Women's Studies Program

Director: To be announced; Steering Committee: Elizabeth Arlyck (French), Colleen Cohen (Anthropology/Women’s Studies), Miriam Cohen, (History), Leslie Dunn (English), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Lydia Murdoch (History), Karen Robertson (English/Women’s Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography/Geology), Patricia Wallace (English), Denise Walen (Drama), Susan Zlotnick (English); Members of the Program:Elizabeth Cardonne-Arlyck (French), Rodica Diaconescu-Blumenfeld (Italian), Mita Choudhury (History), Margo 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), Judith Goldstein (Anthropology), Diane Harriford (Sociology), Kathleen Hart (French), Susan Hiner (French), Ann Imbrie (English), Jean Kane (English), Joy Lei (Education), Eileen Leonard (Sociology), Kathryn Libin (Music), Mia Mask (Film), Marque Miringoff (Sociology), Seungsook Moon (Sociology), Lydia Murdoch (History), Uma Narayan (Philosophy), Leslie Offutt (History), Christine Reno (French), Karen Robertson (English/Women’s Studies), Jill Schneiderman (Geography/Geology), Mary Shanley (Political Science), Denise Walen (Drama), Patricia Wallace (English), Eva Woods (Hispanic Studies), Susan Zlotnick (English);Participating Faculty: Lisa Brawley, (Urban Studies), Rebecca Edwards (History), Luke Harris (Political Science), Shirley Lans-Johnson (Economics), Sarah Kozloff (Flim), Robin Trainor (Education), Nikki Taylor (History), Adelaide Villmoare (Political Science).

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
Sohphomore or Junior 200-level courses germane to the sequence
Junior a course in feminine 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. Hart, 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.
 
218a. Literary Perspectives on Women
(1)
(Same as English 218a) 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.
 
[220a. Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Women in Renaissance Culture]
(1)
Two 75 minute periods.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
230b. Women and Film
(1)
Women filmmakers have successfully directed, scripted and edited commercial, independent and avant-garde filmmakers. The class emphasizes the diversity (aesthetic, ideological, racial and cultural) among women filmmakers. Class reading assignments delve into a broad range of theoretical perspectives. Instructor to be announced.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
[231a. Women Making Music]
(1)
Two 75-minute sessions.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
240a. Construction of Gender
(1)
Topics vary from year to year. Topic for 2003/04: 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. Robertson, instructor to be announced.
       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 241b) 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. Instructor to be announced.
       Two 75-minute sessions.
 
254b. Bio Politics of Breast Cancer
(1)
(Same as Science, Technology, and Society 254) We examine the basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological data relevant to our current understanding of the risks (including environmental, genetic hormonal and life- style factors), detection, treatment (including both traditional and alternative approaches), and prevention of breast cancer. In trying to understand these data in the context of the culture of the disease, we explore the roles of the pharmaceutical companies, federal and private foundations, survivor and other activist groups, and the media (including the Internet) in shaping research, treatment and policy strategies related to breast cancer. Ms. Gray.
 
264b. African American Women’s History
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies 264b) In this interdisciplinary course, we explore the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists, and creators during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the intellectual work, social activism, and cultural expression of a diverse group of African American women, we examine how they have understood their lives, resisted oppression, constructed emancipatory visions, and struggled to change society. Lisa Collins.
       Two 75-minute periods.
 
275b. Gender and Social Space
(1)
(Same as Urban Studies 275b) This course explores the inter-relation of gender and key spatial forms and practices such as the home, the city, the hotel, migration, shopping, community activism and walking at night. The course 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.
 
284b. Ideology, Politics, and Material Culture
(1)
(Same as American Culture 284b) This course will examine the cultural history of material objects and the ways in which ideology shapes our relationships with material objects. As we study tourist souvenirs, photograph, book covers, clothing, food packages, and other objects, we think deeply about commodity fetishism, museums and other exhibitions of “ culture” and visualizations of race, ethnicity, gender and class. The course is divided into three units: “Nostalgia and Material Culture,” “the Beauty Myth and Material Culture,” and “Ethnicity and Material Culture.” Theorists include Marx, Althusser, Roland Barthes, John Berger, and Susan Stewart. Ms. Villmoare, Ms. Crawford.
       Special Permission.
       One 2-hour period.
 
[347b. Reenvisioning Women in the Third World]
(1)
(Same as Sociology 347b) 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 the international development, environmental movements, global factory work, reproductive rights, and the sex industry in international tourism. Ms. Moon.
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
364b. Readings in Modern Black Feminist Thought
(1)
(Same as History 364 and Africana Studies 364) This course explores Black Feminist thought from 1960 to the present. Tracing the development of Black feminist consciousness against the backdrop of rapid social change in American society, we not only examine the themes and issues (education, civil rights, welfare, poverty, child and health care) that have been and still are—important to Black women, but also the strategies these women have employed in their multi-textured struggle for liberation. Since Black women’s activism is often rooted in their lived experiences, we also study how the activist tradition has informed black feminist thought during these decades. We examine the works of Black women authors such as Assata Shakur, Toni Cade, and Andre Lorde. Ms. Nikki Taylor.
       One 2-hour period.
 
366b. Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women’s Art Movements
(1)
(Same as Africana Studies and Art 366b) Focusing on the relationships between visual culture and social movements in the U.S., this seminar examines the arts, institutions, and ideas of the Black Arts movement and Women’s Art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Analyzing paintings, photographs, posters, quilts, collages, murals, manifestos, mixed media works, installations, films, performances, and various systems of creation, collaboration, and display, we explore connections between art, politics, and society. Ms. Collins.
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
 
370a. Feminism/Environmentalism
(1)
(Same as Environmental Studies 370a) This seminar takes as its departure point the claim that the women’s movement, the civil rights movement, and the environmental movement, combined with efforts on behalf of anti-classism, anti-heterosexism, and anticolonialism must be practiced and theorized as interconnected. We examine gendered discourses of natural history, explore their past origins and contemporary ramifications, and study various approaches to understanding gender and environment. We pay particular attention to feminist scholarship and activism concerning the gendered implications of development policies and practices. Course readings may include work by Susan Griffin, Donna Haraway, Maria Mies, Carolyn Merchant, Londa Schiebinger, and Vandana Shiva. Jill Schneiderman.
       Special permission.
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
 
375a. Seminar in Women’s Studies: Thinking Women’s Bodies.
(1)
The course explores the place of women’s bodies in feminist scholarship and activism. It examines how the body is treated in debates about the constructed nature of sex and gender and how women deploy the material and conceptual body to resist oppressive structures and technologies. The course draws on theoretical texts, film and video, ethnography, literature, biography, and popular culture and covers topics ranging from athletics and dance to sex work and AIDS activism and includes a weekly lab/workshop in which students explore ways in which political and individual awareness may be activated, working through the body. Ms. Ballerino Cohen, Ms. Harriford.
       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. Instructor to be announced.
       Women’s Studies 130 and relevant 200-level course desirable.
       Special permission.
       One 2-hour meeting per week.
 

II. Reading Courses

 
[297.01. Queer Theory]
(1/2)
The program.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[297.04. Women and Sport]
(1/2)
The program.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 

III. Independent Work

 
290a or b. Field Work
(1/2 or 1)
 
297.02. Lesbian Sex and Politics in the United States
(1/2)
The program.
 
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

Education 252 Race, Representation and Resistance in U.S. Schools (1)
Education 260. Child Abuse and 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 278 Feminism and Political 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.