplines, including: (1) Women's Studies 130, Introduction to Women's Studies; (2) 1 unit in feminist theory. Feminist theory courses include Philosophy 250, Political Science 278, Political Science 376; (3) 1 unit selected from Women's Studies 240, 241, or 251; (4) Women's Studies 300, a 1–unit essay or project in the senior year; (5) 3 additional units at the 300–level from the list of Approved Courses. These courses must be taken in at least two departments or one department and the Women's Studies Program; (6) 5 additional courses from the list of Approved Courses or the program's General List.

All courses should be chosen in consultation with the adviser or the director of the program. No required courses for a concentration in Women's Studies may be taken NRO, and no more than 3 units may be taken as ungraded work. The senior essay is graded.

Requirements for the Correlate Sequence: 6 graded units including: (1) Women's Studies 130, Introduction to Women's Studies; (2) 1 unit in feminist theory. Feminist theory courses include Philosophy 250, Political Science 278, Political Science 376; (3) 4 other courses from the list of Approved Courses, germane to the focus of the correlate sequence. No more than 2 units may be taken at the 100–level and at least 1 unit must be at the 300–level.

Courses taken in the major may also fulfill requirements in the correlate sequence, but the sequence must include courses from at least three departments. It is recommended that the correlate sequence adhere as closely as possible to the plan outlined below.

Freshman or Sophomore     130 Introduction to Women's Studies

Sophomore and Junior     200–level courses germane to the sequence

Junior     a course in feminist theory

Senior     300–level course germane to the sequence


I. Program Courses

130a. and b. Introduction to Women's Studies (1)

Multidisciplinary study of the scholarship on women, with an introduction to feminist theory and methodology. Includes contemporary and historical experiences of women in private and public spaces. Examination of how the concept of women has been constructed in literature, science, the media and other institutions, with attention to the way the construction intersects with nationality, race, class and sexuality.

Two 75–minute sessions.

160a. Issues in Feminism: Bodies and Texts (1)

An introduction to issues in feminism with a focus on the body, the representation of the body, and textuality. Possible issues may include reproductive rights, pornography, anorexia, prostitution, women in popular culture and the female voice. Specific attention is paid to the intersection of race, class, and gender. Ms. Zlotnick.

Open only to Freshmen.

Two 75–minute sessions.

160b. Issues in Feminism: Women, Art and Politics (1)

An interdisciplinary examination of the Women's Studies Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, particularly the Women's Art Movement. We explore relationships between art, politics, and society during the so–called "second wave" of feminism in the United States. Ms. Collins.

Open only to Freshmen.

Two 75–minute sessions.

218b. Literary Perspectives on Women (1)

(Same as English 218) Consideration of women as writers, and the representation of women in literature. The focus varies from year to year and may include works from different historical periods. This year the course focuses on feminist literary theory. Ms. Robertson, Ms. Zlotnick.

Two 75–minute sessions.

[220. Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Women in Renaissance Culture] (1)

(Same as Medieval and Renaissance Studies 220)

Not offered in 2001/02.

230a. Women and Film (1)

(Same as Film 230a) Despite the challenges posed by inadequate funding, distribution difficulties and obstacles to exhibition, women filmmakers have successfully directed, scripted and edited commercial, independent and avant–garde filmmakers. The course focuses on a wide variety of international women filmmakers, including films by Chantel Akerman, Mira Nair, Jane Campion, Tracey Moffatt, Agnes Varda and Marleen Gorris. The class emphasizes the diversity (aesthetic, ideological, racial and cultural) among women filmmakers. Filmmaking is viewed as a collaborative process in which the editor, the screenwriter and the actor significantly influence content. Out major text is the anthology, Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism, edited by Carson Dittmar, and Welsch, and class reading assignments delve into a broad range of theoretical perspectives. Ms. Mask.

Two 75–minute sessions.

[231b. Women Making Music] (1)

(Same as Music 231)

Prerequisites: one unit in music or women's studies, or by permission.

Not offered in 2001/02.

240a. Construction of Gender (1)

Topics vary from year to year. Topic for 2001/02: Representations of Women in American Popular Media. From the perspective of feminist cultural studies the course considers aspects of contemporary American culture: movies, toys, television, popular fiction, cultural rituals and ceremonies. The course may include the production of an analytical video. Ms. Cohen, Ms. Robertson.

Two 75–minute sessions.

241a. Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 241 a) The course explores science as discourse and practice, looking specifically at the representations and roles of women in science and technology. There is attention to historical issues, but most of the semester is devoted to studying contemporary issues relevant to women living in a highly technological world. Readings are drawn from diverse fields including the natural sciences, literature, philosophy, and the history and sociology of science. Ms. Gray.

Two 75–minute sessions.

[250b. Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature] (1)

(Same as Asian Studies 250b)

Not offered in 2001/02.

[251b. Global Feminism] (1)

Not offered in 2001/02.

