Women's Studies Program

Director: Uma Narayan (Philosophy); Steering Committee: Elisabeth Arlyck (French), Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld (Italian), Patricia-Pia Celerier (French), Colleen Ballerino Cohen (Anthropology / Women's Studies), (History), Leslie Dunn (English), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Ann Imbrie (English), Lydia Murdoch ( History), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Deborah Paredez (Drama),Christine Reno (French), Karen Robertson (English/Women's Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography / Geology), Patricia Wallace (English), Jami Weinstein (Philosophy/Women's Studies), Eva Woods (Hispanic Studies), Susan Zlotnick (English). Members of the Program: Elizabeth Cardonne-Arlyck (French), Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld (Italian), Mita Choudhury (History), Margot Crawford (English), Patricia-Pia Celerier (French), Colleen Ballerino Cohen (Anthropology /Women's Studies), Miriam Cohen (History), Lisa Collins (Art), Leslie Dunn (English), Nicole Fleetwood (Drama and Film), Janet Gray (Psychology), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Tomo Hattori (English), Ann Imbrie (English), Jean Kane (English), Kathy Kaufman (Sociology), Joy Lei (Education), Eileen Leonard (Sociology), Kathryn Libin (Music), Mia Mask (Film), Kirsten Menking (Geology-Geography),Marque Miringhoff (Sociology), Seungsook Moon (Sociology), Lydia Murdoch (History), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Leslie Offutt (History), Lisa Paravisini-Gebert (Hispanic Studies), Deborah Paredez (Drama and Film), Karen Robertson (English/Women's Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography / Geology), Mary Shanley (Political Science), Patricia Wallace (English), Jami Weinstein (Philosophy/Women's Studies), Denise Walen (Drama), Eva Woods (Hispanic Studies), (English), Susan Zlotnick (English). Participating Faculty: Lisa Brawley, (Urban Studies/Women's Studies), Anne Constantinople (Psychology), Rebecca Edwards (History), Luke Harris (Political Science), Shirley Lans-Johnson (Economics), Michael Joyce (English), Sarah Kozloff (Film), Robin Trainor (Education), Denise Walen (Film), Adelaide Villmoare (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 courses. 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 and b.   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 cultures, and the female voice. Specific attention is paid to the intersection of race, class, and gender. The course may include a component of body work. Two sections with Ms. Zlotnick. and Ms. Robertson respectively
       Open only to Freshmen.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
204a.   Gender Issues in Economics
(1)
(Same as Economics 204a) An analysis of gender differences in education, earnings, employment, and the division of labor within the household. Topics include a study of occupational segregation, discrimination, the role of "protective legislation" in the history of labor law and effects of changes in the labor market of the U.S. We also study the economics of marriage, divorce, and fertility. A comparison of gender roles in other parts of the world is the final topic in the course. Ms. Johnson-Lans.
       Two 75 minute sessions.
       Prerequisite: Economic 101.
 
[215b.   Feminist Political Ecology]
(1)
(Same as Women's Studies 215)
       Special permission.
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
220a.   Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Women in Renaissance Culture
(1)
(Same as Medieval and Renaissance Studies 220a) An interdisciplinary introduction to women in European culture twelfth through sixteenth centuries. Close scrutiny of primary sources include many literary texts. Some consideration of historigraphical and theoretical issues. Ms. Reno and Ms. Little.
       Two 75 minute periods.
 
230b.   Women in Film: Projecting the Female Body.
(1)
(Same as Drama and Film 230) This course inquires into the ways the female body is invested with culturally and historically specific meanings in the hyper-specular economy of cinema. Through the study of Hollywood films (both recent and historical), foreign films, and films made by women directors, our focus is the intersection of gender with race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. The study of specific films is accompanied by readings in feminist film theory. The films may include: Griffith's Birth of a Nation, Hitchcock's Vertigo, Ridley's Thelma and Louise, Jane Campion's The Piano, Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother, and Monika Treut's Female Misbehaviour. Ms. Blumenfeld, Ms. Woods
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
231a.   Women Making Music
(1)
(Same as Music 231a) A study of women's involvement in Western and non-Western musical cultures. Drawing on recent work in feminist musicology and ethnomusicology, the course studies a wide range of music created by women, both past and present. It explores such topics as musical instruments and gender, voice and embodiment, access to training and performance opportunities, and representations of women musicians in art and literature. Ms. Libin and Ms. Dunn
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
240a.   Construction of Gender
(1)
Topics vary from year to year. Topic for 2002/03: 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. Ms. Cohen, Ms. Robertson.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
       Prequisites: Women's Studies 130, or by permission of the instructors.
 
