Women's Studies Program

Major

Correlate Sequence in Women's Studies

Approved Courses

Courses

Women's Studies: I. Introductory

110a. Gender, Social Problems and Social Change (1)

(Same as SOCI 110) This course introduces students to a variety of social problems using insights from political science, sociology, and gender studies. We begin with an exploration of the sociological perspective, and how social problems are defined as such. We then examine the general issues of inequalities based on economic and employment status, racial and ethnic identity, and gender and sexual orientation. We apply these categories of analysis to problems facing the educational system and the criminal justice system. As we examine specific issues, we discuss political processes, social movements, and individual actions that people have used to address these problems. Ms. Leonard.

Prerequisite: with permission of the instructor.

This class is taught at the Taconic Correctional Facility for Women to a combined class of Vassar and Taconic students.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 3-hour period.

112a. Family, Law, and Social Policy (1)

(Same as AMST 112 and POLI 112) This course explores the ways laws and social policies intertwine with the rapid changes affecting U.S. families in the 21st century. We focus on ways in which public policies both respond to and try to influence changes in family composition and structure. The topics we explore may include marriage (including same-sex and polygamous marriage); the nuclear family and alternative family forms; domestic violence and the law; incarcerated parents and their children; juvenile justice and families; transnational families; and family formation using reproductive technologies. Although focusing on contemporary law and social policy, we place these issues in historical and comparative perspective. Course meets at the Taconic Correctional Facility. Ms. Shanley.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructors.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 3-hour period.

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 periods.

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

Not offered in 2014/15.

181a. Reproduction, Families and Social Policy (1)

(Same as POLI 181, STS 181) This course studies both social and biological dimensions surrounding family formation in the contemporary United States. Families are undergoing radical transformation as a result of rapid change in scientific knowledge, reproductive technologies and social organization. Topics may include: contraception, pre-natal testing, birthing technologies, and assigning parentage and custody. We will investigate the profound ways in which changes in such areas affect understanding of, and social supports for, families in United States society. Ms. Pokrywka and Ms. Shanley.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

This course is taught at the Taconic Correctional Facility for Women to a combined class of Vassar and Taconic students.

Women's Studies: II. Intermediate

203a. Women in Greek and Roman History and Myth (1)

(Same as GRST 203) Greek and Roman literary and historical accounts abound with vividly drawn women such as Helen, Antigone, Medea, Livia, and Agrippina, the mother of Nero. But how representative were such figures of the daily lives of women throughout Greek and Roman antiquity? This course investigates the images and realities of women in the ancient Greek and Roman world, from the Greek Late Bronze Age (c. 1200 BCE) to the Roman Empire (up to the III c. CE) by juxtaposing evidence from literature, historical sources, and archaeological material. Throughout, the course examines the complex ways in which ancient women interacted with the institutions of the state, the family, religion, and the arts. Ms. Olsen.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

204a. Gender and Sexuality in Roman Culture (1)

(Same as GRST 204) This course examines in detail the sexual attitudes and behaviors of the ancient Romans and the gender roles that both shaped and were shaped by those attitudes. We study selections from ancient Greek and Roman literature, examine artistic remains, and read articles written by prominent scholars of ancient Rome. While the readings are in roughly chronological order, the course is principally organized by topic (e.g., a day for "Roman pederasty" or "Vestal virgins"). All readings are in English translation. Mr. Corbeill.

Two 75-minute periods.

210a. Domestic Violence (1)

(Same as SOCI 210) This course provides a general overview of the prevalence and dynamics of domestic violence in the United States and its effects on battered women. We examine the role of the Battered Women's Movement in both the development of societal awareness about domestic violence and in the initiation of legal sanctions against it. We also explore and discuss, both from a historical and present day perspective, ways in which our culture covertly and overtly condones the abuse of women by their intimate partners. Ms. DePorto.

214b. Transnational Perspectives on Women and Work (1)

(Same as LALS 214 and SOCI 214) This class is a theoretical and empirical exploration of women's paid and unpaid labor. We examine how women's experiences as workers - across space, place, and time - interact with larger economic structures, historical moments, and narratives about womanhood. We pay particular attention to the ways in which race, class, gender, sexuality and citizenship intersect and shape not only women's relationships to work and family, but to other women workers (at times very differently geopolitically situated). We are attentive to the construction of women workers, the work itself, and the meanings women give to production, reproduction, and the global economy. Ms. Carruyo.