264b. Black Women in American History: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (1)

(Same as Africana Studies 264b)

275b. Gender and Social Space (1)

(Same as Urban Studies 275) This course explores the ways in which gender informs the spatial organization of daily life; the interrelation of gender and key spatial forms and practices such as the home, the city, the hotel, migration, shopping, community activism, and walking at night. It draws on feminist theoretical work from diverse fields such as geography, architecture, anthropology and urban studies not only to begin to map the gendered divisions of the social world but also to understand gender itself as a spatial practice. Ms. Brawley.

Two 75–minute periods.

281b. Bio–politics of Breast Cancer (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 281) Ms. Gray.

Two 75–minute sessions.

287b. Feminist Political Ecology (1)

(Same as Urban Studies and Environmental Studies 287b) Topic for 2001/02:Gender, Nature, Justice: An Introduction to Feminist Environmentalism. This course is an introduction to feminist environmentalism as a political movement and an emerging critical field. A wide range of critical approaches to understanding gender and the environmentsuch as feminist political ecology, ecofeminism, ecosocialism, and environmental philosophyinform an exploration of specific cases of gendered environmental practice. Cases include: nature writing, landscape architecture, wilderness adventure, earth art, vegetarianism, and environmental activism. We examine environmental crises as they relate to processes of urbanization. We pay particular attention to the question of sustainable agriculture and food security. Critically attending to the global food systemand to the gendered and racial inequities in the production and distribution of the planet's most fundamental resources – powerfully reveals the interconnection of the urban and the rural, the global and the local, the planet and the body, and thus calls for a feminist activism and scholarship that is able to traverse these diverse spaces. Readings for this course are supplemented by guest lectures by area feminist scholars, activists, and farmers. Ms. Brawley.

Two 75–minute sessions.

375a. Seminar in Women's Studies (1)

Addressing developments in the new scholarship on women, and in feminist theory and methodology, the seminar is team–taught by two faculty members from different disciplines, and affords students the opportunity to present their own scholarly work in the field. The topic varies from year to year.

Topic for 2001/02: Postcolonialism and Third World Feminism. The course focuses on theoretical questions pertaining to feminism and postcolonialism, and on issues affecting women as they are articulated in specific Third world contexts. We begin with texts that mark the theoretical intersections between postcolonial studies, cultural studies and feminist theory. Using literary and philosophical texts, as well as novels and film, we look at the women's public and private lives in the context of issues raised by Third World feminists and feminist movements. We consider issues pertaining to representations of Third World women, and to feminist debates on "cultural practices." We explore the effects of the new global economy on different groups of Third World women, and women's relationships to nationalism. We look at issues of sexuality and sexual identity as they play out in different Third World contexts. Ms Narayan, Ms. Robertson.

Open to junior and seniors majoring in women's studies, taking the correlate sequence or concentrating in related fields.

One 2–hour meeting per week.

[380b. Queer Theory] (1)

Not offered in 2001/02.

381b. Gender, Class, and Region in American Culture (1)

(Same as American Culture 381b) Ms. Constantinople and Ms. Edwards.

[382a. "Unspeakable Things Unspoken" The Female Voice in the Novels of Toni Morrison] (1)

An exploration of the writings of Toni Morrison as well as critical essays on her work. Class discussions involve close readings of her seven novels as well as her critical work. Ms. Gerzina.

One 2–hour meeting per week.

Not offered in 2001/02.

II. Reading Courses

Prerequisite for reading courses: Women's Studies 130 and one additional Women's Studies course or course from the list of Approved Courses. Permission of the director is required for all reading courses.

297.02. Lesbian Sex and Politics in the United States (1/2)

The program.

297.04. Women and Sport (1/2)

The program.


III. Independent Work

Prerequisite for fieldwork or independent study: 2 units of work in Women's Studies or from the list of Approved Courses. Permission of the director is required for all independent work.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

298a or b. Independent Study (1/2 or 1)

300a–300b. Senior Thesis or Project (1/2, 1/2)

A 1–unit thesis or project written in two semesters.

399a or b. Senior Independent Study (1/2 or 1)

IV. Approved Courses.

Below is a partial list of Approved Courses. For current offerings, consult the list circulated each term by the program, together with the Women's Studies Handbook.

American Culture 275     Ethnicity and Race in America (1)

Asian Studies 240     Women in China (1)

Education 260     Child Abuse and Domestic Violence (1)

English 262     Post–Colonial Literatures (1) 
English 319     Race and Its Metaphors (1) 
English 326     Studies in Ethnic American Literature (1)

Environmental Studies 103     Earth System Science and Environmental Justice (1)

History 259     The History of the Family in Early Modern Europe (1) 
History 260     Women in the United States to 1890 (1)

Political Science 237     Law of Race and Gender, Antidiscrimination in the U.S. (1) 
Political Science 346     Seminar in American Politics (1)

Sociology 236     Women, Men, and Social Change in East Asia (1) 
Sociology 257     Re–orienting America: Asians in American History and Society (1) 
Sociology 369     Social Construction of Race in the U.S. (1)

V. General Courses

Consult the list circulated each term by the program, together with the Women's Studies Handbook.