241b.   Feminist Approaches to Science and Technology
(1)
(Same as Science, Technology, and Society 241) This course investigates the histories, paradigms, categories, assumptions, and procedures associated with gender and sexuality in scientific, technological, and medical discourse and practice. There is an underlying focus on the theme of "nature" as it is used and constructed by science and medicine. We work under the guise that "(w)e call contrary to Nature what happens contrary to custom nothing is anything but according to nature, whatever it may be. Let this universal and natural reason drive out of us the error and astonishment that novelty brings us." (Michel de Montaigne). We try to come to a better understanding of the ways in which our human "Nature" along with our sexualities, genders, and races are viewed, studied, "discovered," and/or constructed by science and technology. Ms. Weinstein.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
[250b.   Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature]
(1)
(Same as Asian Studies 250b)
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
251b.   Global Feminism
(1)
(Same as International Studies 251b) This course explores issues pertinent to women's experiences in different Third World cultural and national contexts, focusing on feminist political analyses and activism pertaining to a range of issues affecting women. The course examines how political fundamentalism, nationalism and post-coloniality affect different women's identities and choices, and how feminists negotiate these forces in their struggles for women's empowerment. In addition to theoretical readings on Third World feminism, we address issues ranging from cultural practices, to issues of sexuality and reproductive rights, and issues pertaining to development and women's place in the contemporary global economy. Learning about a wide range of Third World feminist engagements enables us to have a richer understanding of feminism as encompassing national, international and transnational political agendas, and to think critically about the similarities and differences in the predicaments and political struggles of women in different parts of the World. Ms. Narayan.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
[275b.   Gender and Social Space]
(1)
(Same as Urban Studies 275)
       Not offered in 2002/03)
 
280a.   Twentieth-Century Feminist Performance
(1)
Feminist Performers, dramatists, directors, performance theorists and theatre historians have made significant contributions to - and indeed have often radically altered our understanding of - theatre throughout the twentieth century. This course provides a survey of feminist performance practice, theories and dramatic writings in Europe and the Americas primarily since the "second wave" feminist movement in the U.S. Students are encouraged to explore the following questions: What constitutes "feminist performance?" What are the various feminist performance methodologies and theoretical frames that have emerged over the last century? What are the particular ways feminist theories intersect with performance in different historical, regional and geopolitical locations? What makes theatre an especially generative site for investigating feminist concerns. Ms. Paredez.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
[281b.   Bio-politics of Breast Cancer]
(1)
(Same as Science, Technology and Society 281)
       Not offered in 2002/2003).
 
[287b.   Feminist Political Ecology]
(1)
(Same as Urban Studies and Environmental Studies 287b)
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
[324b.   Women's Parts: Women Interpreting Shakespeare]
(1)
(Same as Drama 324)
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
347b.   Reenvisioning Women in the Third World
(1)
(Same as Sociology 347)
 
[366b.   Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women's Art Movements]
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies and Art 366)
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
375a.   Seminar in Women's Studies: "Brave New Families": Politics and Private Lives
(1)
This course pays attention to the family as a place of intersection between politics and private life. It explores new perspectives on family forms and family experiences that have appeared in recent years in literature, social theory, and law. We look at the ways families are formed and portrayed in relationship to understandings of race, class, and region in the United States. How are depictions of family related to visions of social and political order? We also examine new perspectives on families that have appeared in response to social practices like same-sex households, multi-racial families and families created by using reproductive technologies like donated eggs and sperm. Course materials include films such as Secrets and Lies, and First Person Plural novels such as Allison'sBastard Out of Carolina, Morrison's Paradise, and Kingsolver's The Bean Treessocial and legal theory such as Cott's Public Vows and Shanley's Making Babies, Making Families and selected court cases involving family formation. Ms. Shanley, Ms. Wallace.
       Special Permission
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
 
380b.   Queer Theory
(1)
The western cultural paradigm of sexual orientation has many origins. In particular, this course investigates those coming out of psychoanalysis and science - two of the dominant sources of social knowledge prevalent in our culture. We explore the view that all sexual behaviors, all concepts linking sexual behaviors to sexual identities, and all categories of "normal" and "deviant" sexualities, are social constructs, sets of signifiers which create certain types of social meaning. We see that queer theory follows feminist theory and lesbian and gay studies in rejecting the idea that sexual orientation is an essentialist category, something determined by biology or judged by eternal standards of morality and truth. We try to argue that sexuality is a complex array of social codes and forces, forms of individual activity and institutionalized power relations, which interact to shape the notions of what is "normal" what is "natural," "essential" or "biological." Aside from readings in both science of sex, gender, and sexual orientation and psychoanalysis, we read theoretical texts which help guide us toward a more accurate understanding of what we mean by the term 'queer,' what we regard as the criteria for labeling a sexual activity queer, in short, the ontology of queer or what queer is. Ms. Weinstein.
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
 
[382a.   "Unspeakable Things Unspoken" The Female Voice in the Novels of Toni Morrison]
(1)
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 

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.

 
297.01.   Queer Theory
(1/2)
The program.
 
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.
 
[347a.   Reenvisioning Women in the Third World]
(1)
(Same as Sociology 347) This course examines the forces that have shaped the lives of women, their willful responses in the Third World, defined in terms of historical and social conditions rather than geographical locations. Topics include colonialism, nationalism, politics of representation and the production of knowledge in international development, environmental movement, global factory work, reproductive rights, and the sex industry in international tourism. Ms. Moon.
       Not offered in 2002/03.
 
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.

Education 252 Race, Representation and Resistance (1)
Education 260. Child Abuse/Domestic Violence (1)
English 218 Literary Perspectives on Women (1)
English 262 Post-Colonial Literatures (1)
English 319 Race and Its Metaphors (1)
History 260 Women in the U.S. to 1890 (1)
History 261 History of Women in the U.S. since 1890 (1)
Philosophy 250 Feminist Theory (1)
Political Science 237 Law of Race and Gender Anti-Discriminationin the U.S. (1)
Political Science 247 Politics of Difference (1)
Political Science 278 Feminism and Sex, Gender, and Society andPolitical Theory (1)
Sociology 250 Sex, Gender, Society (1)
Sociology 352 Contemporary Social Movements (1)
Sociology 380 Women's Movements in Asia (1)

V. General Courses

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