215b. Pre-modern Drama: Text and Performance before 1800 (1)

Study of selected dramatic texts and their embodiment both on the page and the stage. Authors, critical and theoretical approaches, dramatic genres, historical coverage, and themes may vary from year to year.

Not offered in 2014/15.

218b. Literature, Gender, and Sexuality (1)

This course considers matters of gender and sexuality in literary texts, criticism, and theory. The focus varies from year to year, and may include study of a historical period, literary movement, or genre; constructions of masculinity and femininity; sexual identities; or representations of gender in relation to race and class.

Topic for 2014/15b: Gender, Sexuality, Disability. (Same as ENGL 218) This course is an introduction to disability studies, with a focus on the difference(s) that gender can make, both in social constructions of disability and in the lives of men and women with disabilities. Topics include: the languages of disability; cultural ideals of beauty and the acceptable/desirable body; disability and representation; the impact of disability on sexuality and gender identity; and intersections of disability studies with feminist and queer theory. A particular focus of the course will be the self-representation of disabled subjects--how they use writing, art, and performance to overcome stigma and shame, to challenge stereotypes, to re-imagine identities, and to engage in disability activism. Ms. Dunn.

Two 75-minute periods.

219b. Queering the Archive (1)

This course provides a review of the methodologies and theories for collecting oral histories and other forms of archiving, with attention specifically to the difficulties attending histories of queer sexualities and gender non-conformity. As a class, we learn about the practice and politics of archiving, speaking with archivists from Vassar Library's Special Collections, the Black Gay and Lesbian Archive at the Schomburg Center, and the Lesbian Herstory Archive, as well as practitioners and scholars of public and/or oral histories, both in and outside the academy and across disciplinary boundaries. We strive in this course to think expansively and creatively about what exactly constitutes archives and artifacts. As we learn and practice methodologies for oral history, we inquire also into what it might mean to queer those practices, especially if we think of "queerness" as anti-disciplinary. Mr. Perez.

Prerequisite: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

220b. Medieval and Renaissance Culture (1)

(Same as HIST 220 and MRST 220) Topic for 2014/15b: Sex, Power, and Resistance in the Renaissance. From the fifteenth century until the end of the seventeenth century, European women and men argued about the nature and status of woman and their debates still engage us today. Critically, this period represents a shift in thinking about women. We examine literature, treatises, and polemical works that reveal how the discussion shifted from theological to biological definitions of woman. How did people in the Renaissance articulate biological and intellectual differences between men and women? How did they view sexual identity? Furthermore, women, such as Isabella of Castile, Elizabeth I, and Catherine de Medici, became powerful rulers, as a result of hereditary accidents, which gave greater urgency to the definition of power and gender. While many women accepted the more conventional patriarchal framework, others resisted and challenged the denigration of woman through writing, legal action and work. Ms. Choudhury.

Two 75-minute periods.

231b. Women Making Music (1)

(Same as MUSI 231) 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.

Prerequisite: one unit in Music, or Women's Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

234b. Women in American Musical Theater (1)

(Same as DRAM 234) This course focuses on the role of female characters in the American Musical Theater. The musical is both a populist and nonconventional form of drama, as such it both reflects contemporary assumptions of gendered behavior and has the potential to challenge conventional notions of normative behavior. Through an examination of librettos, music, and secondary sources covering shows from Show Boat to Spring Awakening the class will examine the way American Musicals have constructed and represented gendered identities. The class is organized thematically and will also consider issues of race, class, and sexuality as they intersect with issues of gender. Ms. Walen.

Prerequisites: DRAM 221/DRAM 222 or WMST 130.

Two 75-minute periods.

240a. Gender in American Popular Media (1)

This course sets out to study the intersections between American popular culture and the politics of gender, race, class, and sex. Objects of study may include dolls and other toys as well as a variety of television and film genres, including classical Hollywood, documentaries, talk shows, music videos, cartoons, pornography, and independent film. Readings draw on a number of important contributions in feminist cultural analysis, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, and journalism from across the humanities and social sciences. Ms. Robertson.

Prerequisites: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

241b. Topics in the Construction of Gender (1)

This course examines the construction of gender as a social category and introduces students to various methodologies of gender studies and feminist analysis. Particular attention is given to the connections between gender, class, race, sex, and sexual identity. Topics vary from year to year and may include the study of gender in the context of a particular historical period, medicine and science, or the arts and literature. May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Topic for 2014/15b: Women and Power from Antiquity to the Present. Women's relationship to power has been a complicated and changing one from the ancient to the contemporary world. Ancient narratives of Pandora, Eve, and Jezebel offer literary and historical antecedents for limitations placed on women's roles in the public and political spheres with many of the ancient rhetorical tropes persisting across the centuries. This class begins with foundational mythological narratives of Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East, then moves to queens and empresses such as Cleopatra, Boudicca, Helena, and Elizabeth, and concludes with 20th and 21st century politicians such as Barbara Jordan, Margaret Thatcher, and Hillary Clinton, and women's involvement in feminist, nationalist, religious, and justice movements. Throughout, the course examines the challenges facing women in the exercise of political, economic, and social power and how ancient and present tropes inform and challenge each other. Ms. Olsen.

Prerequisite: WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

245a. Making Waves: Topics in Feminist Activism (1)

This course is a study of feminist activism in all its forms. Topics vary from year to year and may include the examination of first-, second-, or third-wave feminism, as well as feminist moments that offer alternatives to the "wave" model, including pre-modern and non-western challenges to the legal, social, and economic restrictions on women. May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed. Ms. Blumenfeld.

Topic for 2014/15a: Queer and Trans of Color Interventions. What are the foundational objects, questions, and debates within transgender theory, art, and activism? How do trans theory, art, and activism interface in our contemporary moment? This course offers an in-depth exploration of the emerging intellectual, artistic, and activist work that mobilizes under the rubric of "trans." We read major milestones of the field, and interweave these readings with listenings, viewings, and performances. Our texts are interdisciplinary; we watch films, listen to music recordings, have guest speakers, perform lite ethnography, read memoir, history, ethnography, manifesto, and critical theory, and watch and (optionally) engage in live performance. Taking our cue from third world feminisms and Black feminist theory, the seminar foregrounds the intersections between sex, gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, and national belonging, in works that center transgender as their focus topic and frame. The course privileges voices living at the intersections of these claims, and trans authors take center stage. We consider how trans activism enacts liberatory effects, and, as a mode of doing ethical scholarly work ourselves, continually ask who or what is potentially left out of these conversations. For example, we ask how and to what effects "trans" is exported globally. Along these lines, we challenge ourselves to think trans activism in relation to and alongside other historical and current social justice movements within and outside the U.S. Ultimately, the course examines how theory informs our engagement with artistic and activist aims, and, conversely, how art and activism speak back to trans studies. Mr. Krell.

Prerequisite:WMST 130 or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

250a. Feminist Theory (1)

(Same as PHIL 250) The central purpose of the course is to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives in feminism-including liberal, radical, socialist, psychoanalytic and postmodern perspectives. We will explore how each of these feminist perspectives is indebted to more 'mainstream' theoretical frameworks (for example, to liberal political theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis). We will also examine the ways in which each version of feminist theory raises new questions and challenges for these 'mainstream' theories. We will attempt to understand the theoretical resources that each of these perspectives provides the projects of feminism, how they highlight different aspects of women's oppression and offer a variety of different solutions. We will look at the ways in which issues of race, class and sexuality figure in various theoretical feminist perspectives and consider the divergent takes that different theoretical perspectives offer on issues such as domestic violence, pornography, housework and childcare, economic equality, and respect for cultural differences. Ms. Narayan.

Prerequisite: one unit of Philosophy or Women's Studies.

Two 75-minute periods.

251a. Global Feminism (1)

(Same as INTL 251) The course focuses on several different forms of work that women , mostly in Third World countries, do in order to earn their livelihood within the circuits of the contemporary global economy. The types of work we examine include factory work, home-based work, sex work, office work, care work, informal sector work and agricultural labor. We consider how these forms of work both benefit and burden women, and how women's work interacts with gender roles, reinforcing or transforming them. We also consider some of the general aspects of economic globalization and how it affects poor working women; migration within and across national borders, urbanization, the spread of a culture of consumption, and ecological devastation. Ms. Narayan

Two 75-minute periods.

254b. Bio-Politics of Breast Cancer (1)

(Same as STS 254) We examine the basic scientific, clinical and epidemiological data relevant to our current understanding of the risks (including environmental, genetic, hormonal and lifestyle 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 in shaping research, treatment and policy strategies related to breast cancer. Ms. Gray.

Two 75-minute periods.

259b. The History of the Family in Early Modern Europe (1)

(Same as HIST 259) This course examines the changing notions of family, marriage, and childhood between 1500 and 1800 and their ties to the larger early modern context. During this period, Europeans came to see the family less as a network of social and political relationships and more as a set of bonds based on intimacy and affection. Major topics include family and politics in the Italian city-state, the Reformation and witchcraft, absolutism, and paternal authority, and the increasing importance of the idea of the nuclear family. Ms. Choudhury.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

260b. Sex & Reproduction in 19th Century United States: Before Margaret Sanger (1)

(Same as HIST 260) Focusing on the United States from roughly 1800 to 1900, this course explores sex and reproduction and their relationship to broader transformations in society, politics, and women's rights. Among the issues considered are birth patterns on the frontier and in the slave South; industrialization, urbanization, and falling fertility; the rise of sex radicalism; and the emergence of "heterosexual" and "homosexual" as categories of identity. The course examines public scandals, such as the infamous Beecher-Tilton adultery trial, and the controversy over education and women's health that was prompted by the opening of Vassar College. The course ends by tracing the complex impact of the Comstock law (1873) and the emergence of a modern movement for birth control. Ms. Edwards.

Two 75-minute periods.

261a. Women in 20th Century America (1)

(Same as HIST 261) How did class, race, and ethnicity combine with gender to shape women's lives in the twentieth century? Beginning in 1890 and ending at the turn of this century, this course looks at changes in female employment patterns, how women from different backgrounds combined work and family responsibilities and women's leisure lives. We also study women's activism on behalf of political rights, moral reform, racial and economic equality, and reproductive rights. Readings include memoirs, novels, government documents, and feminist political tracts. Ms. Cohen.

Two 75-minute periods.

262a. Native American Women (1)

(Same as AMST 262) In an effort to subjugate indigenous nations, colonizing and Christianizing enterprises in the Americas included the implicit understanding that subduing Native American women through rape and murder maintained imperial hierarchies of gender and power; this was necessary to eradicate Native people's traditional egalitarian societies and uphold the colonial agenda. Needless to say, Native women's stories and histories have been inaccurately portrayed, often tainted with nostalgia and delivered through a lens of western patriarchy and discourses of domination. Through class readings and writing assignments, discussions and films, this course examines Native women's lives by considering the intersections of gender and race through indigenous frameworks. We expose Native women's various cultural worldviews in order to reveal and assess the importance of indigenous women's voices to national and global issues such as sexual violence, environmentalism, and health. The class also takes into consideration the shortcomings of western feminisms in relation to the realities of Native women and Native people's sovereignty in general. Areas of particular importance to this course are indigenous women's urban experience, Haudenosaunee influence on early U.S. suffragists, indigenous women in the creative arts, third-gender/two-spiritedness, and Native women's traditional and contemporary roles as cultural carriers. Ms. McGlennen.

Two 75-minute periods.

264a. African American Women's History (1)

(Same as AFRS 264) In this interdisciplinary course, we explore the roles of black women in the U.S. as thinkers, activists, and creators during the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first 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. Ms. Collins.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

270a. Gender and Social Space (1)

(Same as GEOG 270 and URBS 270) 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.

277a. Gender and Nature (1)

In this course we will think carefully about the concepts of "nature" and the "natural." What are the various American myths about nature? How are the concepts of "nature" and the "natural" used in American culture to justify social inequalities based on gender, race, and class? What are the consequences for environments, both natural and built, of American myths about nature? We will consider the relationship between these questions and their utility for addressing 21st century environmental issues. Students will gain practical experience using interdisciplinary resources and methods and will encounter time periods ranging from the colonial to contemporary. We will emphasize writing and critical thinking. Reading materials will include historical narratives, political polemics, personal stories, and theoretical analyses. Students will acquire tools to evaluate mainstream and radical environmental discourse. Ultimately students will attend to the complexly intertwined representations of nature, gender, race, class and sexuality in U.S. popular culture. Ms. Schneiderman.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

281b. Gender and Science (1)

(Same as STS 281) This multidisciplinary course critically examines the intersections between science and the categories of gender, race, class, and sexuality. The course explores the ways that science and culture construct such categories and how the constructions play out in society. We consider how these constructions and the practice of science matter in terms of health care, education, food, the environment, safety, careers, and power in society. We examine the historical and current relationships between "western" science, multicultural sciences, imperialism, and economic globalization. Throughout the course, we ask how the social institution and power of science itself is affected by gender, race, class, and sexuality. For instance, who does science and who decides which projects to pursue and what constitutes a "fact"? Finally, we investigate alternative approaches to constructing knowledge. Ms. Schneiderman.

Two 75-minute periods.

283b. Feminist Philosophy of Science (1)

(Same as PHIL 283 and STS 283) This course introduces students to a range of historical and contemporary issues in feminist philosophy of science, knowledge, and human nature. Is there an essential difference between women and men? If so, what is the nature of this difference and what are its social and political implications? If not, what explains the apparent differences? Can assumptions about gender and sexuality compromise scientific objectivity? If so, should we rethink the nature of scientific objectivity and knowledge in general? Can social and psychological accounts of how we tend to sort people into distinct categories illuminate how we ought to understand these categories? How do questions about gender and sexuality intersect with questions about race and cross-cultural difference? How are these categories represented in popular scientific media? We will focus in particular on case studies from recent evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Mr. Madva.

 

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a or b. Field Work (1/2to1)

Prerequisite for fieldwork: 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.

297a and b. Reading Courses (1/2)

Topic for 297.01/51: Queer Theory. The program.

Topic for 297.02/52: Lesbian Sex and Politics in the United States. The program.

Topic for 297.03/53: Constructing American Masculinities. The program.

Topic for 297.04/54: Women and Sport. The program.

298a or b. Independent Study (1/2to1)

Prerequisite for 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.

299a. Thesis Preparation (1/2)

A graded ½ unit co-requisite of the Senior Thesis, taken in the first half of the fall semester in the senior year.

1st 6-week course.

Women's Studies: III. Advanced

301a. Senior Thesis or Project (1/2)

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

Yearlong course 301-WMST 302.

302b. Senior Thesis or Project (1/2)

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

Yearlong course WMST 301-302.

306b. Women's Movements in Asia (1)

(Same as ASIA 306 and SOCI 306) This interdisciplinary course examines the reemergence of women's movements in contemporary Asia by focusing on their cultural and historical contexts that go beyond the theory of "resource mobilization." Drawing upon case studies from Korea, Japan, India, and China, it traces the rise of feminist consciousness and women's movements at the turn of the twentieth century, and then analyzes the relationships between contemporary women's movements and the following topics: nationalism, political democratization, capitalist industrialization, ambivalence toward modernization, and postmodern conditions. Ms. Moon.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

317b. Women, Crime, and Punishment (1)

(Same as SOCI 317) This course begins with a comparative analysis of the involvement of men and women in crime in the United States and explanations offered for the striking variability. It proceeds by examining the exceptionally high rate of imprisonment for women in the U.S., the demographics of those who are imprisoned, the crimes they are convicted of, and the conditions under which they are confined. It deals with such issues as substance abuse problems, violence against women, medical care in prison, prison programming and efforts at rehabilitation, legal rights of inmates, and family issues, particularly the care of the children of incarcerated women. It also examines prison friendships, families, and sexualities, and post-release. The course ends with a consideration of the possibilities of a fundamental change in the current US system of crime and punishment specifically regarding women. Ms. Leonard.
 

One 2-hour period.

318a. Literary Studies in Gender and Sexuality (1)

(Same as ENGL 318) Advanced study of gender and sexuality in literary texts, theory and criticism. The focus will vary from year to year but will include a substantial theoretical or critical component that may draw from a range of approaches, such as feminist theory, queer theory, transgender studies, feminist psychoanalysis, disability studies and critical race theory.

Topic for 2014/15a: Feminist Approaches to the Representation of Rape The representation of rape has been central in the Western literary tradition providing a pretext for aggression and revenge since the Iliad. These stories, foundational to narratives of the making of political entities, are repeated and recycled in the literary tradition. Yet the subjectivity of the raped woman continues to confound. Her silence seems necessary. This course considers the classical figures of Lucrece, Lavinia, and Philomel and their translation into the English literary tradition in the work of Chaucer and Shakespeare. We then turn to recent feminist work on the representation of rape. Authors may include Alcoff, Higgins and Silver, Walker, and films such as Thelma and Louise and The Accused. Ms. Robertson.

Open to Juniors and Seniors with two units of 200-level work in English or by permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

321a. Feminism, Knowledge, Praxis (1)

(Same as SOCI 321) How do feminist politics inform how research, pedagogy, and social action are approached? Can feminist anti-racist praxis and insights into issues of race, power and knowledge, intersecting inequalities, and human agency change the way we understand and represent the social world? We discuss several qualitative approaches used by feminists to document the social world (e.g. ethnography, discourse analysis, oral history). Additionally, we explore and engage with contemplative practices such as mediation, engaged listening, and creative-visualization. Our goal is to develop an understanding of the relationship between power, knowledge and action and to collectively envision healing forms of critical social inquiry. Ms. Carruyo.

One 2-hour period.

331a. Gender, Resources, and Justice (1)

(Same as ESSC 331) This multidisciplinary course acquaints students with the debates and theoretical approaches involved in understanding resource issues from a gender and justice perspective. It is intended for those in the social and natural sciences who, while familiar with their own disciplinary approaches to resource issues, are not familiar with gendered perspectives on resource issues and the activism that surrounds them. It is also appropriate for students of gender studies unfamiliar with feminist scholarship in this area. Increasing concern for the development of more sustainable production systems has led to consideration of the ways in which gender, race, and class influence human-earth interactions. The course examines conceptual issues related to gender studies, earth systems, and land-use policies. It interrogates the complex intersections of activists, agencies and institutions in the global arena through a focus on contested power relations. The readings, videos, and other materials used in the class are drawn from both the South and the North to familiarize students with the similarities and differences in gendered relationships to the earth, access to resources, and resource justice activism. Ms. Schneiderman.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

341a. Studies in the Renaissance (1)

Intensive study of selected Renaissance texts and the questions they raise about their context and interpretation.

Topic for 2014/15a: Women and Performance in Early Modern England. (Same as ENGL 341) Though barred from the professional stage until after the Restoration, early modern Englishwomen had many stages, both public and private, on which to act, from royal courts to urban streets to household rooms. For women playwrights, the act of writing became another kind of performance--the construction of an imaginary stage on which to enact their thoughts. In exploring the spaces and media of women's performance (including music and dance) this seminar puts particular emphasis on the ways in which they were used to challenge early modern constructions of femininity and to re-imagine women's social roles. Ms. Dunn.

One 2-hour period.

355a. Childhood and Children in Nineteenth-Century Britain (1)

(Same as HIST 355) This course examines both the social constructions of childhood and the experiences of children in Britain during the nineteenth century, a period of immense industrial and social change. We analyze the various understandings of childhood at the beginning of the century (including utilitarian, Romantic, and evangelical approaches to childhood) and explore how, by the end of the century, all social classes shared similar expectations of what it meant to be a child. Main topics include the relationships between children and parents, child labor, sexuality, education, health and welfare, abuse, delinquency, and children as imperial subjects. Ms. Murdoch.

Not offered in 2014/15.

362a. Senior Seminar: Women in Japanese and Chinese Literature (1)

(Same as ASIA 362 and CHJA 362) An intercultural examination of the images of women presented in Japanese and Chinese narrative, drama, and poetry from their early emergence to the modern period. While giving critical attention to aesthetic issues and the gendered voices in representative works, the course also provides a comparative view of the dynamic changes in women's roles in Japan and China. All selections are in English translation. Ms. Qiu.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in language, literature, culture or Asian Studies, or permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

366a. Art and Activism in the United States (1)

(Same as AFRS 366, AMST 366, and ART 366) Vision and Critique in the Black Arts and Women's Art Movements in the United States. 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.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

367b. Artists' Books from the Women's Studio Workshop (1)

(Same as AMST 367 and ART 367) In this interdisciplinary seminar, we explore the limited edition artists' books created through the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York. Founded in 1974, the Women's Studio Workshop encourages the voice and vision of individual women artists, and women artists associated with the workshop have, since 1979, created over 180 hand-printed books using a variety of media, including hand-made paper, letterpress, silkscreen, photography, intaglio, and ceramics. Vassar College recently became an official repository for this vibrant collection which, in the words of the workshop's co-founder, documents "the artistic activities of the longest continually operating women's workspace in the country." Working directly with the artists' books, this seminar will meet in Vassar Library's Special Collections and closely investigate the range of media, subject matter, and aesthetic sensibilities of the rare books, as well as their contexts and meanings. We will also travel to the Women's Studio Workshop to experience firsthand the artistic process in an alternative space. Ms. Collins.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

370b. Feminist Perspectives on Environmentalism (1)

(Same as ENST 370 and ESSC 370) In this seminar we explore some basic concepts and approaches within feminist environmental analysis paying particular attention to feminist theory and its relevance to environmental issues. We examine a range of feminist research and analysis in 'environmental studies' that is connected by the recognition that gender subordination and environmental destruction are related phenomena. That is, they are the linked outcomes of forms of interactions with nature that are shaped by hierarchy and dominance, and they have global relevance. The course helps students discover the expansive contributions of feminist analysis and action to environmental research and advocacy; it provides the chance for students to apply the contributions of a feminist perspective to their own specific environmental interests. Ms. Schneiderman.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor; WMST 130 recommended.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

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

Topic for 2014/15b: 21st Century Feminisms. This capstone seminar examines recent topics in contemporary feminist activisms and theories, including but not limited to sex worker rights, sex trafficking, transfeminisms, dis/abilities, post-feminisms, and media activisms. In addition to featuring interdisciplinary, intersectional, and transnational texts, we will host guest speakers and panels in order to bring a wide array of voices into the room. Ms. Robertson.

May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

Prerequisite: WMST 130.

One 2-hour period.

380b. English Seminar (1)

Not offered in 2014/15.

381b. How Queer is That? (1)

This course sets out to examine what, exactly, constitutes the object of inquiry in queer studies. What is sexuality, and how does it relate to gender, race, class, or nation? Does homosexuality designate one transhistorial and transcultural phenomenon, or do we need to distinguish premodern same-sex practices from the modern identities that emerged in the 19th century? As part of investigating the terms and methodologies associated with queer studies, the course will interrogate competing narratives about the origins of homosexuality and what is at stake in any given account. Special attention will also be paid to the intellectual and political connections between queer studies and feminism, critical race studies, postcolonialism, Marxism, etc. Additional topics may include bisexuality, tensions between mainstream tactics and subcultural formations, the closet, coming out, popular culture, debates around gay marriage, and similarities and differences between lesbian and gay culture. Readings and films will draw on works by Butler, Foucault, Freud, Halberstam, Halperin, de Lauretis, Lorde, E. Newton, Rich, M. Riggs, Sedgwick, and Wilde. Mr. Perez.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor; WMST 130 and relevant 200-level course desirable.

One 2-hour period.

382b. Marie-Antoinette (1)

(Same as HIST 382) More than 200 years after her death, Marie-Antoinette continues to be an object of fascination because of her supposed excesses and her death at the guillotine. For her contemporaries, Marie-Antoinette often symbolized all that was wrong in French body politic. Through the life of Marie-Antoinette, we investigate the changing political and cultural landscape of eighteenth-century France including the French Revolution. Topics include women and power, political scandal and public opinion, fashion and self-representation, motherhood and domesticity, and revolution and gender iconography. Throughout the course, we explore the changing nature of the biographical narrative. The course also considers the legacy of Marie Antoinette as martyr and fetish object in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and her continuing relevance today. Ms. Choudhury.

Not offered in 2014/15.

384b. Transnational Queer: Genders, Sexualities, Identities (1)

(Same as CLCS 384 and INTL 384) What does it mean to be Queer? This seminar examines, critiques, and interrogates queer identities and constructions in France and North America. In what ways do diverse cultures engage with discourses on gender and sexuality? Can or should our understanding of queerness change depending on cultural contexts? Through guest lectures and discussion seminars, the course examines a broad range of queer cultural production, from fiction to cinema and performance. Topics include such diverse issues as queer bodies, national citizenship, sexual politics, legal discourse, and aesthetic representation. All lectures, readings, and discussions are in English. Mr. Swamy.

Prerequisites: Freshman Writing Seminar and one 200-level course.

By special permission.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 3-hour period.

385b. Women, Culture, and Development (1)

(Same as INTL 385, LALS 385 and SOCI 385) This course examines the ongoing debates within development studies about how integration into the global economy is experienced by women around the world. Drawing on gender studies, cultural and global political economy, we explore the multiple ways in which women struggle to secure wellbeing, challenge injustice, and live meaningful lives. Ms. Carruyo.

Not offered in 2014/15.

399a or b. Senior Independent Study (1/2to1)

Prerequisite for 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.